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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)

TITLE: A Game of Trivia
By Mary MacKinnon


A Game of Trivia

“Kids, let’s play Trivia today in class. But instead of asking lots of questions, I’ll ask only one.”

Every single head in the room snapped to attention. Backs straightened up in anticipation of a fun time.

“Before we start, what are the four seasons of the year? ”

Almost in chorus they called, “Spring, summer, fall and winter.”

“Right. My Trivia question is: What do you know about spring that is special? The best answer will get a special prize.”

Roger giggled and then said, “Well, my grandpa told me something about spring in Sweden. When he was a little boy he lived there on a farm. Maybe it’s not true--but he would have been ashamed of this if it wasn’t true.”

“Give us details,” I said.

“He said winters are so cold there that the women can’t wash clothes in winter. Instead they empty one room of the house and start piling the dirty clothes in there until spring comes. Then they wash them all.”

“Phew, that must smell awful!” someone commented.

I agreed. “But maybe these days things are different. Now someone tell us something else.”

Shawn piped up, “I know something interesting. In the spring bears wake up from a long winter’s nap of several months. During that time they had some bear cubs. Before going to sleep they needed lots of fat to get them through the time they wouldn’t be eating. So they ate like pigs, up to 20,000 calories per day, the equivalent of 42 hamburgers, which put enough fat on them.”

“Wow!” from the class.

Jan said, “I’ll never forget what happened to me last spring. My sister said I had a big rip down the back of my coat.”

Someone asked, “Well, did you?”

“No. The next thing my sister said--with a big smirk--was, ‘April Fool’.”

Everyone laughed.

Jan continued, “That made me curious as to how it all started and I found some very curious things about the day. The fun festival of April Fool’s Day possibly started in France. They said Mother Nature fools the human race by sending showers one minute and sunshine the next.”

“How true,” Heidi said. “Our beach outing last month was ruined by one of those showers.”

Jan went on, “ Many cultures say the time for pranks must end at noon on April 1st and people who have been tricked could then turn the tables on the perpetrators saying: “April Fool’s gone past..and you’re the biggest fool at last”.

Roger said, “Good thing to remember that the next time I fall for one of those tricks.!”

Lori said, “Over in Denmark there’s a day they call Shroveshire Day in the spring.. Then they have a Danish version of ‘tricks or treats’. But these days, instead of the buns they asked for when the custom started, they usually get money.”

“Too bad that custom doesn’t change the ‘tricks or treats’ in this country!” someone called.

Heidi said, “Over in Switzerland there are two interesting spring customs On March 1st long processions of children chase cold spirits of winter away, with cowbells thundering as they do it. Then in some parts of Switzerland on May 1st people celebrate the coming of spring by singing and dancing around a maypole.

“Class you’ve covered lots of interesting ground and gone to many parts of the world,
but you’ve left out the very most important thing of all. Can anyone tell what that is?”

Roger rose from his seat, and with a very serous face answered, “The very best of all is something that affects every one of us, not just in the spring. One Friday in spring many years ago, an innocent man named Jesus was nailed to a cross to pay for all our sins, Then he spent Saturday--one of the saddest days in all history--lying dead in a cave. Most interesting of all is that.on Sunday he came to life again. .Because of that we can live forever. The most wonderful part to me is that, because of what happened to Him, my grandpa is now in heaven and someday I’ll go to meet him there.”

“Right on target, Roger.. The prize is yours. Since I knew that would have to be the best answer, I chose the prize with that in mind, a CD of ‘Christ, the Lord is Risen Today’”, I said as I handed it to him.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Naomi Deutekom12/06/05
This is a fun approach to the topic. Your dialog starts out very convincingly, but as the story moves forward, I was less convinced that children would talk the way they did. I guess it depends on the age you are trying to depict.
Jan Ackerson 12/07/05
I'm with Naomi, children in my experience do not talk this way. But the facts you presented are fascinating: maybe you could have presented this as an expository essay, with your trivia facts about spring. I learned a lot from this.