Number Seventy-two

I tend to play ESL games with my student (an 8-year-old local student) sometimes, one of which being a story-making session with a random topic chosen out of a hat. We take turns making the story, writing one or two sentences each time. Sort of like half a Mad Libs. This week, she drew out the topic “Number 72”. It goes something like this:

One summer morning, there were seventy two birds flying in the sky. All were beautiful except for the ugly Number Seventy-two. Being the last and ugly bird is not easy. When they ate, all his brothers and sisters ate faster than him. He grew tiny and thin. Their mother knew, so she said, “Take care of your younger brother!”

All the birds nodded but Number 1 shook his head. He said, “He should take care of himself!”

Number Seventy-two looked at him and then flew away from home. He flew into the deep, dark forest and rested on a tree. There was a bird on the tree, too. So Seventy-two asked her, “Can we be friends?”

The bird said, “Of course!” And so they became friends.

Seventy-two later learned that her name was Angel, and that she came from a mountain far, far away. They played games and had a picnic on the tree. Suddenly, the tree shook. A man was chopping down the tree. The tree shook so hard that both of the birds fell down. The man caught them very quickly. Both Seventy-two and Angel struggled in his strong grasp but couldn’t free themselves, so Seventy-two shouted, “Bite him, Angel!”

They bit him and he yelped in pain, “Ouch! You stupid birds!” He shook his hands and released them. Seventy-two and Angel flew into the sky quickly. They thought they were safe until the man took out something gray and metal. It was a gun! The man shot at them but he lost control. The birds safely escaped. They flew to a castle and settled there. But they found a person living there. It was Belle. She loved both Seventy-two and Angel a lot, so they became friends and lived happily ever after.

Due to the fact that she had woken up early (and skipped breakfast) for the lesson this morning, my student wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the whole English thing. However, she did end up being extremely excited over the story, contributing to most of the plot including the man with the gun. Never underestimate the power of imagination of an 8-year-old.

By the way, she told me that was “Belle from Beauty and the Beast“.


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