The True Story of Chicken Licken_trying a new version

July 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment

Oral stories change with each telling. I’ve been trying to keep the story/character/emotional arcs and ‘play’ with the story so that it is fun to tell and hear.
Trying again with this latest version — I’ve lost count of how many there have been. :)  What do you think?

It was Marco Polo Day on the farm. The animal friends had gathered.
There was:
Chicken Licken – “brawk, brawk, brawk”
Ducky Lucky – “quack, quack”
Henny Penny – “oh dear, oh dear”
and Turkey Lurkey – “well, actually”
Chicken Licken stood in the center of the barnyard with his eyes closed and his wings stretched out in front. “Brawk, brawk, brawk. Marco.” Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey and Ducky Lucky laughed. They ran around Chicken Licken, just out of reach, and replied, “Polo!”
Chicken Licken swatted at the air in front of him and tried again. “Brawk, brawk, brawk. Marco.” Chicken Licken heard laughter and then, “Polo!”
Just then, a huge gust of wind blew an acorn out of a tree. That acorn landed on Chicken Licken’s head. Chicken Licken stopped, looked up, and began to shout, “Brawk, brawk, brawk. The sky is falling! A big old piece of it just landed on my head. The sky is falling!” Chicken Licken covered his head with his wings and began to race around the barnyard.
Henny and Ducky started running ‘round and ‘round and ‘round the barnyard too. They covered their heads. They peeked up at the sky. Feathers were flying. Everyone was shouting.
“Brawk, brawk, brawk! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
“Quack, quack! Big pieces comin’ down!”
“Oh dear. Oh dear. I don’t want the sky to hurt my pretty little head!”As Henny ran she took a deep breath, clenched her little claws, and begged, “Oh dear. Oh dear. Mr. Sky? Mr. Sky? Can you hear me? Please don’t fall. Please don’t hurt my friends. Oh dear, that would be bad.”
Only Turkey Lurkey stood still. He adjusted his glasses, looked at his friends, and quietly told them. “Well, actually that’s not quite true. The sky is not falling; that is a scientific impossibility. The sky is the Earth’s atmosphere; it surrounds us. It is not above us; we are in it. It just so happens that current wind speeds exceed 35 miles per hour and have caused an acorn to fall from the oak tree and land on your head, Chicken Licken. The sky is not falling.”
Everybody stopped running. Chicken Licken looked at Turkey Lurkey and laughed at him, “Brawk, brawk, brawk. You’re a nerd. Brawk, brawk, brawk. You’re a science nerd.”  The others laughed too. Then Chicken Licken fluffed up his feathers and flapped his wings. He laughed again. “Brawk, brawk. Science nerd.” Chicken walked to the center of the barnyard. He looked at Henny. He looked at Ducky. He turned away from Turkey Lurkey, closed his eyes and said, “Brawk, brawk, brawk. Henny! Ducky! Marco.” They shouted, “Polo!”
Turkey Lurkey’s feathers drooped. He walked home alone.

It was Baseball Day on the farm. Henny was on first base. Ducky was on second. Chicken was on third base ready to run for home. If Turkey Lurkey would just hit the ball, hit it anywhere, Chicken had a chance of scoring. Turkey Lurkey stood at home plate. He took off his glasses and carefully placed them in his pocket so they wouldn’t get broken. He pulled on his baseball cap twice for luck. Then Turkey Lurkey pulled his bat back. He waited for the pitch; he swung his bat – fast and wild. Turkey Lurkey missed the ball. Strike three. Chicken stomped his feet. He shook his feathers in the air and then Chicken shouted the first thing that popped into his head, “Brawk, brawk, brawk. Turkey Lurkey, you’re blind as a bat!”
Turkey Lurkey took his glasses out of his pocket and put them back on. Chicken kept shouting, “Brawk, brawk, brawk. Turkey Lurkey, just wear your stupid glasses all the time. You’re blind as a bat without them!” Turkey Lurkey slowly shook his head. He adjusted his glasses, looked at his team, and quietly told them. “Well, actually that’s not quite true. You see while it is true that bats don’t have excellent eyesight, bats can see. Some bat species have the added advantage of echolocation – the ability to bounce sounds off an object. Blind as a bat is not a scientific fact. It is simply an idiom.”
“Brawk, brawk, brawk. Idiom? You mean idiot! Brawk, brawk, brawk. You’re an idiot.” Everybody stared with wide eyes. Henny ran behind the oak tree and whispered, “Oh dear.” Ducky looked at the ground and mumbled, “Quack, quack.” They hurried home together. Chicken Licken fluffed up his feathers and flapped his wings. He took his bat and his ball and sauntered on home. Turkey Lurkey pulled his baseball cap down low over his eyes so nobody would see his tears. He trudged home alone.

It was Basketball Day on the farm. Chicken, Henny, and Ducky were practicing before the real game began. They dribbled, passed, blocked, and threw the ball at the net. Henny and Ducky were so focused on the net, they hadn’t even noticed that Turkey Lurkey was standing on the sidelines waiting for someone to pass the ball to him. When Chicken got the ball he held it. He bounced it a couple of times and then announced. “Brawk, brawk, brawk. Turkey Lurkey cannot be on my team.”
“Quack, quack! Why not?”
“Oh dear! What’s the problem?”
“Brawk, brawk, brawk. No nerds. Brawk, brawk. No idiots.” Then Chicken Licken turned away from Turkey Lurkey and bounced the ball again.
Henny looked at Turkey. She looked at Chicken Licken. She took a deep breath, clenched her little claws, and shouted, “Oh dear. Oh dear. Don’t hurt my friend! Maybe Turkey Lurkey doesn’t hit the ball very well, but that doesn’t mean you get to be cruel.” Henny fluffed up her feathers and flapped her wings. She went and stood right next to Turkey Lurkey. Ducky hurried to stand on the other side of Turkey Lurkey. “Quack, quack! I think it’s cool that Turkey Lurkey is really, really science smart. I learn stuff from him.”
“Brawk, brawk, brawk. I was just messin’ around; havin’ fun! Brawk!” Henny and Ducky looked at Chicken Licken.
“Oh dear. It may be fun to you, but it is not fun for anyone else.”
“Quack, quack. Turkey Lurkey is on our team.”
Chicken looked at Henny and Ducky. Then Chicken turned to Turkey Lurkey. “Brawk, brawk, brawk. I’m sorry. I won’t say mean things anymore; at least I’ll try. I’ll try not to take any more …. ‘fowl’ shots. Brawk.” Then Chicken said to everyone there, “Brawk, brawk. Let’s shoot some buckets!”
Henny and Ducky gathered under the net, ready to play. Only Turkey Lurkey stood still. “Well, actually, technically, it is not a bucket but a basket. Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, first used two peach baskets and a soccer ball and determined that players needed to hone the skill of combining speed, direction and velocity of the ball to make it land in the basket. A bucket? Actually, no. Now a bucket might be used for …..chicken … a bucket of finger licken chicken … actually.” Turkey Lurkey smiled.
Chicken, Henny, and Ducky shook their heads and laughed. Turkey Lurkey fluffed up his feathers and flapped his wings, and when that game of basketball was over he walked home with his friends.

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Entry filed under: Teaching Artist.

The True Story of Chicken Licken – Storytelling for Bullying Prevention In Search of Storytelling Excellence

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