Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Java (more specifically, Mouse Deer)

The thing with stories and themes is that it is too easy to bend them to my will. Good thing Mouse Deer lives in a place that starts with J.

Because Kanchil is coming.

My 4th grade class has been jumping on my head for more Mouse Deer stories ever since I told them one before the winter break. Mouse Deer is always a sure hit, from K through the crypts, and once a group of kids learns about this sexy beast, he will be their favorite forever and ever.
I can't blame them.
I finally ran out of excuses of not telling any more Kantchil tales, and coughed up a few last nigh between a thesis chapter and a linguistics paper...

... just to arrive to the library this afternoon and be overrun by a classful of 4th graders chanting "HUNGER GAMES! HUNGER GAMES!" at the top of their tiny lungs.

They absolutely refused to listen to anything else BUT the "Hunger Games story" - which, in their terms, meant the myth of Theseus that apparently managed to ooze down through the grade barriers from my 5th grade telling last week. I knew from the librarians that 4th grade is only allowed to read the books with special permission - which they must have managed to coax out of their parents, because they were carrying various editions of them - but nobody said anything about Greek mythology, so, for the sake of my own personal safety, I told them the Theseus story.

I have never seen 4th grade so quiet since I started telling at the school. They were absolutely fascinated by Theseus, and it was all new and shiny to them, which almost made me forget about Mouse Deer - I love telling things to kids that are all new and shiny, and be there in their moment of discovery when they first hear one of the "big stories". They did not only understand the myth, they also thoroughly enjoyed it, gasping at the surprising parts and cheering for Theseus, making comments whenever they guessed at what was going to happen next. It was great fun, as usual.

Still. Nobody puts Kantchil in the corner.



  1. I loved this post. The picture of the mouse deer is so cute! I choose the mouse deer over Katniss! And you teach 4th grade? My favorite age range to write for. Thanks for visiting my blog today.

  2. Mouse deer!

    Loved reading about Theseus and slaying the Minotaur.

  3. I tell stories to 4th grade (and most of the other grades, really). They are adorable :)

  4. Great post. So clever. I think Katniss has better fashion sense, but the Mouse Deer would win in the end!

  5. When I read aloud to my 9th and 10th graders, they'd just stare at was like reading to 4th graders all over again.

    I guess they forgot what it was like to have a story told to them.

  6. I loved the little video. It was so really cute and a great way to end the day. Thank you.
    Rhia from Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (about # 800 on A to Z list)