Secret Shortcut — FINAL

For those who haven’t read it, click here for the blog post with the first draft of my writing student’s adaptation of The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague.

This is my student’s final version that he gave me today after working on it for a few weeks.  He’s done a nice job filling it out and being creative with it:

“Mom, Bob and I are going to be late for school.  Why didn’t you warn us?  I di — siiigh.”  While I was frantically choking down toast and putting on clothes above my pajamas, my friend was tapping his toe while saying: “Hurry up, hurry up!”

On the way to school we discovered a huge lion effectively blocking the entire road; he said we could pass, but only if we could solve a riddle.  I was about to go a different way, but then my friend pointed out that I didn’t actually know a different way, so the lion said: “Throw me out the window and find a  grieving wife; pull me back but through the door; watch someone giving life.”  First I tried a clarinet swab and the letter A, and then a baby because if you throw some one’s baby out the window, you’ll usually find a crying wife, and if you pull a baby through the door, you can refer the door to a wife’s stomach.  I also tried the letter “A”, but none of them were right, but then Bob said the letter “N.”  (window –> widow  door — > donor) Finally, we could pass, but it took us like 1 hour, and we were late.

Before we got to school the teacher was teaching the class how to do “5x+7= . . . You’re late!”  The teacher yelled at us for like 5 minutes because we were like an hour late.  I told her the story of the 20 feet high, 6 feet across giant lion, and she didn’t believe us.  So, for all our trouble we got an hour in detention.  I mean seriously, giving us detention because of a so-called lie and being a little late.  Wait a minute!  Is putting us in detention when you’re in elementary even supposed to be legal?!

On Friday day my friend and I encountered a thick fog with an electrically-charged banana in it that chased everybody that was in the fog.  When we went in we found out that it could teleport and tackle really well.  So, we tried running across, but I guess trying to outrun a teleporting banana is pretty darn hard.  Because it didn’t work one bit.  We had about one more try before the bell rang.  So, we tried flinging ourselves over with a catapult that I built at home.  But that seemed impossible because it was 1 foot wide and 1.5 feet across and built with Popsicle sticks and super glue.  But believe it or not, it worked  We did a victory dance until we saw an onrushing goblin clan, so we ran back to my house, but it turned out that they only wanted to make friends.  To make a long story short, we just ditched them.  We got to school exactly one hour late.  But instead of giving us detention, our teacher sat on us for 5 minutes while the rest of the class laughed at us.  But what made them laugh even harder was the fact that I was saying “Nieooooo. Nieoooooo. Stop, please!  Nieoooooooo.  Nieoooooooooooooooooo please. . .” the entire time.

On Saturday I was playing in the backyard when my eyes chanced upon a little hole.  When I looked in, I could see what I thought was my school like 20 feet away.  I called my friend and told him to come to my backyard on Monday.  He asked why, and I said: “I’ll tell you on Monday, da Da!  da Da!” in a singing voice (in the tune of Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase).

On Monday I told him about the hole.  After a while we went down the HOLE.  It turned out the school that I saw was faked; it was just some very well-painted leaves painted red.  We tried to get out, but I guess the hole new what we were going to do, so it just collapsed.  So we just ventured around the jungle biome and dodged a few tigers, lions and a monkey for what I thought was 5 hours until I thought I saw our school; it was.  Just then, I heard the early bell ring.  I said to my friend that we might just make it if we hurried.   To tell you something, running wouldn’t be enough so we swung on the vines.  We made it.  Just a femto second (a millionth of a billionth of a second) of a second before the bell rang.  Finally, we make it to school on time.

We kept going into that hole, and after each time, we found a different biome.  Like an ocean or a desert, and each time we used it, we were always a femto second before the bell rang early, no matter how slow or fast we were.

For next week, my student is working on mixed-up Aesop’s Fables, his own creative twist on mixed-up fairy tales.  I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with!

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