Form 7 - Creative Animals
In English, Form 7 have been undertaking a number of creative tasks that have prompted them to think about animals.
Last week, we read Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, “The Laugh of Your Class”. I’d happened to read this one evening, and instantly thought of Form 7. Duffy describes the laughter of a class as being, “like the horn of a bright red car”, “like the hiss of skis on snow”, and “like fourteen birds in a tree”, amongst other things. Form 7 are frequently to be found in their form classroom making all those noises, and I am missing their collective cackle a lot.
In response to this poem, I asked the team to come up with their own similes, to describe how the Form 7 giggle sounds to their ears, and animals featured prominently Are you ready? Form 7 think they laugh...
Like turtles gasping for breath (Isaac S)
Like mad, giggling hyenas (Tristan)
Like howler monkeys at dinner time (Lily)
Like the sound of an orchestra (Archie)
Like a boiling kettle (Ollie)
Like a crooning donkey (Tiggy)
Like chimpanzees squatting on tables (Megan)
Like excitable hounds in the kennel (Iona)
Like twenty hungry mice (Henry)
Like twenty-six roosters in the morning (Isaac B)
Like a pair of kookaburras chatting in the outback (Kirsty)
Like a gang of babbling baboons (Skye)
Like hippos running down the corridor (Josh)
Like twenty pipers in a glen (Angus)
Like giggling hyenas (Cadence)
Like a scurry of squeaking chipmunks (Kate)
Like a cackle of chuckling hyenas (Ally)
Like the flicking of a page (Torquil)
Like a hyena munching on Haribos (Robert)
Like the hum of a hummingbird’s wings (Harriet)
Like hyenas on the move (Emily)
Like the summer rain hitting off the roof (Sophie)
We have also been focusing a little on personal writing: autobiographical memories, told in an interesting way. When we considered memories relating to encounters with animals, Tiggy, Isaac S and Lily had these stand-out pieces to offer.
Eleven Little Piggies – Tiggy
The ironic thing was we lived on a farm, but we have and probably never will own any animals. Why? Well, my family have always been tragically allergic to fur. Their eyes get itchy, they cough and they can’t breathe. Unfortunately, every time I asked, it was always a no.
Dew laden fields surrounded our stone slabbed house like an egg, the yoke squared off ashy and discoloured, whilst the brilliant green surrounded. Cows and sheep crooned mournfully to their young, their songs echoing through the valley and seeping in the splintered frames of the dirty windows of the house.
The morning was brisk and fresh, and my mother was briskly sauntering across the tiled kitchen floor when suddenly she spotted a small silhouette slyly slinking through the overgrown lawn. Terrified, my mother let out a mighty scream.
“Alan! There’s a pig in the garden”.
Taken aback by the abrupt scream, the pig screeched with dogged intensity.
Moments later multiple piglets came squawking into the garden. Quickly making our way outside my family and I tried to herd the piglets, which scuttled in several directions. Grunting and squealing the minute piglets rampaged through the long grass. Peachy pink with brown spots they squirmed between our fingers making it almost impossible to catch them.
Bolting across the lawn we were police hastily pursuing the intruding criminals. Mere seconds passed and we heard the mighty rumpus following the frightful sow. Big, fat and pink she joined the rampage. Scaring us into action, we pulled together and herded them down the gravel road to the steel framed shed. The shed was a rusty grey with a large opening that housed the pig sty.
Relief filled our bodies once we had delivered them safely home. This cherished memory has always been close to our family’s heart because it was a funny moment.
The time ravens circled around me on Ben More - Isaac S
Half-way up the mountain, the wind blew past my face. Yet I was not cold, because the heat of the sun was beating down on me. The top of the mountain was still out of sight, as it had been since the moment I had begun the ascent. Stopping for our picnic, with a small rock to sit on and smooth grass to lie on, it was like paradise. I felt so calm sitting here on the grass. I felt safe and like I did not want to move anymore. But leaving Ruby and Dad behind, Bridget, Mum and I continued up Ben More.
The slopes were getting steeper, which meant the views were becoming more and more jaw-dropping. We often had to stop to look down and admire Mull. Still, we knew the most beautiful view would be at the top, and so we kept on climbing. After another thirty minutes of strenuous climbing, step after step, we halted suddenly. Every grassy hump we reached, we hoped was the top but there was always more climb to come. Like a rainbow, it always seemed out of reach. I started to feel my energy and hope fade away.
Swooping down from the sky, which was as blue as an ocean wave, the ravens then appeared, bringing us new hope. Their feathers, as shiny and black as coal. Their wing-span, long and reaching out to us. These birds brought hope back into my heart. We watched them for second. Then, they started circling us, propelling us upwards to the top of the mountain. A smile grew on my face, as I knew we could make it. And then the ravens were gone, back down the mountain and flew across the sea into the distance.
My Animal Memory - Lily
I walked through the Zoo gates. I had been given the most exciting present, a keeper experience at Edinburgh Zoo, and we had a list of instructions to follow. The thing on this list which I was most excited about was feeding the chimpanzees. It was a bright sunny morning when we arrived, and the sun’s rays sliced through the trees, creating strips of light between the spiky shadows.
Excitedly, I bounced into Budongo, which was the name of the chimp’s large house. Sitting on a bench waiting for us was Sheryl-Ann, my favourite keeper. Blond hair pulled back into a ponytail, oversized green jumper and shorts and chunky black boots, she was diminutive, with a bubbly smile which beckoned me over. Firstly, we were taken to the chimps feed area, where Sheryl-Ann showed me a bucket and encouraged me to select what to feed the chimps that day. There was a selection of bananas, shiny red apples and huge piles of vegetables which were being sliced up by another keeper. To the side, there was a small plastic bowl filled with pureed vegetables – I asked what that was for and the keepers replied that this was for baby Velu, the smallest chimp.
After picking up the food, we walked over the shiny, green floor to an area which I had never noticed before. There was a large, clear, glass door with an enormous lock. Sheryl-Ann set down the bucket and pulled out of her pocket the largest set of keys I have ever seen. There must have been twenty, no, thirty, keys on there, which jangled like a multitude of church bells on a Sunday morning. Instantly, she knew which key to select. Turning the key in the door, she pushed the heavy glass door open and we stepped onto the outside balcony. Luckily it wasn’t cold.
I looked down into the undergrowth. For a second, I thought I saw movement, black shadows amongst the trees. Sheryl-Ann told me to stand well back and then showed me where to throw food. Suddenly black figures rushed out of the undergrowth and stood underneath the balcony – the chimps knew it was feeding time. We started throwing the food to them. The chimps started squabbling like old ladies, fighting over the thrown food and screaming at me, baring their teeth.
To the side, I suddenly saw baby Velu, riding on his mother's back. After I had thrown the food to them, Velu and his mother came to feed. We then moved away from the balcony and headed downstairs. We entered a strange room, with glass walkways and concrete floors. Sheryl-Ann put down the baby food, but he ignored it, focusing on my baby brother instead. His tiny hand reached out and pressed against the glass of the window to say hello. To our surprise, my brother did the same.
Finally, we have been writing narratives and descriptions on the theme of a lost cat. I enjoyed Sophie’s description very much last week.
Lost Cat - Sophie
It was a quiet, peaceful village that never came across any trouble. The birds flew overhead looking for more trees to nest in. Surrounded by hills, forests, and the countryside the village was rural and only had one small shop that doubled as a café. Hanging flower baskets were full to the brim with colour as though they were storing rainbows. Cars only came now again on the only one main road as the day continued. The sun shone brightly down at every house and everyone who called this village home.
Children were talking and playing games with their friends. Laughter filled the air as they rode their bikes along the pavements. Mums and Dads were gardening and relaxing outside in the golden yellow sun as their dogs run around chasing after balls. The village appeared as though everything was happy and exciting like they had won the lottery, but it was different for some people.
There were posters up on every lamp-post you could see, one at the village shop and on the noticeboard at the village hall. They all gave the same sad message, a family was looking for their cat, Fizz. From the picture, she looked like a well-loved, family pet covered from head to toe in beautiful black fur apart from her distinctive, wonderful, white bib. Her kind, aquamarine and loving eyes brought you in closer. You could see the family searching for hours each day, in vain calling out her name in a sad cry.
The look of panic, despair and confusion on the faces of the family was clear to see each time they were out looking for their beloved pet. Friends and neighbors joined the search as the hours turned into days, and days turned into weeks. The family tried to remain hopeful, even though they knew it was becoming more and more unlikely that Fizz would return to their home.
After nearly a month of searching and waiting, a woman and her child knocked on the door one late evening. It was dark and there was a storm brewing in the distance. In the woman’s caring and warm arms lay a scraggly, starving, scrawny cat, barely recognizable as Fizz. You could tell it was definitely her though by those memorable, magnificent eyes. The family welcomed her back into their home as their faces lit up with joy and relief.