Froth and Bubble Literature Festival

Today, Jackie Kerin and I travelled to Torquay to present at the Froth and Bubble Literature Festival (which continues tomorrow without us!).

Jackie and I do a combo presentation based around ‘There Was an Old Sailor’. We construct a new sailor story and then have the attendees perform it. It’s great fun, and is one way to model the creation of a new story, by using the skeleton of an existing one. We had a smallish but very enthusiastic group of participants. We require a strong sense of the ridiculous and here we must acknowledge the assistance of an earlier presenter, Andy Griffiths. The kids were primed! Here’s their wonderful story-rhyme, collaboratively written and then performed in just under an hour.

There Was an Old Sailor who Swallowed a Snail

There was an old sailor who swallowed a snail
I don’t know why he swallowed a snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed a snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a crab
He grabbed that crab, it tasted fab.
He swallowed the crab to catch the star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed that snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a snake
Yes, rattle and shake, he swallowed the snake
He swallowed the snake to catch the crab
He swallowed the crab to catch the star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed that snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a clam
The jam-covered clam tasted like lamb
He swallowed the clam to catch the snake
He swallowed the snake to catch the crab
He swallowed the crab to catch the star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed that snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a cow
Wow …no…POW! He ploughed that cow
He swallowed the cow to catch the clam
He swallowed the clam to catch the snake
He swallowed the snake to catch the crab
He swallowed the crab to catch the star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed that snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a lion
oh – so full, he’s cryin’!

Rose helped us pack up. Thanks Rose!


Afterwards Jackie presented a talk on the art of storytelling, generating discussion that was only halted when the man with the vacuum cleaner threatened our feet (okay, only almost).

Great fun.

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