When Gronk Sings

story & illustration © 2003 Bruce Van Patter

you think ogres are ugly, you should hear their singing.
Do you know how lemons make your mouth pucker? Well, ogres singing can make your ears pucker. I should know. I'm being held prisoner by one.

He caught me while I was singing in the woods. I know, you'll say that a princess like me should be more careful. But nobody lets me sing in the castle, even though Penny says I have a beautiful voice. But my father tells me to just sit on the throne and look royal.

So now I'm stuck in the grimy, stone cottage of this ogre -- his name is Gronk. It's a good name for him. It's like his voice. He doesn't sing. He gronks. And he tells me I won't be going back to the castle until I teach him to sing. Might as well try to teach a rock to fly.

Today is the fifteenth lesson. I can't take any more. There must a way to make him think he sings like a bird. So, let me think what I've got to work with. Looking around the room, I see these things: an old spinning wheel, creaky with age. (It must have been his mother's.) A chimney that opens to the sky. This morning's stale bread. His fishing net. A wooden table and two chairs. Two straw beds. And his scruffy cat, Grin.

He's outside right now. I might have a second to run, if I think I could get something from the woods to help. But somehow, today will be the day.

Gronk is going to think he's a singer.

What comes next? - well, well. How interesting! But how will she do it?

Can you think of a way she can make a sound, any sound with those things? Maybe if he hears that sound, he'll think it's beautiful. Or maybe she'll have to catch a bird! Write a funny or exciting ending to this story! And... in music lessons, are you allowed to take notes?

Have fun -- finish the story -- and be creative! If you want to, email me your ending!