Saturday 26 June 2010

Embarrassing Episodes (don't tell anyone...)

I was recently asked if children ever came out with anything embarrassing at my storytellings. It's true: little ones say the first thing that comes into their head. I've got used to it now, but it threw me to begin with.

The most embarrassing one though, was more my own fault than the child's. It was way back when I only had one published book: The Show at Rickety Barn. It was a great book for storytellings - I had a big bag of dress-up props and children would help me to duplicate the 'show' from the story.

One day, I was doing an event in a library. After our little 'show', I did my usual big, flipchart drawings. I was working my way through the farm animals in the story and got to the cow. Anyone who remembers the original homepage on my website, will know that the cows juggle crockery (rather badly), standing up on their hind legs:

I like to gently tease the children, by leaving things out of the flipchart drawings, so they can tell me what's missing. I left off the cow's tail and turned to face the class of 6 year olds seated on the floor.

'Mmm, have I forgotten anything..?' I mused.

A little lad put up his hand: 'Please Miss: he's got no balls!'

Trying hard to take this rather precocious comment in my stride, I smiled and explained how it was a lady cow, because she had udders. I pointed to the udders on the flipchart.

The little boy looked confused.

I suddenly became aware of librarians on the outskirts, sniggering into their hands. Only then did it dawn on me that it was a juggling cow: the little lad meant juggling balls!!!


Thomas Taylor said...

ha ha! *klang!*

A funny story, Lynne.

Karien Barnes Art said...

Blimey that is embarrassing lol.

Vivien said...

Good story! My daughter was teaching English to adults in Italy, and once described Guy Fawkes night in Italian. Unfortunately she confused the word 'falo' (accent on the o): bonfire; and fallo: phallus. So she told them how on 5 November English people build an enormous 'fallo' in their gardens and put the figure of a man on it... After a bit a pupil advised quietly, "No: un falo..."

Lynne the Pencil said...

Ha ha - that beats mine Vivien. Excellent one! Truly cringe-worthy.

Serena Lewis said...

Hilarious! I giggled out loud at the 'falo' story too!

Caroline said...

LOL!!! oops!! Your blog is always so entertaining!

Mary Lou Rosato-Caine said...

Lynne and Vivien's stories are both so funny! It's nice to start the day with a good laugh--thank you both :)

Jon Davis said...

Excellent. Very carry-on.
I can image the little lad's mind racing, wondering why you thought a lady cow would be juggling with her udders, rather than balls :)

Charlene Brown said...

I've often wondered how you can draw and teach and entertain a bunch of kids you've just met day after day for ever... But now I realize that anyone who could survive the juggling cows debacle would have no trouble with a few dozen 'regular' questions.

SKIZO said...




Anonymous said...

LOL! Kids, eh?

Anonymous said...

Hello there Lynne,
I love the illustration of the cover on The Show at Rickety Barn! Also love the music illustration with the violin! Has so much personality! Thanks for sharing these with us!
sytiva sheehan

Tati said...


I remember... yeah, I've asked you about embarrassing episodes with kids. Thanks for answering me!


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