Thursday, October 22, 2009

pig-pig and the bowl of rice

I picked up the Oct 2009 issue of Spider Magazine (part of the Cricket Magazine Group, Cobbelstone Publishing, Carus Publishing) for children ages 6 to 9 (or writers ages 30 and up... ahem) and fell in love with this story, Pig-Pig and the Bowl of Rice. First of all, the art by Oki Han is absolutely breathtaking, and the story written by Marilyn Richardson made me cry. Yes, I cried last night over a little boy and his pig. But follow along and you'll see why....

One year, Yung Soo had been allowed, for the first time, to join his grandfather on the trip. Grandfather had traded a bushel of nectarines for a skinny little piglet. Yung Soo carried the piglet home and cared for him, feeding him from a bottle, holding him like a baby, and scratching behind his ears. ...."Someday," Grandfather warned, "when that pig gets fat, we will have to kill him for food."

A general riding on a horse came up the path, followed by his army of foot soldiers.... Yung Soo was about to stand and bow to this great man when the general shouted, "Come morning, we will kill these villagers and take their food..." ....Lugging...bundles of food and blankets on their backs, the people followed the head a cave.

Three days and three nights passed. Nearly all of the food was gone. Only one bowl of rice and Yung Soo's skinny pig remained. ....Yung Soo...had come up with an idea. He didn't like his idea, but he knew something must be done. ...Holding the animal gently in his arms, he left the cave and walked to the edge of a cliff that overlooked the soldiers' camp. Yung Soo put his lips close to Pig-Pig's ear. "You must be brave..."

I've obviously paraphrased the story, but you get the idea of what's about to go down, right? Cried like a baby.....and I think part of my tears were because Pig-Pig reminded me of Sadie, my dog. She's shaped like a little piggy, and sometimes she snorts like one too, "big sigh", needles to say, Yung Soo was brave, I don't think I could be.

I'd love to write for Spider Magazine one day. I'm actually working on some stories to query them with, but under their submission guidelines it says they, "publish stories written by the world's best children's authors...." No pressure there! ;)

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