(This story was devised in a Story
Cubes Workshop with the Third Class of the Educate Together National School, Castlebar, for the 2022 Wild Atlantic Words Festival in Castlebar. The
writers were Alanna, Caitlin, Lilly, Aoife, Arya, Ryan, Kaz, Alex, Joseph,
Noah, Dawid, Orin and Ken.
The nine Story Cubes that were thrown were: a Sleepy Donkey, a Sheep, a Book, a Pyramid, a Parachute, Planet Earth, a Directional Arrow, a Beatle, and a Tent. The elements we ended up using in the story have been underlined above.)
The Enlightenment of Beetroot and Cherry
was a sleepy donkey who lived in a hilly field all by himself. To the south he
could see the far away mountains and to the north he could see the small lake
shining in the sun. Every day, at noon, Farmer Loftus brought him his hay and his
beets, and he ate them all in one go then usually went to sleep again. Life was
a bit slow and, although he wasn’t always sure, Beetroot reckoned he was at
least a little bit unhappy.
only companion lived in the next field, separated from him by a
post-and-barbed-wire fence. Cherry was a sheep and she too lived all on her
own. She had got her name from the Farmer’s youngest daughter who had been
eating cherry ice-cream at the time she arrived.
there wasn’t much else to do, Beetroot hated Cherry and Cherry hated Beetroot
right back. Every day they spent at least an hour swapping insults with each
other over the fence.
are fat and woolly.”
are ugly, and you smell.”
level of insult was never remarkably high because neither Cherry not Beetroot
had ever been anywhere except in their field. It often got a bit boring but
still they kept at it, day in and day out.
are woolly and fat.”
smell and you are ugly.”
days passed slowly.
day, Farmer Loftus cleared out his attic and drove half the stuff to the
recycling centre in his jeep and his trailer. It was a very windy day and a
particularly strong gust caught something in the trailer and sent it fluttering
out over the fence between Cherry’s field and Beetroot’s field. It landed right
on the fence and stuck there. Beetroot and Cherry rushed over to investigate.
The thing was half on one side and half on the other and they each nosed their
own side and wondered what it was.”
is it, Smelly?”
don’t know, Woolly, but I know that I’m going to eat it.”
started to eat his side of the thing on the fence and Cherry, not to be
outdone, started to eat her side of the thing with equal speed. Soon it was all
gave a little burp.
was most edifying,” he said.
palatable,” she agreed.
looked at each other. Neither had any clue what the other just said.
fact of the matter was that the thing on the fence had been a Dictionary and
Beetroot had eaten the A to M section and Cherry had polished off the N to Z
you indisposed?” Beetroot asked.
am unwitting of your phraseology,” replied Cherry.
neither had a clue.
next day the farmer drove the second half of his stuff to the recycling centre
and an Atlas flew off and landed on the fence. Beetroot and Cherry quickly ate
their respective halves.
“ said Cherry, ”how I would love to parachute into Egypt, which is over in that
direction, and view the ancient Pyramids.”
know nothing of that, “ replied Beetroot, “but the Giant’s Causeway certainly
looked at Cherry and Cherry looked back.
know things,” he said, “you know things that I don’t know.”
could tell you about the things that I know,” she said.”
I could you tell you about mine.”
so, from that day onward, Cherry and Beetroot sat by the fence and told each
other of strange words and strange places they had known. And from then on, the
mountains did not seem quite so far away, and the lake did not seem quite so
And the world was an altogether nicer place.
(This story was devised in a Story
Cubes Workshop with 3rd Class, Castlebar Primary School, for the
2022 Wild Atlantic Words Festival in Castlebar. The writers were Andrea, Casey,
Charlie, Darragh, Dmytro, Emma, Eric, Fatiha, Godsent, Isobel, John, Kyrylo, Lilianna,
Linden, Lucy , Maja, Matej, Nathan, Nevil, Patryk, Santiago, Shahed, Sofia and Ken.
The nine Story Cubes that were thrown were: a Radio, a Letter, a Beatle, a Sleeping Person, a Book, the Planet Earth, a Key, A Keyhole, and a Lock. The elements used in the story are underlined above.)
Love Me Do Plus Two
It’s coming on.”
day, brother and sister Aoife and Kaz tuned in the kitchen radio at exactly
five minutes past five. They shushed everybody else in the house, the Dog, the
Cat, and Mum, and they listened intently.
time once again for the Greatest Beatles Competition of All Time.”
and Kaz held their breath tightly. All they wanted in the world was to win the
mystery prize in Greatest Beatles Competition of All Time. They had entered one
gazillion and forty times and some day their name would be called out and they
would have their chance.
today’s lucky callers are…”
listened, Kaz listened, Mum listened, the Dog listened. The Cat didn’t listen.
It just licked its belly.
lucky callers are… Aoife and Kaz.”
where’s the phone, where’s the phone, where’s the phone, they’re going to call
in a minute, where’s the phone?”
knew where the phone was. Everybody used their mobiles, and the phone handset
was never in demand. A frantic search began, cushions were overturned, mats
were shaken, cupboards were peered-into. The cat got up in disgust and the
phone was on the chair where she had been sitting. Aoife dived on it, just as
it started to ring. She pressed the button to answer the call.
love the Beatles, and we love Radio Nine Point Two FM.”
was the phrase that pays. If you didn’t say it before you said hello, you
didn’t get to play in The Greatest Beatles Competition of All Time. You were
and Kaz had to answer one tough Beatles question to win the prize. The
competition had been running for weeks because the people who got to play only
knew about Beyonce and Dermot Kennedy. The Beatles were ancient history.
to Kaz and Aoife though. When their Dad got ill, he left them all of his
Beatles records and they played them every day after school. While the records
were spinning it was often like Dad was in the next room and about to shout
through about how the next track was a great one. It was nice.
Aoife and Kaz had high hopes for the question. As did their Mum and the Dog and
the Cat… well, no, the Cat didn’t care.
was John Lennon’s original middle name?”
wasn’t fair. Any question about any song on any album and they would have been just
fine. But who could know the singer’s middle name? Not Mum, not Aoife, not Kaz.
Cat looked up from its licking.
and Kaz shouted it down the phone, both at the same time. “WINSTONNNNNN.” And
that was it. They had won the mystery prize in the Greatest Beatles Competition
of All Time. Almost immediately, there was a noise in the front hall. A Golden
Envelope had been slipped under the door. Inside was a key and a note. ‘GO TO
THE TREE THAT LOOKS LIKE A GUITAR.’
and Aoife knew the tree that looked like a guitar. It was in the woods up the
back and they often ran there-and-back when it rained. There was a brown door in
the tree that they had never noticed before. On the brown door was a green
apple, just like the one in the middle of the Beatles records.
opened the door and went inside.
was smoky and dark and there were lots of people. Kaz and Aoife were at the
back. Down the front, there was a small stage with four young men up on it. The
one with the absolute nicest smile waved to Aoife and Kaz.
here now,” he told the crowd, “let’s have a big hand for Aoife and Kaz.”
and Kaz sang backing vocals for Love Me Do with The Beatles in the Cavern Club
in 1962. When they finished, they fell asleep on the stage and woke up back in
their own beds in 2022. Fearing it had all been a dream, they ran to the
sitting room and put the old record on the turntable.
there they were. Right there inside the vinyl.
Paul, George, Ringo, Aoife and Kaz.
Dad would have been really proud.