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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)

TITLE: What Really Went on on the Ark
By Debbie Sickler


“That’s the last of them dad.”

“Did you lock the cages?”

“Of course!”

“Good job son. Now come in and rest. We have a long trip ahead of us tomorrow.” Noah called to his family. They all left the ark they had just filled with animals and supplies and headed off to bed.

At daybreak, Noah gathered his family together and entered the ark. Once they were safely inside, God really ripped open the heavens. Water gushed down from the sky, creating huge lakes that spilt over into the oceans, setting the family off on their journey.

The day wore on and the family fought seasickness as well as boredom. Then the lightening and thunder began. The animals panicked. Somewhat fearful themselves, Noah and his sons quieted them down as best as they could.

That night, while everyone slept, one clever little chimp reached his arm through his cage and discovered the lock. The lock, should have been secured, but wasn’t. It fell to the floor with minimal effort and the chimp clapped happily as he took his first steps of freedom.

Wandering about the close quarters, he made another discovery: a set of keys. He had paid attention to the humans earlier and tried successfully to mimic the way he’d seen them use the strange objects. The sheep were now free as well.

Next, he released the turtledoves and ravens, which flew about overhead, creating quite a stir. The donkeys were next, followed by the kangaroos and ostriches. One by one, the chimp unlocked each cage, setting his companions free to explore. He was very pleased with this new game.

Between the thunder and Noah’s snoring, none of the humans had a clue what was happening. They awoke the next day and started about their business as usual, well as usual as one could expect when sailing in the first rain storm of their lives, on an enormous boat everyone else had thought was being built by a nutcase. Anyway, the animals continued to enjoy their freedom until Noah’s wife went down to retrieve some eggs for their breakfast.

Now, Noah’s kids weren’t exactly angels while growing up and were in fact quite mischievous. They’d enjoyed the occasional prank at their mother’s expense, but none of their nonsense had ever created such a scream as the one she let out on that trip to collect eggs. The entire family rushed to her side to see what was the matter. Noah’s faced turned even whiter than the snow colored hair on his head. He’d never seen such chaos, not even in his sons’ bedrooms.

“I thought you said you locked the cages!” Noah shouted at his son.

“I-I did. At least I thought I did. I’m pretty sure…there were a lot of locks to remember dad and the animals were so smelly. I was kind of in a hurry to get out of here.” He didn’t really have much of a defense prepared.

“How are we ever going to fix this? Look at them all!” Strands of hay floated about, birds were squawking, bunnies were hopping and one little chimp was swinging from a beam in the ceiling with an amused look on his face, jingling the ring of keys.”

“Grandpa! That’s not how the story goes!” Tory had had enough of his grandfather’s ridiculous retelling of the famous Bible story.

“How do you know? Were you there?” Grandpa asked with the raise of an eyebrow.

“Well, no, but that’s not how they taught it to us in Sunday School.”

“You’re right Tory. That isn’t how the story goes, but it very well could have happened if Noah’s family hadn’t taken their responsibilities seriously. That’s my whole point. Everyone has a job to do, some small, some big. The Bible says everything you do, you are to do as unto the Lord. Do you know what that means?”

“Kinda. Doesn’t it mean to do stuff like if God was the boss you’re doing it for?” Tory was starting to get the point his grandfather had gone to such lengths to show him.


“Grandpa, I’m sorry I didn’t take my chores serious. I’ll try to do better from now on.”

“That’s my boy. I knew you’d understand. You know, it really could have happened my way. Just imagine…all those animals!”

“Grandpa!” Tory rolled his eyes and they both laughed at the thought of poor old Noah and the clever little chimp.

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This article has been read 1083 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Edy T Johnson 03/13/06
Very clever, and a delightful way to convey your message-lesson to a child, or any reader. Good job.
Helen Paynter03/13/06
I like this very much but - my opinion only - I think it is more telling and witty without the grandfather-grandson interaction at the end. It turns the story into a moral tale, and I think it works better as a humorous take on the Biblical story - which brings to life the original very capably. Great stuff, either way.
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/13/06
Hehehe, cute story! Great job!
Cassie Memmer03/14/06
I liked your ending. It made sense to me because I had been wondering if it was meant to be a children's story. As you probably realized, you missed a couple of commas and 'dad' used as a name should be capitalized. I enjoyed your story. Good job!
Jessica Schmit03/14/06
This is great. I can really appreciate this as I am a Sunday school teacher. Awesome job!
Debora Dyess03/15/06
I liked the story very much. I didn't see it as a lesson in responsibility because the son DID lock the doors responsibly. It was more a tale of...well, a tale of life on the boat! I write childrens stories and could easily see the first part as a picture book. The interaction between the grandson/grandpa could be left in, but again, I'm not sure a lesson on responsibility really fits. Cute story, nice visuals
Jan Ackerson 03/15/06
This is very cute, and I like the interaction with the grandfather at the end--a good transition from story to storyteller. This only thing I wondered about was the age of Noah's son--you wrote him like a young boy, but Noah's sons took wives on the ark. Nevertheless, a charming story.
T. F. Chezum03/16/06
Good story. I like the different version of ark life and the interaction between grandpa and grandson at the end.
Shari Armstrong 03/17/06
WONDERFUL!!! I could see it all happening!!
Suzanne R03/19/06
I'd like to see this as an illustrated picture book! I can see it already. Well done.
Jessica Schmit03/20/06
Yeah Debbie!!!!!!

Congrats on getting in the top five!
c clemons03/20/06
I liked by the end it turns out to be a story for kids and getting them to use imagination. The title maybe could be reworded the "on on" at first look likes a typo or stutter. Since it was the Grandfather talking (which is not known until towards the end) I will not comment on the added "ed's" or wrong choice of words like "spilt" it could be the way the Grandfather spoke. A fun story.
Brandi Roberts03/20/06
Funny with a great message! Well done~!