In a class I teach for adults, I recently did the “unpardonable.”

图片 1


dodo the dodo bird 

I gave the class homework!

**Chapter 1


The subject of extinction 

The assignment was to “go to someone you love within the next week and
tell them you love them.

A long time ago when (we thought) dodo birds existed, there was a girl
dodo bird called Dodo. Dodo had lots of friends that were all types of
animals, but also had some friends which always played and were close to
her. These were dodo birds called: Dennis, Dom, Darla, and Darren. One
sunny morning Darren’s mum invited all of Dodo’s closest friends and
Dodo to a play date at her house. Dodo’s parents agreed for her to go so
she went in the warm afternoon. All who had been invited were there,
including Darren. First thing they did was sit down and chat. They
chatted about all sorts of things, from memories to secrets.Then Dom
suddenly said something very sad and dreadful ‘We are all going to be
extinct one day’. Everybody agreed miserably by nodding their heads.
Everybody except Dodo, she said ‘Except me because I (Hopefully) will do


图片 2

It has to be someone you have never said those words to before

‘Do what?’ asked Dennis, ‘There’s nothing you can do so don’t deny it’
He said, gloomily because he wished what Dodo said would be true. Darren
didn’t like unhappiness in her house so she suggested they should play
Hide and Seek. They did, many rounds until Darren’s mum called for
supper. It was delicious, they really did get in! After supper the
others went home. While walking home Dodo said to Dennis ‘You will
follow me when the others go extinct to prove I’m right, won’t you?’
Dennis stared at the ground and said yes under his breath. Then he
turned to face Dodo who certainly wanted an answer. He didn’t say his
reply so Dodo didn’t mind after that. Dennis kept on asking
himself,what’s Dodo going to do?Dodo said ‘I will show you when the day
comes’ she said like could read minds although she undoubtedly couldn’t.
Dennis blinked but didn’t say anything. ‘Anyway extinction is far away
for us so no need to worry,’ said Dodo cheerfully. OK, so Dodo does not
know what to do or how to do it, she just predicts. When she got home
she asked her mother, ‘When dodo birds become extinction, will there be
some way others can avoid it?’ Her mother smiled friendly and said ‘Well
you mustn’t give up hope, not even under the roughest circumstances.’
Dodo, as she was 12, did not get what her mother was saying but she did
not bother to ask. ‘Ever heard the legend of E-trance?’ asked her
mother.What a peculiar name for a legend! Thought Dodo. ‘No I haven’t’,
said Dodo. ‘Well I shall tell you then!’ said Dodo’s mother(Mrs.Deran)
cheerfully. She always liked to tell a good old story, and Dodo liked to
hear one. 


Chapter 2

or at least haven”t shared those words with for a long time.”

The Legend of E-Trance


‘Once, a long, long time ago, there was The Queen of All Animals. She
was not an animal herself; instead she was a mythical or magical
creature. She was very safe as nearly no humans knew her.They knew her
husband; Loch Ness. She was called Lera Nera and she knew one day lots
of animals would go extinct’ said Mrs.Deran. She was telling Dodo the
Legend of E-Trance. ‘How did she know that?’ asked Dodo. ‘She
predicted’replied Mrs.Deran. ‘So then she wanted a way to prevent it
from happening, and she did this by using her magical powers to create a
garden that humans can’t enter, either because of things in the garden
or the entrance to the garden’. Continued Mrs.Deran. Dodo was gazing at
her mother, simply putting this wonderful tale into her head. She had to
know the end; it was proof to her theory! ‘The garden had a machine that
would turn an animal to any other animal, to prevent them from being
extinct (except turning into humans).’This was the legend. ‘What are the
Queen’s assistants like?’ asked Dodo, ‘magical creatures, just like the
Queen herself ’  said Mrs.Deran, ‘But we mustn’t do this straightaway
because we aren’t sure we are going to be extinct and it would be nice
to stay ourselves a bit longer, wouldn’t we?’ said Mrs.Deran. Dodo knew
that, but she was so happy she wanted to do it now. ‘It’s about time for
you to clean yourself, Dodo, you look very dirty’, Mrs.Deran told Dodo.
Dodo knew what this meant,a shower.So she went to nature’s bath, the
lake and waterfall.

Now that doesn t sound like a very tough assignment, until you stop to
realize that most of the men were over 35

Chapter 3


Dodo Spells

and were raised in the generation of men that were taught that
expressing emotions is not “macho.”

When she got to the lake she carefully placed her little flowers and
leaves in her hair that held her hair up in as ponytail aside. Then she
looked at the waterfall, a fast, thick, eerie fall from the mountains
crashing down on lots of animals. Of course, the animals didn’t just use
the waterfall as a bath place; they used it for lots of things such as:
Birthday pool parties (much better than a pool if I do say so
myself),Water Park, Swimming pool, Racetrack (The animals invented a new
sport called Water Running or WR which is running in water)etc. So Dodo
carefully stepped into the water and stood there move. She let the water
wet her claws for a moment and then moved towards the waterfall. She
always did this but it was a fear she never conquered; stepping into the
waterfall. As she was taking few steps she stopped. And a few moments
later she ran towards the waterfall like a bull.Then stopped when she
reached the waterfall. The crashes of the water were like teeny tiny
raindrops and feathers pouring down. It was so gentle on Dodo. Dodo
smiled. She could hear laughing animals, chatterboxes and splashes. But
a sudden feeling came to her, weakness. More and more it grew until all
of Dodo collapsed in to the lake, eyes closed. Sleeping.


‘Looks like a spell’, said a voice.Dodo woke up and found herself in
their local hospital. ‘Honey are you OK? Dad found you and your
belongings by the waterfall lake, what happened?’ asked Mrs.Deran.
‘Well, like you said I was taking a shower in the waterfall lake and
then I suddenly collapsed.’ replied Dodo. ‘I may know what this means’
said a voice. It was Mr.Deran, Dodo’s dad. ‘What?’ asked everybody
except Mr.Deran. ‘Only because I said it doesn’t mean I can explain it’
replied Mr.Deran. Dodo felt angry and disappointed, angry because if you
know what it is (or might know) then you should know how to explain it.
She felt disappointed because she was never going to find out why this
weird action has taken place. Dodo asked ‘Can we go home now? I’m
feeling better’. Her mum nodded so  then they waved goodbye to the
doctor and went down the path home. Suddenly Dodo had an idea;I don’t
need dad to say it for me to know it, I can figure it out myself! I’ll
go through the books(These books are not human books. They were leaves
with berry ink writing on them stuck together by carving two holes on
the side of each leaf and carving two holes on the side of each leaf.
Then simply putting plant stems through the holes to finish making the
book)in dad’s bedroom!So while her parents walked, Dodo ran home. When
they reached home Dodo ran straight to her father’s bedroom and searched
among the bookshelves. ‘How to improve at tennis, How to cook, How to
have good eyesight, How to become a comedy pro, The true tale of King
Tiger VIII, Why Queen Lera Nera ruled instead of her husband,Tennis book
of knowledge at (and in) all times, Why Breast stroke is easier than
Freestyle for children, Dodo Spells and Cures. Aha!’ said Dodo. She
opened the book called Dodo spells and Cures and flipped through the
leaf pages.

Showing feelings or crying was just not done.

Finally Dodo found a page with the headline saying: ‘Collapsing and
sleeping suddenly in water’. ‘Well this looks like it’ said Dodo to
herself and she started reading the page. It wasn’t very long like Dodo
expected it to be, with loads of detailed explanations she can’t even
understand. Then she looked at the book’s title. She found extra words!
Instead of saying ‘Dodo spells and cures’ it said ‘Dodo spells and cures
for beginners’. Now Dodo had very good eyesight and she did not see that
at the beginning so it must mean only one thing to Dodo Magic! Her eyes
twinkled with brightness like stars. But she wanted to be quick before
his dad came in (her dad always came into his bedroom at time likes
this) but she also wanted to be the first to find the unexplained spell.
You see; Dodo knew her dad would come to his bedroom and find the book
she was holding. So now Dodo knew exactly why the explanation was so
easy, for beginners. To be honest with you, Dodo was a beginner herself,
since she did not go to Hogwarts and study Potions and cures in the
dungeon with Professor. Snape while hating him like Harry Potter did! So
she returned to the page she was reading and read the last few
sentences. OK,fine the last few words. It only had one sentence! A short
sentence. Dodo could feel the words in her mind flying like the Quid
ditch broomsticks and flying carpets. (Who doesn’t’ like a bit of Harry
Potter?) She loved the words, all of them. After reading that simple
sentence she smiled, closed the book, put it back on the shelf and ran
out of the room. She had a marvelous idea. It was Sunday, Schools
tomorrow and she is in secondary school! OK the last one didn’t have to
do with anything but what I’m trying to tell you are that she wanted to
ask the chemistry and science teacher about extinction.The book said
that you are getting over excited about the Legend of E-Trance and needs
to calm down.


Chapter 4

So this was a very threatening assignment for some.

Secondary school science


‘There last one done!’ said a man as he delivered a plate of a cooked
Dodo bird onto a wooden table full of other men sitting on wooden seats.
Mrs.Deran, Mr.Deran, Dodo and Dennis were in the forest beside the
magical place in E-Trance and were ready to enter the door to a legend.
Then, suddenly there was a voice, it was female. The voice was strangely
familiar… ‘Dodo wake up, you’ll be late for school!’ shouted Mrs.Deran.
Dodo was still sleeping in her comfortable bed and was just beginning to
open her eyes, she realised that she had to ask the science teacher
about extinction. So Dodo woke immediately from her dream. ‘YES YES
YES!!!!!!!!!’Shouted Dodo as she jumped out of bed to get ready for
school, she just couldn’t wait. ‘What’s the big rush there?’ asked
Mrs.Deran as she walked into the living room. ‘Nothing’ said Dodo
giggling slightly. When Dodo got to school she looked at her leaf time
table (The school timetable written on a leaf) and just saw that today’s
first lesson was science. ‘Perfect!’ murmured Dodo to herself as she
walked to her locker. Locker number 128 was Dodo’s one.It was a very
busy place, the hall. Dodo opened her locker made out of wood she was
still planning what to say to the science teacher about extinction. Dodo
slowly took out her lovely silk pencil case she got from the silkworm
workshop and her lovely writing feather from one of her friends, Esla
the Eagle.

At the beginning of our next class,

图片 3

I asked if someone wanted to share what happened when they told someone
they loved them.

She had also bought two blueberry ink pots her mum got from the Fruit
Use shop. As the clock ticked by, Dodo was waiting to go in to the
chemistry room (The room where science class was held).But when she
couldn’t wait any longer and the bell still hasn’t ringed, she ran into
the chemistry room. ‘First one here, Dodo!’ said Mr.Gares the science
and chemistry teacher. ‘Good’ whispered Dodo to herself silently. ‘Is
there anything special you want to tell me?’ asked Mr.Gares. ‘Yes there
is Mr.Gares’ replied Dodo, ‘Is there any possible way that animals which
are extinct can save the last of their species?’.Dodo was very excited
to hear the answer. ‘Yes’ replied Mr.Gares, ‘But those animals have to
make sure they are going to be extinct, they have to prove it’. Dodo
knew what this meant, the species have to at least only have four of
their kind left to be sure they are going to be extinct, it’s the law.
Dodo was very excited about the words that Mr.Gares said. ‘Well it’s not
really science, it’s more nature’ Mr.Gares told Dodo, ‘But of course I
don’t mind making it for the subject of the day’.Now Dodo was even more
excited. Then suddenly the bell rang (terrible song of the birds) and
all the other students rushed in. Dodo immediately found a seat opposite
Dennis’s. And so the lesson began! ‘Today’s subject is extinction!’
announced Mr.Gares. All of the class look quite shocked. But Dennis was
even more shocked than the rest.Mr.Gares first told them the legend of
E-Trance.Then he asked them to draw and make the magical place on a
white,pale leaf(like paper).After a few moments Mimi the panda asked,Is
it possible that when one spieces of animals is about about to go
extinct, some of them can escape extinction?’See,pandas are quite lazy
and sometimes just don’t get things. Mr.Gares sighed and said‘Yes,Mimi.
Very possible’ and while he said this he saw Dennis staring suspiciously
at Dodo and wondering about the subject ‘extinction’. ‘Dennis, what did
I just say?’ asked Mr.Gares like a typical teacher. ‘Umm, that escaping
extinction isn’t possible sir?’ answered Dennis. Mr.Gares sighed once
again and said‘that’s the opposite of what I said, I said it’s VERY (He
shouted very out loud like a typical ape) POSSIBLE (shouted once again,
typically)’ Now Dennis was very very very very (times one hundred verys)
shocked + surprised. He spent one second staring at Dodo with the Dennis
Death Stare which surprisingly does not give you death but gives very
old animals a heart attack and that’s why Dennis never does this to
senior animals (animals over 20 which 60 for humans). Dodo ignored
completely, she was too happy and proud to be given a heart attack. So
they carried on their work of drawing the magical place from E-Trance.
Most of the class imagined it was these for words: HORRIBLE. TERRIBLE.
MESSY. BAD. But Dodo was different; she had the garden the opposite.
With human security ice cream bushes, berry trees that can scare off any
human, spiky grass only fit for an animal and other wonderful dreams
only for animals. It was filled with detailed and beautiful drawings.
Dodo loved it and did not even like the trend,the five words of not


Chapter 5

I fully expected one of the women to volunteer6, as was usually the

Runaway prey


So seven years later (because in those seven years nothing happened)
Dodo is nineteen and it’s about time that the fifth last dodo bird
(Darla) is eaten. Dodo, Dennis,Mrs.Deran and Mr.Deran were in a cave
watching Darla being cooked. Now only four dodos are left, they are now
able to proceed to the magical garden in E-Trance, it’s the law. ‘Curse
them!’ whispered Dodo as she watched her close friend being served on a
plate and evil humans smacking their ruby red lips.They were just about
outside of Hictan; the place where the Derans lived. Hictan was not just
full of dodos, but full of eagles, tigers, pandas, crows,pigeons, owls,
parrots, lions, penguins, dogs, cats, wolves, cheetahs,leopards,
monkeys, apes, seals, bears, hamsters, rats, mouse and lots of other
mammals. It was not as modern as the human world but it was very
civilized indeed. Now carrying on with the story, there was long wooden
tables set out which the humans were sitting on. Lying before the wooden
tables was a black pot like a cauldron. It smelt wonderful to humans;
the cooked animals it smelled of. But it was deeply disgusting to
animals, deeply. Of course, now Dodo wanted the humans to be cursed of
course but she had no powers, did she?

but on this evening one of the men raised his hand.

‘Now’ whispered Dodo to the others. The cave was dark but the morning
light shined through itand made the cave as bright the sun. She was
saying now to the meaning of ‘go’to the magical place. The others heard,
and formed a neat, straight line.‘Fire!’ shouted Dodo after the line was
created. Dodo went first and ran to the other side. Then Mrs.Deran,
Mr.Deran next and finally… It didn’t happen. Dennis just stood there,
staring at the other side. ‘This is a matter of life and death Dennis,
want to die or want to live?’ asked Dodo (It was more of a statement
than question) Dennis didn’t answer because he just didn’t want to.He
has made up his mind, he was going to cross and run to the legendary
place.So his claws were in a running position and, goooooo!!!!!! He was
as fast as the cheetah (He won the 500m, 400m, 300, 200m, 100m, 80m
(Darla won the 90m),70m, 30m, (The 60m and 40m were won by Darla and the
50m was won by Dodo, the 600m was also won by Dodo) but though he was as
fast as a cheetah a man still spotted him. The man was with the other
men eating Darla. The man came over and punched  Dennis; he caught
Dennis.Then he turned his head and saw the others. He then came over to
catch all of the dodo birds. Paralyzed,the dodos stood still. The man
caught them. And, carefully, he took the dodos back to the back to the
long, wooden tables.‘Four more, ain’t it such a feast!’ cheered the man.
Dodo turned from sad to angry.


She originally was angry because of the humans eating Darla but she was
also sad because she was giving up hope, hope to escape extinction. Then
a loud ‘Ouch!’ was heard,it was Dennis kicking at the man. The man
strangled Dennis and murmured ‘Beastly thing!’ Mrs.Deran shouted ‘You
stop strangling that friend of my daughters! You stop strangling that
boy you stupid, dirty, uncivilised beast!’Of course the man didn’t
understand her so Mrs.Deran started kicking. Mr.Deran started kicking
too. Dodo suddenly by mistake saw them and kicked too. The manlet go of
all the dodo birds he caught in his hands: Mrs.Deran, Mr.Deran, Dodo
Deran and Dennis Dricombe. The man shouted at the other men to help him.
The  other men chased the dodos but they were too slow and when they
reached the magical place they couldn’t go in (did I mention there was a
human-free-invincible-to climb-over-gate?) instead they were just thrown
5 miles away with their belongings. The dodos were already in the place
which was in the legends. And you wouldn’t believe what it looked
like;it was just like Dodo’s drawing in science class. As beautiful,
human free,fun, delicious as ever. You can’t ever picture this in your
wildest dreams! No wonder it’s in a legend! It’s absolutely amazing!

He appeared quite moved and a bit shaken.

Chapter 6


The place of the dreams

As he unfolded out of his chair,

They all wondered around the place. Dennis kept on looking at ice cream
bushes and finally decided to pick one, a strawberry ice cream. Mr.Deran
found the ‘Frozen Coke Rink’ which was just a normal ice rink but made
of frozen Coke a cola. ‘Yum!’said Mr.Deran as he had a taste of the
frozen coke. Mrs.Deran jumped onto ‘The massaging chair mainly made of
real Eagle Feathers’ and as you can guess, it’s a very comfortable
massaging chair made mainly of eagle feathers. It’s obvious,that isn’t
it? Now who’s left? Dodo. She didn’t find anything, or do anything.She
just walked around looking and staring at everything. No, it was not
boring at all (Since she was a young adult already; remember, 19?). Then
something caught her eyes. A very clean, modern, futuristic machine. It
was the transformer, no not the alien-who-can-turn-into-cars one, the
machine which could turn an endangered or nearly extinct animal into any
other animal except a human. It was fantastic. Dreams beyond dreams. And
yet, in a legend, it was standing there on a little pale hill in front
of the one who had hope, hope to escape extinction. That was Dodo and
she would always be the first to hope that.


Looking around to be sure nobody was looking (Nobody was; Dennis has
joined Mr.Deran on the‘Frozen Coke ice rink’ and was licking like mad,
Mrs.Deran has been picking berries the flavor of oranges and was now was
sitting on the ‘Massaging chair made of mainly real eagle feathers’
looking at the view and eating orange-flavored berries.) Dodo climbed
the little hill leading to the transformer. When she reached the top she
took a deep breath and entered the transformer. She couldn’t believe it,
so modern yet so old. It shined, was so clean, so futuristic Dodo had to
shake her head to get things right. It was true; not a dream, not a
daydream, not a nightmare, not creativity in imagination. It was a
cylinder. The whole thing was quite transparent, since it had a lot of
glass. It could fit about on of the biggest sizes of giraffes, so pretty
tall and wide. The roof was covered with white-painted metal to cover
the rain and to protect the head. Inside, there was the glass all around
the machine except a pale blue wall made of metal with lots of buttons
on it; it was also encrusted with lots of real blue gems of all shades.
There was a diamond at the middle of the two sides of the walls. The
same buttons were repeated three times: top, bottom and middle. Dodo
looked at the middle buttons. Fifty at the right and one on the left. On
the right there was a selection of animals, fifty to be precise. And on
the left one button saying “Type in” Dodo looked through the fifty first
and then decided to choose the ‘type in’ button. When she pressed that
button a keypad immediately appeared on the metal wall. The keypad was
such a pale blue and also it was nearly transparent. But although it was
a very pale blue the letters were black, and as clear as a new, human
keypad. There were only letters because animal names did not have
anything but letters (normally). She though for some time, probably 5
minutes and then typed in Swan. (Yes she knows how to type!) Immediately
a heap of white smoke came. Now all Dodo could see was rainbow-colored
swirls. Then, a second later, everything disappeared: The smoke, swirls
and a lovely, dizzy rose scent which I didn’t mention. Now everything
was clear. The futuristic walls and buttons and the magical garden seen
by the transparent glass walls. The doors opened, Dodo stepped out of
the machine and Viola! Dodo was not the normal Dodo; oh no, she was the
most elegant, beautiful (Although she was beautiful before, very)
whitest Dodo ever! Mr.Deran, Mrs.Deran and Dennis all looked at her and
gasped. ‘E-trance’s mystical machine!’ shouted Dodo and she stepped down
the hill with her swan flippers. Dodo’s parenst and Dennis all smiled
and shouted ‘OUR TURN!’ and formed a line in front of the hill.
Mrs.Deran first, then Mr.Deran and last but not least, Dennis. (Who was
jumping wildly with excitement)

he began by saying, Dennis, I was quite angry with you last week when
you gave us this assignment.

Chapter 7


The swan stars

I didn`t feel that I had anyone to say those words to, and besides,

When Mrs. Deran came out, you couldn’t see her age (And I’m not going to
tell you how old she is)her feather all pure clean and white, elegant
wings and eyes, and in the whole,a beautiful, kind swan. Mr.Deran, well
let’s just say he was well cool. And finally, Dennis. The pure white
spread over him, his shining beak and black eyes glistened (his eyes
were a bit more shiny than Dodo’s parents but not Dodo)Nobody would
believe this was Dennis unless you actually saw it. ‘Right then,off we
go!’ said Mrs.Deran cheerfully. ‘To where?’ asked Dodo. ‘Well to the
place we will live of course! To the Thames!’ replied Mrs.Deran. And she
walked forward leading the way. Everybody followed her, all the dodo
birds. And they opened the gate and out of the garden, it was not the
village Hictan anymore:Oh no, it was the stone steps down the Thames,
from London! ‘What?!’ whispered Dennis. ‘I don’t know’ said Dodo. Then
all eyes (humans and dogs) turned on them. The humans took out their
phones and cameras and flashed. They kept on taking pictures as the
used-to-be-dodo-birds-but-now-swans walked down the smooth, stone path.
Then, suddenly by a coincidence, the news photographer appeared and took
pictures too (that’s why this evening’s Evening Standard had the front
page with the pictures that the photographer took and the headline:‘Swan


The swans (I’m giving up on that long name) stepped down the stone steps
and into the Thames.The water was nice and cool, perfect for summer (it
was July) and the new swans turned around to face the humans, which
disappeared almost immediately (with all their things and pets) ‘weird’
said Dodo in almost an whisper. This mystery was soon solved as The
animal Queen Lera Nera appeared in front of the new swans as they turned
around to face her. She was alone, not accompanied by anybody. All the
swans in the Thames bowed. Even Dodo, Dodo’s parent and Dennis. Then
Lera Nera swam towards the new swans and said ‘You have come through the
transformer and used to be dodos, I now allow you to live here as
citizens of the Thames since you have had hope escaping the animal
horror. And you (She faced Dennis)  your parents died so…’ Dennis knew
what would come; orphanage. He waited for the word to be said but Lera
Nera was waiting for something. Silence, was broken as Mrs.Deran said
‘May we adopt him, me and my husband? My daughter is also good friends
with him your majesty.’ Lera Nera smiled and replied in a cheerful way
‘Of course you may, it has a better future for him than in a orphanage.’
Then she pointed west ‘There is the University for transformed animals.
I will register both your children and you may start next week. It is
free with no extra paying.’ Both Mrs.Deran and Mr.Deran looked shocked
and said ‘Thank you majesty’. So now Dennis was not just friends with
Dodo, he was her brother. And they grew up to be very great since they
did great in university.

who were you to tell me to do something that personal8?


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