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Transcript – Nature – by Shashwat, 12
Alec:  I'm Alec

Elora: I'm Elora

Alec: This is Written By Kids. And on today's episode, a game, an interview with young author Shashwat, and his poem, Nature, all about the beauty of Mother Earth. And as always we'll end with the joke of the week.

Elora: But first, remember, your child's story can be on this podcast, just go to MoonHouse.org/submit. It's free. Its easy. You can submit as many pieces as you like, that' s MoonHouse.org/submit

Alec: Lo, You want to play a game about Mother Earth?

Elora: Yes, yes, I do.

Alec: I've got three mediocre names for it, are you ready?

Elora: Yes

Alec: OK We're calling it. The Earth, it means the world to me.

Elora: (laughter)

Alec: Also, technically everyone's on top of the world.

Elora: (laughter)

Alec: Third, brought to you by the longest running television show in history, How I Met Your Mother Earth, its been on forever, but everyone only knows about four of the seasons.

Elora: (laughter) That's great and terrible.

Alec: I'm going to say five amazing facts about the Earth, and you're going to guess if they're true or false. Are you ready to play?

Elora: I'm ready.

Alec: OK. Number one, the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old.

Elora: I think its older, so false?

Alec: That's true.

Elora: I thought it was like five or six, so (laughter)

Alec: Could be, I mean this is just the latest thing that there is evidence for. OK, number two. There are forty to fifty lightning flashes on Earth every single second.

Elora: I'm going to say true.

Alec: You're right, that's true. (bells)

Elora: Neat

Alec: Number three, raindrops are shaped in the classic teardrop shape.

Elora: Ahh, That is not true.

Alec: You are right. (bells) Most of them form as a sphere, but then as they fall the air resistance, make them look kind of like a hamburger bun.

Elora: Yeah, Yeah, they get kind of flattened out.

Alec: Ok, number four. When the dinosaurs ruled Earth, one day was a little more than 21 hours long.

Elora: Um, True.

Alec: Yes, that's true. (bells)

Elora: Why?

Alec: Think of it like we're dragging the moon behind us, and its slowing us down

Elora: Ahh. That does make sense; that's really cool. Space bonus, space facts.

Alec: Yeah. OK. Number five, being around trees, actually turns out has no health benefits for humans.

Elora: That is false. And I know that because like even being around fake plants makes you happier

Alec: (laughter) Yes, they do make you happier (bells)

Elora: Higher oxygen

Elora: (laughter)

Alec: Oh yeah, more oxygen

Alec: Lo, you won the game. (applause)

Elora: Yay.

Alec: Sashwat is a storyteller, he loves reading fantasy, adventure, mythology and building his own magical world of super heroes and super villains, he is 12 years old. Hi Shashwat.

Shashwat: Hello

Alec: What made you decide to write this poem?

Shashwat: Yeah, I really wanted to write about the topic and, and my mom really liked it and that's why she wanted to post it over to you guys and check out, how you guys felt about it.

Alec: Cool. Well, we are so glad you did. How do you hope people will feel after they hear this poem?

Shashwat: I just have hope that people just have more awareness to nature, like I do. More respect.

Alec: So this poem describes nature beautifully and encourages listeners to respect nature. What are some things that you do in your life, personally, to help the Earth survive?

Shashwat: Well for one thing I am always very careful on where I place all of my garbage, and I try not to be wasteful. I try to eat all my food on the plate.

Elora: And now, Nature, a poem by Shashwat, performed by Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi.

Mohammad: (music) The sunlight is like a mother’s hand. Warm, gentle and soft. The breeze (light wind sounds) is like a brother’s shout. Lively and sudden and aloft. The earth is the home I love. Soft and sweet like a dove. (dove sounds) Nature is all around us. (ocean sounds) But we ruin it with the bus (horn beeping sounds) Cars and trains Boats and (airplane sounds) planes. Each day it gets worse. (trains, planes long horn beeping sounds) (crowd sounds) (loud sounds stop, just music) Don’t be like them. Don’t let nature go. Instead… Let the sunlight be a mother’s hand. Warm, gentle and soft. The breeze like a brother’s shout (light wind sounds) Lively and sudden and aloft. Earth is the home we should love. Soft and sweet like a dove. (dove sounds) Nature cares for all of us (bird sounds) with fruit and water and all the stuff. We must all take good care. So when we're gone she'll still be there (music fades out)

Alec: You might recognize Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi's voice from our story two weeks ago, How They Got Cat out of the Forest. He cooks amazing things. All the time, with imported cheese, and his son Johan loves peanut butter and jelly. He's an actor, a teacher and - lil peek behind the curtain. Thanks, Rohaizad for this pair of pants that you didn't like, and gave to me because although you didn't like them for you, you've seen the kinds of pants that I wear; and you knew this was an upgrade. They look good. Okay. Shashwat and Shashwat's Dad Priyank - Where would you rather live, a mountaintop or a beach?

Shashwat: I guess I'd go for the beach at least there would be food.

Shashwat's Dad: Yeah, I think beach.

Alec: Number two. A dense forest or in the ocean?

Shashwat: Um, a dense forest, a lot of vegetation.

Shashwat's Dad. Yeah, for me same, I think the ocean, it is hard to imagine living there.

Alec: On a volcano, or in the sky?

Shashwat: I don't think living on pigeons would be for me. I think I would go for a volcano.

Shashwat's Dad: I think I'll choose the same but keep an eye on the tremors.

Everyone: (laughter)

Alec: All right. Well it was so much fun to have you.

Shashwat's Dad: I just want to say that we are super excited about Shashwat's writing. He writes great poems, he writes great stories as well. So whenever that happens we enjoy reading it and we're happy to share.

Alec: That's awesome. We'll certainly hope you submit more and we certainly hope that you'll come on again. Thank you so much. This is really fun. It was great to meet you and Ill see you later.

Shashwat's Dad: Thank you Alec

Shashwat: Thank you.

Alec: Before we end with a joke of the week, if you liked that poem, if it made you calm or inspired or if it made you remember the last time you went to the beach, you can now support us in a one-time kind of fashion at MoonHouse.org/support us. It used to be you could only do monthly but no more!

Elora: No more!

Alec: Now you can now do one time!

Elora: One time!

Alec: So please go to MoonHouse.org/support us and give whatever you can because we want to keep bringing you this podcast and we can only do that with your help.

Elora: Your help!

Alec: That's MoonHouse.org/support us.

Elora: Now Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec: I'm so ready.

Elora: What has four wheels and flies?

Alec: Four wheels and flies...Is it like a really dirty car?

Elora: A garbage truck!

Alec: Oh! I was close! Nice. Bye, I love you so much.

Elora: Bye. I love you.
Transcript – Rise of the Ninja – by Tully, 6

Alec:  I’m Alec. Elora had the day off when we recorded.  This is Written by Kids and we’ve got two episodes out today.  On this episode, a short, short action, packed story called Rise Of The Ninja by six-year-old Tully. On the other episode. A bonus trivia episode all about ninjas with special guest – Northern California-based artist Tamekia Jackson. So, after you listen to Rise of the Ninja over here, head on over there for some fun, ninja facts, some good jokes, couple of bad jokes, but you know, we love bad jokes here. All right before we play the story, remember your child’s short story, or monologue or poem, or anything creative they write can be on this podcast. Just go to MoonHouse.org/submit.  Submission is free. It’s easy. You can submit as many pieces as you like, that’s a MoonHouse.org/submit. Tully enjoys playing video games, Legos, and drawing.  He also like playing Lego Batman on PlayStation and watching Ninjago. Ninja-go? Ninjago. Tully has a bunch of big brothers who also like to write and he hopes he will write as well as them one day. You’re well on your way, Tully.  and now, Rise of the Ninja, by six-year-old Tully performed by Alejandro Ruiz.

Alejandro:  (music)  There was a kid named Billy. It was his 12th birthday and he made a wish to become a ninja, and it worked! He became a ninja! He knew because he felt so strong all of a sudden, and ninjas are very strong. Billy walked outside and said (Billy voice) “I’m going to go for a walk, who wants to join me?” Then his mom and dad said, (dad voice) “We do, just wait! We have to pack our things!” (mom voice) “We do, just wait!, We have to pack our things!” (zipper sounds) They were finally going for a walk. They were walking in the forest, (breaking branches sounds) and Billy kept his ninja suit and weapons in his bag. He had made and built all of those things. Then Billy heard a bad guy walking close by, saying (bad guy voice) “I’m going to get you!” Billy put on his ninja suit, (leaf crumbling sounds) ran up a tree, and ran down the tree (leaf crumbling sounds) to the bad guy and said, (Billy voice) “Shoo you little bad guy!” The bad guy said (bad guy voice) “Grrrrr!” and punched Billy! (karate kia sound)  Billy dodged the punch, punched the bad guy back, (karate kia sounds) and they kept fighting. (more karate kia sounds)  They came to water and they were fighting on the water! (karate kia sounds and splashing water)  They used swords (swords slashing sounds) and shurikens. Billy’s parents were just standing there wondering what was going on! They were worried, but couldn’t do anything, because they couldn’t go on water. Billy decided to run back to his parents because he was too tired to keep fighting, (running panting sounds) and he was getting chased by the bad guy. (running panting sounds) Then the bad guy ran away in the other direction (running panting sounds) because he thought that Billy would do a triple back flip and land on him. And that’s the end!  

Alec:  Alejandro Ruiz also did a lot of the voices for our very first play a couple of weeks ago. Columbus’ Crazy Idea by Eli.  He is a bilingual voice director and actor.  Since 2015 he has narrated more than 300 audio books for the Library of Congress archives in DC, including the Spanish and English versions of Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff and Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward. You can also hear him on National Geographic and various nationally broadcast anti-drug PSA’s for the US Department of Health. Before we end with the joke of the week, if you liked that story, if it made you laugh or smile or go, “Awww,” then please share that feeling with someone else. Share this podcast with your cousin. Play an episode for that guy at work with two kids, and remember your child’s short story can be on this podcast.  You can submit for free, quickly, and as many times as you like at MoonHouse.org/submit.  I hope you’re ready for the joke of the week. What do scholars eat when they’re hungry? (pause) Acadamia nuts. Now go listen to The Ninja bonus, trivia episode!

Transcript – Bonus Trivia: Ninjas

Alec:  I’m Alec 

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And today we have two episodes out.  On this episode, trivia games, all about ninjas with special guest, California-based artist, Tamekia Jackson.  On the other episode an action-packed story called Rise Of The Ninja by six-year-old Tully. So after you’re done learning about ninjas over here, head on over to that episode and listen to Rise of the Ninja. 

Elora:  And before we start, remember, you can be on a bonus episode, just go to MoonHouse.org/contact us and be like, hey, we want to be on a bonus episode. That’s MoonHouse.org/contact us.

Alec:  Today, were joined by special guest and artist living in Northern California Tamekia Jackson. Hi Tamekia.

 Tamekia:  Hello, so glad to be here with you. 

Elora:  Hello, were so happy to have you.

Alec:  Our first game is a trivia game all about ninjas, which were calling. The reason you can’t see all the stars at night is because a lot of them are ninja stars. 

Elora:  (laughter)  That was a good one.

Alec:  Thank you, thank you.  It took an hour.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I’m going to ask you both a question, the first one to buzz their buzzer, which for us is saying buzz, gets to answer.  If you get it right, you get a point.  If you get it wrong the other person gets to answer. Get two out of three to win. Are you ready to play? 

Tamekia:  Is this like a Bzz sound or is like a  Buzz?

Alec: We’ve been saying buzz, but actually, we can make it whatever sound we want.  OK. Which of these universities has a masters program dedicated to ninja studies?  Is it A, Mie University in Japan which started the program to study and share their research with the world? Is it B, Oxford University in England, which started the program because after being the first British monarch to ever visit Japan, Queen Elizabeth demanded it? Is it C, Princeton University in New Jersey which started the program because one of their largest donors wanted to enroll and say that he was a ninja? Or is it D? All of the above?  

Tamekia:  Buzz.

Alec:  Yes Tamekia

Tamekia:  I am going to go with B because I feel like that is a very British thing to do.

Alec:  (laughter) While plausible, that is incorrect. 

Tamekia:  I feel like B, B for Buzz

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:   Lo

Elora:  C?

Alec:  (laughter) While also totally plausible, also wrong.

Tamekia:  Well, I mean, eh, 50/50 chance here, um, let’s go with A.

Alec:  A is correct.  (bells and applause)  (laughter)  It’s a school, school is in Japan, as it should be, not in England, but when reached for comment the queen said, please don’t tell me Harry enrolled. 

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Alec:  Question two.  Which of these was the first real introduction of ninjas into American pop culture? Is it A, Superman, who in the early comics travels through time to feudal Japan where the ninjas teach him their style of martial arts, which he has to use to defeat Lex Luther?  Is it B, before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there was a less successful 80s, cartoon called The Secret Child Fighter Group: Ninja League of Ostriches?  

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Is it C, the James Bond film, You Only Live Twice, in which James Bond is saved by hundreds of ninjas rappelling down from the ceiling in unattractive grey bodysuits, blowing up all the bad guys stuff? Or is it D? All of the above.

Tamekia:  All of the above.  

Alec:  (laughter) You’re going with all of the above?

Tamekia:  No, no, no,  I’m thrown off by all of the above.

Alec:  OK.  Alright.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Tamekia:  Lo, do you want to go first?

Elora:  Sure. B is just so ridiculous. I want to say it. I want to say B.

Alec:  You are going with the league of ostriches?

Elora:  Yeah

Alec:  That is so wrong.

Elora: (laughter)  I kind of wanted it to be true, but that’s alright.

Alec:  Tamekia

Tamekia:  I am going to go with A.

Alec:  A, Superman?  That’s that’s also false.

Elora:  C?

Alec:  So it is C.  Lo, you got it.  (bells and applause)  Good job.

Elora:  I totally knew it the whole time

Tamekia:  We are not ninja experts, that’s what I’m learning. 

Elora:  Very, very true. We are far from Ninja experts.

Alec: So James Bonds introduced ninjas to American pop culture. Not everyone thought he could. but the producers were like, sure he can. 

Elora:  Ehh

Alec:  OK, question three, Ninjas are portrayed often as assassins and thieves, but that’s not all they were good at.  What else were ninjas experts in?  Is it A, sustainable farming. Is it B meteorology? Is it C, astronomy? Or is it D? All of the above 

Tamekia:  I am going to go with D because one of these questions has to be all of the above.

Alec:  And its correct. (bells and applause)  All of the above. 

Elora:  Well good. 

Alec:  Yeah, you won that game two to one, by getting one question right.

Tamekia:  I’ll take it.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  That means it’s time for our second game which were calling “This game”, (laughter) which we’re calling “This game is brought to you by the new movie, Who’s Afraid of your Ninja Wolf, the story of a lone wolf who doesn’t feel seen.”

Elora and Tamekia:  (laughter)

Tamekia:  (singing)  Who’s afraid of your ninja wolf, your ninja wolf, your ninja wolf.

Alec:  Oh man.

Elora:  Thank you for that. 

Alec:  I’m going to say five amazing facts about ninjas and you’re each going to guess if historians think its probably true or false? Are you ready to play?

Elora:  Ready

Tamekia: Yes. 

Alec:  Number one, Ninjutsu describes not just the martial art, but everything in the ninja way of life.

Tamekia: True.

Elora:  True.

Alec:  You are both right. That’s true. (bells)  Number two. There were not female ninjas. 

Elora:  False

Tamekia:  False

Alec:  You are both right.  That is false. 

Elora:  Very false.

Alec:  Number three, Ninjas wore all black.


Elora:  False.

Tamekia:  False, yeah, I am going to go with false

Alec:  Both right again.  It is false. (bells) You’re working in the daylight, you’re going to get caught. Number four.  Ninjas built collapsible bridges across moats really quickly.

 Elora:  True.

Tamekia: True.

Alec:   You’re both right again. (bells) And five and lastly, One thing that ninjas could not figure out was how to listen to conversations from far away. 

Elora:  False

Tamekia: True. 

Alec:  Lo, you are right. (bells) That is false. They have a device for that too.  Five to four, Lo, you won that game. (applause)

Elora:  And that means its time for our third game, which were calling Ninjas don’t draw, they can’t even leave a trace. 

Tamekia:  (laughter)

Elora:  So I’m going to say a word, and together as a team you are both going to have to guess how its related to ninjas by asking yes or no questions. Are you ready to play? 

Alec:  Yes.

Tamekia:  I think so. 

Elora:  OK.  So the word is Kabuki.

Alec:  Kabuki is a style of Japanese theatre, right?

Elora:  That is correct.

Tamekia:  Did Ninjas have to study Kabuki to…  Did Ninjas have to study Kabuki?

Elora:  No

Alec:  Were some of the actors also ninjas?

Elora:  No

Tamekia:  Did they have their outfits made by the same…, no that doesn’t make sense.

Elora:  That is actually close enough that I will give it to you. (bell)

Tamekia:  Ooh!

Elora:  So Kabuki theater is responsible for what we know as like ninja uniforms because of course, there was no black outfit, there was no uniform, but that outfit was the Kabuki stagehand performers garment.  So that they weren’t seen quote-unquote, um, because the idea was black was invisible, and so

Tamekia:  OK

Elora:  when it came time for film portrayals, they just recycled old old Kabuki stagehand uniforms into ninja costumes. 

Alec:  Wow. 

Tamekia:  OK  That’s a stagehands way too… I feel like there’s a strong relationship between stagehands and ninjas.

Alec:  Tamekia, this has been so much fun and before we let you go, are you ready for the joke of the week? 

Tamekia:  (laughter)  Oh Alec, yes. yes, I miss your jokes. 

Alec:  How do you make an octopus laugh? 

Tamekia:  You tickle it.

Alec:  Close

Elora:  You give it ten tickles. (laughter)

Tamekia:  Oh you give it ten tickles.  Oh Oh I love it.

Alec:  It was so so fun having you. Um, we hope you’ll come back.

Tamekia:  Yes, I would love to.

Tamekia: Have a good one. 

Elora:  Have a good one. Take care. 

Remember to go check out our other episode with the short story Rise Of The Ninja by Tully. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you can get those through MoonHouse.org!

Transcript – How they got Cat out of the Forest – by Arnav, 8

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora and today we have two episodes out.  On this episode an interview with young author, eight-year-old, Arnav then Arnav’s short story, How They Got Cat Out Of The Forest and then we’ll end with the joke of the week.

Alec:  On the other episode, our very first family vs. family trivia episode, and its all about cats. We had so much fun with our special guests. They are very funny people, so after you listen to this wonderful story on this episode head on over to that episode for some laughs and to learn about cats.

Elora:  Lastly, before we get to our interview with Arnav, remember your child’s writing can be on this podcast, just go to MoonHouse..org/submit to send it to us. Submission is free and you could submit as many pieces you like, that’s MoonHouse.org/submit.

Alec:  He loves writing stories, reading lots and lots of books, making different videos, coding, and watching TV. He is working on writing the series based this story, he’s eight years old and he has his own YouTube channel. Hi Arnav.

Arnav:  Hi Alec.

Alec:  How did you come up with this story?

Arnav:  I came up with this story because I thought that friendship was very important.  And I wanted to spread that message across the whole world.  And I thought of making a book because that was the funnest way that kids would learn.  So the kids would have fun reading the book while learning the message that friendship is important, and they might even start making more friends.

Alec:  The lesson of your story is that we should all make friends and protect our friends. Is there a time when you feel like you’ve protected a friend or been protected by a friend?

Arnav:  Yes.  One time when I was in the playground with my friend, a group of bullies came up to us and they started bullying my friend.  So I told the bullies that they should get themselves a mirror and see how bad stuff they were doing. And that’s when they realized that they were doing it because they didn’t have any friends. And I also realized that I had just protected my friend.  That’s why also why I made the message of my book that friendship is very important.

Alec:  And now How They Got Cat Out Of The Forest by eight-year-old Arnav, performed by Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi.

Mohammad:  (music) Once upon a time, there lived some animals in a forest. Some of the animals were Mouse, (mouse squeaking sounds) Cat (cat meow sounds) and Fox (fox sounds)  Fox and mouse were friends. They always helped each other. The problem was that the Cat always bothered everyone but of course the mouse because foxes are very clever and the fox was the mouse’s friend. The cat feared that the mouse would tell the fox if the cat did anything and the fox would find a way to catch her.

Few days passed by and the cat thought “No one could ever set a trap and get me so how would a fox get me!” Thinking that, the cat went looking for the mouse. (cat meow sounds) The mouse was already scared of the cat. (mouse squeaking sounds)  When the cat was trying to find the mouse, the cat saw a small object. It was the mouse! When the mouse saw the cat, he quickly turned around and ran to the fox. (mouse running sounds). Cat chased the mouse while the mouse told everything to fox. (mouse sounds talking to fox) When the fox heard about the cat chasing the mouse, the fox got ready for action. As soon as the cat arrived, the fox  scared the cat (fox screeching sounds) so creepily that it made the cat run out of the forest itself.  (cat running sounds)  It was a happy ending for all the animals in that forest.  (peaceful forest sounds)  This shows how important friendship is and how it helps. So do not forget to make friends everywhere!

Alec:  Mohammed Roahizad Suaidi is Dad to five-year-old kindergartener name, Johan. Johan calls him Ayah, his friends call him Rohaizad, his students called him Mister Suaidi, the insurance people, the dentists office and the electric company imposters who come around every six months or so to try and con him, call him Mohammad.  When he’s not busy teaching acting, theater arts and English to speakers of other languages. Real Hazard loves to cook. He cooks good. He cooks almost everyday.  He makes pancakes and omelettes.   Us, and egg curry. Spaghetti with imported cheese and grass-fed. Imported cheese. Wow! And grass-fed butter shrimp pad thai noodles, sticky rice with grilled unagi in sweet sauce, vegetarian chili that has five types of hot peppers and dairy-free and gluten-free and sugar-free carrot cake. But everyday Johan asks for pizza and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Real Hazard loves Johan very much and everyday they laugh and do silly dances together to music by Megan Thee Stallion.

Elora:  Can I come over for dinner? like

Alec and Elora:  (laughter)

Arnav:  So Arnav, final question. You have a YouTube channel what should people search for to find it?

Arnav:  Yes.  I do have a youtube channel, and it’s called astro arnav.  And my youtube channel, and all you got to do is to search them is write the name of the topic like book reviews and then fire him.  Book reviews  by Arnav Sharma. Reading by Arnav Sharma, and you will get you get the videos in my website in my channel and its very fun. Kids should actually try it.  They will be learning a lot while having fun. 

Alec:  Arnav’s youtube channel is so cool. Like he said he reads books, reviews books, he does coding tutorials, he does experiments and again it so kids can learn while having fun. So again, thats Astro Arnav a s t r o a r n a v.  Look him up. You’re going to love it.

Elora:  And before we end with the joke of the week, remember your child’s story can be on this podcast. So just go to MoonHouse.org/submit. Submission is free and easy, and you can submit as many pieces as you like that MoonHouse.org, / submit.

Alec:  Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  (laughter)  I ‘m so ready.

Alec:  What did the personal trainer do when they quit their job?

Elora:  I don’t know what.

Alec:  They gave their too weak notice.

Elora:  (laughter) I can’t

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora: Alec  (laughter)

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you. Too weak.

Elora: Oh no.

Transcript – Bonus Trivia: Cats

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And we have two episodes out today. This episode is a special trivia episode of Written By Kids where all three games will be all about cats. Its also our very first family versus family trivia episode, which was so much fun to record.

Elora:  On the other episode out today.  Eight year old Arnav’s incredible short story, How They Got Cat Out Of The Forest, and a wonderful interview with Arnav. So after you learn about cats on this episode go listen to How They Got Cat Out Of The Forest.  She’s the young author of A Scary Castle which comes out in October. Shes eight year old and returning champion Rhea and her mom and dad and sister. We have teams Rhea.

Rhea’s mom:  Hi.

Alec:  He is the young author of The Forest Prisoner, our very first story, he is 11 years old, right? Are you 12 now?

Calvin:  I am going to be 12 in August.

Alec:  He is going to be 12 in August.  It’s returning champion Calvin and his mom Eve, hello Calvin and Eve.

Calvin:  Hi

Eve:  Hello, thank you for having us back.

Elora:  We’re going to play three games, their family versus family.  For legal reasons, we can’t call it Family Feud so were calling it Dynasty Dispute.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Are you ready for our first game?

Everyone:  Yeah

Alec:  Our first game is a trivia game all about cats. Its called Mouse Hunters. The show where cats with no budget get whatever they want and then hate it.

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Calvin:  I know a lot about cats. So,

Alec:  Well, you are in for a treat.

Calvin:  Awesome

Alec:  So the rules are, you already to have your teams. I’m going to ask three questions. First team to buzz their buzzer gets to answer.  If you get it right, you get a point if you get it wrong the other team gets to answer.  Question one.  Which of these is a true fact about cats?

Is it A, cats love to stare at you because they’re imagining eating you?

Is it B, cats do their business in the litter box instinctually because their oldest ancestors did their business in the sand?

Is it C, cats do recognize their names, they just don’t respond or care? 

Or is it D, all of the above?

Calvin:  Uh, buzz

Alec:  Yes, team Calvin.

Calvin:  I’m going to guess D, all of the above all of the above.

Alec:  All of the above, I’m so sorry, it’s incorrect.

Eve:  (laughter)

Alec:  Team Riya.  Do you want to guess?

Riya:  B

Alec:  That is also incorrect? But that is, but I’m very proud of that answer. So thank you.

Calvin and Eve:  Buzz. 

Eve:  Can we try again? 

Alec:  Yeah, you can try again.

 Eve:  A?

Alec:  A is wrong Riya.

Eve:  Oh my goodness.

Riya:  C.

Everyone:  (laughter)  (bell and applause)

Riya:  I was going to guess C but

Riya’s Dad:  but Mommy and Daddy told you the wrong answer.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  C is correct.  When you call cats by their names, they don’t care about it. But in fact, most of our other behavior cats do find very annoying.

So question two.  Which of these is the current theory of how cats become domesticated.

Is it A, 50,000 years ago during the last ice age, people used to steal baby lions, snuggle with them for warmth and then breed the calmest ones until they were cats.

Is it B twelve thousand years ago after that Ice Age cats, domesticated themselves by sticking around and killing so many rodents and snakes that they were just kept and worshiped as gods?

Or is it C, cats are not domesticated, they’re just so cute that we want to keep them.

Or is it D, all of the above?

Riya and Calvin:  Buzz

Alec:  I don’t know who I heard first.

Eve:  Team Riya

Riya:  B

Alec:  B is correct. (bells and applause)  Two points for Team Riya, you’ve already won the game but Calvin and Eve, you win on spirit and amazing hair.

Eve and Calvin:  Yoo hoo  (laughter) 

Calvin:  I’ll take that.

Alec;  Cats domesticated themselves and were worshiped as gods. And I asked my two cats about this and they said silence human.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Alright, third and final question, Which of these is a famous cat of history.

Is it A, Creampuff, who lived to be 38 years old on a diet of just coffee eggs, bacon and red wine?

Is it B, Tabby, President Lincoln’s cat, who he used to feed with a golden spoon?

Is it C, Casper, a cat in Devon England who used to ride the bus around to see the sites during the day and visit people, and then come home at the end of the day.

or is it D? All of the above?

Calvin:  Buzz

Alec:  Team Calvin

Calvin:  I am going to guess B.

Alec:  That is one of the correct answers. I’m going to give it to you.  (bells and applause) All of the above.

Calvin:  Awesome.  OK.  I was thinking about of all of the above, but I said, how about B

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  I don’t know how that cat survived on that diet.

Calvin:  It probably wore a bowler hat and a monocle

Alec:  That means Team Riya, you won the game.  (bells and applause)

Everyone:  Yoo hoo.

Alec:  Alright, that means, it is time for our second game, which we’re calling you got to be kitten me.

Eve:  (laughter)

Alec:  Thanks Eve.

Eve:  I love it.

Alec:  This game I’m going to say five amazing facts about cats and each team, each team for all of them, is going to guess true or false, the team with the most points at the end wins. Are you ready to play?

Everyone:  Yes

Alec:  All right, number one.  Cats brains are more similar to human brains than to dog brains.  Team Riya, what do you think?

Riya:  True.

Alec: Team Calvin?

Calvin:  False.

Alec:  That is true.  One point for Team Riya (bell)

Alec: Number two.  Cats can jump about three times their own height.  Team Riya.

Riya:  True.

Calvin:  True

Alec:  That is false.  They can jump five or six times their own height.

Calvin:  Whoa

Eve:  That is a big jump.

Alec:  Number three. Cats do sweat. Team Riya.

Riya:  False

Alec:  And Calvin

Calvin:  False

Alec:  It is true. They only sweat though through their paws.

Riya:  Ohh

Elora:  Little sweaty paw prints on the vet table.

Alec:  What did you say Calvin?

Calvin:  I feel like I learned that somewhere, I don’t know why I didn’t guess that.

Alec:  That’s alright. I only learned it just this morning.

Everyone:  (laughter) OK number four. The cat flap was invented by Galileo.  Team Riya, what do you think?

Riya:  False

Alec:  Team Calvin?

Calvin:  I am also going to say false

Alec:  Well, you are both wrong, wait no, you are both right.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  It was invented, my bad.  It was invented  by Isaac Newton.

Eve:  Oh

Alec:  Number five.  Owning a cat can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  Team Riya

Riya:  True

Alec:  Team Calvin

Calvin:  False

Alec:  Team Riya, you won the game, that is true. (bells and applause)

Calvin:  Good job.

Elora:  That means its time for our third and final game, which we’re calling, I’ll have a meow teeny shaken. Not purred.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  I’m going to say a vocabulary word related to cats and you’re all going to work together to guess what that word means by asking me, yes or no questions. You ready to play?

Calvin:  Yep

Elora:   the word is climbtack.

 Riya:  Does it have to do with cats climbing?

Elora:  It does. Yes.

Calvin:  Does it have to do with their claws?

Elora:  It does not.

Riya:  Does it have to do with cats climbing trees

Elora:  Nope.

Calvin:  Does it have to do with the height they can jump?

Elora:  Nope

Alec;  Does it have to do with the sound that it makes? like  tack tack

Elora:  No.

Riya’s mom:  Can you repeat the word?

Elora:  The word is climbtack

Riya’s mom:  Is it is it to do with what they touch when they climb like you know?

Elora:  Yes it does have to do with what they’re climbing.

Riya’s mom:  Is it climbing another cat?

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  That would be funny, but no.

Eve:  Climbing a person?

Elora:  Nope.

Riya:  Is it climbing a couch?

Elora: No.

Eve:  Is it like climbing a Grandfather clock or something?

Elora:  Nope.

Eve:  Fireplace

Elora;  No

Riya: Closet 

Elora:  Yes. So a climbtack can also refer to a mischievous child. But, in particular, refers to when cats climb up shelves to get to the food that is stored away.

Riya:  Now, you should stick it to your ceiling and when you cant wants it, just open and close.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Lo, who won that game?

Lo:  Everybody.

Everyone:  Yay  (applause)

Alec;  And lastly, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Everyone:  Yes

Elora:  Oh yes.

How come there aren’t a lot of chemistry jokes?

Eve:  Because they don’t get a good reaction?

Alec:  Yes.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Riya:  I know one.  Pete and repeat went to the pond and Pete fell in.  Who was left?

Alec:  Repeat.

Riya:  Ok, I will

Everyone:  (laughter)

Riya’s sister:  Why did the cow cross the road?

Elora:  Why

Riya’s sister:  To go to the movies

Everyone;  (laughter)  Moooovies

Calvin:  What do you call a cow with no legs? 

Elora:  Ground beef

Calvin: Yeah.

Riya’s sister:  I have one.  What do you call a bear without teeth?

Elora:  What?

Eve:  A gummy bear

Riya’s sister:  Yes, a gummy bear

Elora:  It was so lovely to have you all.

Eve:  It was so fun

Riya’s mom:  Very nice. Thank you for organizing.

Alec:  Before we end with a surprise second joke of the week, because you deserve it, or is it like, the fifth one for this episode? Remember, you can be on a bonus episode, just go to MoonHouse.org,/contact us and be like, hey, I want to be on the bonus episode, some trivia themes coming up soon are ninjas nature and sunlight so go to MoonHouse.org/contact us to be like, hey, I want to be on a bonus trivia episode to be on a bonus trivia episode.

Elora:  Why is Orion’s Belt the worst constellation?

Alec:  Why is Orions Belt the worst constellation? I don’t know why.

Elora:  It’s just a waist of space.

Alec:  (laughter)

Eora:  Its actually one of my favorite constellations too.

Transcript – A True Friend Loves you for you – by Vivianne, 10

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is Written by Kids where you will hear short stories, songs and poems all written by kids. First on today’s episode we will play a game, then a short story by 10 year old is Vivianne called A True Friend Loves You for You. then we’ll end with the joke of the week.

Elora:  But first, if you haven’t voted for us yet for a Peoples Choice Rodecaster Award, voting ends in one week so go to MoonHouse.org/vote to vote for us for Peoples Choice Award. It will help us grow this podcast and bring even more kids stories to life. Thats Moonhouse.org,/vote.

Alec:  Today’s short story is all about friendship so Lo, we’re going to play a game called when they go “Low”, I go, “I know her, shes my friend.”

Elora:  (laughter)  Aww

Alec:  Here’s where we find out if we know each other as well as we think we do.  We’re going to take turns saying facts about ourselves and then the other one’s going to guess if its true or false. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  I’m ready. True or false. I have never broken a bone.

Alec:  I think that’s true.

Elora:  It is technically false

Alec:  You have had a hairline fracture or something.

Elora:  Yes, I fractured my nose in high school. My foot at the swing night at Open Space.

Alec:  Ohhh that makes sense

Elora;  When someone stepped on me.

Alec:  True or false.  I lived in London until the age of five.

Elora:  I want to say false. 

Alec:  That’s true.

Elora:  It is true? 

Alec:  Yeah (laughter)

Elora:   (laughter)  Ok so I remembered that coming up, what I thought I remembered was you saying it was a joke you told people to like, OK so I don’t know.  Maybe I am mashing memories together.  (laughter)

Alec:  Wow.  OK, your turn.

Elora:  I moved to Maryland in the 6th grade.

Alec:  I think that’s true.

Elora:  That is false. It was 8th grade. (laughter)

Alec:  8th grade (laughter)  Are we going to get all of these wrong?

Elora:  What, are we even friends?

Alec:  I don’t know.  OK, in graduate school, I injured myself while playing a ferocious chicken in a play.

Elora:  True.

Alec:  That’s true. (bells)  OK we are somewhat friends now.

Elora:  (laughter) We are just a little bit. I am mildly allergic to cherries.

Alec:  That sounds true.

Elora:  That is true.  (bells)  And they are my favorite fruit. So it makes me sad.

Alec:  If there’s an ailment that’s ironic, I think that that’s going to be true about you.

Elora:  Yeah. Yeah, probably (laughter)

Alec:  OK. I am deathly afraid of spiders.

Elora;  I am going to say true, but I don’t know if I’m projecting.

Alec:  Its true, (laughter)

Elora:  I know we bonded over that.  but I might just be projecting my fear.

Alec:  Right

Elora:  I played the lead in Annie.

Alec:  No. Katie played the lead in Annie.

Elora:  Yeah (bells)  I was like, you better know this one. You were in Annie.

Alec:  (laughter) Um, I have two cats, one named Puma and one named Charles.

Elora:  Charles

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  Puma Thurman and Stevie Kicks

Alec:  Yes (bells)  (laughter)  You do know me.

Elora:  OK,  last one, for me.  I have had an art piece in a gallery.

Alec:  Yeah, of course you have.  (bells)

Elora:  That’s true.   I I had submitted to this like Fairy Tale Exhibition at Millcreek Creative Space and they accepted my piece and it hung there for like a month. It was very cool.

Alec: That is very cool. And I’m not surprised. 

Elora:  Well, thanks.

Alec:  In 5th grade. I got in trouble for playing basketball with my friend Robbie because we were playing in the bathroom.

Elora:  I don’t know many stories about your childhood, but that sounds strange enough that I’m going to say true.

Alec:  It’s true.  (bells)

Elora;  (laughter) I feel like that is something you would do. (laughter)

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  What were you shooting into?

Alec:  The toilet.

Elora:  (laughter) Oh myGod.  That was exactly what I feared.

Alec:  That was exactly what all the teachers feared as well.  I think that means we kind of won the game.

Elora:  I think it means we are actually friends (applause)  Today’s young author, 10 year old Vivianne, loves playing all sports, reading, writing singing and acting.  She loves to cook and bake but enjoys eating it more. When she grows up, she wants to be a coder and make games. This is one of her stories she wrote at the beginning of the school year.

Alec:  And now, A True Friend Loves You For You by Vivian, performed by Julia Fein.

Julia:  (music)  It was Everest’s first day of school and she was enjoying it. But the thing is, it was also another day of being adored and mocked. She always struggled with that when it came to being popular! Today, she felt it would be very interesting because today, “ I have to tell Anna my true self. She must know I am not as I appear, I’m a tomboy! I can’t stand pretending to be something I am not.” sighed Everest. As it came time to tell Anna, she began to get nervous. Everest approached Anna. “Hey Anna?! I need to kinda tell you something quite important,”spoke Everest. “Oh uhm, Ok!” replied Anna. Everest began to get the jeebies but ended up going for it! “Ok so, I am not who you think, kinda…” Anna grew confused. “Uhm….ok??” Everest began to feel very troublesome. “Ok, so i’m not a girly girl like you want me to be Anna… I’m sorry! I am a-………… (music stops) Tomboy!!! I don’t wanna do what you do… I wanna play sports!” Anna gasped. “You’re a what?! I-I-I-just hush! I thought we were friends! How could you just leave me alone to be cute,cool, popular? UGH!!! That’s it we are so DONE EVEREST! Bye clammy tomboy! HMPH!” (music starts) Anna stomped away and threw her friendship bracelet in the trash.(crumbling sounds) Everest was as cool as cucumber. “I can’t believe she said t-t-” Everest began to burst into tears and rushed into the bathroom to cry. (door opens and closes) She felt horrible. But, she couldn’t always be who everyone else wanted her to be, right….? “I can’t stay here any longer today; I’m going to say I am sick.” said Everest to herself. She ran down to the nurses office and began to act like she had eaten something bad! “Oh Mrs. Applebum, I can’t stand my stomach, it hurts so bad!!!” “It does, now does it?” asked Mrs. Applebum. She took Everest’s temperature anD (thermometer beeping) looked at it all fishy. “Well, your temperature is only 95…” said Mrs. Applebum. “But, it hurts so bad.” said Evereset as she began fake gagging. “Oh dear yes yes I’m getting a friend to get your stuff for you instantly!” said Mrs. Applebum. “Thank you so much Mrs. Applebum.” said Everest. Everest smirked as Mrs. Applebum walked away to the telephone to call for someone to get her stuff to go home from school. Everest began to think about what she had done and if it was the right choice… “I don’t know, I don’t know!!” Everest thought to herself. “Anna to the front please. Anna to the front.”(sounds like intecom) said Mrs. Applebum over the intercom. Uh oh… Looks like karma got its way- Anna had to help Everest! “Ugh. Why Anna?” Everest asked herself. Anna walked down the hallway. Everest had a horrible feeling. “Oh… Hey Ever-Rest-.” said Anna. Everest replied, “Hey…”. Anna looked at Everest in disgust and dropped her stuff in her lap (backpack drop sound) and sashayed out of the nurses office. “She is so so so..?!” Everest was shocked by how she was treated now. Everest mom arrived. “Hi honey are you ok?” asked Everest’s mom. “No, I’m not,” said Everest. “What’s the matter darling?” asked Everest’s mom. “Nothing… leave me alone, please.” replied Everest. “Ok! Well, when we get home you’re going straight to bed young lady!” exclaimed Everest’s mom. As soon as they got home Everest hopped in bed and sobbed and then shortly fell asleep. The next morning, Everest walked to school… Not dressed as usual, more careless! She spent the whole day being silent and ignoring everything, until recess at the end of the day came. “HEY LOSER!” said Anna. Everest ran to the bench and cried waiting for recess to end until someone walked up behind her. “Hi! I’m Sammy! Who are you?” “I’m Everest..” “What’s wrong mate?” asked Sammy. “I’m just tired of being bullied for being who I wanna be,” cried Everest. “Aww, It’s ok!! You have me  I like you for you. True friends like you for who you are and would never want you to be different.”replied Sammy. Everest gasped in amazement, “REALLY?!” “Yep!” replied Sammy. “Now come on. Let’s go play!” (music changes) Sammy led Everest to the swings and they played the rest of recess together. “You know what?” asked Everest. “What?” asked Sammy. “You’re the first friend I’ve ever had… well, real one.” said Everest. They both laughed happily as they played. I guess we can all agree Everest knows something now… It’s to always be yourself because you are amazing and real friends will like you for YOU.

Alec:   Julia Fein studied theater in psychology at Brown University. After some time off from acting, she is excited to move to New York and audition in the real world. Julia loves to bake enjoys fostering dogs, and may or may not be Alec’s favorite cousin. If you liked that story, go to MoonHouse.org/vote right now to vote for Written By Kids so we can continue to share these awesome stories with you. That’s MoonHouse.org /vote.

Elora:  Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  I’m so ready.

Elora:  Why are cats bad storytellers?

Alec: Mmmm  Why?

Elora:  Because they only have one tail

Alec:  (laughter) 

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Wow. 

Elora:  You like that?

Alec:  Yes.  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Transcript – Bonus: Friendship

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is a special bonus episode of Written by Kids, where we’ll play trivia and word games all about friendship, because next week’s story, A True Friend Loves You for You, by ten year old Viviann, is about a young girl who learns what friendship really means.  Quickly before we start, there is still time to vote for us for a People’s Choice Rodecaster Award.  This would really help us grow this podcast and bring more kids stories to life. So, go to MoonHouse.org/vote to vote for us. That’s MoonHouse.org/vote. Thanks.

Elora:  Today’s special guests are actors teachers and hilarious people living in Baltimore, returning champions Will and Jenny.  Hi Will and Jeny.

Will and Jenny:  Hello. Hello.

Jenny:  Returning champions, I like that.

Will:  Yeah, happy to be back.

Elora:  Yay

Alec:  Our first game is a trivia game all about friendship, which were calling, This game is brought to you by the new movie “Eh, I’m Here For You Schmere For You an Unlikely Friendship of Two Bagels in New York”

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Jenny:  I’d watch it.

Alec:   I am going to ask a question and whomever buzzes their buzzer first gets to answer. If you get it right you get a point, if you get it wrong, someone else gets to answer. Are you ready to play?

Will:  Let’s go.

Jennie:  Yes

Alec:  Question one. Which of these is true about animal friendships.  Is it A, most female toucans have a group of friends who mate at the same time lay eggs at the same time and even pass away at the same time. Is it B, Foxes make friends while hunting by cheering each other on when they get something? Is it C, dolphins make friends, form cliques, and then shun other dolphins out.  Or is it D? All of the above

Jenny:  Be Bing Bingpot,

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Jenny:  (Buzzard noise). 

Will:   Careful, Bingpot, I’m sure is copyrighted.

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Jenny:  Um, I really want it to be the fox one,

Elora:  Me too.

Jenny:  But I really think it’s the dolphin one.

Alec:  That’s correct. (Bells and applause)

Elora:  I really did want the fox one to be true though.

Will:  Yeah

Alec:  So dolphin friend groups do shun other dolphins. When reached for comment one dolphin said “The Jets and the Sharks?  More like the dolphins, and the other dolphins, am I right?” just before he was shunned by the other dolphins.

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Will:  Listen, if that dolphin made made that joke to me, I would shun him. 

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Will:  I don’t know if that makes me good at friendship or bad at friendship, but that makes me the guy with funny friends.

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Alec:  Question Two. Which of these have several scientific studies found about human friendship? Is it A, good friends tend to have similar DNA? Is it B, best friends have an average height difference of 5 and 1/2 inches? Is it C, 81% of people are still friends with their childhood friends? Or is it D? All of the above?

Will:  Buzz. I’m going to go with B the average height distance or  height difference, rather.: 

Alec:  Well you and I do have a severe height difference, that is incorrect.

Elora:  (Laughter)

Will:  Ah Sir, I, I, I love you to pieces. I got to tell you, our height difference is more than five and a half inches.

Alec:  I’m very aware.

Jenny:  Abnormally tall.

Will:  I’m, I’m the kind of tall where people meet me and go, wow you’re tall.

Alec:  Always always the things on shelf getter.

Will:  Yeah

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Alec:  Although, You know when its me, I’d rather be picked up so I can get it off the shelf.

Jenny:  (Laughter)

Will:  Do you need a job?

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Jenny:  Um, Ok, Buzz. I’m going to go DNA cuz that’s fascinating to me.

Alec:  That;s correct. (bells and applause)

Will:  What???

Elora:  Wow

Alec:  Best friends have DNA that’s like as though their fourth cousins.

Elora:  What???

Jenny:  By that far out, isn’t everybody like everybody else’s fourth cousin? I don’t, I don’t really know

Alec:  Apparently not, because there are people you don’t like and those are like your fifth and sixth cousins, I guess. 

Elora:  (Laughter)

Will:  What about the people I don’t like a lot.  Are they like eighth and ninth cousins?

Alec:  But is is also why all the smurfs are friends, because they all have blue genes.

Will and Jennie:  (Moaning sounds)

Jenny:  I have only one thing to say to you, sir. And that is (dolphin sounds)  and that is, “you’re shunned” in dolphin.

Will:  That is a seal sound. Not dolphin sound.

Jenny:  I realized that about half way through.  I tried to make it go a little bit more (dolphin sounds).

Alec:   Finally question three.  Which of these is a real national recognition of the importance of friendship? Is it A, in 1998 the United States named Winnie the Pooh as its National Ambassador of Friendship.  Is it B, in 2016 Canada mandated a making friends best practices class for all kindergarten students.  Is it see C,  Greenland holds an annual celebration of friendship each year with dancing, parade floats, and giant cardboard cutouts of the six friends from the hit show, Friends? Or is it D?  All of the above.

Will:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes Will

Will:  Take a big swing here, and go for B?

Alec:  B, That is the most reasonable of the three, but it is false.

Elora:  Buzz

Jenny:  What was B?

Alec:  B was the Canadian one.  Yeah, Lo?

Elora:   Because its utterly absurd I just kind of want to say C, the, the celebration.

Will:  Yeah, Right that just seems like a quirky Scandinavian thing, until you get to Friends.  Those friends.

Alec:  You guessed wrong.

Jenny:  Buzz, Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Jenny

Jenny:  Um, alright, so, I’m going to take just a shot in the dark really and go for A?

Alec:  You’re going with Winnie the Pooh?  Are you sure?

Jenny:  I am sure.

Alec:  You are correct. (bells and applause)

Elora:  So Jenny, You have won all the points.  (applause)

Everyone:  cheering (applause)

Alec:   It means its time for our second game, which were calling, “you and me we’re two peas in a pod. Its one smelly pod, good things we’re friends.”

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Oh Alec.

Alec:  I’m going to name five close friendships of  history and you’re all going to guess if its true or false? Are you ready to play?

Everyone:  Yes

Alec:  OK number one, engineer and inventor, Nikola, Tesla and writer/humorist Mark Twain?

Will:  I think that’s true

Jenny:  True.  They seem like the same –

Will:  I think that’s true.

Alec:  Yes, that’s true.  (ding sound)

Will:  Yeah

Jenny:  Yay

Alec: Number two: Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci.

Jennie:  False

Will:  Yeah, I don’t think so.  I think that’s false

Alec:  You are correct.  (ding sounds)  Apparently, they really hated each other a lot.

Elora:  Laughter.  They knew each other, for sure; they were not friends.

Alec:  Number three, the rapper Pitbull and actor John Travolta.

Will:  Um, I’m going to say probably false

Jenny:  I am going to go with true.

Will:  Yeah,

Alec:  Jenny you are right.  (bells)

Will:  Wow. Wow. How do we get into that party?

Elora:  laughter

Alec:  You give John Travolta a job of being picked up.

Jenny:  (laughter)

Alec:  Alright.  Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe.

Jenny:  Yes, true.

Will:  Yeah

Alec:  Yes true. (bells) And number five, Nelson Mandela and Charlie Chaplin.

Will:  I feel like they probably would have gotten a long had they known each other but I don’t know if they ever did. That seems like they are little outside of each other’s circles, no? I am going to say false.

Jenny:   Yeah, I am going to say false.

Will:  I mean it would be really cool.

Alec:  You’re both right. It’s false. (bells) That means Jenny you won that game too. (applause) 

Elora:  That means its time for our third and final game which we’re calling. “Why have a secret smoothie, when you can have a secret handshake?” I’m going to say a vocabulary word that has to do with friendship –

Alec:  – Are you still thinking about it?

Jenny:  Yeah

Alec:  A secret hand SHAKE.

Jenny:  Oh  Guys, Look I’m the

Alec:  What’s in it? A secret hand!

Jenny:  best of friends, I’m I’m not the smartest of friends.

Elora:  (laughter) So I’m going to say vocabulary word that has to do with friendship or in this case, a particular friendship and you all have to work together to figure out what it means by asking me yes or no questions  Are you ready to play?

Will:  Sure

Jenny:  Yes

Alec:  Yes

Elora;  That word that brings these unlikely friends together is literature.

Jenny:  Are they authors?

Elora;  One was, yes.

Jenny:  OK, OK

Will:  Friends in the last 50 years?

Elora:  I can’t say right now, I would have to do math and that is not my strong suit. 

Will:  Sorry, sorry

Elora:  But no,  It has been more than 50 years.

Jenny:   I’m going to guess Picasso and Zelda Fitzgerald

Elora:  Incorrect.

Jenny:  Dang it.

Alec:  Are they both men?

Elora:  Yes, both men

Will:  One of whom is an author.

Alec:  The other one is also an artist of some kind?

Elora:  Yeah, Yeah, performance, yes

Will:  Is it Tom Clancy and George Carlin?

Everyone:  (laughter)

Jenny: Um, um Is Cary Grant one of them?

Elora:  No

Will:  Is one of them Elvis.

Elora:  No

Jenny:  One of the Bob Hope?

Elora:  No

Will:  We are just going through a list.

Jenny:  I only know about eight men from the fifties

Alec: Is the performer an actor? 

Elora:  It is not explicitly what hes known for or I guess he was known for acting but its a particular kind.

Will:  Oh man, this is tough.

Alec:  The author, does it start with an E?

Elora:  His last name, yes.

Alec:  What’s the second letter of the last name?

Elora:  L

Will and Jenny:  L, L,

Jenny:  Ellis

Alec:  Ellis?

Jenny:  Elliott, TS Elliott

Elora;  TS Elliott

 Jenny:  So who is TS Elliott friends with?

Will: Is it Olivier?

Elora:  It is not.

Alec:  Are they known as someone with two names or three names?

Elora:  Two names, and I will give you the hint that the name that he is known by isn’t his actual name.

Jenny:  Oh

Will:  Harry Houdini?

Elora:  No

Jenny:  Louis Armstrong?

Elora:  Nope

Jenny:  Jelly Roll

Elora:  No

Will:  Fats Domino

Elora:  Nope

Alec:  Groucho Marx?

Elora:   Yes. (bells)

Will:  Yay

Jenny:  Oh.  Well done you.

Alec:  Thank you.

Elora:  So, they had very contrasting personalities but got along very well. And when they finally met in person in 1964 Marks would later write that the dinner taught him that he and Elliot shared three things and affection for good cigars, cats, and a weakness for making puns..

Will:  That’s pretty nice.

Jenny:  Thats awesome.

Will:  That’s pretty nice that. I don’t know how much of your audience is going to get who TS Eliot and Groucho. Marx, are

Elora:  Yeah, but

Will:  If, I mean, give it a cursory Google search friends and you will see pretty quickly as to why these two were an unlikely friendship and you know what? That’s really nice. An unlikely friendship is a nice thing.

Alec:  I wonder if they were fourth cousins

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Also, the winner of that game is everybody!

Jenny:  Yay

Elora: Great teamwork. (applause)

Alec:  Will and Jen, before we let you go, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Will: Always

Jenny:  Yes

Elora:  Oh boy.

Alec:  What’s the best way to carve wood?

Will:  What is the best way to carve wood?

Alec:  Whittle by whittle!

Everyone:  (laughter)

Jenny:  That is the cutest joke. Whittle by Whittle.

Will:  Whittle by whittle

Jenny:  A whittle whittle guy.  A whittle whittle bit

Will:  A whittle at a time

Alec:  Okay, so thank you for coming back and we hope you will continue to come back. We love having you.

Will:  We love you guys.

Jenny:  We love you guys and we love being here.

Alec:  Bye

Jenny:  Bye

Alec:  Bye, I love you

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Transcript – Columbus’ Crazy Idea – by Eli, 12

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  Welcome to Written By. Kids where you’ll hear short stories songs and poems, all written by kids.

Elora:  We start today’s episode with an exciting announcement. We are up for a Peoples Choice, RodeCaster award. and we win with your votes.  Winning would help us bring so many more kids stories to life. So, go to MoonHouse.org/vote right now to vote for Written By Kids.

Alec:  Voting is so quick. It takes about five seconds for you to help us bring this podcast to you for many more years. So if you are in the car with someone, tell them to vote immediately right now before you forget at MoonHouse.org/vote.

Elora:  If you are at home right now, before you forget go to MoonHouse. Org/vote.

Alec:  We know you’ll vote because you rock and you have great taste in podcasts.

Elora:  So go to MoonHouse.org/vote and click vote to tell those people at Rodecaster, you want Written By Kids to bring even more kids stories to life.  Do you think we said MoonHouse.org/vote enough times.

Alec:  MoonHouse.org/vote. 

Elora:  On today’s episode, we’ve got our first-ever play. Its called Columbus’ Crazy Idea by 12 year old Ellie.  Then we’ll play a game and end with the joke of the week.

Alec:  I want to say one thing about Columbus’ Crazy Idea before we play it.  The Columbus, in question is indeed Christopher Columbus and Ellie wrote this play after he learned more of the truth about Christopher Columbus, which is not that he landed in North America. Nor is it that he was a nice guy. This outstanding short play mentions some ways in which Columbus was the bad guy in a family-friendly way. So we just wanted to let you know that before you listen and now Columbus’ Crazy Idea by 12 year old Ellie performed by Alejandro Ruiz,. me and Elora with some extra voices by Nicholas Rogers

Narrator: Part 1 Columbus goes on outrageous ideas! (game show music)

Host: We’re back with Europe’s number one show (murmur – in the middle ages), outrageous ideas! (Audience cheers) And now here are the kings! First we have the King of Portugal, also known as “the Perfect Prince”… John II!

King of Portugal: boa tarde

Host:Next, the King of France, the Affable, Charles VIII

King of France: Salut Comment allez-vous (Salute CommOnt AlleiVoo)

Host: Next, the King f Egland, Henry VII!

King of England: Ello guv’nor

Host: And finally, King of Spain, Ferdinand II of Aragon!

King of Spain: Ola, como estan

Host: Today we have, all the way from Italy, a man with an idea for a new way to get to India…Cristoffa Corombo!

Columbus: Salve, grazie, you can call me Christopher Colombus.

Host: Before we hear the outrageous idea of the day, I think we should all speak in english which will be the universally spoken language of the future. (audience booing)

King of England: Boo ya!

Host: Now for the outrageous idea!

Columbus:I think the Earth is round an…

King of France (interrupts Columbus): The Earth is not round, fool!

Columbus: Like I was saying I think the Earth is round (In the background all kings to themselves: we heard you the first time.), here are my maps to show you what I think; (opening map sounds) and I would like to find a way to sail all the way around and bump into India’s eastern coast. (applause)

King of Portugal: My scientists say the ocean is huge and you will never be able to store enough food to make it! And why would I buy ships for you? (buzzer sound audience laughter)

King of France: We won’t help you because your idea is one of the stupidest ideas in the known world. (buzzer sound audience laughter)

King of Englad: I’m not going to give you anything! (buzzer sound audience laughter)

Ferdinand (King of Spain): All I heard was blah blah blah Earth blah blah India. (buzzer audience laughter)

Columbus: Fine, I will just go home and dream big.

Isabella(Queen of Spain): Hold your horses Ferdinand, I know we are in the middle of war with the Granadans but that doesn’t mean you can push away an idea that will make us rich and powerful. Plus you are not the only one with money. Columbus, I will pay for your expedition but you will have to wait until after the war is over.

Columbus: Oh goody!

Narrator: Part 2 The voyage Columbus: (Sigh) It’s been seven long years since Queen Isabella said she would pay for my expedition. But now I’m wondering whether she remembered.

Soldier: (knock knock knock)

Columbus: Who’s there?

Soldier: A soldier of Queen Isabella. Your ships are ready and you can leave as soon as you want.

Columbus: I want to leave now!

Narrator: So Columbus went on his voyage in 1492. (travel music starts)

Columbus: Here we go.

Narrator: At sea… (ocean wave sounds)

Crew member 1 Blechhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Crew member 2 Boom dada dada da boom dada dada da!

Crew member 3 Storm ahead!

Narrator: Soon the men started complaining and dying of scurvy.

Crew: We should turn around now we barely have any food or water left and most of us have scurvy. We are never going to make it!

Narrator: Part 3 Columbus’s deal. Columbus was worried that his crew might overthrow him so he made a deal.

Columbus: Guys, if we do not see land in 3 days we will turn back.

Crew: Yay!

Narrator: After 2 days they still had not found land until at noon on the 3rd day…

Crew member 1 Land ho!

Columbus and crew: Yay! Let’s party!

Narrator: They partied all night

Columbus: Let’s dock the ship and get some spices.

Crew:Cowabunga!!! Wahooo!!

Narrator: When they got there they found what they thought were Indians but really they found The Taíno tribe.

Columbus: Hello, indians.

Narrator: The Taíno showed them how to plant corn and stuff. In return Columbus took some back to Spain as slaves.

Columbus: Will you come back with us?

Taíno people: O.K.

Narrator: (sad music) When the Taíno people finally figured out what Columbus was doing some of them tried to escape but most of them failed.

Taíno person: Wa-lotto nemsu lo shan-toí foluí! (They are bringing us back as slaves, let’s escape!) (crowd yelling sounds)

Narrator: Columbus caught most of them though. Columbus: Oh no you don’t! Catch them!

Narrator: And because Columbus’s voyage was successful many more people came to America. Amerigo Vespucci went there and knew it wasn’t India

Vespucci: I will call this America!! Everyone:

The End

 Alec:  Alejandro Ruiz is a bilingual voice director and voice actor. Since 2015 Alejandro has narrated more than 300 audio books for the Library of Congress archives in Washington, DC, most notably, the Spanish and English versions of Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff and Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward.  His voice can also be heard on National Geographic on various nationally broadcast anti-drug PSA’s for the US Department of Health, actually, wait, pause, in this moment of writing out of writing out his present credits and listing of accomplishments, Alejandro thought it important to give Alec the opportunity to say something nice about himself.  There is after all the global Health crisis currently ravaging the world and according to the internet Alejandro has gleamed that quote self care unquote and  quote positive self-talk unquote are very important in such times as such he’d like to give the lovely and gracious human who invited him to be a part of this project and moment to bask in the glow of self gratitude. So Alec, please say something nice about yourself. Okay. I am a wonderful and supportive friend.

Elora: 100%. can confirm.

Alec:  And now it’s time for a game all about the Taino people which were calling Tai-NOPE. Nope, sorry, not India. Chris.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I’m going to say five amazing facts, about the Taino people and Lo, you’re going to guess if historians think its probably true or false. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  Ready

Alec:   Number one, the Tainos invented both the hammock and the canoe.

Elora:  True?

Alec:  Thats correct. That’s true. (bells) Number two.  Before Columbus arrived in the Bahamas. More than one million Taino people live there.

Elora:  I am going to say false just because a million is a lot.

Alec:  Actually, that’s true.

Elora;  Wow, really.

Alec:  Yeah, the highest estimates I read are around two million.  Number three.  In Taino society, only men could accumulate power and wealth.

Elora:  I hope it’s false.

Alec:  Correct (bells) its false.  Both men and women could hold power and wealth.  Number four.  The most common hair style was to wear it long in the back and have bangs in the front.

Elora:  I want to say true.

Alec:  That’s very true. (bells)  Fifth and lastly Europeans first learned about rubber from watching Tainos play a sport called Batu played with a rubber ball.

Elora:  I am going to say true

Alec:  That’s also true. (bellls) Lo, you won the game.  (applause)

Elora:  So many cool facts. Before we end with the joke of  the week, remember to go to MoonHouse.org/vote to help us bring more kids stories to life.

Alec:  Pause this and do it now before you forget.  MoonHouse.org/vote

Elora:  Alec, Are you ready for the week?

Alec:  So ready.

Elora:  Why shouldn’t you tell and egg a joke?

Alec:  Why?

Elora: Because it might crack up.

Alec:  laughter  Bye,I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Transcript – 3 Stories by Kids Under 5

3 Under 5

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  Welcome to Written by Kids where you’ll hear short stories songs and poems all written by kids.

Elora:  We start today’s episode with an important announcement. We need your votes to help grow this podcast.

Alec:  Written by Kids has a chance to win a Peoples Choice Rodecaster Award. We win with the most votes. So we need you to vote. If all of you vote, we will win. If we win it would really help us grow this podcast, so that more and more people get to listen to these kids stories. Laugh at our dad jokes and say things like aww, that kid, did such a good interview.

Elora;  Plus we’d get publicity and a fancy award.  Who doesn’t like publicity and fancy awards? Nobody, that’s who.  So go to Moonhouse.org/vote right now. That’s Moonhouse.org/vote. 

Alec:  Got to Moonhouse.org/vote to help us bring more kids stories to life.

Elora:  And make all your friends vote.  Ask your family to vote. Voting is quick and easy. It takes just two seconds. Go to Moonhouse.org/vote

Alec:  Do you think we said it enough times?

Elora:  Moonhouse.org/vote (laughter)

Alec:. All right, on today’s episode, we’ll present three amazing short stories by three amazing young writers, all under 5 years old. So, get ready to hear about dragons, fairies, parkour-parkour, babies and good tigers. Then we’ll end with a joke of the week.

Elora:  Lets get to it. Up first is Princess Rosie and the Dragon, by 4 year-old Emma performed by rena marie.

Rena marie :  (music) Once upon a time, there was a princess named Princess Rosie. And so, she could not leave her castle because there was a fire-breathing dragon that guarded it! (growling sounds) Princess Rosie was born in the castle. A mean goblin named Yog Maw put the dragon there. (evil laughing sounds)  And so, one day, a prince came to save her because he had heard about the beautiful princess. (sword slashing sounds, prince’s voice saying aha!) The prince threw his axe (spinning sounds)  at the dragon (growling sounds) and lassoed the dragon.  (whipping sounds).  He actually hogtied the dragon (zipping sounds)  Then, he threw the dragon in a large pit! (splashing water sounds) Then he went up to the tallest tower and saved the princess with love’s first kiss. (kiss sounds) And Yog Maw was also hogtied (zipping sounds) and thrown into a pirate ship, (pirate voices) killed, and eaten by the fire-breathing dragon for breakfast, (munching sounds) lunch, (munching sounds) and dinner(burping sounds). And so Rosie and the prince got married. (change of music) And soon after that, they had kids. They had a daughter named Little Rosie and a son named Edward. The end.

Alec:  rena marie is a Baltimore-based actor, carpenter and artist, who always wears the same necklace like the characters on TV shows who have a unique costume piece so that we can recognize them in the childhood flashback scene.

Elora:   Our second story is called Fenix’s Fairytale by three-year-old Fenix, performed by Paris Brown,

Paris Brown:  (music) Once upon a time, there was a fairy called Crinzil.(fairy dust sounds). She said, (echo sounds) We should use our big wings to flap and fly around to make us sleepy. (flapping sounds) then Crinzy said, “We use our big wings to flap and fly.  She added, This is fun, flapping around. I don’t know what it is flapping and flying around. (more flapping sounds) What is it Crinzil?  Then Crinzil said, I don’t know but it sounds fun. Then the bad guy said, Ha Ha Ha  This is fun. (evil voice)  Her name is Twings, I dont know where we are Crinzel.  Crinzel said, I don’t know the way out either. Then they both said, We have to get out of here. There was a great girl named Twinkle Bell (fairy dust sounds) that saved them. The End (in echos)

Alec:  Paris Brown is a Baltimore-based actor and the director of education at Open Space Arts.

Elora:  Our last story today comes from three-year-old Yossi.. Its called Brave Tully, performed by our very own Alec.

Alec:  (music) Mama and I were walking in the forest. Then we bumped into some gems. Mama bumped into two white gems and I bumped into two orange gems. Then we got super powers. I turned into an orange tiger (growling sounds) and Mama turned into a white Siberian tiger. (more growling sounds) We couldn’t talk but we could go in the snow and crash into people’s houses. We were sneaky in people’s houses and going in snow. Then we walked into a bunch of babies’ rooms and sneaked into one baby’s crib that belonged to Nessie, my baby sister. And then we went to sleep with her (snoring sounds) and went out of her crib. We were good tigers who fight bad guys. We went into my big brother Tully’s top bunk and went to sleep with him. (more snoring sounds) Then we woke up, climbed down his ladder, and we were still tigers. It was the morning and I roared! (roaring sounds) Tully woke up and saw that we were tigers and he was scared. Tully ran out of the house screaming! Then Mama and I ran outside, super fast, chasing Tully, and we were faster than Tully. Tully was brave and did “parkour parkour” on our heads. (parkour sounds) Tully tripped and fell on nothing and didn’t get hurt because he was invisible! He got super powers when he jumped on our heads! And that’s the end.

Elora:  If you liked those stories; if they made you laugh or smile – then go to MoonHouse.org/vote and click vote now to help us grow this podcast and bring even more kids stories to life.

Alec:  Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What do you call a labrador who does magic?

Elora:  I want to say its something like an abracadabrdor

Alec:  A labracadabrador.  Your right!

Elora; I got it! Kind of!

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye I love you.

Transcript – Lost with the Cicadas – by Tully, 6

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora:

Alec:  And this is Written by Kids where professional actors perform short stories songs and poems all written by kids. Today, we have two episodes out. The other episode is a hilarious mini bonus trivia episode all about cicadas.  We had on two very funny guests, actors and teachers Will and Jenny. Dalrymple.  On this episode, we have a short game, a short story called, Lost with the Cicadas by six-year-old Tully, a very cute, very funny interview with the young author Tully, and then we’ll end with the joke of the week. Today’s short story is called Lost with the Cicadas, but Lo, (cough) Lo (in a much lower voice) Cicadas are wonderful for so many reasons.

Elora:  Are we going to play a game?

Alec:  We’re going to play a game.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  It’s called, So it turns out to go back to our roots, we have to go out on a limb.

Elora:  (laughter)  Terrible. I love it.

Alec:  In this game. I’m going to say one fact about cicadas, but I’m going to say it weird with all the emphasis on all the wrong syllables.

Elora:  Oh no.

Alec:  And you’ll have to guess what I’m saying. Are you ready to play?

Elora;  Oh goodness. All right. This is going to be hard. Ok.

Alec:   Ok I had this before. Well see how it goes. The largest cicadas live in Malaysia (with accents on all the wrong syllables)

Elora:  The something cicada lives in Malaysia?

Alec:  Yeah

Elora:  I don’t know what the something word was.

Alec:  OK You will get it, you will get it the second time.  The largest cicada lives in Malaysia (with accents all on the wrong syllables)

Elora:  The largest, the largest cicada.

Alec:   That’s correct. (bells and applause)  The largest cicada lives in Malaysia. Its wingspan is eight inches long.

Elora:  Oh my god, that is terrifying.

Alec:  Well lucky for us it won’t be terrifying for long, because the story coming up was written to make people less scared of cicadas, Hi Tully.

Tully:  Hello

Alec:  So what inspired you to write this story about cicadas?

Tully’s mom: What do we do at night? What did you want to see?

Tully:  Cicadas that like unroll their wings.

Tully’s mom:  So what did we do?

Tully:  So we went outside.  And we saw one that was going to unroll its wings  But since Ellie was finishing a video thing, we missed the part where it would unroll its wings..

Tully’s mom:  We came with Yossi and Nessi also, his little brother and little sister; they wanted to go back. And we were staring at this one cicada forever, he had emerged and the wings were rolled up. Tully really wanted to see it unroll its wings, and we were just watching and watching, and nothing was happening and Yossi and Nessi wanted to go home so then what happened?  We took them home and I said Tully, don’t worry nothings happening. I’m sure that it will still look like this when you get back.  And then Ellie brought you back? And what happened?

Tully:  The wings unfolded

Tully’s mom:  We will try it again tonight.

Tully: uh hum, and I won’t bring my little brother or my sister because then they won’t be like I want to go home.

Tully’s mom:  (laughter)

Alec:  (laughter)  And now, Lost with the Cicadas by Tully, performed by me.

Alec:  (music)  Once there were two boys, they were twins. One was named Jack and the other was named Jake, they had creature power suits, like in the show, Wild Kratts.  Creature power suits are a type of vest where you can put animal discs in (disc entering machine sounds) and get animal powers (growling sounds, bird sounds, howling sounds) Jake and Jack were searching for cicadas because they wanted cicada powers. Cicadas are a kind of insect that don’t hurt you. You can be a friend to them. Jack’s creature power suit with blue; Jake’s was red. Jack already had tiger power (howling sounds) and Jake had lion power (growling sounds). They are both really powerful because the tiger can camouflage into grass and the lion is the top of the food chain. But they also wanted cicada powers because cicadas are cool and everyone in their village wanted to see cicadas emerge. Finally, they got cicada powers when the cicadas emerged, and their inventor made the cicada disc, (disc entering a machine sounds) but with cicada powers, they needed to do the cicada life cycle. They start off looking kind of like, Mike and Ikes, after sucking on them a bunch, then they got to the second stage called nymph. They didn’t have to go under the ground for 17 years because their creature power suits got an upgrade.  It was night; so they were emerging, they came out of their shell. (crackling sounds)  and unfolded their wings.(locks opening and closing sounds).  Then they got to the flying stage.(cicada sounds) They flew into the woods with the other cicadas, but they flew too far and got lost. There was a chicken in the woods. (chicken clucking sounds) And it thought Jake and Jack were real cicadas and it tried to gobble them up.(chicken clucking sounds). So Jake and Jack quickly turned back into themselves by deactivating their creature power suit. (computer shut down sounds) It was really cool, and fun, and a little scary being a cicada and they helped people not be afraid of cicadas by showing them that they are harmless.  The End.  (music continues, with cicada sounds in the background)

Tully:  Before you leave, I want to tell you something.,

Alec:  OK.

Tully:  You know, how I mentioned that cicadas don’t hurt you?

Alec:  Yeah.

Tully:  Once a cicada climbed up my shoe.

Alec:  In your shoe?

Tully:  No, on my shoe.

Tully’s mom:  Did it hurt you when it climbed on your shoe?,

Tully:  No.

Tully’s mom:  No, when you learn more about things, then you don’t have to be as afraid.

Tully:  I was just like, Mama look, its on my shoe.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Before we end with the joke of the week, if you liked that story, if it made you laugh smile or go aww, then please go to Moonhouse.org and click the support us button. You can support us for as little as $0.99 a month – that’s moonhouse.org and the support us button.

Alec: If you are unable to help with the support us button, right now, other things you can do to help are rate the podcast, review the podcast, share the podcast, those things make a huge difference, they help us bring you episodes like this one. Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What would happen if Americans switched from pounds to kilograms overnight?

Elora:  I don’t know.

Alec:  Mass confusion!

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora: Bye, I love you.

Transcript – Mini Bonus: Cicadas! Ah!

Alec: I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is a bonus episode of Written by Kids. Today two episodes are out. This episode is a fun cicada trivia episode with two hilarious, special guests. And the other episode out today has a short story called Lost with the Cicadas by six-year-old, Tully.  His story’s got super powers, its got danger, its got empathy, and Tully wrote that story so that people would be less afraid of the cicadas. So when you’re finished laughing it up over here, go on to that episode. Listen to Lost with the Cicadas by six-year-old Tully.

Elora:  Today we are joined by two hilarious actors and teachers who we thought would just be amazing guests for this

mini-bonus episode like this.  Will and Jenny Darymple.  Hi Will and Jen.

Will:  Hi

Jen:  Hi

Will:  We are super excited to be here.

Elroa:  We are excited to have you.

Alec:  We are. So our first game is a trivia game. Its called Cicada songs were better when it was less popular and more underground.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I’ll ask a question and whoever buzzes their buzzer first gets to answer,  if you get it right, you get a point. If you get a wrong, someone else gets to buzz and answer, there are three questions.

Alec:  Get two –

Jen:  – Buzz

Everyone:  (laughter)

Jen:  Do I win?

Alec:  Yeah, I mean, you do.  There are three questions, get two out of three right to win. Are you ready to play?

Will:  We are ready.

Jen:  Yes

Alec:  Question one. Which of these is a real book for kids about cicadas? Is it A, the story of a very posh upper-class cicada called, Excuse Me, its Mr. Cicada to you. Is it B, a book of songs about cicadas including Born to Run into stuff. Hey Brood and Hallelujah but only one verse because we only have four weeks. Is it?

Jen:  (laughter)

Alec:  Is it C, Cicada Olympics, a book with activities for kids to do with cicadas including putting them in little boats and little toy trucks and making them compete. Or is it D? All of the above?

Jen:  Buzz

Alec: Yes, Jen

Jen:  Buzz Buzz

Alec:  Yes

Jen:  Umm, you know, like a cicada.

Will:  Yeah, I get it, I get it.

Jen:  Um, I think it’s C, the book about the Olympics, the cicada, who went to the Olympics.

Alec:  C is correct (bell and applause)

Elora: Yea. Well done.

Alec:  Cindy Smith wrote a book based on the time she led the very first cicada olympics with a bunch of second graders. It’s good for kids. It’s good for cicadas. They really came out of their shells.

Elora:  Agggghhhhh

Jen:  (laughter)

Alec:  Question two.  Most of this year’s brood X cicadas are all pretty much the same. But what makes some of them different? Is it A, instead of reddish orange eyes, some cicadas have bright blue eyes? Is it B, instead of just hiding out in trees for safety, some of them hideout by wasps nest for extra safety. Is it C? Instead of finding a mate by singing, some of them are more successful by playing the drums.  Or is it D, all of the above?

Elora;  Buzz

Alec:  Yes

Elora;  Which was the one about blue eyes?  Was that A?

Alec:  Yes, and A is correct. (bells and applause)

Jen and Will:  What?

Elora:  I know that one for a fact

Will:  Woa

Elora:  Some of them have blu eyes for some reason this time

Will:  As someone with eyes, they have been described as quite blue, I think that might be more haunting to me than the big red eyes.

Alec:  Is it that they remind you of you?

Elora:  Yeah, they remind you of you?

Will:   I mean, I mean, I’ve run into stuff at high velocity as well.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  So yeah, some of them have blue eyes but their eyesight is the same. It’s not like they can suddenly see more those blue jeaned, babies on the edge of seventeen,

Will:  Wow

Alec:  Behind Blue Eyes.

Will:  There’s a lot going on in there.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Is it enough though? That’s the question.

Elora:  Oh my goodness.

Alec:  Okay, third and final question. How do cicadas make their song? Is it A, they contract and relax two little membranes on the side of their little bodies really fast? Is it B, they rub their little wings together really fast?  Is it C, they clap their little legs together really fast? Or is it D all of the above?

Will and Jen:  Buzz, Buzz

Alec: Yes, Will.

Will:  D. All of the above.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  I wish, but that is absolutely categorically false.

Jen:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Jen

Jen:  Um, OK, I’m going to say that its their, like I want to say membrane, because that sounds like scientific, but I’m going to say wings because I picked up a cicada at school to carry it outside and I picked it up by its wings and I was like, ooh, I’m so brave and ooh I am so strong, ooh I am a better woman, I can do whatever I want.  And then its wings went zzzzz  and I went ahhhh and through into the air and it, um. eventually got outside safely, so I am going to go with wings.

Alec:  Wings incorrect.

Jen:  Dang it! Drat!

Elora:  It is the membrane.

Alec:  That means Lo, you won the game. (applause)

Jen:  Yeah

Elora:  That means it’s time for our second game which we are calling All Quiet on the Western Front. Yeah, we know. Stop rubbing it in.

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora;  I’m going to say a vocabulary words related to cicadas and you’ll have to work out together as a team to guess what It means by asking me yes or no questions. Are you ready to play?

Jen:  No.

Elora:  Too bad

Jen:  Oh wait, we ask questions. We don’t answer, yes or no.

Jen:  Go, yes

Elora:  The word is antibiotic

Alec:  Does it not mean what it usually means?

Elroa:  I mean it does. But its how its connected to cicadas that you have to figure out.

Will:  How it relates to cicadas?

Elora;  um mm

Jen:  Does this relate to their shells?

Elora:  No.

Alec:  Does is relate to the mess of goo that they are before they do other stuff?

Elora;  Nope.

Will:  Does it relate to their overall size?

Elora:  Not size, no.

Alec:  Is it that some part of them or all of them can be used as or mixed in with, or is an enzyme for an antibiotic.

Elora;  There’s a whole lot to impact there. So I’m going to say part of them. Yes.

Jen:  Alright, does it have to do with their thorax?

Elora:  It does not.

Jen:  I don’t know what part that is but I know that’s a bug word.

Everyone: (laughter)

Elora:  An SAT word.

Will:  Does it have something to do with the weird blue cicada eyes?

Elora:  No, not the cicada eyes.

Jen:  Wings.  Does it have to do with the wings?

Elora:  Yes, it does

Alec:  Are their wings an ingredient in.

Elora;  They are not an ingredient in an antibiotics but their wings are naturally antibiotic. So their wings are covered in these little teeny tiny, nanoscopic spikes that basically make them water repellent and shred bacteria

Alec:  Woa

Elora So they are naturally resistant to bacteria.

Jen:  So you’re saying if I have a cut on my arm,

William:  every 17 years

Jen:  All I need to do is go outside, rip off the wings of cicadas, and just plaster them on my arm.and

Elora:  It’s not my recommendation but it could be a good experiment. I would look forward to hearing the results.

Will:  As your husband, I’m going to go out there and say I am going to spend the money on Band-Aids.

Alec:  Lo, Who won that game?

Elora:  Everyone did. (applause) Alright everyone, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  Yes.

Will:  Let’s do it.

Elora:  Why was Cinderella thrown off the basketball team?

Alec:  Something about a ball.

Will:  Oh really, I was going,. I was going shoe.

Alec:  Are you going shoe?

Will:  I have no idea? I’ve got no idea at all.

Elora:  She ran away from the ball.

Will:  There it is.

Alec:  And only one shoe.

Elora: Only one shoe.

Will:  Thank you for asking us to do this.  Please ask us to do it again.  We’d be more than happy.

Transcript – Shadow Creek Falls – By Shimmy, 10

Alec:  Hi I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is Written by Kids where professional actors perform short stories, songs and poems, all written by kids. And on today’s episode, a game, an interview with the young author of today’s story, 10 year old Shimmy. Then his story Shadow Creek Falls, an action adventure story about two boys who go out for groceries and end up in the woods, then we’ll end with the joke of the week.

Elora:  Before we play our game, remember, your child’s story can be on this podcast. Just go to moonhouse.org and click the submit for podcast button.  That’s moonhouse.org, submit for podcast button.

Alec:  Today’s story is called Shadow Creek Falls therefore our game will be all about waterfalls. The name of the game is I tried to see the waterfall, but I just missed.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I am going to say five amazing things about waterfalls, and Lo, you can guess if they are true or false. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  I am so ready.

Alec:  Number one, the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel was 63 years old.

Elora:  True

Alec:  Correct. (bells) That’s true. Number two, that 63 year old, Annie. Edson Taylor, said afterwards about her trip. Quote, I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces, than make another trip over the fall.

Elora:  True (bells)

Alec:   Correct, that’s true.  Number three. The tallest waterfall in the world is 2,000 feet tall.

Elora:  False?  (bells)

Alec:  Correct, that is false.  The tallest waterfall in the world is in Venezuela. Is 3,212 feet tall. Its called, and I’ll do my best, Kerepakupai Merú  Falls .Number four.. There’s a type of goby fish in Hawaii, which can swim up 328 foot tall  waterfalls by using its mouth as a kind of suction cup.

Elora:  True?  (bells)

Alec:  Correct. That’s true.

Elora:  (laughter)  That’s wild.

Alec:  Number five, underwater waterfalls exist in places where the currents in the temperature of the water create conditions, where water essentially falls down a cliff underwater and the largest one is between Iceland and Greenland. Its 11,000 feet tall or deep depending how you look at it.

Elora:  True.

Alec:  (bells)  Correct that’s true. That means you won the game (applause)

Elora:  Yeah!  (applause)  Woo.

Alec:  Today’s young author is 10 years old. He loves writing stories. This story was inspired by a time when he actually got lost in the woods with his friends. He likes playing with his five brothers and one little sister, he also likes drawing. Hi Shimmy.

Shimmy:  Hi Alec.

Alec:  The main characters Benji, and Josh are troublemakers, and pull a lot of pranks in school. You seem to know a lot about that. Are you a troublemaker? And do you pull a lot of pranks?

Shimmy:  OK, so on zoom, I do, I have like, I do a lot of stuff like that but in class, I just think of wanting to do that, but like, I don’t have the stuff that I could.

Shimmy’s mom:   I think he gets into like, fun kind of mischief. I think you should tell about the time, when you, you tied a bunch of karate belts together.

Shimmy:  So we tied it around on the stairs that go to the balcony, then we put the rope over the balcony, and we tied it around one of our younger brothers and we pulled him up.  It was fun.

Shimmy’s mom:  Pretty fun Shimmy.(laughter)

Alec:  Do you like to hike?  And if you do, where is your favorite hike?

Shimmy:  I go to this adventure camp, its basically all hiking. So we went on this hike and there was this like log that was like maybe 10 feet above water. Somebody dared me to flip off of it. So I said, if you give me $5 and he was like sure and then I was like actually 10 and then he was like OK.  So I flipped off of it, I landed on my stomach.

Shimmy’s mom:  It looked painful.

Shimmy:  I flipped over; I did like one and a half flips.

Shimmy’s mom:  I was like, did you know the water was deep enough?

Alec:  (laughter)

Shimmy:  You had already jumped into it.  That’s why I said, but nobody did any flips yet.

Elora:  And now Shadow Creek Falls by 10 year old Shimmy, performed by Jude Sandy and remember to stick around after the story for the joke of the week.

Jude Sandy:   (music) “I’m not going to the store and you can’t make me!” Benji Porter yelled. “I wish I could go but I can’t, I need to watch Alice, now get out of here and go!” Benji’s older sister, Jennifer demanded. Benji’s mom had given birth to Benji’s baby sister, Alice 3 months before so someone had to stay home and watch Alice. After a long argument, Jennifer kicked Benji outside, locked the door, (door locking sound)) unlocked the door, (unlocking door sounds)threw out a grocery list, (throwing paper sound) and locked the door again. (locking door sounds)

Benji was outside with a list and his phone. When Benji crossed the street, he immediately pulled out his phone and called Josh. Josh and Benji had been friends ever since first grade. Benji was 12 years old and he was the biggest troublemaker in his class, and maybe even in the whole school, that is besides his best friend Josh. Let me give you an idea of the kind of stuff they do: they would sneak up to the teacher’s desk and pour red food coloring (liquid pouring sounds) and a bunch of salt (salt shaker sounds) into the teacher’s coffee mug.  (voice saying hurry up, she’s coming) They would make farting noises (farting noises) when the teacher turned her back, and when she looked they would stop. (voice saying, what, did you hear something?) They would also do dangerous stuff together, like when they went down the biggest hill on their bikes (biking sounds) with their hands behind their backs. (voice saying, dude, we are going so fast) Or when they tried making a bridge over the river with nothing but duct tape, (tape tearing sounds) and then walked on it. (voice saying, dude, you are walking on duct tape, no I am falling off of duct tape.  Splashing sounds) Anyway, when Benji got to the store, Josh was outside waiting. They both went inside. Benji pulled out the list. This is what was written:

Grocery list

● 3 bags of Sugar

● 3 bags of Flour

● 5 bags of Leek

● 2 bags of Lettuce

● 2 bags of Avocado

● 1 bag of Tortilla Chips

● 3 packages of Ground Meat

“Yum! Looks like you’re having tacos for dinner.” Josh said. “Yeah we always have tacos on Wednesday,” Benji said. “Let’s just get everything on the list so we can actually do something fun.” Once they got everything and went to the shortest line they could find and they were checking out, Josh nudged Benji and said, “YO! Look at that, the Ultra Bubble Blast Gum just came out! We’ve got to get some!” “$1.25 for two pieces? No way we’re getting! They’re way overpriced; the regular bubble gum costs 15 cents a piece!” “Awww, come on they are supposed to be able to blow a bubble as big as your face or bigger and it’s ultra sticky! I promise I will pay you back, please can we get it? Pleassss?” Josh pleaded “Okay Fine!” Benji said. He bought two pieces for each of them.

After they left the store, Mark Miles, the biggest kid in their class who just so happened to be a bully was waiting for them. There was one time at recess when Josh accidently rolled a rubber ball that Mark tripped on. Mark was always waiting to get back at them. That’s why whenever Josh or Benji saw Mark, they would play near a teacher. Well there weren’t any teachers to save them now. Josh couldn’t move; he opened his mouth to blow a bubble with his Ultra Bubble Blast Gum one last time. He blew so hard, but instead of blowing a bubble, (blowing bubble sounds) it flung out of his mouth and onto the floor. (plopping sounds) Mark was walking nearer and nearer to them but he all of a sudden stopped, looked down at his shoe and saw that it was stuck on Josh’s Ultra Bubble Blast Gum, and he couldn’t move. Mark yelled at Josh and Benji, “I’LL GET YOU BACK FOR THIS!!” Josh and Benji sped right past Mark and all the way home. “Told ya we should get Ultra Bubble Blast Gum.” Josh said, looking proud of himself. Benji made a face at him and ran up to the door and knocked. (knock on door sounds) Jennifer opened it and Benji dropped the groceries inside and ran back outside to Josh.

When he came back out, Josh was looking at something on the ground. He yelled to Benji, “Come over here and look at this!” Benji ran over and saw a map. “What’s so special about a map?” he asked. “This is the hike everyone’s talking about going on!” Josh replied. “You mean Shadow creek Falls?” Benji asked excitedly. “But we’ll have to pay. You do know it costs to go?” Benji said slowly, getting less excited. “What if we sneak in?” Josh said mischievously. “How’re we going to sneak in without people seeing?” Benji asked. “We use the map and find a secret entrance!” Josh said excitedly. “So you in?” he added. “Let’s do this!” Benji replied. When they got to the entrance, they looked at the map. They saw that if they cut through from the right side, they’d get a headstart on the hike without anyone seeing them. They went through, and sure enough, they were on the trail. Then, they heard footsteps coming from behind them. (footstep sounds) Josh whispered to Benji, “Someone saw us sneak onto the trail. Let’s run into the woods so they can’t see us, then we’ll go back on the trail.” They both ran through the trees (running sounds) weaving in and out, then jumped behind a bush. “You think we lost them? Are they gone?” Benji breathlessly asked Josh. “UmBenji, I can’t really see the trail. I think we went too far out.” Josh said nervously. “Huh? You mean you don’t know where we are and how to get back?” Benji said, just as nervous as Josh. “Well I’m pretty sure we came from that way so let’s just go back this way,” Benji said pointing in a direction. “Okay let’s go,” Josh said.

They both ran in the direction Benji pointed (running sounds) in, but after they ran for a while, they knew they were more lost than ever. “What’re we gonna do?” Josh said, nervous asever. Benji just remembered “I have my phone!” he yelled excitedly. “Well what’re you waiting for! Call someone!” Josh yelled. He reached into his pocket and his face went as white as a ghost. “It must have fallen out of my pocket when we were running!” he cried. “At least we have the map.” (bird sounds) Josh said. “We don’t know where we are.” Benji said practically sobbing. “Should we run a different way?” Josh suggested.

“We’re as lost as ever, I guess there’s no point in not going. we may actually get back on the trail.” Benji said. They ran and ran but still they couldn’t see the trail. (bird sounds) Josh suddenly opened his mouth and laughed. “What’s going on, why are you laughing?” Benji asked. “Do you hear that!” Josh said. Josh looked so happy it was like he just found a teleporter. “It’s a waterfall!” Josh began running toward the noise. “Slow down! What about a waterfall!” Suddenly it hit him! The hike is called Shadow creek Falls because at the end of the trail there’s a waterfall! He ran as fast as he could toward the waterfall! (waterfall sounds) They got to the waterfall and saw many people looking at it. “Well that was one heck of a hike!” Josh exclaimed. The end.

Alec:  Jude Sandy is an actor, director, teacher and movement artist. He’s worked on Broadway. Off-Broadway at Shakespeare Theater Company Guthrie Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Barrow Street Theater, Lincoln Center Theater and a bunch of other places and he didn’t write this part, but he’s also one of the most wonderful and generous people that I’ve ever known. You can learn more about him at Judesandy.com.  Where did you get the idea for Ultra Bubble Blast gum?

Shimmy:   Cause it had to be, it had to make sense for it to be, for it to cost so much or whatever.

Alec:  (laughter)

Shimmy:  Um so, I tried to make it have like some special powers whatever.

Alec:  I’m not going to lower the price. I’m going to make the gun more valuable.

Shimmy:  Yep,

Alec:  Thank you, Shimmy. This was so much fun.

Shimmy:  It’s been a pleasure.

Alec:  Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  Why did the man fall down the well?

Elora:  Why?

Alec:  Because he couldn’t see that well.

Elora:  Ahh.  I should have seen that coming.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Transcript – Mini Bonus: Hiking

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is a special mini bonus episode of Written By Kids.  We  will be joined by an amazing young author and her mom to play two trivia games, all about hiking and nature, because next week we will bring you a short story about two boys who go out for groceries real quick, but somehow end up finding their way into the woods. Its called Shadow Creek Falls by ten year old Shimmy.

Elora:  Before we meet our guests and play our games. Remember your child’s short story can be on this podcast, go to MoonHouse. org and click the submit for podcast button.  That’s MoonHouse.org and the submit for podcast button.  Our guests today are the young author of A  Scary Castle, which comes out in October, Riya. And her mom, Meenakshi.  Hi Riya and Meenakshi.

Riya and Meenakshi:  Hi.

Alec:  Our first trivia game is called Welcome to the Big Leaves.

Elora:  (laughter)  OK

Alec:  (laughter)  Here are the rules. Riya and Meenakshi, you are a team.  Lo, you are a team. I’m going to ask a question and whoever buzzes their buzzer first gets to answer. You get it, right, you got a point. If you get it wrong, the other team gets to guess. Get two out of three right to win the game. Are you ready to play?

Riya:  Yes

Meenakshi:  yes, yes

Alec:  All right, question one, In 2014, a world record was set on the tallest mountain in Wales.  Which of these is that record? Is it A, the most number of consecutive back flips going down a mountain? Is it B, the longest game of table tennis ever played on a mountain without even one ball falling down the mountain? Or is it C, the most number

Meenakshi:  Buzz

Alec:  number of people

Meenakshi:  (laughter)

Alec:  Wait.  Don’t you want to hear the last one first? or is C, the most number of people to eat vegan cake on a mountain?

Meenakshi:  Buzz

Alec:   Yes, Meenakshi and Riya.

Riya:  A

Alec:  You’re going with the backflips?

Meenakshi:  Yeah

Alec:  Thats’ a great guess but it is incorrect. Elora, do you want to guess?

Elora:  C?

Alec:  C is correct.  (applause and bells)

Elora:  Is it really?

Alec:  Yes (laughter)

Elora:  (laughter)  It’s like why would people care? But also that sounds like

Alec:  213 people ate vegan cake on top of Mount. Snowdon, it took them four hours to get the top and afterwards, several participants said I was kind of on the fence about being a vegan before, but now I’m definitely not doing it.

Elora:  (laughter)

Meenakshi:  I think the back flips were more exciting.

Elora:  Definitely more exciting.

Alec:  That was definitely the better answer.

Riya:  I think table tennis was exciting.

Elora:  Table tennis was also exciting.

Alec: Question two.  What is the oldest known hike for pleasure in recorded history?  Is it A?  In the year 125 Roman Emperor Hadrian walked up an eleven thousand foot volcano in Sicily just for fun. Is it B?  In 49 BC Egypt’s Queen Cleopatra left one morning without notice and returned three days later claiming she just wanted to walk for a while.  Or is it C?  In 1792 BC Babylonian King Hammurabi went for just a short walk but when he came back, he claimed he discovered a new color called purple and no one believed him until eight years later when they accidentally invented purple dye which became the most common color of royalty.

Meenakshi:  Hmm.  Do you want to say buzz

Riya:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, team Riya

Riya:  C

Alec:  C is again, the best answer but wrong.

Meenakshi:  We are really bad at this.

Elora:  That is okay.

Alec:  Elora, do you want to guess?

Elora:  B?

B is also incorrect.  So the answer is A. The Roman Emperor Hadrian just walked up one of the most active volcanoes in the world just for fun. And when asked why he said, I don’t know, I was just Roman

Elora:  (laughter)  He just liked to live dangerously.

Meenakshi:  C was a very long explanation so that made me say that it might not be correct.

Alec:  Question three.  Which of these is true about Yellowstone. National Park?  Is it A?  Yellowstone has over half of the worlds geysers?  Is it B?  Yellowstone, has over 1,000 miles of hiking trail? Or is it C?  All of Yellowstone, as large as it is, is one giant volcano?

Meenakshi:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes. Team Meenakshi and Riya.

Meenakshi:  C

Alec:  C is correct.  (bells and applause)  And they were all correct.

Meenakshi:  Yes they were. I know. I was going to say if I had all of the above.

Elora: (laughter)

Alec: Ah, so that means the winner of that game, we are going to say, is team Riya and Meenakshi.

Meenakshi:  Have you guys been to Yellowstone?

Elrora;  No, not yet

Meenakshi:  Gorgeous, Gorgeous

Alec:  When were you there?

Meenakshi:  Umm, Before kids, so definitely eight years back.  (laughter)  And the most unique thing is you step and you smell sulfur because of all the geysers.  That’s the first thing you smell.

Alec:  Wow

Elora:  And that means its time for our second game which we’re calling hiking, Its all the range.

Alec:  (laughter)

Meenakshi:  Hah

I’m going to say a vocabulary word related to nature and all of you as a team are going to ask me yes or no questions, in order to figure out the definition of the word, Are you ready to play?

Alec:  Yeah

Meenakshi:  Yeah

Elora:  The word is Moonglade.

Alec:  Does it  have something to do with trees?

Elora:  It does not.

Meenakshi:  Does it have anything to do with hiking at night?

Elora:  At night, yes

Riya: Is it when you see the moon at night?

Meenakshi:  While hiking?

Elora:  No.

Alec:  Is it the reflection of Moonlight on things at night?

Elora:  It is.

Alec:  Yay!

Elora:  Moonglade or Moonwake is the reflection of moonlight on the water. So during the day it is a sunglade or a sunwake

when the sunlight reflects on the water.

Meenakshi:  Nice.

Elora:  I was hoping it was just obscure enough.

Meenakshi:  And it sounds gorgeous.

Alec:  Lo, who won that game?

Elora;  Everybody won! (applause)

Alec:  Well,  Riya and Meenakshi, it has been so much fun having you, but before we let you go. Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Meenakshi:  Yes!

What did the pebble say after it grew up?

Meenakshi:  What did the pebble say after he grew up?

Riya:  I’m a stone?

Alec:  That’s a really good guess.

Elora:  I don’t know. What?

Alec: I’m a little boulder now.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Meenakshi:  That’s a good one.

Alec:  So you are always always welcome back.

Meenakshi:  Whenever you guys need us just email us.

Elora:  Awesome

Meenakshi:  We would love a laugh,.and you know, chit chat, whatever.

Alec:  Alright. Well we will e-mail you soon about some more trivia and thank you so much for being here.  It was so much fun.

Elora:  Thank you for joining us.

Meenakshi:  Bye bye

Elora:  Take care. (music starts) Remember to come back for next week’s story, Shadow Creek Falls by ten year old Shimmy. Its got everything you want in an adventure story, friends, enemies, somewhat magical objects, a chase scene.  You don’t want to miss it.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye. I love you.

Transcript: Hat trick

Alec:  Hey everybody. I’m Alec,  one of the hosts of Written by Kids. And this week, we actually have two episodes out. On this episode we are going to play three amazing stories that were published last year because we are fortunate enough to have a lot of new listeners. And if you are new listener, hey, we are catching you up this episode. We don’t want you to miss out. But also, if you’ve been with us for a while now then you’ll get to be reminded of these three great stories from last year. The other episode out today, which you should listen to is a super fun, mini bonus episode where we play trivia with a young author and her mom and the trivia theme is nature and hiking. So we’re calling this episode hat-trick because hat-trick is a very silly word for when you score three goals in a sport and we are sharing three amazing stories.  First, an incredible adventure story about a knight on a mission who forgets something very important called The Forest Prisoner by Calvin, performed by Eric Poch.

Eric Poch:  (music) A fantasy novel for Dragon Geaks.  Prologue. Never before in the land of Nat’so’churn was a hero, like Oden.  Oden was a fearless fellow. He never cowarded, ran away from a situation, or fled a battle.  He stood, strong no matter what.  He knew what dangers he would face, and what monsters he would fight. At the Nashezberon Castle, the queen was getting ready to leave forever.  Oden, her son was getting ready to adventure off into the dark forest. Oden had only dreamed of going there, but he can’t get past the guards of the gate. He once tried an invisible potion, but it didn’t work. One night, Oden snuck out when the knights weren’t watching and ran into the forest. Then suddenly, a giant python lion jumped (hissing sounds) in front of him and stared into Oden’s eyes.(growling sounds).  His teeth were a perfect feature to his dead reputation. Suddenly, it hit Oden’s mind that the python lion was about to attack him from the look of it eyes (growling sounds)  Oden was terrified. So he ran back to the castle (running sounds) to get his sword.  As he ran the python lion chased him until he got to the castle. When he got there, Oden quickly slipped in through the (squeaking door sounds) backdoor.  Oden ran (footstep sounds) up the middle stairway to his room.   Oden grabbed his sword (sword sounds) and ran back to the forest where the python lion stood beneath the dark wood trees.  Oden pulled out his sword and took a swing…(sword sounds) chopping off one of the python-lion’s heads. The python-lion ran away into the dark forest.  Oden moved forward towards a Woodsman base camp, where he stumbled over a giant Darkwood root and a cage fell down over the(squeaking sounds) top of him. He tried to cut the bars (banging sounds) but they were too strong for his blunt (banging sound) sword. When the Woodsmen heard the clamp of the heavy cage they came running over with sharp Adamantine Spears. The first Woodsman said, “Who are you?” Oden replied, “ODEN OF THE NASHEZBERON CASTLE.” The Woodsman said, “Help us hunt. If you do not help us hunt, we will not let you go.” Oden responded, “Let me out!”(shaking sounds) The Woodsman laughed, “NO. I will not!” Oden said, “If you do not let me out I cannot help you!” The Woodsman sighed, (sigh sound) “Very well then,” and let Oden out.  (door squeak sounds)  Oden was escorted to the hunting spot by two guards that wielded dual adamantine swords and a bow and arrow. They got to the hunting spot and Oden was given a spear. A deer ran by and Oden threw the spear…(sound of spear hitting dear) He was let free, but the deer was innocent.  He ran off into the Dark Forest. While he was running he stumbled across the Python Lion (growling sounds) and it had an extra head. It hiss-growled(growling sounds) at Oden and he slashed at it.(slashing sounds)   It tried to bite Oden but he (slash sounds) slashed at it again. It finally fell to the ground and made one last hiss-growl (growling sound) before it perished.  Oden went home and took off his armor (metal clanking sounds) He hung up his sword. He had a peanut butter sandwich. Then he crawled into bed and finally slept.

Alec:  Eric Poach is an actor in Baltimore and probably the funniest person I’ve ever met.  When its safe, again, you can find him on stage at the Single Carrot Theater. Our next story, our second hat, as it were, is the story about two girls who might be identical, but they’re not identical, called Identical. Twins by Sarah, Leah, performed by Katie Ganem.

Katie Ganem: (music)  In  New York City  on a street called Pine street, there was a house with a small family  that lived inside. Inside the house was a  Mother and a  Father and two girls named Mary and Sari. They were twins. They shared a bed, had the same clothes and even had the same shoes—but  they both liked to do different stuff.  Mary liked biking but Sari liked hiking. Mary liked skipping, drawing and baking but Sari liked hopping and reading, and running. They didn’t even spend much time together. One day, Mary and Sari’s Mother took them to the Library. Sari was excited but Mary wasn’t. She wanted to draw instead!  So, at the library, Sari picked out  a lot of books while Mary just sat by the table. (sigh sounds).   The next day Mary and Sari’s Father took them biking.  Mary was excited but Sari wasn’t. She just wanted to read, while Mary wanted to hike! So, at the hike, Mary went really fast but Sari went slow. (yawning sounds) Mary continued to do the stuff that she liked and Sari did the stuff that she liked. Weeks passed. One day, Mother and Father had a surprise for Mary and Sari. The girls went outside and they saw a swimming pool! They both ran to change into bathing suits and they both (laughter and splashing sounds) jumped into the pool.  It’s nice to know that there’s at least one thing the twins both like to do!

Alec:  Katie Ganem is an actor, director and playwright, who lives in Washington, DC. She likes sewing, animal crossing reading and cuddling with her dog Lupin, much like the characters in the story. She also has a sister who likes to do different things, but its her best friend. Her last project was playing suffragist, Alice, Paul in the world premiere of 19, the musical. She’s a beautiful singer and you can listen to her sing on Spotify by searching for 19, the Musical. All right, we’re onto our third and final hat. Its about two boys who have to solve the mystery of what happened to their chickens in the night. Its called Our Pet Dinosaurs by Ellie and Shimmy, performed. By Brad McKnight Wilson.

Brad Mcknight Wilson: (music) This is a story that Max Warren would not have believed if it had not happened to him. He had heard recently about a very strange theory that chickens (chicken clucking sounds) are the closest relatives to dinosaurs, (growling sounds) and that they might even evolve back one day. “That’s just crazy”, thought Max. “We have three chickens in our backyard. There’s no way they are even remotely related to dinosaurs!” Max was in for a big surprise. One day when Max Warren was playing outside, he heard a strange howl (howling sounds) near the chicken coup. Normally, the hens did not make much noise other than soft clucks, but this time, they made a sound that sounded like a cough mixed with a lion’s growl. (growling sounds) It was very strange, but it didn’t happen again, so Max thought maybe he just imagined it. That night when Max was sleeping (crickets sounds) he heard that same sound.(growling sounds) It was how he thought a dinosaur growl might sound, but Max learned that dinosaurs are extinct, so he assumed that he was just imagining again. Then the sounds got louder and it sounded like something was eating (chomping sounds) outside. Max tried his best to ignore it (cricket sounds) and finally fell into a deep sleep. (snoring sounds) The next day was Wednesday so when Max woke up it was his turn to give food and water to the chickens. Max went outside (footstep sounds) and saw that both their backyard fence and the chicken coup were broken, and all three chickens were gone! Max didn’t know what to think, so he ran inside and told his older brother, John. John said he would come out right away, and he zoomed out there faster than a peregrine falcon, (fast running footstep sounds) with his feet moving faster than an Asiatic cheetah! It was amazing to watch John run  (sigh sound). John saw the broken coup and did not know what to do either. The two boys decided to tell their father, Mr. Warren, about the chickens. Mr. Warren went outside and was frightened by what he saw. He was too scared to do anything, so he darted back in the house at a shocking 289 M.P.H!!! (fast running footstep sounds) Max asked Mr. Warren, “Dad what should we do?” Mr. Warren asked his sons, “What do you think happened?” Max said, “Maybe a fox was able to break into the coup?” But then John said “Then there would be feathers scattered around the coup.” “So then what could have happened?” asked Max. Just then, the neighbors across on the other side of the now broken fence stormed over  (angry footsteps sounds) and said, “You took our dogs and you know it!” Everyone was silent, no one took their dogs. Max remembered the growling from last night but knew there was something else that happened but he couldn’t remember. Mr. Warren spoke up and said “Actually, I heard growling last night and after that I heard something eating! I assumed I was dreaming though.” John and Max stared at each other and said, “Are you saying something ate the dogs?” Right then and there, they heard a very small growl like they had never heard before. (soft growling sounds)  Everyone ran into the house to watch from safety. Suddenly, they heard a strange screech (screeching sounds) and heard a door creek.  (creeking sounds) The door opened and a huge shadow started coming closer and closer and closer. Out of the darkness came what looked like a velociraptor but with the feathers of a chicken. It ran around them as fast as a pronghorn at maximum speed(61 mph). (running footsteps and flapping feathers sounds) Suddenly two more appeared and started to run around John and Max along with the other one. Max said to John “don’t do anything stupid.” But of course he didn’t listen. He went up to the only one that stopped running while Max screamed “what are you doing!?!” John stroked it’s feathers then said “I think they are our chickens.” Max in his loudest whisper, “Are you kidding me!?!” “No I’m not,” said John. “That’s not possible,” said Max quietly. “How could the chickens have turned into velociraptors?” Max asked. “Also, who did it and why,” said John. Max remembered that crazy theory he had heard about, about chickens being related to dinosaurs. “It’s happening”, he thought. “Dinosaurs are back. We have pet dinosaurs.

Alec: Brad McKnight Wilson is an actor and a playwright. You can find his work on the New Play Exchange, or on BradMcknightWilson.com. Alright, we’re all out of hats. Next week, we’re bringing you Shadow Creek Falls, by Shimmy – a story about two boys who go out for groceries and end up in the woods. It’s got action, adventure, slightly magical objects, a chase; you don’t wanna miss it. And although it’s just me this episode, here’s your joke of the week: Where do frogs keep their hats? In the croak room.

Transcript – Zombie Apocalypse – by Yudi, 8

Alec: I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec: And this is Written by Kids where you’ll hear short stories songs and poems all written by kids. On this episode, the game, the interview with this weeks young author, eight-year-old Yudi, his short story, Zombie Apocalypse, then some exciting news and we will end with the joke of the week.

Elora:  But, before we start, remember your child short story could be on this podcast, just go to MoonHouse.Org and click the submit for podcast button, that’s MoonHouse.org.  the submit for podcast button.

Alec:  In a minute, you’ll hear Zombie Apocalypse. But first, Lo, the zombie apocalypse is special for so many reasons.

Elora:  Ooh, are we going to play a game?

Alec:  We’re going to play a game. Its called This game is brought to you by Aberzombie & Fitch, fruit of the tomb underwear and the Gap – in my intestines.

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh my goodness, (more laughter)

Alec:  I’m going to name five pairs of people and you’re going to tell me which one you’re taking for your Apocalypse Team. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  I’m ready.

Alec:  Number one, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, or Dwayne, The Rock Johnson?

Elora:  Ohhhh! That’s so hard. I want a scientist but muscle is so valuable.

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  I have to say The Rock.  (laughter)

Alec:  Number two. Sorry to make you choose one .

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh no.

Alec: Um, Miley Cyrus or Chris Rock.

Elora:  Chris Rock?

Alec:  Yeah, you’ve got to be entertained.  Number three.  Mallory, the character Sandra Bullock played in Bird Box, or Gracie Hart, the character Sandra Bullock played in Miss Congeniality.

Elora:  Aww. (laughter)  Um, I might have to go with Grace.

Alec: Yeah?

Elora:  Yeah

Alec:  OK, I ‘ll take Mallory, and you take Grace.

Elora:  OK.

Alec:  I’m taking all the ones that you’re leaving behind.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Ok. Number four.   Bear Grylls, or a young Sir David Attenborough.

Elora:  Maybe Bear Grylls.  I’m not 100 percent sold on the accuracy,

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  Of his, his career as a survivalist. But…

Alec:  Fair,  that’s fair.  Last one, Lex Luthor. Or Darth Vader.

ter)  Oh.. Maybe Darth Vader could, you know, kill them from a distance.  Um, I mean, I guess, I don’t know, are zombies susceptible to force chokes?

Alec:  We don’t know.

Elora:  We don’t know.

Alec:  That’s guess work, with Darth Vador

Elora:  I guess I will have to say Lex Luther.

Alec:  Your team is Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Chris Rock, Gracie Heart,  Bear, Grylls. And Lex Luthor.  Leaving me with Darth Vader. A young sir. David Attenborough Mallory from Bird Box, Miley Cyrus and Bill Nye. Well, now that that’s settled, its time for our interview, with the young author of Zombie Apocalypse himself. He likes reading especially scary stories. He also enjoys drawing and playing games is exactly in the middle of his family, with three big brothers and two little brothers and a little sister, which is kind of annoying, but not so bad. He’s eight years old,   Hi Yudi.

Yudi:  Hi.

Alec:  How did you come up with the idea to combine zombies with superheroes?

Yudi:  It just like popped in my mind. Like if you have superheroes and zombies, like, its not fair. Sort of like the superhero just automatically demolished the zombies, so you have to make it fair.

Alec:  The main character in Zombie Apocalypse. Bob Franklin, is eight and had put his past behind him. How old was he when he retired?

Yudi:  He was six when he retired.  And when he started, he was two.

Alec:  (laughter)

Yudi’s mom:  Hey, we have a two-year-old baby, and two year olds are quite capable.

Alec:  I’m sure you guessed, but that was Yudi’s mom.  And now Zombie Apocalypse by eight-year-old, Yudi, performed by Jack Dwyer.  And remember to stick around after the story for the joke of the week.

Jack Dwyer: (music starts) My name is Bob Franklin. I am 8 years old. I am going to tell you about something really crazy that happened at my house one night a few weeks ago. You might not believe it, but it is 100% true. It was a dark and stormy night. (rain sounds) Lightning struck, (thunder sounds) thunder rumbled. My little brother, six year old John, was scared. He cried, “We are going to die!” but Dad said to him, “Don’t be afraid, we’ll be OK.” I noticed a flash of green fill the room. (storm sounds continue) I thought, “No, it couldn’t be.” I opened the window to see what it was. I jumped back and screamed, “aaahhh!”. There was an ugly, bumpy face staring back at me with a blank expression. “Could it be… No, it must be a burglar”, I thought to myself. I called out to my father, “Dad, come quick!” He was still comforting John, who was crying, but he ran over and saw the hideous face. “What is that?!”, he exclaimed. “It’s so ugly! I’ll call the police!” Just then, I saw a purple flash come in through the window. (loud sound of metal falling) Suddenly, I knew what was going on. It was him. I knew what I had to do. Before my father had a chance to get to the phone, I called out, “Wait! Don’t do anything! I’ll tell you everything later, just trust me!” My family didn’t know this, but I’m not just a regular kid. I used to be a superhero. I thought that I had put my past behind me, really I just wanted to be a regular kid, (change of music) but now I realized that I had a job to do. I went to my room and pressed on a brick that was out of place. The wall opened up, (sliding sound) revealing a slide that led deep down into darkness. I slid down the slide to the bottom, where there was a secret room. In that room, there was an antique steel box. It was sealed shut, but I had the key. I opened the ancient box and took out a small, purple diamond. It was a magical stone.  (high pitched magic stone sound) Quickly, I went back up the secret passageway that led back up to my room, avoiding the lasers (laser sounds, explosion sounds) that started shooting out from the walls (I designed this security system, so I knew exactly where to go, but anyone else would have been zapped). I returned to my family and told my father and John to touch the stone. They looked at me quizzically but they did as I said. As soon as all of us were touching the purple stone together, bolts of purple lighting coarsed through our bodies. (laser sounds) We became superheroes! My father looked even stronger than before, and he was wearing a purple and black suit with a black mask. There was a spider on his chest. I told him, “Dad, you’ve got spider powers!” My brother, John, wasn’t crying anymore. He had a purple mask on his face and a purple suit with two arrows in an “x” shape on it. He had a bow and arrow in his hand. I told him, “You have expert aim!” I was myself of course, just in my super form. I had a purple cape, and wore a purple and black suit with a black “B” on my chest. I could now fly and my super strength and super speed returned. I even had x-ray vision and super hearing. I told my family to follow my lead. That ugly face wasn’t in the window anymore. I thought, “Oh man, maybe I did this all for nothing. Maybe I was imagining things.” But then, suddenly, there was a loud banging at the door. I looked out the peephole and saw that there were about 10 bumpy ugly drooling zombies! We went outside from the back to take them by surprise. They were not just regular zombies, they were superhero zombies! We battled them for hours. (laser zombie superhero fighting sounds) (silence) We thought we were finished but then suddenly, (music starts) We heard a bunch of weird noises like “RAAAAAAAAAgGCCChH!” I turned around and I saw that our whole block had turned into zombies! At least they were not superhero zombies. I told my dad and brother, “I’ll fight, you guys go inside and rest”. I went to battle with the zombies. It was a long, hard fight, but in the end, I won and transformed everyone back to normal with the power of my stone (magic stone sound) As I walked back home, I realized that I could not go back to being a regular kid. There is still too much evil in the world, and I have too much power inside me to just ignore it and do nothing. But at least now, I will have my family by my side. THE END

Alec:  Jack Dwyer is an actor and a writer. He’s done Shakespeare acting in the Upper Midwest at places like Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Next ACT Theater, and American Players Theater. He recently recorded The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Reading, for LearningAlly. Are you secretly a superhero? And if so what are your powers?

Yudi: I don’t really have any of those, like superpowers.  But if I would have one of those Powers, I would probably choose communicating with animals.

Alec:  A few quick things before we end with the joke of the week. First up, some exciting news.  Elora, you are the executive director of a wonderful community theater in Reisterstown, Maryland called Open Space, Arts, and you’re doing a radio play.

Elora:  Yes, our second ever radio play, we will be doing at The Scarlet. Pimpernel written by Elizabeth Salazar based on the novel by Baroness Orczy. It will be on. May 21st at 7:30 p.m. for the live performance and we’ll have a rebroadcast on May 29th at 7 p.m. go to http://www.OSarts.org. for more information. Second, if we’ve ever made, you laugh, smile or go Aww, then, please go to MoonHouse.org click support us, and help us out that’s MoonHouse.org and the support us button.

Alec:  Other things you can do, share this podcast, rate the podcast, review the podcast. Rating and reviewing, might seem silly and simple, but it really does make a difference and really helps us out.

Elora:  OK Alec.  Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec :I’m so ready.

Elora:  This is what one of my students just told me and I’m very excited. What do you call a vegetable that cant keep a secret?

Alec:  What

Elora:  A parsnitch. (laughter)

Alec:  (laughter and sigh)  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Transcript – Author Robin Yardi is here!

Alec: I’m Alec

Elora: I’m Elora

Alec: And this is a super special episode of written by kids. We are delighted to have a professional author here to answer our listener questions and to play trivia with us. She is the author of animal inspired books and novels for young readers. From beautiful non-fiction, to wacky fantasy, she lives with chickens turkeys, fish, a sulcata tortoise and a pink parakeet. You can learn about her books and writing workshops and library presentations at RobinYardi.com, because she is Robin Yardi. Hello, Robin

Robin: Hi. Thanks for having me..

Elora: To help us interview Robin, we are also joined by the six-year-old author of last week’s story, “What I look Forward to Most in 2021”, Neil, and his mom Shesh. Hi Neil, Hi Shesh.

Neil: Hi.

Alec: Robin, we are delighted that you are joining us. We have collected five amazing questions for you from our young authors and were going to ask you a few of them between each trivia game. Our first two questions actually came from Neil himself., Neil, are you ready to ask your questions?

Neil: Yes, So Miss Robinson. How old were you when you wrote your first book and what was it about?

Robin: So, my first story, not my first book , my first story, I wrote when I was in the fourth grade and I don’t know if I was eight or nine, but around that age, and it was about a boy who travels on the back of a magic sea turtle down to the bottom of the ocean and discovers this magical jewel encrusted palace with pearls everywhere. And I loved it, I thought it was great. I had absolutely copied that story from something else that I had read. But it was the first time I remember having an idea, writing it, and finishing it, and feeling really good about it.

Neil: Well, I agree with you that your story was pretty cool.

Robin: Thanks (laughter)

Neil: You know, some days I just have great ideas for some short stories that I write and illustrate. But other days I have complete writer’s block. So can you please give me some tips and little things so that I can have great ideas?

Robin: Sure. So I would say, number one, you should know that all writers feel like this. Some days we’re full of ideas and it feels easy to work on what we want to work on. And then other days, we don’t have ideas and we don’t want to work on the ideas that we do have. So I would say the first tip is – it okay to feel that way. And you can give yourself a break. And then I would say the second tip is – the ideas that you know, that you love, that you are really excited about, make sure you write them down and believe that they are good. And I think that you should also, if you do want to turn your ideas into stories, create what everybody calls an outline. An outline is like a list of what you’re going to do with your idea. Doesn’t have to be fancy. When I have an idea that I love, that I’m excited about, I make my outline, and I know that if I keep that outline next to me, that I can look at it again and it will help me feel excited and inspired. And I have a plan. I know how I’m going to do what I want to do. And then the other thing is, you should give yourself a schedule and it should be a nice schedule. Um, I don’t think that you should expect to be able to finish something in one day. When I’m working on a really big project, I’ll say I’m going to work on this little piece on Monday, and then I am going to work on this little piece on Tuesday, so that I know that I can, I can finish it and then it doesn’t feel so hard. And then, I think the best thing for you to do, after you’ve given yourself all those opportunities to succeed, is reward yourself. And that can be something really simple. I actually really love to reward myself by, I put little sticky notes on my wall right next to the spot where I read and it will be just like my list of things to do for Monday, and I take it off the wall, and when I’m done, I like to rip that piece of paper up. And it makes me feel really good. Its a super simple reward, but it makes me feel like, I’m done, I did it.

Neil: So sometimes I just write these really short chapter books, and I do it on different days. Sometimes on Mondays and then the next chapter on probably on a Wednesday, that’s the proper schedule?

Robin: Yes, that’s great. That’s absolutely- I’m not writing a whole book in a day, I might not be writing a whole chapter in a day. I’m not a magical being. I am a regular human; I have to take breaks. I have to have snacks and I need rewards just like you.

Neil: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Robin: Sure

Alec: It is now time to play trivia.

Robin: (laughter)

Alec: This week’s trivia theme is people with extraordinary abilities because next week’s story, “Zombie Apocalypse” by eight-year-old Yudi, without giving anything away, does have to do with people with extraordinary abilities. So our first game is called “Superman? I’ll take the soup please.”

Elora: (laughter)

Alec: Here are the rules, team one is Elora and Shesh.. You are a team. Team two, Robin, and Neil, you are a team. So I’m going to ask a question and whoever buzzes their buzzer first, you get to answer first if you get it right, you get a point. If you get it wrong then the other team gets to answer. I’ll ask three questions total so you need two to win. Are you ready to play?

Neil: Yeah (laughter)

Alec: Question 1. Daniel Kish lost his eyesight at age 13 but now says he can quote see through walls and in 360 degrees. How does he do that? Is it A, he echolocates like a bat or like sonar or radar by making clicking sounds with his tongue and listening to the reverberations. Is it B, he developed a helmet which can send electrical signals to his brain which mimics what any infrared camera might see or is it C? He became a public school teacher, and as part of his benefits package he got eyes in the back of his head.

Robin: (laughter)

Neil: Buzz

Yes, Neil.

Neil: Number B

Alec: B? You’re going with he developed the helmet?

Neil: Yeah, yeah

Alec: I’m sorry, but that is incorrect. Elora and Shesh, do you want to guess?

Shesh: A?

Alec: A, A is correct. (bell applause)

Neil: Oh, I was so close.

Elora and Robin: (laughter)

Alec: You were, you were one letter away. A is correct, not only can he hear all of his surroundings by making these clicking sounds, but he started an organization called, The World Access for the Blind, which teaches many blind children to see using echolocation.

Elora: That is so cool.

Alec: Question two. Jill Price has an incredible mental ability studied for years, but still not totally understood. What is her ability? A. She can, just by thinking about it, makes her skin so warm that she can sleep in the snow with just her pajamas on. Is it B? She can tell about 80% of the time if someone is lying and has been called the human lie detector by the FBI and the most frustrating Mom ever by her kids.

Everyone: (laughter)

Alec: Or is it C, she remembers absolutely everything from the time, she was 14 until now.

Neil: Buzz

Alec: Yes, Neil

Neil: I think its C

Alec: C is correct. (bell, applause)

Robin: Good one, I was going to guess C too.

Alec: Jill Price cannot help but remember absolutely everything. If you name a date she can tell you what day of the week it was. If you name the page of a book, she read, she can recite that page to you.

Shesh: No wonder you had the option B,

Everyone: (laughter)

Shesh: Because kids would think she was the investigator mom, right?

Everyone: (laughter)

Alec: Lastly, question three Smell, not extraordinary until you consider, that the average human can smell about 1 trillion. distinct smells. Which of these is also true about our sense of smell? Is it A, our sense of smell is stronger in the spring and summer, and after exercising. Is it B? Women are generally much better at identifying smells than men. Or is it C. Our sense of smell is our first sense to fully develop?

Neil: C

Alec: Well, the answer is all of the above so C is correct. (bells, applause) So it is just a bunch of cool stuff about our sense of smell.

Robin: Yeah

Alec: The winner of that game is Robin and Neil.

Neil: Yay! (applause)

Everyone: (laughter)

Robin: Well done.

Alec: That means its time for two more interview questions for Robin. Are you ready?

Robin: I’m ready.

Elora: This question comes from Shimmy, the young co-author of Our Pet Dinosaurs which came out on this podcast way back in October. Shimmy asks. I see that a lot of your books have animals in them. Which animal did you have the most fun researching?

Robin: So my answer to this is the same as when people ask me, what’s your favorite animal? And it’s all of them. I have fun researching, all of the animals that are in my books. When I am researching an owl for Owl’s Outstanding Donuts, what I’ll do is I’ll sit here in the room where I write my books and by myself perch like an owl and pretend to ruffle my feathers and wear a silly pair of you know, giant, yellow glasses, with no lenses in them. Just so that when I’m by myself, I can have fun. And, and really feel like when I write that owl character, it’s going to be goofy and its gong to be realistic, and it, it makes, it makes the research fun and it brings the things that I know about animals in real life and puts them in this, you know, fantastic setting where I know that an owl can rotate its head 270 degrees. I cant do that, but I can sit on my spinny chair in my desk, and I can see what it would be like, to be able to rotate my head 270 degrees.. You know, when I am researching skunks, I love to watch the midnight videos when I’m researching animals in the Galapagos I am looking at amazing pictures of animals that I might never have seen, so every animal for me is an opportunity to dream and pretend and enjoy. And, and fill my head with facts.

Elora: That’s awesome. This next question comes from Eli, the second young co-author of Our Pet Dinosaurs and older, brother, of, Shimmy. Eli asks, how do you come up with ideas for your books?

Robin: When I get a good idea, I feel like this magical (snap sound) snap And when I talk to kids in person I’ll actually have them snap. So, a snap is something that you hear, and its something that you feel in your fingers and it gives you this shivery prickle up the back of your neck. And to me, that’s what an idea feels like. And pop, its just there, all of a sudden. You weren’t thinking about looking for an idea, but it showed up. And I have talked to enough, humans, kids, adults to know that this is a pretty universal experience. I’ll say, have you ever had an idea? You were just doing something and pop, out of nowhere, you thought ooh, that’s a funny idea, or ooh, that’s a cool idea. Or scary, or beautiful. And ideas aren’t something that just happen to me, I think. Ideas are things that happen to everybody. And my ideas, I don’t think, are any better than a kid’s ideas. I think what is important to know about ideas, is that you notice them. So when you hear that (snap sound) snap in your brain, you realize – I just had an idea. And that thing that your brain does for you next, your brain gives you a label to that idea. Your brain says in your mind. That was scary, that was cool, that was funny. You have to believe what your brain said, you have to, if you thought that was funny, that means it absolutely is funny, if you thought that was scary, that means it was scary. All ideas come with those labels, we think them and then we label them. And the first step, I think of doing something really amazing with that idea that you just had is to believe that the thing that your brain called it, is absolutely true.

Elora: That’s wonderful. Thank you so much. And with that, it looks like it’s time for our second and final game called,
“Take a Wakanda Wild Side”. So, I’m going to say a word related to our topic, people with extraordinary abilities. And you will all take turns asking me yes or no questions in order to guess the meaning of that word as a team. Are you ready?

Everyone: Yes

Elora: So, the word is creature.

Alec: A creature. So it doesn’t mean generally like a creature?

Elora: Correct. It is about a person with an extraordinary ability.

Alec: Type of ability?

Elora: Yes.

Neil: Is it a mystic creature? Or a luminous creature? Or a superhero kind of creature?

Elora: (laughter) It could be, but this is a real person.

Alec: One specific person.

Elora: Yes, I mean there are multiple people but one specific person and then we’ll go out from there.

Alec: Okay.

Robin: Is this creature person in comic books?

Elora: Nope.

Robin: OK

Alec: This person, are these people, are they still alive today?

Elora: Yes.

Shesh: Is this creature person in movies? Have we seen anything?

Elora: Yes.

Alec: Are they like, unbreak- like they’re a great stunt double?

Elora: You are in the right sort of vein. So, I’ll give you a hint. Stunt doubles are a type of what?.

Alec: Creature.

Elora: No (laughter)

Everyone: (laughter)

Neil: Superheroes. Stunt doubles are superheroes.

Elora: I mean they are but,

Alec: Actor?

Elora: Yes. you have both of the words: creature, actor.

Neil: Are they like made of jelly and wiggly?

Alec: (laughter)

Elora: Kind of, so the person, who is Troy also known as twisty James. He is a contortionist, and creature actor. He says, walking upside down on all fours is as easy to him as walking on two feet. He was bullied as a kid and hid his extraordinary ability to move in strange and unusual ways, until one day, while working as a ride operator, the ride had broken down, and he decided to entertain the people in line. And then he started getting calls from all over the place, about different roles, playing strange and sometimes frightening, supernatural creatures. He has also performed on America’s Got Talent.

Alec: What, that’s amazing! And that means we have two final questions for you Robin. And one of them is a surprise question. It just came in, I hope that’s okay.

Robin: Of course.

Alec: Its actually from my mom.

Robin: Yay!

Alec: She wants to know: when you when you are writing a story do you know the ending when you start or do you figure it out as you go?

Robin: So I usually start with that snap of an idea, and I will write a few pages just to see how my story starts. And then I’ll stop, and I’ll write that outline, and if I can’t write that outline, I don’t keep going. So I do know the end of the story before I commit to writing the book, but I don’t always know the end of the story when I get that first snap.

Alec: Last question. Eli and Shimmy, as we mentioned, wrote a story called Our Pet Dinosaurs where their chickens turned into dinosaurs. I know you live with some chickens, has this ever happened to them?

Robin: It hasn’t ever happened as a total transformation, but I have actually seen some behavior that makes it very believable that chickens have evolved from dinosaurs. We have a turkey. And she is obviously the biggest of our flock and one night, a coyote snuck into the chicken coup. And dragged our big turkey out into the chicken run. And she fought the coyote off and saved the entire flock from becoming this coyote’s dinner. And we were not sure if she was going to recover from this attack but she recovered and is a beautiful protector for our little flock. And we also had another chicken, her name was Tulip. We called her the pecker. And she was very fierce, and she would peck anybody. And I saw one time a rat ran right in front of her. And chickens are little, they are not big. And she picked the rat up her beak and she tossed it up in the air with its little tail flying, and opened up her beak and guzzled the rat down. And I immediately just had this amazing respect for Tulip, the pecker. I could not believe that she could guzzle this rat down. Um, but they’re not just ferocious.. They’re also really sweet, and some of them are super intelligent. Some of them are very loving and get to know you. So, um, I think that dinosaurs, probably were all of those things.

Everyone: (laughter)

Neil: Chickens actually did come from dinosaurs. Chickens are completely related to T-Rex in their neck bones.

Robin: Yeah, I mean, you could see it. Just the way she snapped it up. Flipped it up and gobbled it down..It was great.

Everyone: (Laughter)

Alec: Before uh, before we before you go, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elroa: So ready.

Neil: Yes, yes, yes , yes

Alec: What do you call a factory that makes just okay products?

Elora: I dont know what.

Alec: A satisfactory.

Everyone: Laughter.

Robin: That was a very satisfactory joke

Everyone: (laughter)

Alec: Robin Yardi is the author of Owls Outstanding Donuts, The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez, and They Just Know: Animal Instincts. Find out more about books writing workshops and library presentations, at Robin Yardi dot com. That’s R. O B. I N. Y. A. R D I dot com. Robin, thank you so much for joining us, we really loved having you. It was really wonderful.

Robin: Thank you so much for having me. It was fun.

Alec: Neil, who is six years old, and the author of last weeks story which if you haven’t listened to it yet, you should. It is called What I Look Forward to Most in 2021. Neil and Neil’s mom Shesh,thank you for joining us again. We loved having you again. And we hope you will come back again and again.

Shesh: Thank you for having us.

Neil: Thank you for having us.

Elora: Thank you all so much.

Robin: Thanks, Neil, Thanks, Shesh. It was nice to meet you.

Shesh: It was nice to meet you too. Miss Robin.

Neil: It was nice to meet you too. I can’t wait to read your book.

Robin: Have fun. Good luck with the writing.

Neil: Thanks.

Alec: Next week we will bring you Zombie Apocalypse by eight-year-old Yudi. If you enjoyed this episode, if you loved something Robin said, if we made you laugh, Please Subscribe share rate and find us on social media, go to MoonHouse.prg, to get to all those Twitters and things. Intro and outro music, written and performed by John Noble. Barrack. Sound effects in the public domain. Written by Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC.

Transcript – What I Look Forward to Most in 2021 – by Neil, 6

Elora: I’m Elora

Alec: And this is Written by Kids where you will hear short stories, songs and poems, all written by kids. And today we have a smart optimistic feel good monologue about coming out of this pandemic, to have a joyful 2021 by six-year-old, Neil, called “What I Look Forward to Most in 2021” and he and his mom, Shesh, did an amazing interview with us.

Elora: But before we start, remember your child’s writing can be on this podcast, just go to MoonHouse.org, click the submit for podcast button. That’s MoonHouse.org and hit the submit for podcast button.

Alec: Neil’s monologue is out today on this May1st episode specifically because it is May 1st, historically an optimistic and hopeful day, and especially for this year because vaccines are available to everyone over 16 in the US, but May 1st is also special for a lot of other reasons.

Elora: Ooh are we going to play a game?

Alec: We’re going to play a game. Its called Can one go to the bathroom? I don’t know. Can one? Ugh, fine, may one.

Elora: (Laughter) Terrible. I’m sorry continue.

Alec: I’m going to say five amazing things about May 1st. You’re going to guess if they are true or false. Are you ready?

Elora: (Laughter) I’m ready

Alec: Number one, May 1st 1956 was the day the polio vaccine was made available to the public.

Elora: True?

Alec: Correct. (bells) Its true. Number two. The ancient Romans. held a one-day Festival every year on May 1st called Floralia to honor the goddess of flowers.

Elora: I am going to say false.

Alec: You are correct. (bells) Its false, the festival was six days long. The Romans would never do a One Day Festival.

Elora: Yeah (laughter) I was like everything was at least five days,

Alec: Five days, or it didn’t happen. Number 3, May 1st, also known as May Day, is a holiday celebrated around the world, to honor workers, and to remember the fight for the eight-hour, workday.

Elora: True?

Alec: (bells) You are Correct, that is true. Number four. The eighth, most common birthday in the world is May 1st.

Elora: Ahh, true?

Alec: I am Sorry that one’s false. In fact nine out of the ten, most common birthdays in the world are in September. Number five and lastly, on May 1st 1978 Japan’s Naomi Uemura, I hope I am saying that right, became the first person to travel alone to the North Pole.

Elora: True

Alec: (bells) Correct. It’s true. He did it by dog sled.

Elora: Wow

Alec: Lo, You won the game.

Elora: I won the game. (applause) The only one playing.(laughter)

Alec: Today’s young author loves Spider-Man chess, noodles drawing and writing. He is a green belt in kung fu, his favorite experiment is the volcano experiment and he is 6 years old Neil. Hello Neil.

Neil: Hello, Mr. Alec.

Alec: What made you decide to write this monologue?

Neil: COVID has been life-changing for all of us in many different ways. And I cannot see my friends or go to the park due to Covid-19.. So, I decided to write this monologue about my feelings and a plan for the future. We all have been holding our breaths, literally, and waiting for all of this to be over.

Alec: Your monologue has so much joy in it. Especially about going back to school. Were you always this excited about school, even before the pandemic?

Neil: When I went to the first day of preschool, I was very scared. But when I became braver in kindergarten, I wanted to go all day and night everyday. I love eating lunch at the cafeteria, reading books in the library and best of all, laughing at my friends’ jokes, that’s most important.

Alec: (Giggles) Amazing. Ok. And now what I look forward to most in 2021 by Neil performed by William Dalrymple. And remember to stick around after the story for the joke of the week.

William: What I look Forward to Most in 2021. (Music starts) I still remember that day vividly in my mind. It was march the 6th 2020 and my mom who is a physician came home from work and said ” Wear a mask. We have a new virus – covid. The next day the schools shut down, I was nervous watching the news. I woke up in the morning and could not go to school or see my friends. I started missing playing in the parks. I missed laughter of social gatherings and birthday parties. I am sure you all have similar memories like mine. What I look forward to the most in 2021 is going back to the life prior to covid !

Covid as we all know is a virus that took over the world in 2020. Thank god technology has helped us with online/ virtual school. But I still miss it all. All of the states have started immunizing health care workers and elderly vulnerable population. So once they are all vaccinated we can get back to the normal.

First I will sit with my friends,(children laughing), play at recess, do science experiment ” in school”. I am thinking of volcano experiment with coke and Mentos. (explosion)

Kids like me need exercise and learn to be a team player. So next I will go to soccer camp (crowd cheering) and then eat pizza in a restaurant (silverware clanking) and have sleep overs! I will take lots of pictures together.(people saying say cheese, one persons says, oops, I took a picture of my finger) We definitely need Legos- it will help our fine motor skills the doctors Say-I am then going to a mall and picking out a Lego set while shopping with a large group of friends.(crowd sounds)

We as kids have lot of energy and we can channel it and develop core stamina by doing physically challenging activities. Next I am going to Kung Fu class inside the studio and do my belt test! ( kiai sound) Like how Spiderman says ” I have high high hopes for a living!” I hope my dream comes true soon.

Then when it is safe to travel my grandparents will fly into California (airplane sounds) and I will have parties with friends and cousins.(party sounds)

• Travel teaches us that we may look different but we are all the same. Diversity is something to be celebrated.
• Travel Encourages and teaches responsibility.
• Ignites a child’s sense of curiosity, imagination and sense of adventure.
• Dr Seuss said – You are off to great places ! Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting , so get on your way !

I will then travel to Disneyland (rollercoaster sounds) go on stomach churning rides , be a wizard at hog warts school of wizardry, buy some magical wands and sprinkle some fairy dust !
I will cruise to Hawaii and taste delicious coconut water (ahh)
I will Breathe some fresh air (deep breath sounds) and watch the majestic Niagara Falls .(waterfall sounds)
I will try Skiing in Colorado .
My dream trip is to fly around the world to the new seven wonders of the world !

In summary, in spite of missing all of these many kids like me have been wearing masks, following social distancing protocols and staying home as much as possible to prevent the spread of this deadly disease covid 19.

On one end – I am getting used to the new normal .
On the other end once we eradicate covid from this world our teachers will be waiting for us with open arms and kids like me all around the world will run into our friends and high five them. (hands slapping sound, woohoo!)

Traveling around the world -o
Destruction of covid – o
Wear a mask
Follow that task
When Covid is over !
And then hug each other!

Till then Adios ..

Thank you

Alec: William Dalrymple is a multi-instrumentalist and actor from Baltimore, Maryland. He has been seen on stage at Center Stage, Towson University Glass Mind theater, Single Carrot Theater, and Open Space Arts. Expanding his repertoire into voice over work is very exciting and he loves working with Alec and Elora.

Elora: Aww. We love you too, Will

Alec: Yeah

Alec: How long have you been doing kung fu?

Neil: I have been doing kung fu for almost 1 and 1/2 years now. And for my next belt, I’m hopefully going to test for green black.

Alec: That’s awesome. Last question goes to you Shesh. A lot of Neil’s writing has a moral or a life lesson. Did he always have such a strong moral conscience?

Shesh: Yes, even when my father or my husband tells him a story, even if it’s a funny story, Neil asks them what’s the moral of the story? So (laughter) um, anyone who tells him a story, has to know beforehand – whats the moral? If not, Neil will come up with one.

Alec: (Laughter) Amazing. Okay. Thank you both so much for joining us. It was really a joy. I loved interviewing you and I hope to see you again soon.

Neil and Shesh: Thank you. Goodbye

Alec: Next week, we will be joined by author of animal-inspired picture books and novels for young readers. Robin Yardi. She will answer listener questions and play trivia games with us. You won’t want to miss it.

Elora: And before we end with the joke of the week. If you liked Neil’s monologue and want to help more kids feel confident and express themselves, you can do that! Just go to MoonHouse.org and click the support us button. You can bring kids stories to life for just $0.99 a month.

Alec: And if you can’t support us with money, you can still do something just as helpful. Share this podcast.

Elora: Especially if we’ve ever made you laugh or smile or go aww. Then please share that feeling with someone else.

Alec: Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora: As ready as I’ll ever be. (laughter)

Alec: Why can’t you trust atoms?

Elora: I don’t know.

Alec: Because they make up everything.

Elora: (laughter) It was right there. I was like it has to be something about lying, but I can’t come up with it.

Alec: (laughter) (music starts) Bye, I love you

Elora: Bye, I love you.