We are proud to present the latest installment of our Field Trip Book of the Month series: a tale from our Small Group Storytelling field trip written by the students from Lockwood Elementary School.
Mr. Nishikawa’s 6th graders spend the morning with us brainstorming, writing, editing, and publishing their very own book–a story of a guinea pig & hamster coming together to fight crime–as a part of 826LA’s Field Trips program. Please read on and enjoy The Adventures of Frank & Courtney, but Mostly Frank. This story is edited by T.J. Peters.
A huge thank you to our amazing volunteers: Samantha, Amanda, T.J., Anais, and Ellen!
And now, onto the story!
Frank Stripes was an unassuming guinea pig living in an apartment building that stood next to an AM/PM in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frank had black, brown, and white spots, which is why his owner Bill Kirioto (KEY-REE-TOE) named him Chocolate Chip. Frank hated that name. Every time Kirioto called him that Frank would grumble, “I hate that name.”
What Kirioto didn’t know was Frank was a secret super hero. He had telepathic powers, allowing him to read and control minds, but he was clumsy with them. For example, one time Frank tried to use his powers to make Kirioto bring him a piece of cheese, but instead Kirioto put a bunch of garbage in his cage.
To keep his identity secret, Frank would only fight crime when Bill left the apartment to run errands, visit his sisters, or study at his private technology school. When disaster struck, Frank would take off his pajamas and put on his yellow, striped, glow-in-the-dark cape. He would strike a heroic salute and say, “You’re messing with my wheel, evil doers!”
The thing was, more than anything in the world, Frank wanted a partner to work with. He was very lonely fighting crime by himself and wanted to share to the glory with someone else.
One day, Kirioto left the house, but Frank wasn’t sure why. He had a bad, tingly feeling about it. He decided to patrol the hallways to look for anything suspicious or shady. Around a corner, he noticed an apartment door was open. He crept inside to investigate and found something strange. A tiny ice sculpture in the shape of a gnome. It was very well done and detailed, like a professional made it.
“Why is this here? What’s the meaning of this? Why is it looking at me? Is it… alive?”
Frank tried to use his mind control, but nothing happened. Frank wasn’t sure if this meant the gnome was dead or if perhaps he had steel in in his head that blocked him out. Frank cautiously reached to it, but tripped over a can and knocked the gnome over. The whole thing shattered except for the head, which Frank could swear was still looking at him.
“Hi, my name is Courtney. Wait, hey!” a voice came out of nowhere. “What did you do to my sculpture? Why would do you do such a thing?” The voice was coming from Courtney the hamster.
“Sorry, it was staring at me, so I touched it and it broke. I was an accident,” Frank replied. “Wait, you made this?”
Courtney mumbled a spell, swirled her hands and ice shot out. It created a beautiful unicorn that was the size of a person!
“Wow, such amazing powers. I’ve been looking for a partner! Are you available?” Frank proclaimed!
“Maaaaybe,” Courtney replied, “but I refuse to be a sidekick. I need to be the Master.”
On the TV in the background, a news flash came on: “Breaking news! A robbery is in progress at the Central History Museum in New Jersey, possibly to revive the ancient remains of an extinct Pokemon.”
Quickly, Courtney created an ice-mobile. She and Frank hopped in and took off. It was super fast, getting them to the museum in ten minutes and ten seconds, instead of the five hours it would normally take.
They ran into the museum just in time to see two people disappear around a corner carrying a duffle bag. In front of them, there was broken glass from a display case, footprints on the ground, and a couple diamonds left behind.
Courtney proclaimed, “I’ll make you freeze!” at the same time Frank shouted, “Stop messing with my wheel!” They started to argue, but then remembered that the robbers were getting away.
Frank concentrated really hard and locked into the robbers minds. He was able to tell where they went and also force them to stop where they were. “It worked! It worked! I finally did it!” Frank excitedly said.
“Let’s go,” said Courtney.
They charged ahead and found the robbers in the public restroom. Courtney froze their feet to the ground so they couldn’t move. One of the robbers turned and pulled off his mask. It was Bill Kirioto, Frank’s owner!
“Bill, how could you?” Frank said.
But then, the other robber took her mask off.
“It’s you, Deborah!” said, Courtney. “She’s MY owner!”
The police stormed in and arrested Kirioto and Deborah.
“Thank you for helping me out. I can’t believe it was Kirioto, even though he never did anything for me anyway,” Frank said.
“I actually suspected it was my owner Deborah. She never talked to me or anything and she did leave me for fifteen years,” Courtney replied. “So, what now?”
“What if we retired and lived a normal life together?” Frank asked.
“Sure, that sounds nice,” said Courtney.
Frank and Courtney went back to their apartment building in Las Vegas. They spent their days basically doing nothing– sleeping, eating, and watching TV.
Several years later, they were getting really bored. Really bored. Frank turned to Courtney and said, “Hey, want to become super heroes again?”
She replied, “I wished you had asked that question years ago.”
If you are a prospective volunteer and you would like to join in on the fun we have here in the 826LA writing lab, please read about our volunteering opportunities here.
If you are already one of our wonderful volunteers, and would like to see what Field Trips to 826LA are all about, email Kenny (at our Echo Park location) or email Mike (at our Mar Vista location) and read more about our Field Trip Program here.
If you are a LAUSD teacher and would like to bring your students in for a Field Trip and an unforgettable writing experience like this, you can find more information about our lessons here.