Friday, May 23, 2008

A Story About Odd and Even Numbers

This is a story my son and I wrote together when he was four. He came up with the basic story. I helped with the English and with the turtle character.

The Seven Jellybeans

Once upon a time, there was a lizard and a snake who were friends. They played together and had fun everyday until one day, the lizard's daddy gave them a bag of jellybeans to share.

In the bag, there were seven jellybeans. The lizard divided the jellybeans into two piles. His pile had 5 jellybeans, and the snake's pile had 2 jellybeans.

The snake said, “Wait a minute. That's not fair. You have more jellybeans than I do. You'd better give me one more jellybean.”

So the lizard gave the snake one more jellybean. And now the lizard had 4 jellybeans, and the snake had 3 jellybeans. The snake said, “Hey, that's still not fair. You still have more jellybeans than I do. You'd better give me one more jellybean.”

So the lizard gave the snake one more jellybean. And now the lizard had 3 jellybeans, and the snake had 4 jellybeans. Now the snake was happy, but the lizard said, “Hey, that's not fair. Now you have more jellybeans than I do. You'd better give me back one jellybean.”

So the snake gave the lizard back one jellybean. And now the lizard had 4 jellybeans, and the snake had 3 jellybeans. The snake said, “Hey, what happened? Now you have more jellybeans again. You must have cheated!”

And then the lizard and the snake began to fight.

While they were fighting, their friend the turtle walked by. He asked them why they were fighting, and the lizard and the snake told him.

“Hmm,” said the turtle. “If I solve your problem, will you give me one jellybean?”

The lizard and the snake didn't want to share their jellybeans, but they didn't want to fight either, so they agreed.

The turtle slowly ate one jellybean. Then he turned around and began to walk away.

“Wait a minute,"” shouted the lizard and the snake together. “You said that if we gave you one jellybean, you would solve our problem.”

“I just did,” said the turtle as he continued to walk away.

The lizard and the snake looked at their piles of jellybeans. The lizard had 3 jellybeans and the snake had 3 jellybeans. They happily ate their jellybeans, and soon all of the jellybeans disappeared.

The next day, the snake's mommy gave them a box of raisins to share. The lizard and the snake opened the box and counted seven raisins. “Oh no,” they said, and they went to look for the turtle to give him one of their raisins.

3 comments:

Samuel Bronson said...

I learned about this concept by stacking cans. I called even numbers "matching" numbers because I could make two piles that matched in height given such a number of cans.

foo said...

nice story. I will read to my kid tonight to see what he thinks.

Sue VanHattum said...

Thank you!