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The Adventures of Ottie-O (Grade 3)

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The Adventures of Ottie-O
by Julie McCullough

Ottie-O was an otter.

She lived in a wild and wonderful place called Commencement Bay. It was a busy, happy place, full of life and laughter but. It was also a very NOISY place and Ottie-O did not like so much audio.

Sometimes, Ottie-O’s family and friends would go out on big fishing adventures. When their bellies were filled with sweet oysters and clams, they’d swim and play until they were tired. After fishing and swimming, all of the otters would settle in and float in kelp beds. The whole otter family would hold hands so they wouldn’t float away from each other. They floated like this, under the moonlight, singing loudly to one another about the adventure they’d shared that day.

Now, Ottie had a very large group of family and friends and, even though she loved them all very much their noise would sometimes hurt her head. She knew the songs they sang were happy and full of joy and she often wanted to sing too but… her head wouldn’t stop hurting. The noise began to make her sick. They were all just too noisy.

At first, she tried to ask them to be quiet. When her words didn’t work, she would get so frustrated that she would scream even louder than they were singing. Maybe, she wondered, if they hear how loud they are, they will understand?

Instead of quieting down, Ottie-O’s family and friends simply stopped inviting her to go on the big fishing adventures. They all loved Ottie and knew they couldn’t be quiet enough to make her feel better so, they figured she’d be happier staying at home.

All alone.

In the quiet.

At first, Ottie was glad for the quiet. She fished in the silence, swam solo in the sunshine and floated in the hushed beds of sea kelp. Her head did not hurt. She did not feel sick.

When her friends and family returned from their adventures, they were quieter than they had been before. They smiled at her and waved but, Ottie-O noticed, they had all mostly stopped talking to her too.

Ottie began to miss their voices and began to miss her friends and family’s sound. She began to cry. She was lonely and sad. She did not miss the loudness but she missed everything else.

Now, Ottie-O’s family was sad too. They loved Ottie-O very much and did not want to see her so sad. But, they wondered, What can we do?? Some of them tried bringing her their favorite rocks, others tried braiding strands of the softest kelp into her fur and more tried bringing her bits of the sweetest oysters and clams they could find.

Nothing seemed to work.

Ottie was still crying when, at long last, a stranger from a faraway place called Poverty Bay, arrived. The stranger was an old otter with long, thick strands of silver fur and bits of shells spackled here and there. Ottie’s friends and family grew nervous.

What was the stranger here for? What did she want?

Oddly, Ottie-O stopped crying and approached the stranger. They smiled at each other, silently, and the stranger handed Ottie a funny clump of shells and seaweed with bits of flotsam and jetsam. She gave Ottie a tight squeeze, waved goodbye and slipped back in the sea to return to her home.

Now that the Stranger was gone, Ottie-O’s family and friends crowded around her, they were curious to see what the clump of shells and seaweed was.

And, without a moment of hesitation, Ottie slipped the clump up to her head, maneuvered the bits of flotsam and jetsam, tied the seaweed below her chin, positioned the shells atop her ears and…smiled.

A big, happy smile.

The stranger had brought Ottie headphones and the noise was so much smaller once she put them on.

Ottie-O was so happy that she began to sing. And her friends and family began to sing too. It was the happiest song Ottie-O had ever heard.
What didn't Ottie-O like?
  1. oysters
  2. noise
  3. peanuts
  4. school
What did Ottie-O do when she got frustrated?
  1. She screamed.
  2. She laughed.
  3. She frowned.
  4. She swam.
How did Ottie-O feel when her family members sang loudly?
  1. She felt loved.
  2. She got a headache.
  3. She was jealous of them.
  4. She wished she had a beautiful voice.
Ottie-O's family members left her alone so it would be quiet. How did that make Ottie-O feel?
  1. She had a lot of fun.
  2. She was sad and lonely.
  3. She liked everyone a lot better.
  4. She felt like everyone hated her.
What did the stranger bring to help Ottie-O?
  1. a megaphone
  2. a new song to sing
  3. a special message
  4. a pair of headphones
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