When I was in elementary school in Bremerhaven, Germany, the school district held a storytelling contest. Somehow I knew that one was for me. I never entered talent contests, as I can't sing or dance or do any of those other public talents. But this one, this one, was for me! So I went to our tiny school library and got out a book of Grimm's fairytales. It's the first time I remember looking at the compilation instead of children's books of individual Grimm's tales. I picked the macabre story of the Wolf with the Seven Little Kids for the contest. If you don't know this story, go look it up. I had voices and gestures for the mother and kids, and for the wolf as he changed his appearance and then his voice, swallowing the lump of chalk to sweeten his gruff growl. I gestured as he ate the six of the seven baby goats, having finally tricked them, and imagined the still-living goats tumbling out of his cut belly when their mother came to the rescue. I won the first round of contest and went to district, where I lost to the hometown girl telling a thirty-second JOKE. That one still stings, 25 years later! Ha!
This will be the cover of my portfolio. It's a nod to the story, not an illustration from it, and a love letter to my start at storytelling. CHOMP!
"The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids". Mixed media. Copyright 2015 Jessica Boehman.