4. Monsters as Contested Figures

Monsters as Contested Figures

We discuss the monster's intentions. While some children find the idea of a monster alarming or uncomfortable, others describe the monster as kind.

We debate whether the monster has been damaging the forest. The children wonder if it understands how to care for the forest and water, or if it is the one responsible for some of the disturbances they have seen on our walks, such as the slash in the sign tree. “The monster did it! It has big claws!” “The monster hurt the tree.” “It lives here. It’s telling us this is its home.”

Alternative narratives are offered. “Humans hurt the tree, not the monster.” “The monster is alone in the forest. It’s scared because the mermaids made it come here and it doesn’t know how to get back.” “I know the monster is good. The monster is not scary.”

Communicating with the Monster We wonder how we might communicate with the monster. We are not sure what language to speak or how it will respond to our offerings.

We visit the hole and listen for signs of the monster’s presence. It is hard to hear over the roaring water of Buck Creek. “I hear the monster. He’s sleeping in the hole.”

We read a book by a local author titled Bigfoot: Challenge of the Century, which tells the story of a strange creature seen in the nearby mountains.

In the story, the bigfoot gifts the author with a handful of juicy earthworms to eat on their first encounter. This sparks ideas of what gifts we might offer the monster.

We gift the monster with flowers, rocks, and singing bowl notes beside the hole entrance. e return to the hole and fer items to the monster. o we put the items down e hole or beside the hole? e agree that stuffing items to the hole might block e monster's passage and srupt its sleeping.

We gather in groups to sing for the monster.