January 9, 2009
By Maia Kome, Unalaska, AK

“Pit pat, pitter patter, pit pat”
The little creature lay there in her cache shivering and trying to fall asleep. It didn’t help that it was raining out, not because of the noise but because she didn’t have very good shelter and no matter how small of a ball she curled up into she was dripped on. She thought that even if she wasn’t being dripped on she still would not be able to go to sleep because even though she was tired and lethargic she had found such a meager dinner that her stomach was growling painfully.
“Pit pat, pitter pit, patter pat”
The little creature raised her nose into the air and sniffed: what was that smell? She sniffed a few more times. She couldn’t tell what it was but it was enticing and it smelled like food. She thought well I won’t be able to sleep anyway. She got up and started walking towards the source of the smell.
“Pitter pitter, patter pat”
She finally reached the smell and let out a heartrending howl; it was the only sound she could make, and she wanted to draw attention to herself anyway, she had reached a big, brick red house.



“Drip, drip, drip, drip”
Ecill winced and cried out in surprise. What was that awful sound? she thought. It had sounded like an animal, maybe something had fallen on top of a small creature. It could have been some other animal like… she didn’t want to think about it. Reluctantly she got up out of her bed and tiptoed through the house to the back door, (so as not to wake her parents) because if it was a little creature she would not forgive herself if it died.


The little creature stood there for a moment, beginning to feel disheartened. She was about to scurry away when part of the wall swung forward letting out a trickle off light. She was bewildered, how could the wall open? A strange face peeked around the corner, “Hello, little creature? Is there a little creature out here?”
The little creature crept forward into the ray of light and looked up into the eyes of the strange face. She whined a long, low, quavering note.


Ecill stood there looking down at the strange little creature; it looked so abnormal she was scared, but at the same time she noticed the timidity in the creature’s movements. The poor creature looked so sad and lost. It whined again, that sad little note from deep in its throat. Ecill knelt down, and slowly held her hand out to the creature. It slowly walked forward nose twitching, eyes bright and open wide.
When the creature reached her hand it sniffed it vigorously, then, deciding it was safe, pushed its head up under her hand. She laughed quietly and began to scratch the top of its furry head. It closed its eyes and said “Syl sil sil sil sil” happily.
“Ha! Well if that’s the case, I’ll call you Syl-Sil.”


A name! A name! She had a name! Syl-Sil! A happy name! Syl-Sil opened her eyes and looked up happily at this nice person. Then, her stomach growled loudly and painfully, and she remembered she was hungry. She let out another little whine, not as long or sad as the last two, but it still caught the person’s attention.
“Oh! Syl-Sil are you hungry?”
Syl-Sil nodded vigorously.


Syl-Sil needs nurturing care and food, thought Ecill, I only hope dad will let me keep her in the house. “Come on Syl-Sil, Come into the house, you can sit on the hearth and get warm.”
Syl-Sil scampered inside and sat down on the floor right behind the door. Ecill walked around Syl-Sil and further into the house. Syl-Sil followed her.
“There you go Syl-Sil,” said Ecill indicating the fire, “you can sit on the floor beside it. It’ll get you nice and warm. I’ll get you some food.”


“Crackle, pop, pop, pop”
Syl-Sil was enchanted by the strange orange stuff that was crackling and popping in front of her. She knew not to touch it, because, well, if it could warm her from where it was it must be very hot, but she liked watching it. When was the last time she had jumped and leaped joyfully like that? She couldn’t remember…
“Syl-Sil, Come with me.” It was the person back again. “Syl-Sil I don’t know what you eat. You need to come and show me.”


Ecill led Syl-Sil into the kitchen. She’s as docile as a domestic animal, she thought. As soon as Syl-Sil entered the kitchen her eyes got gigantic and round and she started running around sniffing everything that was food. “Calm down, Syl-Sil!”


Calm down? Calm down?! Syl-Sil had never seen such massive food! And so much of it too! She didn’t think so much food existed in the world! But this room was abounding with it! She wanted to sniff every single teeny, tiny, scrap in here!
“What’s all that racket?! Ecill! What are you doing?!”
Syl-Sil was startled by the sudden shout. She hid behind the person’s legs, feeling her happiness diminishing. Syl-sil saw another person looming above her. She quivered.


“Ecill, what is that, that thing behind you?!” her dad bellowed at her.
“It’s Syl-Sil Dad, may I please keep her in the house Dad, please?” Ecill pleaded.
“Are you kidding me?! She could be loaded with parasites and the plague! And what in the heck is a Syl-Sil anyway?!”
“She is not! And she is Syl-Sil! That’s her name!”
“What’s going on?” Ecill’s Mom came into the room. “Oh! What a cute little thing! What’s its name?”
“Syl-Sil, and Dad doesn’t want me to keep her.”
“Oh really, Dad! She should be able to have at least one pet!”
“Fine!” her dad grumbled
Ecill grinned widely and looked down at Syl-Sil. “Hear that Syl-Sil? You get to stay here!”

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This article has 10 comments.

on Feb. 22 2009 at 10:21 pm
maia i luved the story! keep on writting

alaskalynda said...
on Feb. 21 2009 at 12:22 am

I was instantly drawn in to this creature, and to the kind hearted Ecill who took Sil Sil in. I wanted to know more about what Sil Sil looked like, and the visuals and perhaps experiences she encountered while on her journey toward the smell of food and, ultimately, her new friend.

There seems to be an adventure just around the corner with these two. I hope that you will consider illustrating it and letting your muse take flight.

Heidi said...
on Feb. 2 2009 at 6:22 pm
This story really drew me in, and left me wanting to know more! I think it is a great technique to give us only a little bit of information about the creature...but enough that we can get a sense of it, so that we want to keep reading. It is interesting that the main character describes it as very abnormal looking, but takes it in, and the father is somewhat scared of it (disease) and the mother thinks it is cute. Just shows the range of perspective. Let me know when there's a next chapter!

on Jan. 27 2009 at 3:05 am

What a great story...very enjoyable to read. You have some serious talent girl! Do us all a favor and keep on writing! Look forward to reading more.

Nurse Wendy said...
on Jan. 23 2009 at 11:54 pm

you have a great story started about a little creature/animal and a human who loves creature/animals and helping them if they are suffering. When I read a good book, the first line of the book is the most important to draw me in. I'm not sure if the "Pit pat" is suppose to be rain or what the animal is doing so I was a bit confused. Also, was the creature adorable, scary, alien like??? you might want to describe this creature character a bit more. You have written some really good paragraphs! You mentioned that Ecill was worried that something might have fallen on the small creature but that doesn't seem that believable to me...maybe stick with something more believalbe like it could be being attacked by another animal or it was caught in a trap or it had fallen out of a tree! Also, keep in mind who you would like your reading audience to be. Do you want elementary kids to enjoy this story or an older audience? I'm so glad you enjoy writing! You're good at it!


on Jan. 23 2009 at 2:26 pm
Great story,Maia! When I got to the end I wanted more. I can see this being the first chapter or part of a series of stories about the little creature and her new home and friends.

komeca said...
on Jan. 21 2009 at 4:44 pm
Cute story! Sounds like the beginning of a whole new world. Keep building! :)

Jax said...
on Jan. 21 2009 at 7:16 am
Good concept. I especially like the idea of giving a home -- and a NAME -- to a homeless creature since I volunteer at the animal shelter. :) This definitely sounds like the beginning of a bigger longer work. I'd like to see more development of the people and of Syl-sil! Keep up the good work!

ChrisBobbitt said...
on Jan. 21 2009 at 4:11 am
I like the new version of this. I read some of the rough paper drafts, and this has a better feel to it. I especially like the use of Onomatopoeia. It makes the story more real to me.

Mome123 said...
on Jan. 20 2009 at 6:08 pm
I liked it, it is sweet. It could use some work on grammar and punctuation. Sounds like it is the start of something; a first chapter rather than a short story. Is it?

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