Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Click Clack Moo--a children's story of community activism

I've always loved the book Click, Clack, Moo. But when I went to the play at the Dallas Children's Theater, I had a whole new eye-opening reality:

Click, Clack, Moo is a great children's story about community activism.

After the cows and the chicken deal with a cold, drafty barn for a while, they decide to express their grievance and request electric blankets. However, when they try to communicate this with Farmer Brown, they realize they are speaking in a language he can't understand. They go back to the drawing board and gather together in their barnyard (community) meetings to figure out a different plan.

Since Farmer Brown didn't seem to understand them the first time, they decide to act it out in hopes that he will be able to see how cold they are. The message still does not get through.

Finally, during a community...I mean, barnyard...meeting, they discover an old, discarded typewriter. They realize that they have to communicate with Farmer Brown in a way that he can understand.

So they type.

They withhold milk and eggs.

They make him realize that they are an important part of his livelihood.

In the play, they are afraid they will get in trouble, but they persevere.

Duck appears to be a neutral party and, therefore, mediates (though in the play, he explains that he is a part of the barnyard meetings, too).

After some negotiation, the cows get their electric blankets and Farmer Brown gets the typewriter.

I suppose that could be seen as giving up their power (the typewriter)...but what they've already discovered by that time is that the power is within them. (which is why Duck then demands a diving board)
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