When my mum came to pick me up after my scary first morning at primary school, I pretended I had not left a puddle on the brown polished wood floor of the classroom. If I pretended it wasn’t there, no one would see it. But childen’s magic doesn’t work for grownups. Teacher spoke to Mum. I hung my head. They told me: don’t be shy. If you want to go to the toilet, just put up your hand and ask.
But it wasn’t about being shy (although I was). It was about the Three Little Pigs. At the end of the morning lesson, our teacher had gathered us around her in a semi-circle, cross-legged on the floor, and told us the story. And I so so so wanted to know what happened to the little pigs that I didn’t put up my hand and ask to go to the toilet. I just sat there, in my puddle.
The really interesting part is, when writing this post, I had to Google ‘The Three Little Pigs’ because I had absolutely no memory of the actual story. What stuck in my mind – and in my body memory – was that total grippedness and fascination, that white-knuckle suspense, that unbearable longing to know that the little pigs were going to be okay.
This is what we want to do to our readers.