Here is the incredible story of Elizabeth, a real-life elephant seal who made her home in the Avon River in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. When Elizabeth decides to stretch out across a two-lane road, the citizens worry she might get hurt or cause traffic accidents, so a group of volunteers tows her out to sea. But Elizabeth swims all the way back to Christchurch. The volunteers catch her again and again—each time towing her farther, even hundreds of miles away—but, still, Elizabeth finds her way back home.
Nugget: An elephant seal prefers life in the city rather than life in the expected open ocean waters.
Need Enticement: Hello, a seal who actually lives in the city by choice. What isn't enticing about that?
Escalation: Volunteers take Elizabeth the seal out where other elephant seals lived, she found her way back.
Volunteers take Elizabeth out even farther, she finds her way back again.
Volunteers take Elizabeth was taken hundreds of miles out in the deep dark ocean and left. Months passed and finally she returned to the city.
** Notice the three attempts? Power of three.
Satisfying Ending: The folks in the city were happy to see her and this time made changes to their community to accommodate Elizabeth.
Sources: This story was based on one person's story and was interviewed for details so no other sources were needed.
Show Words: In the book they use a comparison of 15 labrador retrievers to show how large Elizabeth is. The author also used words that described the color and murkiness of the water.
Why- why this story? This story appeals to children and animal lovers but also shows how far we go for loved ones. Why this story works is because the author didn't just give us a story about an elephant seal, she gave us a story with emotion using words to make us feel the heartbreak of leaving home. The other major factor is that the author does not try and give us a second story (a story about Elephant Seals) but instead sticks to the focus- a seal that lives in the city.
Need and Want: Elizabeth needs to be in water to survive. But she wants to be in water near people where she can hear voices and see faces.