Screaming with Mosquitoes

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Story File
9.5

Values

Calm and self-control

Main Lesson

Shouting is damaging to the family environment; you can achieve much more through a little calm

Setting

A modern-day home

Characters

A father, mother, their daughter and some mosquitoes

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Screaming with Mosquitoes

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Cuento para evitar los gritos

Mr. and Mrs. Screecher lived in a mad house! The mummy, Mrs. Mouthy Screecher, couldn’t ask for anything without raising her voice. But her shouts seemed like whispers compared to those of her daughter, little Squeals Screecher. People said that she had made all the cockroaches and creatures of the village flee with just a single shriek. I don’t think they were exaggerating, because the truth is that no one could possibly get a moment’s rest until Squeals was asleep. She asked for everything at the top of her lungs. And then there was the daddy, Mr. Silent Screecher, a magnificent crackpot inventor who hadn’t created anything in years. Well, what would you expect with all the noise?

That’s why he invented the Gobbling-Mosquitoes: amazing mosquitoes that were scientifically modified to swallow people’s screams. In fact, they did their job so well that no one even noticed the day he invented them because they devoured all his shouts of joy and it was as if nothing had happened. Of course, shouts are just made of air, which doesn’t really fill you up, so it wasn’t long until the mosquitoes went off in search of food. They didn’t have to travel far because just one floor below they found Mouthy and Squeals, whose shouts were enough to fill them up and turn them into big fat flies. The mosquitoes fought each other to gobble up the shouts even before they came out of their mouths and so, for days, no one heard Mouthy and Squeals say a single word. When the people of the village saw them, it looked like they were shouting furiously with a cloud of mosquitoes around their heads.

“Poor little things” the people thought, “they’ve finally lost their voices”.
“Well, it’s a break for all of us. No one could possibly put up with all their screaming”.

But their throats were not the problem. Squeals herself discovered this when she started to grow weak after several days without eating. No one knew she was hungry because she asked for food with such loud screams that the Gobbling-Mosquitoes that swallowed them up died of indigestion!

“I’m hungry” she said very softly, when she had no energy left.
“Wow, what a beautiful voice you have!” said her neighbour, as she made her a sandwich, “I’ve never heard you speak before!”

Feeling better, Squeals discovered that when she spoke more quietly, the words came out of her mouth beautifully. People admired her lovely voice and everyone was so much nicer to her. Up until then, people only paid attention to her to keep her quiet. When she told her mummy, she too stopped screaming and they both realised that life could be much happier and quieter. Thanks to the new quietness, Mr. Silent Screecher was even able to start an outstanding collection of inventions that made him famous all over the world.

What happened to the Gobbling-Mosquitoes? Well, when Squeals and Mouthy stopped shouting, the mosquitoes became smaller and smaller until they were almost invisible. Just when they were about to disappear altogether, they realised that the world was full of howling humans and that they would never go hungry again. As for you, I hope that you will be clever and it won’t be your screams that the Gobbling-Mosquitoes munch on next!

Translated by Aoife Phillips, Saint Paul’s High School, Bessbrook (Northern Ireland). This translation was the 2019 winner of the Spanish A-Level Translation Competition for schools organized by the Spanish Section of the Department of Languages, Information and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University. Congratulations, Aoife!


Average: 9.5 (2 votes)
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