The World’s Rarest Creature

Story File
8.2

Values

Order and Care

Main Lesson

Order is an excellent aid to getting things done both well and quickly.

Setting

The forest

Characters

Several researchers and an unknown animal

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The World’s Rarest Creature

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A short story about keeping things in order

Once, there were several researchers in the forest, trying to study the rarest beast in the world. No one had seen it, and its existence was only known by some remains, and by its highly characteristic call. The call was similar to that of a dog with a toothache: "Oooh..wa-ooOOOH!"

Everyone wanted to be the first to photograph and study it. The 'beast' was a nocturnal creature, so during the day the scientists would pass their time studying other matters or in discussion. The most remarkable of them was Sir Walter Tick-Fondler. He was a very pleasant and reliable chap, with a tiny little moustache and a huge explorer's hat. Every day, before tea, he would spend an hour sitting at his desk, putting all his equipment and bits and pieces in their proper place. He did this with meticulous precision. The notebook went right at the far edge of the desk, on the right hand side, slightly beyond the recorder, and next to the five pencils which were always in the same order: black, red, blue, green and yellow. The lamp was always towards the end of the desk, next to the camera, on the left... and so it was with all his things, even with the smallest of details.

Everyone was amused that this gentleman was such a perfect example of the famous English obsession with order.

The researchers spent many nights in that area before the creature appeared, and before it did so some of them even doubted its existence. It appeared suddenly, while everything was quiet.

Only a few metres away, the scientists heard its call loud and clear. The famous call of the dog with a toothache. It lasted only an instant, because all the commotion of the researchers scrabbling for their cameras and notebooks scared the creature, and it shot off before it could apparently be seen or studied in any detail.

The next morning they all compared their findings. Some had managed to record its call, others had noted down how it moved, and the most fortunate of all had even managed to photograph parts of its tail or legs. They all congratulated each other on what they had got, but when they saw what Sir Walter had they were shocked.

He had taken several complete photos, as well as recording its cry, and making full-colour annotations on the creature!
And they were all perfect!

They ran to congratulate him as the best researcher of them all. They now understood that his obsession with order had been the best way to prepare himself for working in the dark. This had meant Sir Walter had no problem in finding and using the recorder, the camera, the notebook and the pencils, all in just fractions of a second and without having to look for them.

Of course, the work he did on 'The Rarest Creature in the World' made Sir Walter famous. He founded a successful school for researchers and scientists called IOTO: 'In Order To Investigate', and had the honour of naming the animal. And as it had all been such fun and he so enjoyed the field trip, after recording that characteristic call, he didn't hesitate to name the animal the 'Whatahoot'.


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Average: 8.2 (14 votes)

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