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My Dysgraphic Word Zoo

By Freya Siddiqui

My Dysgraphic Word Zoo by Freya Siddiqui

Read by Debbie Korley from the BBC Radio Drama Company.

Riddle me this, why do words fly in my brain but stick in my hand, it's beyond frustrating! I love riddles, mental word games designed to make my brain think around corners. I love feeling it reaching out to grab the answer from millions of thoughts and possibilities. Its as if my mind is soaring into outer space. Inside my brain the words shoot and dart about like celestial swallows. They dive and race each other, looping and gliding, turning this way and that. Finally swimming into order like a shole of silver fish, each obediently slotting into its correct place, safe and happy.

I love riddles but I don't like writing. The words so playful and happy in my mind transform into suborn donkeys when they come through my fingers and out of my pencil. The he-haw loudly, distracting me from my thoughts. They refuse to move, flapping their fluffy grey ears this way and that, snorting and mocking and stamping their feet! I hate that capital letters have correct places, my capitals like to roam all over a sentence like a herd of buffalos.

They swarm, unstoppable over the savanna stomping and stopping where ever they fancy. My brain says, 'Hey! You belong at the beginning of the sentence!' but my hand says 'you are buffalo! Please go where ever you fancy!' And so they do. Some teachers don't like this saying 'that's NOT where buffalos go! You must stay and do lines till all your buffalos know their place!' But that just makes me feel sad and stupid and the buffalo keep rampaging across the page no matter how many lines I do, actually getting more cheeky the more lines I complete!

There are snakes at the margins of my English book, where words slither and squirm instead of lining up like obedient penguins. They don't always bother stopping at the pages edge either, leaping like lemmings onto the desk instead. Punctuation behaves very badly at times, commas and apostrophes popping up like curious mere-cats where you least expect.

'There are rules you know!' my brain screams, but the zoo doesn't care.

My mum is like me. She has stubborn words too! Yesterday I was at school waiting for the bell and we were playing riddles, my friend said 'a father and son are in an accident, each rushed to separate hospitals unconscious. The son is in the operating theatre, the doctor arrives and says 'I cannot operate on this child he is my son'! How can this be?'

I look up at my Mum and smile and say 'the Doctor is his Mum of coarse, just like my Mum!' Mum gives my hand a little squeeze and smiles back. The bell rings and I head inside, my English language Zoo all ready to cause a bit of chaos, but I know I'll be o.k, despite my playful words, and maybe even because if them.

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