Jeffery's Wor(l)d Meets Sloth
Written by Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Oana Capota
| Jeffery looked at the blank page. It glared back.
No matter how hard Jeffery tried, he couldn’t think of something
to write about.
So he doodled, drawing landscapes and his favourite buildings. His
ideas were coming slowly, sloth-like, and
he found himself sketching a round-bellied,
“Focus on the words,” Jeffery muttered to himself as he
stared at the ceiling.
“Just forget about the words,” whispered a voice.
Wide eyed, Jeffery looked around. “Who said that?”
Down on the page, now covered with more doodles, he noticed that the
sloth he had just sketched looked different. “Hey,
I didn’t draw you with your hands on your hips!”
“Good writers have lots of ideas. You don’t have any,”
declared the voice, much louder now. Jeffery rubbed
his eyes. He had just seen his sloth doodle move!
“Whoa!” Jeffery jumped to his feet, shaking his head in
disbelief. “W-w-what d-do you know anyway?” he stammered.
“I know that you’re a lousy writer,” said Sloth.
“I am not a lousy writer! I just can’t think of anything to
“Well, instead of drawing the CN Tower, make yourself useful
and sketch me a chair,” demanded Sloth, pointing his long dangly arm to
a perfect spot on the page.
Jeffery did as he was told and drew an overstuffed chair.
Sloth relaxed into the chair. Lounging across it he said
smirk, “This is good. Now sketch me a blanket.”
“Urgh,” Jeffery sighed. “I’ll never finish my story at this
“You’re right,” Sloth chuckled, settling into his chair.
even think of one idea. So why don’t you do something you’re good at
draw me a real cozy blanket.”
Jeffery was tired of listening to Sloth. He knew he had to
finish his homework. He began to write.
Once there was a pudgy sloth who was in search
really cozy blanket.
Suddenly, Sloth stood up. He appeared to be searching for
something. “Who are you calling pudgy?” he asked.
Sloth looked up high for that blanket.
He looked to the sky.
He looked down low for that blanket.
He peeked under the chair. “I sure would like that blanket.”
Jeffery now realized what was happening. “Oh, I get it. You
don’t want me to write because you’re lazy and you know that whatever I
write you have to do!”
“No, no, that’s not it,” Sloth muttered as he looked behind
“Oh yeah? So if I wrote a story making you dig clear through
the earth, you wouldn’t be upset?” asked Jeffery.
Sloth looked worried. “Absolutely not.”
“And if I wrote about you swimming across the ocean, that
would make you happy?”
Sloth was sweating now. “I wouldn’t mind.”
Jeffery noticed that Sloth was nervous, but persisted
nonetheless. “How about if I made you search all of Canada for a . . .
Looking anxious, Sloth interrupted, “If I could find that
cozy blanket, I wouldn’t mind.”
“You do know that Canada is a big place? You would have to
climb mountains, hike the prairies, trek across the tundra, and paddle
the Great Lakes.”
“Well, you can’t make me!” And with that, Sloth crossed his
arms and plunked himself back down into his chair.
“Oh yeah?” Jeffery’s face reddened with annoyance. He picked
up his pencil, sketched a shovel and wrote:
He began to dig.
Sloth was controlled by the words. He had no choice but to
pick up the shovel and dig. He was no longer smiling.
He dug a hole clear through the earth to India.
“Now I need some water. Quick, write about water,” ordered
Then he swam to France. He
himself that he would find the world’s coziest blanket.
“That’s not what I meant! This water is freezing!” cried
Sloth, his teeth chattering.
But the coziest blanket was
Now Jeffery was smiling.
Sloth would have to scan the
whole perimeter of Canada. He continuously searched, climbing,
trekking, paddling, hiking, wandering, stumbling along...
“Ahem….” Sloth looked wilted from fatigue. “I’m afraid that
a great mistake….” Sloth was panting now. He was not used to so much
“I said that your writing is boring,” Sloth huffed. “I was wrong. I
have said that your writing is very engaging. And that it makes a lot
sense, too. Honestly, I mean that. In fact, you are a great … no, a
… no, a wonderful writ...”
Jeffery. He knew just what Sloth was doing. He looked down at the page
and realized that, thanks to Sloth, his homework was done! Jeffery felt
confident again. He smiled as he wrote:
And finally, the very tired sloth found the
world’s coziest blanket and happily fell fast asleep.
Sloth snuggled into the chair, cuddled the blanket, and
closed his eyes.
Jeffery moved to put his pen down but changed his mind and
At least for that evening.