Narrative Character Development – 5 Year-Old Edition

I present the following selection of statements as narrated by my youngest son during his genesis of a terrifying new creature. Why he suddenly began inventing this horrifying monstrosity, this harbinger of Ragnarok, this singer of the songs that will rend the very sun is one that scholars could debate for years to come and fail to arrive at a full and satisfying answer. There were but two imperatives of us as his scribes. Imperative the first: that we were to listen carefully to this description. Imperative the second: that we document, presumably for posterity, said description.

I hasten to point out that this account is as close to precisely dictated as we could manage. He was talking fast, and, honestly, there was a lot of us trying to stifle our laughter.

So, after the bump below – with a few editorial notes of my own – I'd like to introduce you to the Chopper Shark. May you live in fear of its uncertain benevolence for your years to come.

-- Credit to ElysiaGWJ for dictation and images --

Chopper Sharks
by M. Sands

This is all there is to know about chopper sharks.

Chopper sharks have great vision.

And their teeth are longer than 60-hundred cars!

[I did some rough math, which is truly the most accurate math I have at my disposal, and this creature he’s describing may be an eater of (small) worlds. Assuming your average car is ten feet long, each of these teeth is roughly eleven miles in length. This shark would be apocalyptically big.]


And chopper sharks can break through anything except glass, like iron or tin or stone — whatever thing can be broken with tools (but not glass).

And by the way, chopper sharks’ teeth are very strong, and they live in lakes.

[Look, I’m a little skeptical on these teeth. There’s a lot of conflicting data on those things. If true, we must harness the silicon-y power of glass, for it may be all that stands between us and oblivion. Also, how big are these lakes?]

The special thing about them is that snapping turtles don’t even eat them[Good call, turtles!] , even though chopper sharks are small, snapping turtles don’t eat them.

[Wait, now chopper sharks are small? When you said their teeth are as big as 60-hundred cars earlier, did you perhaps mean Micro Machines? Or perhaps you mixed up cars with Tic-Tacs. Again.]

They are as small as the spined pygmy shark, but they’re really good for a pet.

[To be fair, spined pygmy sharks do not look like they’d be particularly great pets - I do feel like you’re walking back the scope of these creatures in a statistically significant way. Also, seriously, but where did my 5-year-old pull the spined pygmy shark reference from?]

By the way, chopper sharks have laser vision. That’s why they’re so good at battling!

[Ok. That makes sense, I guess.]


Chopper sharks make great pets because they are fun to look at, and they eat anything!

[Except glass, right? Couldn’t they just melt the glass with …]

Their favorite food is tin ore and potato salad.

[... I’m sorry, what?]


And this is a cool thing about chopper sharks. This is one of a chopper shark’s favorite foods - copper ore, diamond ore, and emerald ore.

[This is the part where I feel like I need to mention that my son’s current obsession is Minecraft.]

And chopper sharks have tails that are kinda like a battleaxe cause they look like a battleaxe, and their tails do the same amount of damage as a battleaxe.

[1d10 with a +2 if proficient, for the record.]


And that’s a fact, because chopper sharks are really awesome.

They have ten fins on their backs, and they’re really cool.


And why are they so fun to look at?

[Battleaxe tail and 10 dorsal fins? I’m guessing.]

Well, when they bite through stone, the stone shatters apart, and the interesting thing about it is that it makes a little explosion. BOOM!


They explode the rock when the rock is shattered by a chopper shark.

And by the way, why do chopper sharks make great pets, you might ask?

[It’s a trick question. They don’t, unless you’re a bond villain.]

Well, it’s because they are really kind of beautiful, because they have polka dots, and even markers on them (but not real markers, just like pictures of markers on them).


And by the way, chopper sharks can even smell stuff.

[Like blood. And fear. They probably smell these things a lot.]

By the way, chopper sharks can always, always clean the air, so if you toot, and the air becomes all stinky, if you have a chopper shark pet, they clean the air, no problem.

[This is a key feature you needed to mention much earlier. Now I get why they’re great pets.]

So that’s all there is to know about chopper sharks, except I have a few secrets about chopper sharks. I’m never gonna tell them to you, except the next story is a spoiler of my secrets.

[Well, if there’s anything I know about 5 year olds is that they are terrific keepers of secrets…]


Spoiler of His Secrets

Here are all my secrets.


First secret about chopper sharks:

They are kind of like a creeper in Minecraft. They can explode themselves, but they don’t destroy themselves when they explode. So that makes them not like creepers, since if creepers explode, they are destroyed.

Next secret:

Chopper sharks can fix anything that’s broken!

[Can they fix exploded creepers?]

And if you really want to hear music, listen to this music: [breaks into a series of “do-do-do-do-do-do” that lasts for several seconds]

[Intermission! Let’s all go to the lobby!]


Next secret:

Chopper sharks are INVINCIBLE!

[They’d have to be.]

Next secret:

Did you know that a chopper shark’s heart, when it beats, sends 100 blood cells? That’s enough to fill its whole body with blood cells!

And by the way, a chopper shark, even though it is small, can weigh almost 460 pounds! But that doesn’t happen to humans. Humans can pick them up and they’re very light to humans. But to other animals, it’s really heavy. So if you want your other pet to pick it up, you’re the wrongest person in the world. They won’t be able to pick it up.

[Given the uncertainty around the size of things on the inside like teeth and blood cells versus their apparent visual and spatial scale, I’m beginning to suspect Chopper Sharks are a TARDIS.]

Next secret:

Did you know that chopper sharks have copper inside them?

[No. I can honestly say that I did not.]

You can get the copper out of them by reaching into them, because your hand teleports into them, and once you feel some metal, pick that metal up and you’ll bring out the copper. But once the copper is out, then your hand won’t teleport back into the shark.

Next secret:

This secret is awesome. Did you know that a chopper shark can destroy anything that it bites in one bite?

[Except glass, right?]

Next secret:

Did you know that chopper sharks can live up to 160 years?!

[Not so invincible now are you, 160-year-old-Chopper-Shark?]

Next secret:

Chopper sharks can breathe on land, too! When there’s a chopper shark around, there’s water in the air.

[Well, pack it up humanity. We’re done here.]

And here’s a secret:

Did you know that chopper sharks don’t even store water inside them when they are in water?

[They must be extraordinarily buoyant.]

Now here’s a secret that’s gonna be cool, and your mom may like it:

[She’s a huge fan of Shark Week, so probably.]

Did you know that chopper sharks are soft? But a chopper shark’s teeth are NOT soft, so you don’t want to touch the teeth - they’re not soft.

Next secret:

Did you know that chopper sharks use their fins as hands? It’s because chopper sharks don’t have fins - they actually have HANDS!

[Oh, so that’s what my nightmare will be tonight, then. Great.]


Next secret:

Did you know that chopper sharks can actually BUILD? Well, you’re in for some luck! Chopper sharks can even build skyscrapers with one touch on the ground! Wow! And skyscrapers that chopper sharks build are 267 feet tall! That’s even taller than 13 and 12 cars and helicopters!

[I wouldn’t get too excited. Given previous evidence, this may actually be very, very small.]

Last secret:

Did you know that chopper sharks play like humans do? So you can play with them all of the time!

Okay, so this is the end of the spoiler. And I hope that you enjoyed everything there is to know about chopper sharks. Bye, bye! [teeth gnashing noises]

[Ladies and gentlemen, that’s basically a brief glimpse into every, single day with my 5-year-old.]


ccesarano wrote:

At least the chopper shark gives everyone the thumbs up as it destroys all of creation.

This is a dark theology indeed where the World Destroyer shoots you the thumb'up while going about its task, as if to say, "I know I'm eating the entire planet except for the glass, but don't worry. I actually make a great pet!"

Elysia wrote:

I actually prefer this guy:


He's actually quite punk-rock.

That's my new Spirit Animal.

thank you. thank you so much.

Elysium wrote:

Today I learned about the Space Explorer. It's a rocket ship with a skull and crossbones at the top.

Seriously, this sort of thing is everyday.

Yep. It's part of what makes having young kids mostly-worth-it (says the guy with an almost 5-year-old at home).

I don't know how I missed this. So awesome. Made me smile, and a little sad as I think about how "adult" my 8 soon to be 9 year old has become. I miss those days.