Story Cue Card – “People Can Lick Too”
Ethnic Origin: American
Running Time: 8 – 9 minutes
Power Centers: building of suspense (the audience knows something bad is going to happen, but when), also the terror of the climax when the dog is found dead and the message written in blood is found.
Characters: The little girl, her parents, the big dog, and the mysterious stranger
Scenes: 1. The little girl begs her parents and finally receives permission to stay alone at night with her rottweiler Bucky. 2. The little girl does all the things she doesn’t normally get to do, and then goes to bed with the dog. 3. The little girl awakens twice to dripping noises, but is reassured when her dog licks her hand. 4. Her parents come home and discover the dead dog and the message written in blood.
Synopsis: There was a little girl who wanted to stay alone so she begged her parents to let her stay alone with her rottweiler Bucky. Her parents finally consented and left her alone while they went out. The little girl did all kinds of things she didn’t normally do like eat in the living room, and then she went to bed with her dog. In the night she was awakened once by an unidentified noise and once by a dripping noise. Both times she was comforted by her dog licking her hand and went back to sleep. She was awakened by her mother’s scream and rushed out to find her dog hanging over the bathtub with his throat slit and blood dripping out onto the floor. On the wall written in blood was “ People can lick too”.
Flavor: The introduction sets the urban legend in the same town as the audience. “People can lick too” written on the mirror is a spooky ending phrase, and the girl doing all the middle/high school things she wasn’t supposed to do helps add a familiar flavor relating the audience to the tale.
Audience: This story is perfect for a late middle or early high school audience because kids that age enjoy urban legend. This could be because according to Erikson kids are beginning to feel a connectedness to each other, so a story about kids their own age draws upon this. Also kids love gore and horror and this story has both elements.
Bibliographic Information: I found two other versions of the story in the same book:
Brunvand, Jan Harold. (1984). The Choking Doberman and other “new” urban legends. New York: W.W Norton & Company.
The version I used cam from this book:
Gilson, Kristin. (1998). The Babysitter’s Nightmare: Tales too scary to be true. New York: HarperTrophy.
The three stories all had the same basis. I combined the beginning of the Babysitter’s Nightmare with the end of the other story, which was very similar. In the first story the little girl’s parents had to leave her for an emergency and leave her with a collie. The dog dies at the end and the message written in blood. In the Babysitter’s Nightmare story the dog is not killed only wounded and the message was written in lipstick. The last version I had was similar only it happened at a sleepover where the spoiled host went off to sleep by herself and her dog. She woke twice in the night but was comforted when her dog licked her hand. When she woke in the morning her dog and all her friends were killed and the message was written in blood on the wall.