otter and star chart

How NOT to use an Otter Star Chart

Sometimes things happen and you don’t know why. A good example of this would be last week when according to Otter Keeper mine and Teddy’s behaviour was “unacceptable”. Now I didn’t think we had been particualy bad last week. I suppose we did hold the first ever sofa bouncing championships, and naturally an exciting occasion like this does entail some mess. However, I specifically pointed out to Otter Keeper that I had delegated the job of tidying up to Teddy, and it’s really not my fault if he doesn’t do as he’s told.

There were other things too. Otter Keeper wasn’t happy that he had tripped over a half built Kate trap that had been left in the hallway. OH and I also found out last week that posting presents to the postman the opposite way out of the little otter door is “very naughty”, but I was only being nice, I wanted to give him something “useful” (Otter Keeper told me “useful” presents are one of the best types you can give)… and I thought he should have our TV remote control, it was the most useful thing I could think of.

After we had our talk Otter Keeper then explained the star chart to me. The Star Chart lives on the fridge and basically if you don’t do “bad” things then you get stars. If you get enough stars then you get an Otter treat! (he wouldn’t tell me what it is, but apparantly I do have to share it with Teddy – which is a bit annoying)

At first I liked the star chart and Otter Keeper very kindly gave me a few stars to “get things going”. After a while of looking at the star chart and explaining it to Teddy I decided I wanted to do something else… and this was where the problems with the star chart began.

You see it turns out you can’t do anything fun when you have a star chart! it causes real problems for most otter activities and it soon became clear that doing things in secret was the only option. It was around that time that teddy hit upon the idea of changing the sofa bouncing olympics to the bed bouncing olympics. But Otter Keeper found us, and we actually got one of our “getting things going” stars taken away!

So the other day when Keeper was at work me and Teddy made a plan which was a bit more his idea than mine. We found where Otter Keeper keeps the stars and then between us managed to scale the fridge to stick them in place (it’s not that hard to climb the fridge if you know how to do it – and me and Teddy do because we have to do a lot of climbing when we go exploring). Anyway, this way I could explain to Otter Keeper that whilst he had been at work we had been trying extra hard and actually managed to achieve all the star chart goals in just one day! He would be really proud, we would receive our prize and hopefullly that would be the end of the star chart. It was really a very clever plan.

Sadly our plan didn’t work and now there is a new line on the star chart “leave the star chart alone”. I pointed out this would be more accurate if it said “Teddy must leave the start chart alone” … but Otter Keeper pointed to point number three “don’t blame things on Teddy”. I pointed out that Otter Keeper was being unreasonable and mean.

Lots of pointing went on actually…. and in the end I decided that star charts are really hard and confusing … I also have a theory that Kate invented them. But I think it’s best I don’t talk to Otter Keeper about this for the moment.
If you want to leave me a comment (and please do because otters love comments – Keeper reads them to me and it makes me happy) about this story please go here:



  1. Francisca April 6, 2010 at 6:44 am

    hahaha excelent story! i really don’t know where you get your ideas from, they seem so simple but they are truly amazing. I enjoyed it very much. You make me laugh out loud a lot! The star chart reminds me of prekinder in my school, i guess it does to most people. Are you publishing a book sometime? i would really love to have it. Please continue sharing with us!

  2. Angela S April 6, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Dear Otter, I think Otter Keeper doesn’t appreciate how inventive you are. Please keep thinking up new ways to have fun. I enjoy hearing about it immensely.

  3. Emily April 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Aw, I just love your adventures Otter~! ^^
    Reading about it makes my day a little brighter :3

    Keep on exploring every posibility! XD

  4. Clare April 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Hello Otter,
    Another brilliant story, thanks for sharing it with us. I’m not sure that star chart is going to work you know?
    The Otter Keeper is pretty good at drawing isn’t he? Although….I’m sure you’re better! I agree with Francisca he should do a book, maybe you could be his manager!
    Can’t wait for the next one ☺

  5. Debby April 6, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Otter, it is up to you to helpfully explain to keeper that star charts without many stars do not indicate a lack of progress, they indicate a lack of realistic goals. Breathing is a commendable activity which certainly merit at least one star per day. Also, star charts must celebrate the positive! Making sure a useful dinosaur head is within keeper’s reach should he need it while watching TV is a thankless job; a star is the very least you should receive for it.

    Also it bears mentioning that the most notably useful gifts for postmen include many of the same things that keeper himself finds useful, such as car keys, wallet and mobile, and if keeper minds parting with these it surely means he needs a star chart to help him learn to share.

  6. Kitsune April 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Otter, remember that Otter Keeper does things for your own sake, so try to help him with this kind of things. I’m sure you and Teddy can have fun no matter how many stars you have.

  7. Toril Rin Jane April 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Dear Otter,

    I immensely enjoy reading of your adventures. You brightened my day when I got this – Otter Keeper sure has some beautiful art, and you are a very sweet Otter it sounds like.

    The Star Chart seems to be a bit of a bother, doesn’t it? Otter Keeper wants to do what is best for you though. I’m sure things will get better as you grow used to the Star Chart. I believe Debby had some wonderful points to make. Otter Keeper could profits from his own Star Chart. ;D

    The best of luck,

  8. rainbowlite April 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I like the star chart. Perhaps if you earn many starts, otter keeper will give you a kitten. They like otters.

  9. bev otter April 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    What a lovely surprise to find a new otter story when we got home yesterday. We laughed alot. We don’t use star charts in our house anymore as my 2 little otters found them as tricky as yours, although Adam has a smiley face chart for cleaning his teeth.
    What a wonderful artist otter keeper is. Please keep otter stories coming 🙂

  10. Catherine and Ferret April 7, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Hello Otter, and Teddy! ( not so much Keeper as we are a little upset with him right now) Once again you have made our day – I just love reading the stories about the adventures of your life- every day activities just seem so wonderous when viewed thru Otter and Teddys’ eyes!Your ideas are so clever and imaginative – you brighten up our days so much- Otter Story is always the highlight. For now, I would suggest to merely appease Keeper about this Foolish Star Chart- with Spring time weather and activities, you and Teddy can keep him distracted until he loses interest in this Unsuitable for Otter and Teddy Star Chart- and it can be discarded permanently! Please keep the stories coming when possible..much love to you.(we all know Kate is the patent holder of Star Charts)

  11. Ann-Charlotte April 7, 2010 at 3:55 am

    A wonderful story, Otter! You would get many stars on my chart just for being who you are.

  12. Jack The Cat April 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Great Story.
    That Teddy, always getting you in trouble!!! when is he going to learn…LOL..
    I love your stories, I enjoy all your adventures and the art work of otter keeper is great!

  13. Heather April 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Otter, I’m sorry Otter Keeper is making you deal with a star chart. They are no fun unless you really do earn a star, then that is way fun. You and Teddy just keep having fun and adventures, don’t let the stars keep you down.

    Otter Keeper, NO taking away stars already earned. It was hard work to earn them.

  14. OtterKat April 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    It was Colette who noted that there are no ordinary cats. This is of course the understanding for otters as well. Not only is this cause for celebration of a good many stars, it also explains how you and Teddy encounter so many extraordinary moments. See? There are more stars falling your way now.

  15. Adrian Barritt April 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    We think Otter is just great

  16. Jimmy Lee B. April 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Dear Otter, always a delight to read a new story! When was little and took piano lessons, I would get a star from my teacher when I played for her, no matter how badly I played. (That “practicing” rule was hard to remember.) We’re both much older now, but I still love her and visit whenever I can, and I think it all started with her flexible star policy. Seems to me that Otter Keeper could be just as nice. I do have to sympathize with his TV rule, since Rick is always yammering or telephoning while I’m trying to watch TV, but the others seem pretty silly. Which reminds me, after I sent your story to Rick (who is STILL in California), he says HE is going to make a star chart for ME. I don’t like this at all, and I’m not sure I like otter keeper at all. Except he draws such great pictures. If I ever see Rick again and we buy a house, I will buy a picture of you.

  17. Amy April 23, 2010 at 4:02 am

    It was Colette who noted that there are no ordinary cats. This is of course the understanding for otters as well. Not only is this cause for celebration of a good many stars, it also explains how you and Teddy encounter so many extraordinary moments. See? There are more stars falling your way now.

  18. Gale Franey December 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Brilliant art !!

Leave A Comment