It’s said that whether we’re marketing brands and products, training new employees, or educating students, we need to tell stories to get our point across. I agree, so here’s a children’s fable about the importance of collecting data from your online content efforts. Whether you’re using social media, posting articles, selling a product, or making video presentations like this one, stories are better at making the case.
So here’s my little story about a bunny, a chicken, and how together they used data analytics to save the flock.
Hello. A little story today you may have heard as a child: Once upon a time there was a bunny rabbit. Now I know you’ve seen bunny rabbits. They’re cute and furry, some are white, some are brown, some are grey, some are multicolored, and they all like carrots.
This little one was a little different. She had a really good memory. Really good. She could remember anything, such as how many bunnies lived in the forest, and what their names were. She could remember exactly where the grass grew thick and lush, and where the bushes with the tastiest berries were. She also remembered where she saw a fox prowling around the woods some mornings.
I should probably tell you her name. It was Maisy, but all her friends called her Mae.
She was friends with a chicken who lived nearby, on a farm. He was called Alex, and he was a fine chicken among chickens. He could strut and cluck and crow and scratch the ground like nobody’s business. But like most chickens in the pen he didn’t have much of a memory. He always forgot when feeding time was, and he could never remember the gap in the fence.
You see, there was a horse corral next to the chicken coop, and well, long story…
But a little gap between the posts was just big enough for a chicken, or a bunny, to pass through. As long as the posts stayed upright. They were a little wobbly. This was how Mae got in whenever she came to visit him, and she always surprised him. One afternoon Mae did just that, when she crept up behind her friend Alex and said “Hi!”
Alex jumped. “How did you get in?” he clucked.
“Over there, silly,” Mae told him. “You know about the hole in the fence.”
“Right-o,” Alex said, scratching the ground. He sometimes did this when he was annoyed.
“Did you see the fox again?” he asked her.
“Just this morning,” Mae said. “I’ve seen him twelve times. Four just last week.”
“Everybody’s a little scared,” Alex said. “What if he finds the hole?”
“He won’t,” Mae assured him. “You have to really remember, and I don’t think he can do that.”
Alex scratched the ground a little more. “But what if he can?” he asked. “We’ll all be stuck here unless we can remember how to get out.”
Mae saw that her friend was really worried. “I could stay here tonight,” Mae said. “I’ll just dig a burrow under the coop.”
That made Alex feel better. What also made things better was that it was dinner time. The farmer came by to throw seeds and corn into the pen. Alex and the rest of the chickens dug in, and he told them all how his friend Mae was going to help them find the hole in the fence. They all felt better. Mae went under the coop to build her burrow, she remembered a spot in the dirt where the digging was easy.
After dinner, Mae led Alex through the gap, and they played in the field and sat by the pond. They kept an eye on the woods, always mindful of the fox, but they didn’t see him. Finally the sun ducked behind the trees, and they headed back to the gap in the fence. Alex never liked the sunset, and the instant they were through the gap he started scratching the ground nervously.
“Don’t worry,” said Mae. “If the fox comes I’ll show you the way.”
“I know,” said Alex. “I just have to do this a few more times, then I’ll turn in.”
“Okay, good night,” Mae said.
“Good night,” said Alex, and Mae ducked into her burrow under the coop and went to sleep.
Suddenly, Mae was awakened by a loud scuffling above her. The chicken coop was shaking with the noise. Chickens started running down the ramp out of the coop. Mae climbed out of her burrow. In the pitch dark, she struggled to see what was going on.
Alex was the last chicken to run out. They scattered all over the pen, running aimlessly. Alex was looking at the ground as he ran in circles, clucking loudly. Mae saw the fox poke its large head out of the coop. He had found the gap in the fence. The fox looked around for a moment, then looked right at Mae. “A bunny?” he yelped. “Now there’s a pleasant surprise.”
Mae ran. She knew where the gap was, but she had to find Alex in the scrambling flock. The fox jumped into the crowd, sending chickens everywhere. He was fixed on Mae. With a lunge, he set his paws on her and grabbed her tail in his jaws. Mae screamed, and the fox threw his head in the air and tossed her. She could see Alex below, leading the rest of the chickens into a line.
Mae landed, scratched but unhurt, and the fox moved in. “I can’t believe my luck,” he said, as he licked his lips. Alex was nowhere to be seen, the chickens somehow were leaving the pen. Mae remembered the gap in the fence, but she could not find it. It was dark and she was disoriented. “Who needs chickens when I have a nice tasty bunny,” said the fox with a grin.
Mae suddenly saw a line of arrows, scratched into the dirt. They pointed behind the fox. Toward the gap in the fence. Alex had scratched a trail to remind himself! Mae ducked low and dug in her feet into the dirt. Then she darted past the fox, just as he clamped his jaws shut, missing her by an inch. She followed Alex’s trail to the gap, and the fox wheeled around to chase her. She ran through the opening, seeing all the chickens outside, then she started pushing the wobbly fencepost.
Alex and several chickens ran to help. They pushed the fencepost and closed the gap, just as the fox reached it. He was stuck inside the pen. And they were all safe outside. Alex was a hero. He may not have much of a memory, but he did know how to make a reminder. You see, just in case it’s dark, and you lose your bearing, it helps to store data. When you gather information, analyze it and store it, just as Alex did, it will show you the way.
The end. Thank you for watching.