Gappers are creepy little orange, multi-eyed, round creatures that love nothing more than to hang out on or near goats, shrieking all the while. As you might imagine, this is very stressful to the goats. They stop eating; they stop giving milk. If your family gets its livelihood from that milk, you’re in bad shape when the gappers are around. They emerge from the ocean, find the goats, and wreak their shrieking havoc.
The village of Frip is made up of three ocean-side shacks. The girl Capable and her widowed father live in one. Mrs. Romo and her sons live in the second. Sid and Carol Ronson and their daughters (who “sometimes stood completely motionless in order to look somewhat pretty”) lived in the third. In Frip, the children must check on the goats eight times per day in order to remove the gappers and return them to the sea (from which they will reemerge again and again).
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a fable about the perils of putting oneself before the community and the ultimate merits of sharing amongst a community. The gappers have bothered the three families’ goats equally for ages, until one of the smarter gappers realizes that Capable’s goats are slightly closer than the others. Once the gappers converge, Capable is unable to keep them away. She asks for help, but she is refused:
“We feel strongly that, once you rid your goats of gappers, as we have, you will feel better about yourself, and also, we will feel better about you. Read the rest