Once upon a time there was a teeny, tiny monster, so small he would fit in the palm of your hand. His name was Shamus. Shamus was fearsomely terrible and terribly fierce, but no one was even the slightest bit scared of him. Obviously the reason for that was that he was so small. It’s hard to be terrifying when anyone who wants to could just pick you up and set you on a shelf.
Shamus was determined to be scary. He tried jumping out at some kids getting off the school bus and roaring a giant roar, but his loudest roar was only a squeak to them, and they passed him by without even noticing. He tried hiding under the bed and sneaking out at night to scare a little girl, but when it was good and dark, he couldn’t find the leg of the bed, and it was too high for him to jump. Instead, he spent the night on the floor, and the little girl slept soundly.
The other monsters laughed and laughed when they heard that story. “A monster who could be the prize in a cereal box is never going to scare anyone,” they said.
At first, Shamus was very sad, but then he started thinking about what the other monsters had said. And he had a brilliant idea.
The next day, Shamus climbed up into the cupboard and found the most colorful box of cereal. Slipping under the lid, he waited. Pretty soon, a boy came and took the box down and poured out some cereal. Shamus jumped into the bowl. He dodged the stream of milk and floated on a red O, waiting. When the little boy took a bite, Shamus jumped onto the spoon. Right as the boy was about to eat his bite of cereal, Shamus jumped up on his nose, grabbed a bit of hair and poked him in the eye. The boy yelled and dropped the spoon, milk, cereal and all. Then he saw Shamus dancing around on the table. The boy was so shocked that there was something alive in his cereal that he ran screaming for his mother. Shamus finished his dance and ran home to tell the other monsters all about it.
The day after that, Shamus sneaked into a little girl’s lunch bag. He crawled right up between the slices of bread on her ham and cheese sandwich and waited. When it was lunch time, the little girl took out her sandwich and was just about to take a bite when Shamus wiggled out of his hiding spot and began to do his dance along the crust. The little girl saw something hopping around on her sandwich and let out a shriek. Shamus giggled so hard he fell right off the table.
Pretty soon the other monsters started to come along to watch Shamus leap out of coffee cups and chip bags. They couldn’t believe their eyes. Shamus’ sudden appearance in their food never failed to terrify people of all ages.
And that was how Shamus, the tiniest monster ever, became one of the scariest monsters ever, too.