The Teeny Tiny Monster

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.

Three

Once upon a time there was a three-headed monster, and he was the only one of his kind.  He did not look at all like what you would expect a three-headed monster to look like.  His three heads didn’t sit next to each other on giant broad shoulders.  Oh no, his three heads sat one upon the other upon the other on top of very normal man-sized shoulders.  As you might imagine, this made him extremely tall, so tall that he was always hitting his top  head on doorways as he walked through them.  For that reason, the top head was convinced that he had the hardest lot in life.

“The two of you are so lucky that you are not on top,” he said to the other heads.  “I’m always getting bashed on things.  I have a permanent lump right here on my forehead.  When it rains, I’m the one who gets the wettest.  When it’s hot out, I’m the one who gets sunburned.  And when we walk under the trees, the branches get caught in my hair.”

“Your hair!” exclaimed the middle head.  “Your hair is exactly why it’s so much harder to be me.  You keep growing your hair so long and it tickles the top of my head.  And the hair on the bottom head tickles my chin.  You don’t know what I suffer from tickles all day long.  And when the wind blows, it’s even worse.  All that hair from above and below gets in my eyes so that I can’t see and in my nose and makes me sneeze terribly.”

“Your sneezes!” snorted the bottom head.  “Don’t tell me about your sneezes.  They are exactly why it’s so much worse to be me.  Every time either one of you sneezes or coughs, it flies all over me.  Nothing could be more disgusting.  Plus I can’t see anything from down here, and I’m forced to carry around the weight of the two of you all day.  It’s very hard on my neck.”

Three headed monster

This sort of bickering and fighting is how the three heads spent all their free time.  The arguments tended to get repeated a lot because the they never had anyone to talk to but themselves.    A three headed monster is quite terrifying to look at, so no one ever came around just to chat.  It didn’t help that the monster got his food by hiding behind trees along the road and jumping out at passing travelers, scaring the lights out of them and then stealing their food.  That was not the sort of behavior likely to make friends.  And worse, it was starting to get harder and harder to get enough food that way, due to the fact that no one wanted to travel on a road known to be guarded by a three-headed monster.

Fewer and fewer travelers passed that way, and the three-headed monster got hungrier and hungrier, and the three heads fought more than ever.  They knew they needed a new way to find food, but they couldn’t agree on the plan.  The top head thought they should travel to the other side of the mountain where there was a different road and there might still be many travelers to scare.  The middle head thought they should join a traveling circus and earn money as a circus act.   The bottom head thought they should make a huge hat to cover the top two heads and then go and find a regular job in the village.  Round and round and round they went.

“You really should listen to me,” said the top head.  “I’m so much higher up, I can see farther and hear better.  I’ve heard all about how busy the road is on the other side of the mountain.  We’d live like a king.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said the middle head.  “There may be travelers there now, but after a few weeks of us scaring them all, they’d soon go another way and we’d be right back where we started.  My idea is the best.  The circus is full of people like us.  They would take us in a minute because we’d be sure to draw a crowd.”

“A crowd who would only be coming to make fun of us,” said the bottom head.  “I do not intend to spend my life being laughed at by children eating popcorn.  I would have thought you’d have had more pride than that.  It would be no trouble at all to get a nice comfy hat to cover you both, and we could get a respectable job in no time.”

Naturally, the top two heads wouldn’t hear of being covered up like that, so the argument went on and on.  Probably they would still be arguing to this day if a very brave hunter hadn’t come by while they were fighting.

The hunter had heard the rumors that a three-headed monster lived along this road, but he was too brave to be put off by that.  He wasn’t even sure he believed it.  But as he came through the woods, he heard the three voices raised in anger and soon he saw them, perched on top of each other and all talking as loud as they could.  They were talking so loudly, in fact, that they didn’t hear him get out a bow and arrow and aim it just at their one heart.  They were so distracted by their quibbling that they barely even felt the arrow go straight through, and the middle head was still making a very good point when the whole monster toppled over dead.

The hunter carried the three-headed monster all the way back to the village, so that everyone could see it before it was buried.  And the three heads who could never agree on anything all ended up in the same grave.

Five Color Kids and a Scary Monster

Editor’s Note: We don’t get to actually see Papa Jones very often, but we are this week, so today’s story was invented by Papa and comes complete with pictures of the moment of telling. It was well worth watching, believe me. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye again tomorrow.

Additional Note: Easy-to-misinterpret title has been removed and replaced with wordy but less offensive title. You’re welcome.

Once upon a time there were five kids, and they were all named after colors. There was Red Girl, Blue Boy, Pink Girl, and Green Boy. And the littlest of all was named Brown Baby. The five kids got along very well, except for one thing. Little Brown Baby was a squealer. Just when they were all in the middle of playing, Brown Baby would squeak her loudest squeak or screech her loudest screech, and they would all cover their ears and complain. Those kids were really annoyed by Brown Baby and they tried to stay away from her when they could.

One day, all five kids went down walking by the river. They were just walking along when they saw something in the water.

“It’s a fish,” said Green Boy.

“No, it’s too long for a fish,” said Pink Girl. “It’s a snake!”

“No, it’s too big for a snake,” said Blue Boy. “It’s an alligator!”

Blue Boy had a point. That green thing in the water just kept getting bigger and bigger and rising out of the water. All five kids started to get very scared. Suddenly a big head attached to a long, long neck shot up out of the water. An even bigger body started to rise up, standing on four sturdy legs. It was a creature that looked just like a Brontosaurus. The kids were frozen with terror.

When it spotted the kids, the creature opened its giant cave of a mouth and started to reach its long neck toward them. They were all yelling. It came closer and closer with its mouth to eat them, but at the last second it suddenly shuddered and pulled back, shaking its head. The kids looked around but couldn’t see what had scared him off. Whatever it was, it didn’t last for long because here came the mouth again, gaping wide, coming straight for them! Again, just as he got close, the creature cringed away. This happened several times. The giant mouth reaching then jerking back.

Finally, the kids realized what was happening. Every time the creature reached out to eat them, Brown Baby would let out her loudest shriek. The noise was hurting the creatures ears and causing him to pull back. The older kids cheered. One last time, the gaping jaws stretched toward the five kids. Brown Baby let out the loudest, most piercing scream she had ever used. The creature rocked back, trembling, and finally plunged under the water again.

After that, the kids didn’t mind so much playing with Brown Baby, even when she was squealy. And they never took a walk by the river without bringing her along.

A Story from Scott, age 3

Once upon a time there was a mean old woman.

And there was a guy.  He was a superhero.  His name was Sawazi.  His power was shooting candy out of his hands!  And everyone ate it!

And he was fighting the mean old woman.  And he made a candy monster.  But don’t worry.  It was a good monster.  And the candy monster ate up the mean old woman.

But the old woman’s magic made a wooden monster!  And the candy monster and wooden monster fighted each other.  And wooden monster’s moves were this: (makes punching moves).  And the candy monster’s moves were this:  (makes kicking moves).  And the candy monster kicked that wooden monster!  And the candy monster killed the wooden monster!

But then there was a fire monster!  And another one!  And another one!  And another one!  And another one! And another one!  And the guy ran away because there were too many monsters!  But the candy monster fighted them.   And he tried to eat them, but his mouth went like this:  (makes spitting out noises).

And then he killed the monster.  And it was very sad.  Because the monster was dead.  And they all lived happily ever after.  The end.

Monster versus House

Once upon a time there was a giant monster named Ralph. He was orange all over and had short little legs, a big fat body, crazy long arms, and a giant eye in the middle of his forehead. In short, he was ugly, as all good monsters should be. He was also ravenous, as all good monsters should be. Ravenous means that he could never get enough to eat. He would wake up in the morning and eat a forest for breakfast. Then in the middle of the morning, he would snack on some semi trucks. For lunch he might eat a skyscraper and wash it down with a swimming pool. Even with an afternoon snack of swing sets, by dinner time, he be hungry enough to eat a whole zoo.

As you can imagine, he created fear and panic wherever he went, because people never knew when he might come along and eat their home or their school or their workplace. It’s hard to sleep at night when you never know when your roof might disappear and a giant eye look in at you. And it’s very boring at the park when all the swing sets have been eaten.

One little boy in particular was very upset about it all. The day his favorite park was eaten, he came home and cried for three hours. His house echoed his cries sadly. The next day his school was devoured. He wasn’t quite as sad about that, but he did complain a lot that night. His house liked it much better when it could hear him happily playing and not whining. The day after that, when all the firetrucks were consumed, he sat without saying a word, hugging his little toy fire truck. This was too much for the little house, which loved the boy and proudly bore his crayon marks in its walls along with his scuff marks on its floors. That night the house made a difficult decision. While everyone inside was sleeping, the little house very carefully shook itself and…woke up.

You may wonder why your house has never woken up. It is because houses were built to be passive, watching the lives of their families as if dreaming. These dreams carry on in memory long after a house is empty and even when it is knocked down. Only very rarely does a house come awake to actively change things. And when it does, it can only be awake for a short time, and after that it dreams no more. So you can see why this was a difficult decision for the little house.

It had decided just in time. The next day, Ralph showed up in the little boy’s neighborhood. He started munching trees and then quickly moved on to buildings. He gobbled up the corner convenience store and then munched through every house on the street. At last he came to the little boy’s house. With a monsterly rumble he opened his giant mouth to take a bite.

Then the window shades blinked up, the front door opened wide like a mouth, and the house echoed back Ralph’s roar, only much, much louder. Ralph was so stunned that he stopped mid-bite to stare at the house. The house just sat there blinking its windows at him. Once again Ralph opened his mouth wide, thinking to take off the whole roof at once. With a little shudder and a jerk, a pane of glass from the window flew out of the house and straight down Ralph’s throat. He choked a little. While he was still choking, another pane of glass was thrown right up his nose. Ralph sneezed a big sneeze that bent all the trees back. While he was still trying to recover from his sneeze, a doorknob hit him square in his giant eye. That one really hurt. With his eye closed, he couldn’t see anything. But he could feel it as shingles from the roof began pelting him from every direction. Bellowing with rage and pain, Ralph turned and ran blindly down the street and out of town.

No one in that city ever saw Ralph the monster again.

As for the little house, it was a pitiful looking wreck with no windows, no doorknob, and only half a roof. But in the yard was a little boy, jumping up and down and laughing fit to burst. The house creaked and sighed, a happy sigh that sounded just a bit like “good-bye….”

(This one happily coincided with prompt #5 over at Mama Kat’s. Check out all the other entries!)
Mama's Losin' It