by Kai Strand
“Sure honey.” She tied the tattered blanket loosely over Ben’s shoulders and then ruffled his hair.
“Thanks, Mom!” Ben skipped out the back door with his cape flying behind him.
Sir Ben the Bold, on his proud white stallion, Storm, gallops to the edge of a large grass field. Across the field the Black Knight awaits on his dark horse. Storm stomps the ground, eager to start the jousting match.
Both knights raise their lances. Storm springs forward, charging toward the Black Knight. The pounding hooves shake the ground. The knights thunder toward each other.
With a great clash of lances, Sir Ben nearly falls off his horse. He pulls himself back into the saddle and then glares back at the Black Knight. “You’ll pay for that.”
The knights swing their horses around as they reach opposite ends of the field, ready for a second pass. Sir Ben spurs Storm into the next charge. Again, the knights race toward each other with their lances held steady. They draw closer; the horses run faster.
A thunderous crack sounds as the lances collide and snap in half. A jagged edge pulls the Black Knight from his dark steed. Ben the Bold skids Storm to a halt over the fallen knight.
“Do you give up?”he asks.
The Black Night scowls up at Sir Ben and yells, “NEVER!” Grabbing his own broken lance, he springs to his feet and lunges toward Ben the Bold.
Sir Ben spurs Storm into action. The Black Knight’s lance snags the good knight’s cape, pulling it from his shoulders.
Ben blinked and looked down at his blanket pooled on the ground. He grabbed it and ran back into the house. “Mom, can you tie this on me?”
She turned, arched an eyebrow, and stared at Ben.
“Please?” he added hastily.
“Sure, honey.” Mom smiled patiently.
Back outside, a cold, wet nose nudged Ben’s hand.
Ben, the great and powerful wizard turns to face the sleek, black dragon. With a swish of its powerful tail, the dragon barks out a blast of fire.
Ben the Great swings his staff and wards off the flames.
The dragon rears up, its long claws glint in the sunlight.
“I summon water!” Ben the Great cries.
A stream erupts from the end of his staff and drenches the dragon, extinguishing his flame.
The dragon rears again. “Gaaarrrr!”
A powerful paw swipes at Ben the Great. The wizard dodges the attack, but the dragon’s claw snags the cape from his shoulders.
Ben grabbed the blanket, patted his dog on the head and ran back into the house.
“Mom, Rufus pulled this off me!”
“Really?” she asked. “Well, let me tie it back on then.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Ben dashed away.
He stopped just outside the door and looked around trying to remember what he was playing. Tall grass swaying in a gentle breeze drew his attention.
The villainous Thinman jumps onto Super Ben’s hoverboard and speeds off.
“Stop right there, you criminal!” Super Ben calls after the tall, green villain.
He grabs another hoverboard to pursue the Thinman. They zoom through the streets, weaving through traffic. Pedestrians scatter.
Super Ben gains on the Thinman as they speed through the city. At last, the hero is within reach. He leaps off his board and lands on Thinman’s back, sending them tumbling to the ground. Super Ben springs to his feet.
“Nobody steals my hoverboard!” he exclaims.
The tall green villain slowly rises to his feet. Wearing an evil grin, Thinman teases, “Oh, did little Benny get the hoverboard from his mommy?”
Super Ben looks the Thinman straight in the eyes and answers, “Yes, I did!”
Lunging forward, Super Ben grabs at the board but Thinman is too quick. The super hero loses his balance, falling to his knees with a frustrated grunt.
Thinman looks down at Super Ben wearing the same evil grin. But Super Ben raises himself to a squatting position and returns a devilish smirk.
Without warning, Super Ben spins in a lightning fast circle, and with an extended leg, he sweeps the Thinman off his feet.
In slow motion, Thinman falls backward crying, “Nooo!”
Super Ben places his foot on the Thinman’s chest and raises his fists triumphantly in the air. He hears the crowd cheering, “Hooray for Super Ben!”
Then the crowd yelled, “Ben, come in and take a bath!”
Confused, Ben looked around and saw Mom standing in the doorway. His arms dropped to his sides. “Aw, Mom!”
“I know,” Mom said, “you want to keep playing in ‘Ben’s World,’ but we have things to do, and you need to be clean.”
“My Ben-Mom and Ben-Dad don’t make me take a bath,” he whined.
Mom arched an eyebrow. “Oh, now you have a Mom and Dad in your world?”
“Yep,” said Ben, “but I don’t have a big sister!”
Mom smiled. “Well, your Ben-Mom and Ben-Dad don’t take you to the movies, do they?”
The super hero looks down at the Thinman. “This isn’t over!”
Cape flying in the wind, Super Ben speeds off into the house to save the city from invading Soap Beings.
1. What does Ben keep asking his mom to do?
2. What did Ben imagine he was at first?
3. Who did the dragon turn out to be in real life?
4. What did the crowd yell when Super Ben had defeated Thinman? (Who was it really?)