He was fed up with his teacher. “She’s a stink face.”
He was fed up with his classmates. “They’re nincompoops.”
He was fed up with his family. “They smell like garbage.”
Yes sir, he was fed up with EVERYBODY. So he snorted downstairs, kicked open the back door, and leaped onto Monty’s back. Monty was his pet elephant.
The boy’s family ran after him, screaming.
“Get back inside this instant!” cried Mom.
“Listen to your mother!” cried Pop.
“Ooooooh! You’re gonna get it!” cried Sis.
“Actually,” said Kevin, as calmly as he could, “I’m never coming back inside again. Never.”
“I’ll bet!” Mom laughed.
“Yeah, right!” Pop laughed.
“AWESOME!” Sis laughed. “Can I have his room?”
“That’s it!” screamed Kevin. “Monty … SUCK HER UP!”
The elephant nodded his head. After all, it’s the job of every good pet to do as he’s told. Monty lifted his trunk, and like some amazing vacuum cleaner, sucked the girl up. Sucked her right up, and let out a jungle-sized burp.
“Aieeeeeeee!” screamed his parents. They ran inside the house and locked the door.
“Good boy!” said Kevin, patting the elephant on the head. And the two went thundering down the street.
The first person they met was Kevin’s teacher, Miss Bitternose. She was walking down the middle of the street like she owned it.
“Off the street!” she screeched. “No pets allowed! Elephants must stay on the sidewalk!” She swung her purse around madly.
Kevin smiled and whispered into the elephant’s ear, “Now!”
Monty pointed his trunk at the nasty woman and sucked her up, just like that—purse and all.
“How did she taste?” asked Kevin, smiling devilishly.
Of course the elephant didn’t answer. I mean, who ever heard of a pet elephant that spoke English?
Next, they met a bunch of kids on their way to school.
“Hey, it’s big ears!” said Billy C.
“Yeah, it’s big nose!” said Sally B.
“And he’s riding an elephant!” said Amy Z. Then all the kids fell over, squealing like a bunch of piglets.
“Very funny,” said Kevin. “You know what to do,” he whispered to Monty.
Monty made an incredible jungle noise, and then….
He sucked up Billy C (but left behind his backpack.)
He slurped up Sally B (but not her skipping rope.
He swallowed Amy Z (but spit out her pigtails—wouldn’t you?)
“Good boy!” said Kevin. “Now, suck up the WHOLE SCHOOL!”
The elephant shrugged his shoulders and tried.
First, Monty sucked up the students.
“Have a nice trip!” said Kevin, snickering.
Then Monty sucked up the bricks.
“Too bad.” Kevin giggled. “They were the smartest things in the school!”
Last of all he sucked up the other teachers (but spit out the principal—wouldn’t you?)
“Kevin, come here this instant!” shouted two familiar voices. The boy turned his head.
It was Mom and Pop. “Come here,” they repeated. “This has gone on long enough.”
“All right,” he said in a strangely sweet voice. “I’m coming.”
Well, he came closer and closer, and went faster and faster. It didn’t look like he was going to stop!
“Ooooeeeeee!” screamed his parents.
Kevin chased them up the street, and he chased them down. He chased them round and round the block. He chased them down an alley. Trapped!
“Have I ever mentioned,” said Mom, shaking, “what a very good boy you are?”
“Oh, yes,” said Pop, shaking harder. “And I know one very good little boy who just might be getting two—n-no, three desserts after supper.” Pop coughed and added, in case there was any confusion, “His name is Kevin.”
“Hmm, let me see,” said the boy. He stared up into the sky for a long time. Perhaps he was thinking of all the nice things his parents had done for him over the years, like buy him presents and take him on camping trips. Perhaps he was thinking how important it is to forgive people, no matter what they do. After a couple minutes, Kevin nodded his head, and said, “All right, I’ve decided. SUCK ’EM UP!” (I guess he wasn’t thinking of all those things).
“Zoweeeeeee!” cried his parents. In a few slurpy seconds, Kevin and the elephant were the only ones left in the alley, except a ragged old alley cat.
“And suck up the cat, too!”
Monty did as he was told. The tail vanished up his trunk like a piece of spaghetti.
“Now suck up the whole city!”
It was hard, but Monty did it.
“Now the whole country!”
This was even harder, and it took a few minutes, but Monty did it.
“Now the whole silly world!” shouted Kevin.
This took a very long time and was a lot like sucking up a grapefruit through a straw, but somehow Monty managed it. Well, he didn’t quite suck up everything. All that was left was Kevin’s backyard, a big square that floated around in space. Monty stood right in the middle.
“At last!” cried the boy, hopping onto the ground. “I’m free! I win! There’s no one left to bother me! No one to tell me what to do! No one, no one, no one, NOOOOOOO—”
Too bad there wasn’t someone left to tell him he’d just stepped way too close to the edge of the square. For a second, Kevin whirled his arms around like a hummingbird. He teetered this way, tottered the other, and toppled right over the edge! Lucky for him, he was able to grab hold of the lawn with one hand. He dangled there, holding on with fingers, kicking his feet out into space.
“Monty, help!” he cried.
Monty just sat there, blinking.
One finger slipped.
The elephant looked left and right, and still sat there blinking.
Another finger slipped.
Monty twisted and untwisted his trunk and still sat there blinking.
“You’re supposed to follow instructions!”
A third finger slipped. A fourth. The last finger shook.
And then—something strange happened. Monty’s trunk began to twitch. He lifted it, squinted his eyes, and let out a terrific sneeze. Out flew Kevin’s sister!
“Hold on!” she cried, grabbing Kevin’s hand just in time. “I’ve got ya … uuuurg … but you’re too heavy!”
Monty let out another sneeze. Out flew Kevin’s teacher, Miss Bitternose.
“Hold on, hold on! You’ve got to do it the proper way!” she hollered, grabbing hold of Sis just in time. “I’ve got you … uuuurg … but you’re still too heavy!”
Monty sneezed again. Out popped all the kids and teachers from Kevin’s school.
“HOOOOLD ON!” they shouted, grabbing hold of Miss Bitternose. “Got ya! Whoa … you’re still too heavy!”
Luckily, Monty sneezed out Kevin’s mother and father.
“Uh-oh!” cried everyone. Monty’s cheeks were puffing out bigger and bigger, like he was going to have the hugest, most incredible jungle-sneeze in the whole universe.
Kevin, his Sis, his Mom and Pop, the teachers, and all the students plugged their ears and closed their eyes.
The ground shook and the air whistled; there were noises like cannon balls exploding. And when everyone opened their eyes again, the world was back to normal! The elephant had sneezed up the school, the city, the country, the whole silly planet—even the alley cat. Everything was exactly as it was before, except covered in elephant snot. Gross!
Kevin looked very embarrassed. “I’m sorry, everybody,” he said. “Really truly. I think I might have learned a lesson—maybe. I’m pretty lucky to have friends like you guys. Hey, the next time I’m angry, I’ll just make a castle out of blocks and … and smash it to pieces!”
“HOORAY!” yelled everybody. It was the best news they’d heard all week.
“Kevin,” said Mom, “I’m so proud of you!”
“You’re okay, I guess,” said Sis.
“I know a very special boy,” said Pop, “who’s grounded for a month!”
Well, you didn’t think they’d let him get away with it, did you?
The next day, when Kevin stepped out of bed, he felt FED UP.
He was still fed up with his teacher. “She gives me too much homework!”
He was still fed up with his classmates. “They cheat at chain-tag.”
And most of all, he was fed up with being grounded. “Why should I have to stay cooped up in my room all day?”
Yes sir, he was fed up with EVERYBODY.
So he quietly shut the door, carefully took out his building blocks, made a magnificent castle, then SMASHED IT TO PIECES.
And he felt much better. (Wouldn’t you?)
1. What did Kevin do when he was “fed up”?
2. Who was the first person Kevin told Monty to suck up?
3. What was the only thing left after Monty had sucked up the whole world?
4. What did Monty do when Kevin was hanging from the edge?
5. What did Kevin do the next time he was fed up?