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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Life of a Monster

Being a monster can at times be a bad thing. People run away when they see you, they scream in your ears, faint, or come after you with a four-pronged hay fork. But there's a good side to being a monster too. You see, when all the people run away, we monsters go into their houses and take all their food. Monsters never go hungry and we've become quite adept at carrying several things at one time.

Let me introduce myself to you. I'm Randolph. I'm about the size of a rose bush, though I certainly don't smell like roses. Like most other monsters, I have brown hair, two horns on my head and one sticking out of the top of my snout. My tail is long and hairless, with just the right touch of hair at the end.  Some of the girl monsters like to tie ribbons on the end on their tails, for color, but most of us wear our tails as they should be, bare.

Some of the other monsters say things to me like, “Randolph, why don't you brush your teeth, or Randolph you're too fat,” but I just ignore them. Monsters have thick hides and not too many things hurt our feelings, though I would like to share with you one particular day when I did feel rather unhappy.

It started like every other day. I got up, scratched myself and headed for the kitchen. It's not really a kitchen. You see, I live in a cave with a few other monsters and we keep a fire burning 24/7 so we can eat a roasted boar anytime we want. I choose to call this area the kitchen. Anyway, I headed into the kitchen and all I could see were bones. Not one chicken leg, peacock neck or armadillo tail was left. It was time to go out and scare a few people and raid their houses.

Me and the guys, all ten of us, decided to go to town. We spent an hour practicing our scariest monster faces and then took the dirt trail through the forest, down the hill, over the stream to town. We hid behind a few buildings, carefully selecting which people we wanted to scare. Isaak followed one of them home and then ran back to tell us their house was full of food. Off we went, trailing behind Isaak. He was right. When I peeked through the window, I saw the kitchen table covered with food. Actually I saw my reflection in the window and took a few moments to admire myself, then I saw the food. Jeremiah was selected to knock on the door. As soon as the people opened it to answer, we would all spring out and roar. Surely they'd all faint, or at least run out of the house into the forest.

Jeremiah's hairy knuckles rapped on the door. Slowly it creaked open and a man stood there. We all jumped out from behind the bushes, roaring and slobbering. I must say we put on quite a show. I had to control myself from laughing when the man wet his pants and fell backwards into his house. Isaak knocked him out of the way and we rushed inside. A woman and two children saw us and ran upstairs, locking themselves in the bathroom. We felt it best not to disturb them any further. Within five minutes we'd stripped the house of all the food. What a sight we were. Jeremiah carried a whole roasted turkey. Isaak grabbed a pizza and a block of cheddar cheese. Myself, Randolph, carried a watermelon. Aristotle, of course, took the peanut butter and jam. His twin, Ambrosia, took a jug of something with a cork in the top. It must be pretty potent stuff because when he pulled the cork out, his eyes crossed and he grinned from ear to ear. Bartholomew grabbed a loaf of French bread. How lazy. I mean, he's one of the bigger monsters. He could have picked up a bag of apples or at least, some potatoes, but that's the way Bartholomew is. Harrison didn't just take the fruit. He grabbed the whole bowl. The smarty pants carried it on his head. I was quite impressed actually. Christopher grabbed an eggplant. He prefers to call them aubergines, but I call them eggplant. Dominic, the show-off of the group, picked up one measly pear, put it on top of his snout and performed a balancing act as we made our way back to the cave. Always the comedian. I helped Gregory put a pumpkin on his back and he carried it all the way to the cave without even complaining. When we got back to the cave, Harrison started a fire. We ran out of wood and I was selected to go and find more. Oh sure, always let Randolph go and get the wood.  By the time I got back they'd eaten every single morsel of food. I stood there with a bundle of wood in my arms, angrier than a hornet. They didn't even leave me the watermelon rind or pumpkin seeds.

So, as you can see, we monsters have our bad days, just like people do. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be off. We're roasting Elephant a la Francois tonight and I dibbed the trunk. Au revoir!

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