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The Boy With Orange Hair

by Bill Bowler

Table of Contents
Chapter 3 and Chapter 5
appear in this issue.
Chapter 4

“Crabby Crayfish!?” cried General Rickrack. “Who is Crabby Crayfish?”

“He’s Queezy Q. Quigley III’s second cousin once removed,” said Gerry the friendly groundhog, “and one of the meanest guys in America.”

“Well,” said the boy with orange hair, “find Crayfish and you’ll find your ice cream.”

“Well, what are we waiting for?!” shouted Gerry. “Let’s get going!”

“Good luck, guys,” said the President. “America is counting on you.”

But the President’s information was not completely accurate. All of the ice cream in America was missing EXCEPT for one last pint of chocolate chocolate chip that had fallen behind a box of frozen pizza in the back of Granny Whackum’s freezer in the kitchen of her little farm house near the Snake River in Bliss, Idaho.

Now, Granny Whackum — who was 99 and three quarters years old and had only one tooth left — loved ice cream more than anything, more than spaghetti, more than pizza with anchovies, more than oatmeal raisin cookies, more than butterscotch pudding, and chocolate chocolate chip ice cream was her favorite of all. She was sitting on her front porch rocking in her rocking chair that same afternoon when she heard a loud bang in the yard behind her house.

“Hmm,” she said to herself, “I wonder what that was?”

She got up slowly from her rocking chair, took her cane and hobbled around the house to the back yard where she saw that a Fokker tri-plane had landed in her garden and a strange person was climbing out of the plane and standing on her tomatoes.

“Hello,” growled the stranger.

“Hello, sonny,” said Granny Whackum.

“I’m thirsty,” growled the stranger, “can I please have a glass of milk.”

“Of course,” said Granny Whackum. “Come with me. Watch the tomatoes.”

And they walked around to the front of the house, up across the porch, into the house, and into the kitchen. Granny Whackum took a glass from the cupboard and opened the refrigerator door to get a milk carton, and that’s when it happened. Something so odd, so unexpected, so unbelievable that Granny Whackum could not possibly have been prepared.

The stranger suddenly leaned over Granny’s shoulder, pulled open the freezer door, reached in and grabbed the last pint of chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, and ran out the front door. Before Granny Whackum had time to think, she heard the engine start up in her back yard and through the kitchen window she saw the Fokker taxi out of her garden, across the back yard, and take off heading west.

“HELP!” cried Granny Whackum and she hobbled out into her front yard. “HE-E-ELP! HE-E-ELP! HE STOLE MY ICE CREAM!! HE-E-ELP!!!”

At just that moment, the boy with orange hair, Gerry the groundhog, and General Ralph Rickrack were flying low over Bliss, Idaho, in the Saturn 9. They had been searching through California, Oregon and the Western states for any sign of ice cream but so far they had not found a single clue. They were flying low, at 2,000 feet altitude, over the winding, glittering ribbon of the Snake River, when they heard something faint from below.

“Did you hear that?” asked Gerry the friendly groundhog.

“What?” asked the boy with orange hair.

“That noise,” said Gerry.

“Someone’s crying down there,” said General Rickrack.

“Someone’s calling for help!” said Gerry.

“Let’s go down and take a look,” said the boy with orange hair.

He pulled back on the throttle, dropped the tail, and brought the Saturn 9 in for a landing next to Granny Whackum’s house. When they opened the hatch and climbed out of the rocket, they saw a very very old woman with gray hair and a wrinkled face crying and crying.

“He stole my ice cream!” she wailed. “My last pint of chocolate chocolate chip. And now it’s gone. WAHHHHHH!”

“Excuse me,” said the boy with orange hair.

Granny Whackum looked up.

“Maybe we can help,” said Gerry the groundhog.

“Tell us what happened,” said General Rickrack.

“He just reached in and grabbed my ice cream and took off and flew away. WAAAAHHH!” cried Granny Whackum.

“What did he look like?” asked Gerry.

“He was short and round and bald, and had pointy ears and pointy yellow teeth and bloodshot eyes and his voice was kind of growly.”

“Crabby Crayfish!!” they all shouted at once.

“Did you happen to notice, ma’am,” said General Rickrack, “which direction he flew?”

“That way,” said Granny Whackum, pointing west.

“OK,” said the boy, “let’s go. And don’t you worry, Granny Whackum. We’ll find him and get your ice cream back.”

“Thank you, guys. Thank you,” cried Granny Whackum.

They ran back to the Saturn 9, blasted off, and headed west after Crayfish at full throttle.

Proceed to Chapter 5...

Copyright © 2007 by Bill Bowler

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