Bewildering Stories



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The Rest of Spring

Aerin Drek

"What's your name? We never knew," asked Aranea one day.

"Oh, it's Wilbur."

"Wilbur! That's a great name! Who named you?" said Joy.

"The Arable girl, Fern."

"Who's Fern?" said Nellie.

"She saved me from getting killed!"

"But I thought my mother saved you!" said Joy.

"Your mother saved me later. Fern saved me as a baby!"

"Oh," said Joy, Aranea, and Nellie.

***

In a few days, Wilbur got thinner and thinner. Templeton never cared about poor Wilbur; he kept on eating a lot, making Wilbur starve.

"Never break a promise! So let me eat first!" said Templeton rudely.

It was April, and Wilbur knew he was dying.

That crazy rat! Eating too much and trying to kill me! I don't think so! he thought.

"Hey, Templeton! You keep making me starve! Give me enough food to eat!" shouted Wilbur.

"Never break a promise! Ah-ah-ah. Never break a promise! You promised. Who said you didn't, huh? Never break a promise!" said Templeton.

"Oh, gosh," sighed Wilbur. He kicked manure onto the rat and into his lair.

"Manure! Manure! Manure! I hate manure over me!" He threw a manureball at Wilbur.

"What!" Wilbur shouted. "Just stop this manurefight!"

"All right."

Templeton ate and ate.

***

Mr. Zuckerman was sleeping with a nightmare. Before the fair, he dreamed of a giant Wilbur. But right now he was dreaming of a giant Templeton taking over town.

He woke up. Pheww!! he thought.

But when he looked out the window, he saw a real life giant rat!

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

"Edith! The rat grew big!"

"Homer, I know you're kidding!"

"But-"

"No such thing!"

Suddenly, he saw a dead pig lying near the giant rat. It was Wilbur!

"Oh, no!" he said. "Wilbur's dead!"

"No such-". Then Mrs. Zuckerman saw the giant rat and the dead pig.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

The Zuckermans ran all the way to the Arables.

"Wilbur's dead! Wilbur's dead! The rat grew huge! The rat grew huge!"

"No such thing as a gigantic rat, but I do believe that Wilbur's dead!" said John Arable.

Everybody rushed into the Arables' truck, and John Arable drove right into the farm and started crashing into big Templeton.

"Why did I eat so much?" Templeton asked himself.

The Arables' truck pushed Templeton all the way to the woods, and killed him.

"Whoa! We killed the rat and whoa! Look at the truck!" Mr. Arable yelled.

The truck looked like if it was from a forbidden junkyard.

"Look at that!" hollered Mr. Zuckerman.

"What happened to the pig?" asked Avery.

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Fern, when she saw Wilbur lying on the ground with tire marks over him. "You killed Wilbur!"

"He was already dead."

Fern sobbed and sobbed.

Half an hour later, when Joy, Aranea, and Nellie woke up, Fern was still crying.

"Where's Wilbur?" asked Joy.

"He's dead!" said Aranea and Nellie.

"Oh, no!"

"So Wilbur's dead," said Aranea one day.

"Let's move away," said Nellie.

"Okay," said Joy.

They stood on their heads, let out a string of silk, and formed a balloon. Then they floated away.

Copyright 2002 by Aerin Drek.