Tag Archives: Fiction

Seven Rabbits

Seven Rabbits
By Dan Bergstein

There were seven identical rabbits, and because they were each named Monroe, the only way you could tell them apart was by the color of their capes. This was all fine and good most days, but on laundry day, when the rabbits washed the capes in the river and dried them on the tree branch, it made things very difficult.

One such day, Monroe attempted to organize a game of baseball while the capes dried, and so he said, “The teams will be Monroe, Monroe, Monroe, and Monroe against Monroe, Monroe, and Monroe.” The fighting and bickering lasted well past laundry day as each Monroe attempted to be on the very best team. And there were many shouts of, “Did you mean Monroe, or the other Monroe?” Everyone ended up with a headache. Continue reading Seven Rabbits

Veronica Is Not Afraid

Veronica is Not Afraid
By Dan Bergstein

Veronica is not afraid of the monsters under the bed because she knows they are very friendly and not scary at all.

Veronica is not afraid of the ghoul in the closet because the ghoul helps Veronica pick out fun clothes to wear.

Veronica is not afraid of the goblin in the attic, whose name is Minker, because Minker is very funny and tells great stories.

Veronica is not afraid of the troll in the basement, whose name is Hollow Jack, because Hollow Jack taught Veronica how to play chess.

Veronica is not afraid of the ghost in the garage because the ghost is very old and is an expert historian who knows so very much.

Veronica is not afraid of the monkey-bird in the shed because the monkey-bird sleeps most of the time.

Veronica is not afraid of the old woman in the mirror because the old woman in the mirror always compliments Veronica’s hair and gives such wonderful beauty tips.

Veronica is not afraid of the serpent behind the wall because she learned in school that snakes are not scary and if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.

Veronica is not afraid of the painting in the hallway that comes to life during a full moon, because the man in the painting is a very good listener.

Veronica is not afraid of the Mole-Man who lives under the house because the Mole-Man plays such beautiful music on his violin.

Veronica is not afraid of the skull under the kitchen sink because the skull has such a silly laugh.

And Veronica is not afraid of the phantom hiding inside the pipes because the phantom promised not to bite.

Nope, Veronica is not afraid of any of the monsters in your house. She’s only worried you’ll come home soon and find her.

Daylight Savings

Daylight Savings
By Dan Bergstein

It was the second Sunday of March, and so Max was standing in line at the bank eager to withdraw his Daylight Savings. He had saved so much daylight this year, more than he had ever saved before. For the past six months, Max had deposited every ray, gleam, glow and beam of extra daylight, even if it meant waking up at dark and going to bed at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

Max knew that if you saved enough daylight during those cold winter months, you could withdraw it on the second Sunday of March and spend the daylight any way you’d like.

Some would use their saved daylight a little at a time, spending a few rays of sunshine during the relaxed summer nights. But Max had bigger plans. He would use his saved daylight to explore Tunkman’s Cave! And if there was enough daylight left over, he would have an all-night picnic with his friends. Continue reading Daylight Savings

Bedtime Story: Zippedimus Cue

Zippedimus Cue
By Dan Bergstein

I can’t tell you anything about Zippedimus Cue.
If I did tell you something, I don’t know what he’d do.
I can’t tell you anything about Zippedimus Cue.
Or his dogs or his cats or his helium stew.

I never met him and never knew him and never went to his house.
I know nothing about him and I don’t know his spouse.
And I know even less about his titanic mouse.
And I never saw him wearing his blue polka dot blouse.

I’ve heard that he’s tall but allergic to height.
And there have been rumors of his teeth made of flashing red light.
And we all know he used nine owls on that terrible night.
But how can you prove his mom’s tongue was pure white?

I know he hates attics and invents new types of whips.
I’ve read only twelve of his novels and five of his scripts.
And he works underground or while sailing on ships.
He calls his left eye “My Dragon” and his right “The Eclipse.”

I don’t know him at all, so how can I tell,
If his underground lighthouse is really a well?
And it’s not for me to say where he learned that one spell,
That turns chickens to trees at the sound of the bell.

Don’t ask me his age or his favorite song,
Though I think he’s 107 and sings with a gong.
And I know he once was an astronaut but something went wrong.
His neighbor has told me, “His toes are too strong!”

Zippedimus Cue has a daughter he made out of clay.
At night you can hear her turn gold into hay.
And did you know he makes candy in the forbidden way?
And he owns a pet rabbit with wings — at least that’s what they say.

I’ve heard he has a sister who married a bee.
And I think his first finger is shaped like a brass key.
And there’s one other thing I know of ol’ Z,
All of this time did you know he is me?

The Terrible Giant

The Terrible Giant
By Dan Bergstein

The terrible giant returned to his castle in the mountains and sat on his giant wooden throne next to his giant hound with its giant teeth.

The giant said to his giant wife, “I have been to every country, every nation, every town, every village. I have seen every animal, every person, every bug, and every tree. I have eaten every fruit and every vegetable and every grain. I have drank from every river and every lake and every pond. And I have slept beneath every star and every planet and every sky.”

“And what have you learned, my dear,” his wife asked.

The giant drank from his giant mug and wiped his giant face with his giant hand. Then he said:

“I met a small girl in a small village in a small country. She was no taller than my knee. And when she saw me she did not run and scream like all other children. ‘Why don’t you scream,’ I asked her. ‘Why should I scream,’ she answered. ‘Because I am tall and strong and mean,’ I yelled. She looked at me and said, ‘You are only tall because I am small. You are only strong because I am weak. And you are only mean because I am kind.'”

The giant walked to the window and looked out. His wife asked, “What happened to the girl?”

“I told the villagers to keep her safe at all costs,” said the giant. “I built her a new, safe home and gave her all of my gold. If anything terrible happens to her, if she is gone, then I am not tall, or strong, or mean.”

And the terrible giant took the chain leash of his giant hound and he and the hound walked out into the mountain fog.

Doug Climbs a Tree

Doug Climbs a Tree
By Dan Bergstein

Doug couldn’t climb trees. He tried and tried, but couldn’t do it. His arms were too weak, his legs too short and, above all else, he didn’t know how to climb a tree. No one taught him.

The other kids teased Doug. They said, “You’ll never climb a tree!” And then they would run and climb the nearest tree and shout and laugh from the top of the tree.

And Doug was sad. Continue reading Doug Climbs a Tree

Daily Transmission #29: Roof Gnomes

Roof Gnomes
By Dan Bergstein

I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I think you should know — there are three gnomes living on your roof. They are Roof Gnomes.

I use the word “gnome” but they look nothing like storybook gnomes who wear red pointy caps and have white beards. Roof gnomes wear green caps, first of all. They don’t usually have beards. And they are quicker and more nimble than typical gnomes. They also have longer fingers and toes, which is how they stay balanced on roofs. They are very good at balancing.

Roof gnomes aren’t even their true name. In olden times, they were called Himps. And before roofs were invented, Himps lived in trees. Himps must live as high as possible because if a Himp touches the ground, there is a loud SNAP and the Himp disappears forever.

That’s the rule of Himps. They cannot touch the ground. Continue reading Daily Transmission #29: Roof Gnomes

Daily Transmission #26: The Rhinoceros Ride (Part 4, the Finale!)

Catch up on
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

And now the thrilling conclusion to the story!

At this point in the story, things become quite violent. If you are reading this story aloud to a group of small children, please read the following sentence, and then skip everything else.

Baxter saved everyone and it was happy and there were so many flowers and so much candy and a big turkey dinner with buckets of mashed potatoes and no one was hurt and goodnight!

The End

And now stop reading this story aloud to small children. Don’t even read this part because then the little children will say, “But there’s more. You are still reading and there is clearly more story, and now that I think about it, the ending makes little sense and why was there a turkey dinner and what happened to the blue man and where did Baxter come from?” Then you’ll be in a real pickle and you’ll be forced to read the rest of the story, even the violent and scary bits, because what really happened was far more brutal than that stuff above about flowers and candy.

I can’t help you now. You’re too far along. If the little children have trouble sleeping and start crying, it’s your own fault.

Where were we… Continue reading Daily Transmission #26: The Rhinoceros Ride (Part 4, the Finale!)

Daily Transmission #25: The Rhinoceros Ride (Part 3)

Catch up on Part One and Part Two!

The sky seemed darker here. The air smelled different with a hint of stale mint that collected on the back of the tongue. The trees were more twisted and gnarled. The houses were taller and the road felt harder. At least three different dogs, and perhaps one wolf, barked in the distance.

They were beyond the street light.

Lucas and Bradley said nothing when the crossed the street light eight houses down from Bradley’s home. They knew what they had done — they had broken the rules and gone too far.

And now their minds were racing with thoughts of: Where is Baxter the rhinoceros? Will we get in trouble for crossing the boundary? Why does everything look strange here? Who is that man dressed in blue? Will he hurt Baxter? Will he hurt us? Where did they go? How many miles have we walked? We’re in so much trouble.

To have all those thoughts at once makes your belly feel sour, but Bradley and Lucas knew they had to keep going. They had to find Baxter! Continue reading Daily Transmission #25: The Rhinoceros Ride (Part 3)

Transmission #23: The Rhinoceros Ride (Part 2)

(Click here for PART ONE)

“Did you order it from the store?” Lucas asked as he walked besides Bradley who was proudly riding the rhinoceros named Baxter.

“You can’t order them from a store,” Bradley say, as he steered Baxter this way and that way. Riding a rhinoceros was difficult, more difficult than Bradley had ever imagined…if Bradley had ever imagined it. With every powerful step Baxter took, Bradley nearly fell off to the side of the animal and had to maintain balance by holding the rope leash tight and maneuvering his backside with muscles that had never muscled before. It was difficult, but Bradley didn’t mind. He was happy to have a pet.

“It must have come from the zoo, then. You must’ve stolen it,” Lucas said.

“I did not steal it. I wished for him and he appeared. It’s as simple as that,” Bradley said. He had to shout down to Lucas because he was sitting so high up on Baxter’s back and because riding a mighty rhinoceros made one feel very important and kingly, and kings always shouted down to the people. Continue reading Transmission #23: The Rhinoceros Ride (Part 2)