A Baby Monster And The Boy Who Did Not Like Pickles

 Once upon a time there was a boy named Oscar who liked to eat pizza. He also liked peanut butter, cucumbers, tomatoes and apples but he DID NOT like pickles. He did not-not like pickles a little. He did not like pickles at all.

Every day Oscar’s mother walked with him through the scary Monster Forest to school.

Some of the people in the town told Oscar and his mother that Monsters were mean and bad but Oscar and his mom saw lots of them on their daily walks and even though these monsters were forty feet tall, very loud and very hairy they were always friendly to Oscar and his mom because monsters loved their children and they could see how much Oscar’s mom loved Oscar.

One day in the deepest, darkest, spookiest part of the Monster Forest they heard a sound they had never heard before. It sounded a little like a Monster growl but instead of the big loud GROWL they were used to hearing it was a high-pitched squeaky little growl.

They followed the sound to the base of a monster tree (those are the trees that the monsters live in and since monsters grow to be forty feet tall you can imagine that the trees they live in are very big-maybe a thousand feet tall or a hexaca, texaca jillion feet tall.) There at the base of a hexaca-texaca-jillion foot tall tree they saw a little fuzzy baby monster that was about as big as an apple (not a monster apple because those are as big as basketballs) but a regular boy size apple.

When Oscar looked into the purple eyes of the baby monster he knew two things: That the baby was lost, that he needed something to eat, and that he would name him Fuzzball.

I know, that’s three things. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention but you’re very smart and I don’t think I can trick you.

Oscar and his mom yelled as loud as they could up toward the trees “did any monsters lose a BAY-BEE?” No one answered so they did it again. Maybe if we all do it together it will be loud enough so the parents could hear it even if they are so high in the trees that their heads are in the clouds. Let’s try it. “DID ANY MONSTERS LOSE A BAY-BEE?” No one answered.

Oscar’s Mother said, “We can’t leave this baby here. We’ll bring him home, feed him and keep him warm by the fireplace.” So Oscar’s Mom picked up Fuzzball who was as big as an apple (not a monster apple because those are as big as a … ? Basketball– No. A beach ball … and a basketball.) And she put him gently in her purse and she and Oscar continued walking home.

They were almost to the edge of the scary Monster Forest when they came to a tree that had a group of Monsters in it and they were singing this song:

Monster tea, monster tea

We love to drink our monster tea

It makes us want to dance and sing

We love to drink our monster tea

Oscar and his mom yelled, “DID ANY MONSTERS LOSE A BAY-BEE?” The singing stopped and a monster growled (which sounded scary but that’s just the way they talk) “No. None of us has lost a baby.” Oscar’s mom said, “Well, we found one and we’re going to feed it and keep it warm and we’ll come back every day to try to find his parents.” “Okay”, they growled and went back to singing their monster tea song.

When they got home Oscar gave Fuzzball a slice of his favorite pizza. Fuzzball took one bite and spit it out on the floor making this sound “Pitui.” Then Oscar gave him a peanut butter sandwich–“Pitui, pitui.” Two pituis? “Fuzzball doesn’t like peanut butter more than he doesn’t like pizza,” said Oscar. “Maybe he just doesn’t like foods that begin with the letter P.” So he gave him a cucumber a tomato and an apple–“Pitui, pitui, pitui.”

Fuzzball was getting very angry and sad which made Oscar feel terrible because he loved the little guy but he couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t eat any of the yummiest foods in the world.

Oscar’s mom said, “We must learn what foods are best to feed to a baby monster.” So she decided to look it up on the internet but because this was the olden days when there were no computers and cell phones the internet was made out of paper. She turned the pages of the giant internet book. And there on page one thousand six hundred and fifty two of the chapter on the eating habits of baby monsters she read that the only food that baby monsters ever eat is … can you guess? Yes. PICKLES!

This information made Oscar so angry that he grabbed his own throat, fell on the floor, started spinning in a circle and screaming, “I don’t like pickles. I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to touch them. I do not want them on my plate near my pizza and apples and I Do Not want to feed them to Fuzzball!

When Oscar’s mother picked him up off the floor his arms were still waving and he was still screaming, “no pickles, no pickles, no pickles!” She plunked him down at the table and said, “Oscar, it is okay for you to not like pickles but it is not even a little bit okay for you to scream and spin in circles on the floor for any reason. This situation with Fuzzball is a little bit complicated and screaming and spinning only makes a complicated situation worse. Look at Fuzzball’s face,” she said. Oscar looked and could tell that all the yelling made Fuzzball sad and scared.

Oscar’s mom said, “You need to decide whether you love Fuzzball more than you do not love pickles.” She placed a big jar of pickles on the table, opened the cover and walked away.

Oscar stared at the jar. Then he looked at Fuzzball whose purple eyes were wide with excitement. He was smiling and bouncing up and down in the chair like a rubber ball. (Not a monster size rubber ball because those are as big as … ? Beach balls.

No. Those big rubber balls with the handle on them that you sit on and bounce across the room … and beach balls and basketballs.)

Oscar went to the cabinet and grabbed the fork with the longest handle. Then he held his nose with one hand and stretched his arm out as far from his body as possible and plunged that fork into the jar and into a big yucky pickle. Then keeping that pickle as far away from his nose as possible he dropped the fork with the pickle still stuck to it on a plate that his mother had put in front of Fuzzball.

When Fuzzball ate the pickle he grew two inches, smiled a happy monster baby smile and fell asleep.

Oscar and his mother brought Fuzzball with them everyday on their walk through the forest and every day they would yell “DID ANY MONSTERS LOSE A BAY-BEE” Well, Oscar and his mom would yell that but Fuzzball just yelled “Growl, growl, growl. Growl, growl, growl, growl, growl, growl.” Because he was a baby and that was the only word he could say.

But no one ever answered the calls.

In the year that followed you might think that Oscar learned to love pickles – he didn’t. But he did eventually learn to feed them to Fuzzball without holding his nose and being angry about it.

When Fuzzball got bigger and learned how to talk he and Oscar would eat lunch together every day. And every day Oscar would have pizza or peanut butter, cucumbers, tomatoes or apples and Fuzzball would have … broccoli –

No!-pickles of course.

Each day Oscar would say, “Fuzzball you are my best friend but I will never understand why you like the taste of yucky, gucky, stinky pickles.” And Fuzzball would say, “ Oscar you are my best friend but I will never understand why you do not like the taste of yummy delicious pickles and why you DO like the taste of stinky, smelly, yucky pizza.” And then they would laugh and laugh.

Because Fuzzball grew two inches every time he ate a pickle (and he ate three pickles every day} he got so big that he could hardly fit through the door to Oscar’s house. He and his Mom were planning to find him a tree in the Monster Forest and help him build his own house. But because they weren’t monsters, were not forty feet tall and had never built a monster home before they were pretty sure that they would need an adult monster to help them.

It was at this time that two adult monsters walked into Oscar’s yard and knocked on his door. They didn’t knock with their hands of course because they were forty feet tall and would have to lie on the ground to do that. Instead they knocked on Oscar’s door with their toes.

When Oscar and his mother opened the door they were staring at the hairy kneecaps of two giant monsters.

Oscar got a ladder, leaned it against the house, climbed to the roof and then to the top of the chimney so he was face to face with the two giant monsters and said, “My name is Oscar.” Just then Fuzzball squeezed out of the front door. Oscar noticed that when the adult monsters saw Fuzzball they looked uncomfortable and nervous.

They looked at Fuzzball and then they looked at Oscar and said, “We are Fuzzball’s mother and father. One year ago when you found him we were having a lot of problems because we were drinking too much monster tea. It made us stay up all night dancing and singing. And all that dancing and singing made us so tired that we slept all day. And because we were sleeping all day we weren’t going to the Monster Market to buy enough pickles to feed fuzzball so he could grow hairy and strong and forty feet tall. We were very disappointed in ourselves and we knew that it would take a long time for us to learn how to live without drinking monster tea every day so we decided to put Fuzzball where you and your mom would find him because we saw how nice and kind and friendly you were and we saw that your mom took really good care of you. And we wanted our baby to have a great life. It was a very complicated situation and a VERY hard decision for us to make.”

Oscar thought that these monsters were here to take Fuzzball away from him and his Mom and he GOT ANGRY. He was so angry that he was about to fall on the floor, spin in circles and scream at them but he realized he was on top of the chimney, on top of the roof and there was no floor to fall and spin on. He wanted to yell at them and say, “You cannot come here and take Fuzzball away from me. He is my best friend. I fed him stinky, yucky, gucky pickles every day for a year while you were up in the trees drinking stupid monster tea!” But before he could say any of that he looked into the faces of the monsters and he could see that they were sad and disappointed with themselves. Then he looked at his mom and he could see that she looked sad and nervous AND then he looked at Fuzzball and Fuzzball’s face seemed to show all the feelings that everyone was having. He looked sad, happy, angry, scared, but mostly confused.

Oscar realized that this was a complicated situation and that everyone had a lot of different feelings about it and he remembered that his mother once said, “Screaming and spinning only make a complicated situation worse.” So he decided not to yell because it might make everyone cry, including Fuzzball. So instead he asked, “Are you here to take my best friend away from me?”

The two monsters looked at each other and smiled. Then they said, “No, Oscar, we came here to thank you and your mom for taking such good care of him while we were trying to stop drinking monster tea and trying to fix our other problems. It was a very hard decision for us to give him up to you but seeing how big and strong and hairy and full of pickles he is we know that we made the right decision. And we wanted to let you know that we do not drink monster tea any more and that all of you are welcome to visit us in the Monster Forest. (They don’t call it the scary monster forest because of course, monsters don’t think that monsters are scary.)

Fuzzball looked at Oscar and his mom and then he gave the adult monsters a big hug. He said, “Oscar and his mom are my family now but I think we can all be great friends. In fact, I am almost too big to fit in the house any more and I need to build my own house in a monster tree. But I’ve never done it before and Oscar and his mom are not even big enough to reach the lowest branches (Because they don’t eat enough pickles,” he whispered.) “So maybe you could help me?”

They said, “Yes, of course. We would love, love, love to help you build a house. In fact there is a monster tree right next to ours that would be perfect.”

Oscar looked at all the faces–His mom’s, Fuzzball’s and the adult monsters’ and he could see that they were all smiling and happy. And even though he couldn’t see his own face he was sure that it had a big smile on it.

Everyone in Fuzzball’s two families worked together and built him a nice house. They even added a ladder that reached from the lowest branch to the ground so Oscar and his mom could climb up whenever they wanted to visit … and they wanted to visit a lot. Often they would come over to Fuzzball’s new house for lunch. Oscar’s mom would bring pizza for Oscar and for Fuzzball she would bring asparagus? Broccoli? No. Pickles of course.

Every day at lunch Oscar would say to Fuzzball, “You are my brother and my best friend but I will NEVER understand why you like the taste of horrible, yucky, gucky, stinky pickles.” Then Fuzzball would say, “Oscar you are my brother and my best friend but I will NEVER understand why you like the horrible yucky, gucky, stinky taste of pizza. And then they would each say these words together – pitui, pitui, pitui! And all the people and monsters in Oscar’s and Fuzzball’s family would laugh and laugh because they knew that because everyone is different sometimes things get complicated. And spinning on the floor and screaming always makes a complicated situation worse but … laughing with your best friend while he eats something you think is yucky never does and it is really, really fun.

Pi – tui.