Willakaville looked like any normal place you would see when travelling across the country. Everyone there lived in regular houses. There were typical people going to work, and ordinary kids playing outside. It was everything you would expect in a small town. However, there constantly seemed to be something strange going on. You will see what I mean after I tell you this first story.
Billy was an run-of-the-mill twelve-year-old boy. He was average looking, average height, average weight, average intelligence, average at sports, and average at everything. He never did more or less, than he was supposed to do.
On the way to school, Billy always walked with his friend Charley. They would take the same path down the hill and across the bridge to school. It was not that far, probably less than a mile. It only took them about five minutes to get there.
Charley was less than average in some ways and more than average in others. He was short, clumsy and nerdy looking. However, he was smart, funny and very fast.
Their day started with Billy knocking on Charley’s door. Charley came out and they began their walk to school. Being clumsy, Charley tripped on the sidewalk and fell down. Everything from his backpack fell out. Pencils, pens, books, papers, an old sock and two sticks of gum splattered across the ground.
Billy sighed as he helped Charley pick up all of his gear. Billy groaned, “Charley, why don’t you ever remember to zip up your backpack. Once a week we go through this.”
Charley replied in his tiny voice, “I know, I know. I just get in a hurry and forget.”
Billy replied, “Why don’t you prepare your backpack at night, like I do?”
Charley answered with his head hung low, “You’re right. Guess I will never learn.”
“Don’t worry,” Billy answered. “Keep your head up.”
Even though Charley frustrated Billy sometimes, he knew Charley was a great friend. Charley helped Billy with school and Billy helped Charley with his self-esteem.
They continued their walk. As they went down the hill, they heard a strange noise. It sounded like a little mouse at first. The noise got louder and louder until they reached the bottom of the hill.
Then they heard a tiny, “Help Me! Help Me!”
Both Billy and Charley looked around. However, neither of them could see anyone.
“Down here!” the little voice cried.
They both looked down. Inside a small crack in the sidewalk, was a black ant waving his legs back and forth.
“I am stuck,” the ant said. “Can you please help?”
Billy and Charley could not believe their eyes. How was it possible that an ant could be talking to them? Charley decided to talk first. “Hello Mr. Ant. How can we help you?”
The ant stopped waving his legs and said, “I got stuck on this piece of old chewing gum. Can you help me out?”
Charley replied, “Ok, let me look.” He got down on the ground and looked closely. Sure enough, the ant’s back legs were stuck to some chewing gum. “Hmm.” he said as he pondered how to get the any unstuck. “I will try, but no promises.” He then proceeded to take out a pencil and used it to pry the gum and the ant from the crack.
“Be careful, don’t hurt me please,” the ant pleaded.
Charley loved all animals, including insects. He had to find a way to help the ant. Especially a talking ant. Then he remembered what he learned in science class about solids, liquids and temperature. If he could make the gum cold, it would make it less sticky and the ant would be free.
“Hold on,” said Charley. “I got an idea.” This whole time, Billy just stood there frozen with his mouth open. Even when a bug flew in his mouth, he did not budge. Charley did not even notice. He was too busy trying to help the ant. He reached in his backpack and rustled around. Finally, he pulled out an ice pack from his lunch. He always put one in there to keep his yogurt cool. He hated warm yogurt. He then placed the gum on the ice pack. After a few minutes, the gum became hard and the ant wiggled his way free.
“Thank you so much,” said the ant. “You saved my life.”
Finally, Billy came out of his daze, spit the bug out and asked the ant, “How did you learn to talk?”
“I didn’t,” said the ant. Ants cannot talk. We do not have vocal chords.”
Billy and Charley both stared at each other squinching up their noses with questioning looks.
The ant laughed and said, “Look up.”
Billy and Charley both looked up. There was a little man about two feet tall sitting on a branch high in a tree. He was dressed in all white robes with pure white skin. He had no hair on his body with deep blue eyes.
With a low voice, the man said, “It was I who was speaking to you as if I were the ant. I wanted to see if you two were worthy enough.”
“Worthy enough for what?” said Charley. Billy and Charley were slowly backing away as they waited for the answer.
“Worthy enough for the gignoshlopz award. It is an award given to a being that shows exemplary kindness. Here is your prize.” Then the little man made two jars of mayonnaise appear at the feet of the boys.
The little man continued, “Now before you thank me, I need to sing you a little song.” He continued with a slow melody, “Blortz, Blortz, Gignoshlopz, Porp.” Then, right after the word ‘porp’ he farted, very loudly and disappeared.
The two boys instantly began laughing uncontrollably. They were both rolling on the ground for at least three minutes.
“Did you see?” laughed Billy.
“What in the world?” laughed Charley.
After they had settled down, they got up, grabbed their jars of mayonnaise and headed for school. They did not care at all how boring school would be. They knew no one would believe them, even with the jars of mayonnaise. Nevertheless, they told the story to everyone anyways.
That is how it all started. The weirdness in Willakaville just got weirder and weirder from that point on. If you want to hear more about it, read the next chapter.