Nicky’s Puppet Surprise
By Rose Butler
By Rose Butler and Nick Squeri
Winter Break at the nearby elementary school was just around the corner, and there was a contest for the most unique puppet or toy. Mrs. Smedley kept reminding the class of how great it was to reuse materials. Even the rules for the contest was printed on recycled paper. Nicky loved that someone could turn objects into something exciting and brand new. Once he got home he gathered any juice boxes, paper, and plastic bottles he could find and brought everything to his room. He had weeks before the contest, so he thought he would work on it another day.
A few weeks later he got out of bed and wondered when the contest was that he forgot about. Monday! Yikes! It was already Friday! He knew he had to work fast once school ended that day. Finally, there was the beautiful puppet that would surely amaze the judges. Monday was here, and his excitement was high!
Putting his puppet on top of his backpack, he sat down at the table to eat his scrambled eggs. His sister sat in her high chair, laughing. “Doggie,” she exclaimed happily!
“No, Tessie, It’s not a doggie,” Nicky corrected his sister.
His mom then glanced at the puppet while she was packing lunches. “What a great anteater,” she remarked as she handed him his lunch.
“It’s not an anteater,” Nicky replied. “It’s not a doggie. It’s not an anteater.” Just as he was placing his bowl in the sink, his older bro ran by. “What a silly-looking elephant,” his brother Kyle exclaimed.
“It’s not an elephant,” Nicky retorted. “It’s not a doggie. It’s not an anteater. And it’s not a silly-looking elephant either.”
Nicky continued out to his bus stop. His neighbor, John, was taking the trash out. “What’s that you made, Nicky? It looks like a frog or a toad.”
Nicky just kept walking. “Ugh. It is far from a frog or a toad,” he said. “It’s not a doggie. It’s not an anteater. It’s not a silly-elephant either. And it’s not a frog or even a toad.”
When the bus arrived he hopped up the stairs. The bus driver was curious and asked, “What’s that thing you got supposed to be? Is it a donkey carrying a load?”
Nicky sat. “It’s not a donkey. It’s not a doggie. It’s not an anteater. It’s not a silly-looking elephant either. It’s not a frog or a toad. And it’s certainly not a donkey carrying a load.” That was that.
He got off the bus and ran into his friend, Drew. Drew was drawn to the puppet. “That’s tight! Did you make that kangaroo by yourself?”
“Not a kangaroo at all.” Nicky said. “It’s not a doggie. It’s not an anteater. It’s not a silly-looking elephant either. It’s not a frog or a toad. It’s not a donkey carrying a load. And it’s not a kangaroo.”
The day went on, and finally it was contest time. Nicky placed his puppet on the table in the hallway along with all the other puppets and toys his classmates had made. There were some that looked like people. There were those who that looked like dragons. There were some that looked like dolls. There were also more that looked like space aliens. But no other puppet or toy looked like Nicky’s puppet.
Mrs. Smedley came up to the table and looked at each creation. When she came to Nicky’s, she stopped and said, “How clever, Nicky. You made a platypus like in the zoo!”
Nicky too a deep breath and said, “It’s not a platypus. It’s not a doggie. It’s not an anteater. It’s not a silly-looking elephant either. It’s not a frog or a toad. It’s not a donkey carrying a load. It’s not a kangaroo. And it’s not a platypus like in the zoo.”
During recess, Nicky heard other kids talking about what others made.
“Did you see the one that was supposed to be a creature from underground? It has to win!” One exclaimed.
“I made a doll from Mars !” One boasted.
“I made a snow creature! Another proudly admitted.
Nicky was a bit nervous now. So many others seemed to have such fascinating puppets and toys. He was just waiting for it to be after recess, and fast!
Recess was now over, and the principal finally came to Nicky’s classroom with a big blue ribbon to give to the student who made the most creative puppet or toy. He had looked at those that looked like people. He looked at those who looked like dragons. He looked at those that looked like dolls. And he looked at those who looked like space aliens. He made sure he gave each one a good look before announcing the winner. He had the winner hidden behind his back.
Standing in the front of the classroom he began to explain, “All the puppets and toys were wonderful, and they all deserve great praise!” He then revealed the winner. “But this was the most creative of them all!” He held Nicky’s puppet high into the air as Nicky’s eyes filled with joy. All the kids cheered! “But wait, who made it?” The entire class yelled, “Nicky!”
Nicky proudly stood, and the principal gave him the blue ribbon. Yet, the principal had to know just one thing. “What is it?” Nicky held the puppet for all to see and said, “ It’s not a doggie. It’s not an anteater. It’s not a silly-looking elephant either. It’s not a frog or a toad. It’s not a donkey carrying a load. It’s not a kangaroo. And it’s not a platypus like in the zoo.”
“Well, what is it!” everyone asked.
“Can’t you tell?” Nicky went on to reveal the mystery with a huge smile , “It’s me, and I’m driving an electric car!” They all gasped in awe. It was surely an excellent surprise.- Total nr. of readings: 384 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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