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Kaela Taylor "Please Stop Mr Charlie"

Page history last edited by michianawriterscenter@... 9 years, 10 months ago

Please Stop Mr. Charlie!”

by Kaela Taylor, 6th grade

LaSalle Intermediate Academy, SBCSC


     I lay on the unmade bed, listening to my IPod while reading a fashion magazine. I was just to the part about how you’re supposed to create the perfect look for winter when I heard, “Charlotte, Charlotte!”

      Ugh. Mom was calling. I turned up the volume on my IPod. Mom was the crafty and outdoorsy type of woman . . . still at twenty-five years old. Let’s say we didn’t have the best relationship.

      A woman strutted into my room, not caring enough to knock. She had blond hair to her waist and pale blue eyes. That’s a person I like to call Mom.

      “Why don’t you go up outside.” It wasn’t really a question, simply a command.

      “But, Mom . . .”

      “I’m sick of this! Your grandfather bought this huge country house when I was a little girl, and I loved it. I still do! I never spent a second inside this house, though it is quite nice. There is just way too much to explore. The creek in the woods! You could go swimming there! Or maybe meet some cool animals . . . ” I didn’t know if I heard her mutter “talkative” under her breath or not.

      “And the cornfield! I used to pretend I was hunting robbers! There’s so much to do, but you only sit in this house with your electronics!”

      I huffed. “Welcome to the twenty-first century, Mom. Maybe if the pool was open, I’d be going outside!” I told her.

      “Next weekend!” she said, this time almost pleadingly. “I know I told you that yesterday!”

      I rolled my eyes and pushed past her, saying, “You said that last weekend” as I purposely bumped into her.

      I went outside and ran down into the woods. Bees swarmed and flew around my head, which I swiped away furiously. After a few minutes of running, the sunlight started fading. The dense trees made the sun seem like it almost wasn’t there. Finally, I found my log by the clear blue creek. Frogs would jump from lily pad to lily pad, looking for dragonflies to eat. Sometimes I would try to catch them. I would never tell Mom this, but I loved these woods. They were not just a haven for animals, but for me.

      “Stupid, Mom,” I said. “Who even says ‘go up outside’? It doesn’t even make any sense!”

      A voice came from behind me. “Actually, it does!” the voice sounded . . . British.

      “Hey, look down here! Or is it up here?” the voice came again.

      I looked down. All I saw was a tiny caterpillar. It was one of the fuzzy kinds. I laughed and lifted it up.

      “Yeah, right, like this little thing spoke to me!” I said.

      “Actually, I did young lady! You humans always underestimate animals and insects . . . you don’t even believe in aliens! They are our friends, child! Posh! Yes, I talk. All animals talk! Honestly, it’s not unusual,” he took a deep breath and then continued. “We just try not to talk to humans because your tiny brains just can’t seem to wrap around the fact that animals can talk!”

      “Um . . . ” I said. This was way too weird. But the caterpillar wasn’t done yet.

      “You think the definition of ‘weird’ is talking animals! How do you know our definition of weird isn’t humans talking?” He looked at me skeptically.

      “Um . . . ”

      “Um, um, um! All humans say is um! I just can’t believe . . . oh dear my. How rude I’ve been! Though you do deserve it . . . anyway, my name is Charlie Alexander Cater Pillar! You might prefer Charlie though.”

      I looked from side to side. He was looking at me expectantly . . . or at least I think he was. You can’t really tell with a caterpillar.

      “Uh . . . my name’s Charlotte?” I said.

      “You say that as if it’s a question!” he said. “Anyway, I’m getting off topic. The reason I talked to you is because you think your mom is stupid since she said ‘go up outside’. Well, Miss Charlotte, she is most certainly right . . . in a sense.”

      “What does that mean?” I asked.

      “Let me explain,” he said. “You say the sky is up and the grass is down, I suppose? Well, what if you’re a worm? You’d say the grass is actually up and below the grass is down. Or if you’re an alien. Space is up and the sky is down. So up in your perspective is down but in somebody else’s down is up! So really,it depends on how you look at things. You see?” he asked.

      I wanted to say “no, not really!” but I knew people like him. My history teacher! I’d sit in class for hours listening to him repeat things to the students a million times. If you didn’t understand something, he’d repeat it a million times until you got it. Eventually, students became smarter and knew enough not to ask him to repeat anything.

      “Yeah, sure!” I said. “Are you a teacher?’ I asked him.

      “In a sense,” he began. Oh no! Another long explanation. “You see, I am actually a history, writing, math, English, and any other possible type of teacher you could think of. So are you! Have you heard of the saying, ‘You learn something new everyday?’ Well, that goes for teaching too! You teach something new every day. Understand?”

      I nodded. That analogy made much more sense. Kind of.

      “Well, I believe I have said what I needed to say. ‘Do not waste words when silence is good enough’ Abraham Lincoln once said. Or was it Albert Einstein? Or was it me who said that? Either way, be nice to your mother because . . . ”

      “Yes, yes, yes! I get it! Goodbye Charlie!”

      I ran through the woods and didn’t stop until I found my mom.

      “Sorry!” I said, hugging her. And I meant it. I never wanted to meet Charlie or any other animal that talked again. My ear might’ve fallen off!

      I guess that explains why I was never mean to my mom again!



Comments from our honorary judge, novelist James Kennedy:

"Please Stop Mr. Charlie!" is a refreshing and rather funny take on the "talking-animals" story. That is: what if you meet a talking animal -- and the animal is actually a long-winded, unbearable bore? I love how the heroine literally runs away from Charlie right in the middle of another one of his speeches. "I never wanted to meet Charlie or any other animal that talked again." Hilarious!

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