The Garbage Monster

Story Time

September 26, 2001|By Joni Sensel

Editor's note: A resourceful girl wages a successful battle against waste.

"Jo, take out the garbage!" my mom would often shout. Pretending not to hear, I'd mutter, "It can take itself out."

Our house had tons of garbage: cans and bottles, plastic bags, bones and boxes, broken toys and loads of dirty rags.

I never gave the trash a thought, but make more than I should: I threw away all kinds of things that really were still good.

But one night I was startled by a messy mystery -- when I was slow to take the trash, the garbage took out me!

The icky, sticky, slimy glop grew right out of its can. The monster started walking and became the Garbage Man.

He didn't look too pleasant and P.U., did he stink! He faintly buzzed with litterbugs. His growling made me blink.

He dropped me flat on my front yard and got down on one knee and grumbled with his smelly breath, "You fed me, now I'm free!

"I'll scatter rubbish near and far -- I'll start here on your street! I'll fill the yards and foul the parks! Ha! Nothing will stay neat!"

I'll tell you, I was kinda scared. You would've been scared too. This slob was talking trash at me -- But what could one kid do?

And then I took a closer look and jumped up, proud and tall, and shouted, "Oh, you silly junk! You aren't garbage at all!"

With that I pulled the cardboard box right off his swollen head. "I'll use this to pack up some things and put them in the shed."

Next I pulled the paper from inside the monster's big backside. "And this I still can write on, so I'll take it back inside. "These leaves and grass and bits of food can make the garden grow, and I'll give these useful gadgets to a charity I know."

The bottles, jars and cans he wore all fit the recycling bin, and so the monster dwindled. I flashed a gleeful grin.

I stuffed him in a trash bag, twisted it up tight, and slammed the lid on what was left. He went without a fight.

Since then our trash goes hungry and gets smaller every day, and when it's time to take it out, I do it right away!

From THE GARBAGE MONSTER. Text c 2000 by Joni Sensel, artwork c 2000 by Christopher L. Bivins. Available in book form at All rights reserved.

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