Listen and read-along with this fun story by Megan Pomper.
“There’s a squirrel out there!” Ellie screamed. “It’s dancing like this!”
She cha-cha-ed across the room.
“Does it know the chicken dance? I know that dance! Mom, I made up a new song! It goes like this:
I LOVE CHEEEEEEESE—“
“Ellie!” Mom laughed. “You’re driving me crazy! What you need is a nice, calm puzzle.”
She held up two boxes: a rainbow unicorn and a zebra eating pizza.
“Which one?” she asked.
“Pizza zebra!” yelled Ellie.
“All right,” said Mom. “Now take this and settle down.”
Ellie dumped the pieces on the ground.
“Want to help, Mugsy?” she asked, calling her dog over.
With his paw, Ellie put a few pieces in place. “Great work!” she smiled.
Ellie and Mugsy made a great team. In no time, there were only two pieces left. Ellie placed one and helped Mugsy do the last.
Ellie hopped up to celebrate. But to her surprise, she noticed fuzzy, grey carpet popping up where the zebra’s eye should have been.
“A piece is missing!” she exclaimed.
She looked left. She looked right. No puzzle piece.
“We’ll need to look harder,” she said.
A searching frenzy was soon underway.
Behind cushions, under rugs — anything and everything was turned upside down.
The piece was nowhere to be found!
Ellie was tired and sweaty, but determined, nonetheless. She opened a window to let in the breeze, then kneeled beside Mugsy.
“Ok, we’ll search upstairs and— Hey! Are you paying attention?”
Mugsy looked over her shoulder.
Crouched on the windowsill was the dancing squirrel!
It stared back at Mugsy.
It stuck out its tongue.
It did the chicken dance!
Mugsy trembled with excitement. “Uh oh!” said Ellie.
She reached out, but Mugsy was gone. He had bolted to the window.
“Eek!” squealed the squirrel.
It clawed its way up the curtains.
Across the fireplace mantle!
Over the TV!
Through the toy bin!
The squirrel was a tornado!
It zoomed around, sending plants and pictures and blocks and balls flying into the air.
Mugsy zigzagged back and forth, dodging everything.
Three laps of the room later, the squirrel screeched to a stop on top of the mirror.
Mugsy launched after it.
“Nooooo!” yelled Ellie.
She dove after him, crashing into a pile of cushions.
In a flash, she tied Mugsy to the banister with a blanket.
The squirrel rolled with laughter.
Ellie knew she had to get that menace outside.
She ran to the kitchen and came back with a block of cheese. She broke off tiny pieces and made a trail to the window.
Who doesn’t like cheese? she wondered.
The squirrel didn’t, that’s who. It climbed down and threw the pieces at Ellie, squeaking with every toss.
“OK! OK!” said Ellie, blocking the cheddar missiles.
She hurried back to the kitchen and returned with a jar of apple sauce.
“How about something sweet?”
She made another trail to the window.
The squirrel crossed its arms and turned up its nose.
“So picky!” said Ellie.
When she came back a third time, she brought a bag of peanuts.
The squirrel’s eyes lit up.
It grabbed the bag and tore it open, spilling peanuts everywhere. After its cheeks were filled, it jumped through the window and into a nearby tree.
Ellie slammed the window shut.
“Phew!” she said. “Now to find that missing piece!”
As she untied Mugsy, something caught her eye.
Could it be? she wondered.
She ran to the puzzle box.
Wedged in the corner was… the pizza zebra’s missing eye!
“Look at that!” she laughed. “It was in here the whole time!”
With Mugsy’s help, Ellie put the final piece in place.
“We did it!” she yelled.
Mom stood at the edge of the room.
“WHAT ON EARTH DID YOU DO??!!” she cried.
“The puzzle!” said Ellie.
About the Author
Megan Pomper lives in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and two young children. She has been an elementary school teacher for ten years and has a passion for writing for children (especially stories that make them laugh!).
Categories: Audio Stories/Poems