Bailey held the nozzle of the hose towards the mud monster’s head, and it responded by freezing in its tracks. “I’m going to shoot the water at its face!” she yelled to her twin brother, Jackson. “That way it will drip down and make him melt much quicker!” Jackson was standing by the tap some distance behind her, ready to release the water into the hose on his sister’s command. When prompted, Jackson was quick to point out that he was the older twin (“It doesn’t matter by how much!” he would respond when asked the predictable follow-up question), but, today, Bailey had to take responsibility and control the situation. Jackson yelled across the length of hose stretching from the ground in front of him to his sister’s hand. “I give you permission to tell me when to turn on the hose!” Bailey could smell the dust drifting off of the mud monster’s back and see the tiny mites crawling around its fingers. “Now!” she yelled, keeping her eyes on the mud monster while turning her head to project her voice towards her older brother. Bailey could feel the water snaking its way through the hose, and knew that in a matter of seconds their troubles would be over.
That morning, Jackson and Bailey were attempting to build the world’s largest toy-block town using Jackson’s blocks. Their father had just finished moving the coffee table from the centre of their living room to the side wall to create enough space for the hospital and police station when the enormity of their task dawned on them.
“We’re going to need a third person,” Jackson informed Bailey.
“Great idea!” his little sister replied. “But, where are we going to find a third person crazy enough to help us out with such a huge job?”
“I was thinking about that,” Jackson replied while placing an arch-shaped block on top of two cylindrical blocks to complete the bridge to the town centre. “You know how you can freeze enough water to get ice to make a snowman?”
“Of course,” replied Bailey. “Everybody knows that.”
“Well, I was thinking, mud is the opposite to snow, so, what if we used your cooking skills to boil enough dirt to make a mudman? We would be his master, and he would have to do whatever we tell him.”
Bailey couldn’t tell if Jackson was joking or not. She also couldn’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t work, so the two of them left their toy block city and headed straight for their mother’s garden.
The garden was well tended to, so the twins were able to fill up three sandcastle buckets using the finest dirt their plastic shovels could find. They transferred the dirt to a pot, filled it with water from the garden hose, mixed it into mud and set about using Bailey’s toy kitchen they kept outside to boil the muddy mixture. Rather than watch the mud boil, Jackson thought it was best they head back inside and spend that time finishing off the police station to show their new friend how serious they were about their toy block town. When the twins returned, they looked into the plastic pot and discovered that it was completely empty.
“Told you we shouldn’t have boiled it for so long,” Bailey said, shaking her head.
“That’s not true!” Jackson yelled impatiently. “You were more than happy to…” Jackson stopped, pointing to the muddy footprints leading away from the toy kitchen and into the backyard. They decided to follow them, Bailey leading the way with Jackson tip-toeing close behind. As the twins entered the backyard, they followed the footprints with their eyes, and there was their creation, eating the flowers in the garden by the handful.
“It’s a… a… mu… a mud….” Jackson stuttered.
“It’s a mud monster,” Bailey said, her voice surprisingly calm. “Go and hand me the hose.”
The pile of mud on the ground stretched from the outside wall of the house to the garden bed on the opposite side of the yard. Jackson put his foot in the mud to measure its depth.
“Well, looks like our mud man’s not going to be any good to us,” he said, wiping some mud away from his ankles.
“Maybe we’re thinking about it wrong,” replied Bailey. “Maybe we can just make the world’s largest mud pie instead? What do you think?”
Jackson looked up at his sister. “You’re the boss!” he exclaimed as they went to get the wheelbarrow to start moving the mud into their family swimming pool.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.