Toby Gutsall wasn’t happy. He had seen happy people, and he was not one of them. Based on his observations, Toby had concluded that happy people require the following two things: First, they needed some shiny, white teeth so that they would never be afraid to smile. Then, they needed a decent laugh. This was important because, if you have a great laugh, then you’ll never have to worry about annoying anybody when you find something funny. Because Toby was happy with neither of these things about himself, he decided it would be best to spend some time collecting these two items so that he could express how he truly felt about the world around him.
The inspected the teeth he already had in his bedroom mirror. They were terrible. One of his front teeth crossed over the other and, despite his best efforts to brush once or twice a day, they were still slightly stained with a hint of yellow. Toby had seen people in the newspaper with particularly wonderful teeth, so he found an old newspaper he had lying around, found a close-enough-to-perfect specimen of beautiful, pearly-white teeth, stole them and made them his own. He looked at his new teeth in the mirror at the end of his hallway and was so excited, he decided to head out into the city and find his laugh.
He wasn’t all that happy with the laugh he had now; it was too croaky some days and then too wheezy on other days. Sometimes, while waiting in line for the bus, Toby would hear someone in the street unable to control their laughter, so that’s where he went to find his laugh. Once he made it there, he realised people didn’t laugh as much as he had originally thought, so he didn’t have as much choice as he would have liked. While sitting under the bus shelter, Toby saw two gentlemen in line waiting for the bus. He could sense that the man wearing the brown coat was about to laugh. The moment that he did, Toby sprang to his feet, snatched the man’s laugh out the air and ran off with it, stuffing it down his throat to keep it and make it his own.
Toby was now complete. He had all of the parts he needed to go about his day without worry or concern about having to hold back how happy the world made him and to laugh as if nothing was holding him back. There would always be other worries, but he felt stronger and better able to deal with whatever came his way. With the intention of practising his laugh and smile amongst the people of the city, he picked up his umbrella and checked his smile in the mirror one last time. That was when he first spotted that one of his ears was quite a bit larger than the other. Convinced he could not go out looking like this, Toby put his umbrella away and went to find another newspaper.
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
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