An Unlikely Hero

1 Sep

“Courage is found in unlikely places.” In the 1950s, a man named John put pen to paper, and wrote these words. He was writing quite a bit in those days, creating a trilogy that would later grow into a cinematic franchise. Most importantly, this author was bringing a hero to life. This hero is named Frodo Baggins, he is very small in stature. Yet, little Frodo (the hobbit) is able to step forward when no one else can. He has the strength and courage to face the world’s darkest fears, in spite of his lack of “appropriate” qualifications for the job. Of course, The Lord of the Rings, is just one example of this theme. We are collectively fascinated by the unlikely hero because he or she is … us. Hardly any of us believe we fit the heroic mold. We have our own limitations, our own feelings of incredible smallness. Then, something inside of us gathers force, insisting that neither strength nor training (or even success) have anything to do with heroics. Courage is about the moment when we decide to step forward and face our fears, whether that fear is an evil ring or a green globby monster. As Badgerdog writer Michelle decides to take on a growling beast, she demonstrates her mature understanding of the word “courage.” She wants to protect her family, and this determination and self-sacrifice melt the beast, proving that finding courage is more than half the battle.

Green Glob Slayer

It was a cold winter night, 11:30 p.m.—the time when everyone’s dad is at home sitting by a warm fireplace drinking a warm cup of coffee or hot cocoa. Suddenly, a noise came upon the whole village—shrieks, cries, and a noise I will never forget, I mean never, ever forget. The noise sounded very much like a wild dog’s snarl and a wild hog’s snort.

But that beast, or whatever it was, did not attack the village or even set foot near the village. Just a snarl-snort-howl that let us know he might attack—not today, but maybe tomorrow!

My dad locked all the doors and windows and brought the whole family to a meeting. He said, “Now, as you know, a monster is near our village, and we need to prepare… Now listen to me very carefully. Bring out your trunks from Mommy’s room and go to your bedrooms and gather precious things that you love and stuff them in the trunks. Mommy and I will stay in one room while gathering our belongings, and we will both have a rifle. You and your brother quickly gather your belongings and go into Michelle’s room, OK?”

“Right!” we both answered at the same time. “ Jinx! ” we both said again.

“This is no time for your little jinksy-winksy game, OK? This is serious!” my dad roared. So we quickly obeyed, yanked our trunks out, ran upstairs like we never ran before, and grabbed our things. The whole family met back downstairs. Our dad gave us our weapons—some little explosion bombs for me and a ball with more weapons then you could count for my brother, Max! Here are just some examples of the weapons inside the ball: a sword, some bombs, fire, an axe, etc.

The next morning, school was canceled because of the monster’s snarl-snort sound the night before. But then I remembered I was safe at home with the wooden hatch locked. We should be fine, I thought to myself. Then I realized I was hungry. My tummy got angry with me because when I woke up it was 9:30! You see, I’m not used to waking up so late, not even on the weekends, because I have to cut the grass sometimes at 6:30 a.m. while it’s still cool outside. And then I have to wash the dishes, rake the leaves, then clean the counters, then harvest the eggs, then feed the dog I have loved and petted for my whole life, and there’s still more to do before 9:00. (9:10 is when school starts FYI.) Growl, growl, growl. OK, I really needed to go eat my breakfast! Mmmmm!

My breakfast was delicious! I had cinnamon toast and some rabbit Dad caught the day before when he went hunting. After that, I went upstairs to gurgle. The snarl-snort-howl came again, but this time in my house! Ahhhhh! I wanted to scream, but a big mouthful of water was in my mouth. My legs started to move towards my room. I grabbed my bombs and ran. Downstairs I heard my dear parents’ scream. Suddenly, I knew what to do. I jumped down the stairs three by three, and right in front of my scared-almost-to-death parents was a beast I have never seen before in my whole life. It looked something like this: one arm, three legs, three eyes, and two mouths along with a fat green body with slime drizzling down from it.

I was so surprised I accidentally spit out the water in my mouth. Do you want to know what happened? Keep reading, I don’t mind what your answer is. The monster disintegrated—just like that! Just to make sure it was dead for good, I stood over the green glob. It didn’t move, but it did turn into yellow dust and disappear in the dirty floor. My parents embraced me just as Max came down to pat me on the back. He had seen the whole thing, he just didn’t want to admit it. From then on, I was not called Michelle; I was called the Green Glob Slayer.

Michelle, fifth grade, Badgerdog 2nd Saturdays Writing Session



One Response to “An Unlikely Hero”

  1. Jessica Wigent September 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    One of the things that I LOVED about Michelle’s story was that she begins unfolding it first with this anticipation of a threat, then lulls us into the everyday where we think we’re safe. Then! All of the sudden! The threat’s made manifest. It’s real! I had almost forgotten about the Green Glob. But clearly our hero never had. Michelle did such a great job surprising her readers, twisting around our expectations of how a story like this usually reads.

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