“Let’s see,” Hesper said, tossing her perfect blonde hair held in place by 4½ cans of hair spray (and one full-time hairstylist). “How about . . . you!”

“Me?” A shorter version of Hesper leaped to her feet. “Really? Really, really?!”

“Yes, uh . . . what is your name?”


Hesper frowned.

“You know, Elizabeth Mindlessfan. I’ve been your best friend since forever?”

“Oh yes, of course. Well, go up on the stage, uh

. . . um . . .”

“Elizabeth,” Elizabeth said.

“Right. Go up there and read the lines.”

“Oh, goody,” Elizabeth squealed as she raced to the stage and took her place. “Goody, goody, goody!”

“Are you ready?” the director asked.

“Oh yes! Absolutely, yes, yes, yes!”

“All right, then,” the director said. “And . . . action!”

Elizabeth looked down at the script in her hands and read, “Oh, Hesper, you’re so beautiful and talented and beautiful and rich and did I mention beautiful?” (If you’d guessed Hesper helped write the script, you’d have guessed right.) “I hope that someday I’ll grow up to be just as beautiful and talented and beautiful and rich and—did I mention beautiful?—as you.”

“And cut!” the director shouted. “That was wonderful, babe. You’re a natural.”

“Really?” Elizabeth squealed in delight.

“You bet,” he said. “You were magic.”

“Goody, goody, goody!”

Chad looked down, shaking his head. It was amazing how crazy people got when they thought they could be on TV. He was about to return to his work when the auditorium door suddenly flew open and


one very loud and very frightened New Kid ran in.

To be honest, Chad wasn’t entirely surprised. It seemed the New Kid was always doing unusual things—which in a strange way he found kinda cute. Not that he had a thing for escaped mental patients, but ever since she moved in next door to him, there’d been something about her he found . . . interesting.

And this was the perfect example. Because not only was she running down the aisle toward the front exit yelling,

“Why is he still chasing us?
Why is he still chasing us?!”

but as far as Chad could tell, there was no US being chased. It was just the New Kid. But even more interesting was the fact that she was being chased down the aisle by an African elephant.

Naturally, everyone screamed and panicked. And those girls who had been raising their hands like they had to go to the bathroom? Well, this time it was for real (and it might have been too late).

Without thinking, Chad leaped to his feet and ran toward the New Kid and her peanut-eating pet. He wasn’t sure why. Maybe he thought even mental patients deserved protection from runaway elephants. Whatever the reason, he’d read that the best way to handle wild animals was to stand up to them and not be afraid. This would explain his running down the aisle, waving his arms, and screaming like a madman. Either that or he’d caught whatever mental disorder the New Kid had.

Still, it did not explain why the elephant stopped, turned on its heels (or paws or whatever elephants turn on), and said in a very poor English accent,

“Excuse me. You needn’t be rude.”

Chad’s jaw dropped—either because the elephant spoke or because Chad had never been accused of being rude. (Though if he’d really wanted to be mean, he could have said something about the animal’s breath.)

In any case, the elephant continued speaking.

“I merely wish to warn the young lady
about the DANGERS of allowing these
two invisible boys floating beside—”

He would have said more, but he was interrupted by the New Kid screaming,

“Herby! Tuna! Do someth—”

And she would have said more, except it’s hard saying more when you suddenly




Instantly, everything was back to normal—well, except for those girls racing to the bathroom . . . and the lingering bad breath of an African elephant who had just vanished from everyone’s sight.


Copyright © 2011 by Bill Myers. All rights reserved.
Visit Tyndale’s Web site for kids at www.tyndale.com/kids.