Sunday, October 31, 2010

Excerpt from If on a winter's night a monster

The novel begins with a very embarrassed monster.


Hello everybodeee! You are about to begin reading the latest book starring your furry pal Grover. It is called If on a winter's night a monster. Relax. Have a cookie. Wait, do not relax! Does that say "a monster"? It does! I am so scared of monsters, and I am not very fond of winter nights either! Close the door! Turn up the heat! Put on some fuzzy slippers! I will not put on fuzzy slippers, but that is because I am already very fuzzy. It is important that you keep warm, because winter nights can be very cold. You should find a comfortable chair, and perhaps you should make a mug of hot cocoa with marshmallows.

Why are we drinking cocoa again? Oh yes, it is because you want to read the newest book starring me, Grover. What is the title of the book again? If on a winter's night a monster?! This book has a monster in it! Maybe it would be best if you did not begin reading the latest book starring your furry pal, Grover. Get up, go for a walk. Be sure to take a coat, because you would not want to get cold. And you should not wear your fuzzy slippers to go walking outside. Make sure you have an adult with you, and that you do not cross the street without looking both ways first. That would be a good way to avoid the scary monster that is in this book. It is also a good way to get exercise, and you should get lots of exercise to stay healthy.

Yes, that would be much better than reading If on a winter's night a monster, which I remind you has a monster in it. Put the book back up on the shelf. Drop it behind the shelf so that no one will accidentally find it. Tape the cover shut, or tie it with rope. Better yet, have an adult help you with some paste or glue, and make sure that no one will ever make the terrible mistake of reading this book and finding the scary monster inside!

I notice that you have not yet stopped reading. Do you realize that there is a monster in this book?! A monster that lurks out in the cold winter night, possibly with sharp teeth and shaggy fur to keep it warm in the snow?! I know I am afraid of monsters, aren't you?

I know, you think that I, Grover, am playing a game with you. You must think we are playing a game of Simon Says. I do not know why you think this, because I am not named Simon, but I, Grover, will play along. Simon (or Grover) says to shut this book, put it away, and never look at it again.

You are not very good at playing Simon Says.

The way that you play Simon Says is that one person says "Simon Says do something" and the other person then has to do it. So let us try again: Simon Says to close this book and tie it up with shoelaces so that no one will ever meet the scary winter night monster in this book!

I am beginning to think that you are not listening to what I am saying. I did not want to have to do this, but now I am begging you: please stop reading! It is getting very dark and cold here and there are no more marshmallows in my hot cocoa and every word you read brings us closer to the winter's night monster that is in this book! And I am very scared of monsters, if you have not heard. I will ask you, one last time, please stop reading! Or at least put the book away until it is not so cold and dark here! I think the monster might be less scary on a summer's afternoon than on a winter's night. So please, listen to your lovable, furry pal Grover, and STOP READING!!!

Boy, if this is how you treat your pals, then I would hate to see how you treat your enemies! We are nearly at the end of this first chapter and I am afraid that the next chapter will have that terrible winter's night monster in it, especially since the title of that next chapter is, in big bold letters, "If on a winter's night a monster." This book certainly likes to repeat itself. I have tried and tried to get you to stop reading, to save us from the very scary monster, but nothing has worked. So I, your furry pal Grover, finally give up. If you are going to force this poor monster to continue reading on this cold winter's night a book where...

Wait! I am a monster! And it is a winter's night! That means that I must be the winter's night monster! Of course! It was all so simple!

And you wanted to stop reading. Well, hurry up, I want to find out what I am going to be doing on this winter's night! I hope I will be getting more marshmallows for my hot cocoa.

References: If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino, The Monster at the End of This Book starring lovable, furry old Grover.

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