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Elmo The Fish

When our children were young, I used to make up fun stories to tell them. I made them up on the spot, in my head. Most were bedtime stories, some I told them in the mornings before the school bus arrived.

For several years, making up fun Dad stories was one of my specialties. I entertained my daughters with “Princess Abby” fairy tales before bed.

In the mornings, before school, I kept RJ occupied with “Harry the Underwear Toad” & his arch nemesis “Weird Wedgy Wayne”. Weird Wedgy Wayne was always trying to steal the underwear. Harry The Underwear Toad always saved them.

Harry the Underwear Toad even had his own theme song:

“Harry, The Underwear Toad- He’s a Mighty Toad”

“He beats the bad guy”

“And save the underwear”

“He’s Harry The Underwear Toad!”

I always threatened to go out and sing that song at the top of my lungs as RJ got on the bus in the morning. He begged and pleaded with me not to do that. He would have been mortified.

I was fearful that doing so would scar him for life. So I never followed through on the threat. It did help get him to get his coat on and scurry out to the bus more than once though- because I think he was never sure if I really would do that.

With good reason!

Only two of the children’s stories that I made up ever got written down. “The Marmalade Cat”, which is also posted here on my blog , and “Elmo The Fish”, which I wanted to share with folks now.

One of my wife’s all time favorites:

“Elmo The Fish”

(Original Story & Artwork by Richard T. Monroe)


To my Grandchildren:

“May your world be filled with Elmos.”

Love, Grandpa


     Daisy Mae Sniggles was asleep in her bed on number three Piggyback Humdinger Lane.  She’d been dreaming of polka dot ponies with marshmallow wings, when the sun’s rays peaked through her window and tickled her awake.

     It was seven o’clock and time to get up.  Daisy Mae awoke with a yawn and sat up in bed.  She wore pajamas with butterflies and her pigtails were red.  Her shelves were filled with dolls and toys, but her favorite playmates were her animal friends.

     In the corner, in a basket, still sound asleep, two fluffy white kittens were still counting sheep.  Down by her feet, at the end of the bed, was a floppy eared puppy with a brown spot on its head.  In a cage, in the window, was a green and blue bird that was already awake and singing a song that it had heard.

     The dog’s name was Pot Roast.  He had a cold nose.  He sat up and blinked with sad, droopy eyes.  He woke himself up with a shake of his head.  This made Daisy Mae laugh, because when he did, his ears flopped around like they were doing a jig.  The puppy hopped up and sat in her lap, licking her freckles with his long pink tongue.

     The bird  in the window was Mister McGee.  He fluffed up his feathers and whistled “Hello”.  Daisy Mae puckered her lips and tried to whistle right back, but she only blew air, as whistling was a skill that she still seemed to lack.

     All the noise woke the kittens, named Whiskers and Sam.  They peeked over the basket with pink little noses and blinking blue eyes.  Daisy Mae put on her bathrobe and went downstairs to get them some milk, so that she could hear purrs instead of their cries.

     Watching all this from a bowl on a shelf, was Elmo the Fish, who was all by himself.  Elmo was just an average fish.  He didn’t have whiskers or long floppy ears.  When he tried to whistle, he opened his mouth, but all that came out was a bubble of air and a soft sort of “bloop!”

     Elmo awoke each day before everyone else, brushing his teeth and making his bed, hoping each day would bring some new adventure, but instead – every day was just the same. Much to Elmo’s dismay, no new adventures ever came. 

Daisy Mae would bring her kittens some milk, then scratch Pot Roast’s ears, which were soft as silk.  She’d feed Mister McGee from a handful of seeds, while he whistled a tune as he perched on her knee.

     Sometimes, Daisy Mae would look towards the shelf.  When Elmo saw her look his way, he’d wiggle his fins and do somersaults, trying to make the girl grin.  She’d watch for a moment and then turn away, dressing the kittens in bonnets and bows, or taking the puppy outside to play.  Elmo would stop and rest in his bowl, to play with the others was his only fish goal.

     When the sun was bright and the sky was blue, Daisy Mae would take Pot Roast outside to play school. Sometimes Whiskers and Sam would go outside too.  Mister McGee would watch them frolic and run, providing a tune from the window, while he basked in the sun.

      Elmo would sit in his bowl on the shelf.  He couldn’t see out the window to watch them play, and when he tried to whistle a tune, he let out only a “bloop!”.  He’d wiggle his fins and swim ‘round his bowl, pretending that he was a great whale that nibbled on puppies and kittens and birds, and that he could not only whistle, but speak many words.

     In the evening, when Daisy Mae readied for bed, she’d put on pajamas with pretty blue flowers, and play with the kittens for nearly an hour.  She’d scratch Pot Roast’s ears while he waggled his tail, then crawl under the covers while Mister McGee whistled a sleep going tale.

     Elmo The Fish would just sit on the shelf, all alone in the dark, after a boring day.  He’d float near the bottom of the bowl and sleep, counting polliwogs while Daisy Mae counted sheep.

     One night, Elmo awoke with a start.  Something was moving about in the house, making waves in his water.

Elmo thought, “I don’t know what it is, but it definitely is not a mouse!” 

Elmo was scared and looked through the glass towards Daisy Mae’s bed, with one big eye on each side of his head.  The kittens were curled in the basket, asleep, and Pot Roast was snoring at Daisy Mae’s feet.  Mister McGee had his head under his wing, as he normally did when it was too dark to sing.

     Daisy Mae Sniggles was snuggled in bed, feeling safe in the company of her soft, furry friends.  Elmo The Fish watched with widening eyes, as a cat burglar’s shadow kept growing in size.  Elmo didn’t know what to do.  He swam around frantically and did fish somersaults. The burglar had a sack that was for stealing cats.

Elmo was helpless and it would be all his fault.  He tried hard to whistle, and even to shout, but he was so scared that not even a bubble came out.

     The burglar was by the basket, opening his sack.  Whiskers and Sam were still fast asleep. Pot Roast was snoring, curled on the bed at Daisy Mae’s feet.  Suddenly, Elmo had a brilliant idea!  He wriggled his fins and built up some speed, then leaped from the water and out of his bowl – to see him in action was something, indeed!

     Now Elmo was just an average fish, who didn’t have whiskers or big floppy ears, and surely did not have bright colored wings like a bird; but he flew through the air like a rocket in space and landed with a SPLAT! on Daisy Mae’s face.

     The little girl awoke with a gasp and a stare, startling the burglar, with not a moment to spare!  Pot Roast awoke and let loose a growl. Mister McGee let out a SQUAWK like a crow!

     The burglar dropped his sack and ran, leaving the kittens shaking and scared.  They’d been nearly cat burgled, and had barely been spared.

Daisy Mae jumped up to get out of bed, when she noticed poor Elmo, gasping and flopping around on his head.  She reached down and cupped the poor fish in her hands, her face crinkled up in a little girl’s smile. 

“Why Elmo,” she said, as she walked towards his bowl, “You are not just an average fish after all!  You’ve saved the kittens – in quite grand style!”

     With that she kissed him right smack on the lips, and plopped him gently back in his bowl.  Elmo was so happy, he danced a fish jig, while Whiskers and Sam sat and stared at their hero.

     Now, every morning when Daisy Mae wakes, while the kittens drink milk and Pot Roast shakes, before she feeds Mister McGee his seeds; she skips across to the bowl on the shelf, and watches as Elmo the Fish swims about, doing fish somersaults and feeling quite pleased with himself.   


Enjoy Every Moment!

They Sure Grow Up Fast!


Until Our Trails Cross Again: