pebble was large and rose-colored, and almost perfectly round.
Andy kicked it along the sidewalk in front of him. Around
the corner it went, to the end of the road, and into the woods.
Andy ran after it. Then the pebble disappeared into the bushes.
Andy saw the opening to an old drainage pipe, half-buried
in the ground. The pebble must have gone in there.
The opening was quite big, and Andy could just see a glimmer
of light coming from the other end. He crawled inside, feeling
for the pebble.
Suddenly there was a big rock in front of Andy. He crept around
it. He still had not found the pebble when he reached the
end of the tunnel.
Andy looked around. Things seemed different somehow. Strange
smells were in the air. There were frightening sounds. And
the grass -- it must be ten feet tall!
He twitched his whiskers and scratched behind his ear with
his hind leg. He looked down at the ground under his paws...his
PAWS? Andy had turned into a mouse!
Frightened, Andy ran for home. It seemed like such a long
way. A huge monster roaring along the road terrified him until
he realized that it must be a car.
At last he made it. But the steps on his front porch seemed
like mountains. And when he got to the door, he couldn't open
it. Finally he found a crack and slipped in.
he tried to call. But he only squeaked. His mother screamed.
Then Melissa, the cat, noticed him. Andy streaked toward the
kitchen door, with Melissa bounding after him. His mother
opened the door, and the cat and mouse ran outside.
On Andy ran, with Melissa right behind him. He popped into
the tunnel, and Melissa followed. At the other end, Andy wagged
his tail and barked eagerly, waiting for the cat. But when
Melissa came out, she had turned into a squirrel. She scampered
up a tree, chattering at him.
Andy bounded home. On the way he picked up a nice-looking
bone from a garbage can. He decided to bury it.
Andy's mother looked out the window and saw a strange dog
digging a hole in her lawn. She called the Dogcatcher. When
he came, Andy tried to jump up and lick his o0ther's face.
But she still did not know him, and she let the Dogcatcher
take him away.
At the end of the block, Andy managed to jump out of the truck.
Off he ran, with the Dogcatcher after him. He popped into
the tunnel again, with the Dogcatcher right behind. This time,
Andy came out a monkey, and the Dogcatcher was a bright orange
and green parrot. It flew up into a tree and scolded him.
will happen if I go through again?" thought Andy. So he did,
and this time he turned into a chicken. Near the end of the
tunnel he found a pebble. He picked it up and swallowed it.
Then he went through again and turned into a big black bear.
He felt the pebble sticking in his throat and coughed it out.
Then he went through the tunnel again.
Andy was still a bear. He tried again and again, but he was
still a bear. The tunnel did not work anymore.
Was Andy going to have to stay a bear for the rest of his
life? He was frightened now, and he headed for home.
Andy's mother was even more frightened when she saw a big
black bear heading up the walk. And when Andy tried to give
his father a bear hug, Andy's father dashed inside to call
Soon sirens were screaming, and Andy headed for the woods
again. He hid behind the end of the strange tunnel. His left
foot was hurting. There was something stuck in it. He tried
to pull it out with his teeth. But then the policemen were
getting closer. He could see their searchlights. He popped
into the tunnel again.
The tunnel seemed to be getting larger -- or was Andy getting
smaller? He went to the other end. Andy was now a chicken.
He looked down. There was a pebble stuck between his toes.
He plucked it out with his beak and swallowed it. Then he
ran around and went through the tunnel again.
Now Andy was a monkey. He coughed out the pebble stuck in
his throat and picked it up in his hand. Then he ran around
and went through the tunnel again.
As Andy changed from a monkey into a dog, he dropped the pebble
inside the tunnel. The next time he ran through, he turned
into a mouse, and he was too small to pick the pebble up.
Just one more time, and he would be a boy again. Andy -- the
real Andy -- was just coming out of the tunnel when the policemen
found him. "Better watch out," they warned. "There's a dangerous
Andy tried to explain that he was the bear, but they just
laughed. He reached into the tunnel and picked up the pebble
to show them. But just then an orange and green parrot swooped
down and snatched it out of his hand.
The bear was never found, but no one believed Andy's story
-- not even his parents. Andy often wondered whether the Dogcatcher
would ever figure out the secret of the tunnel and return
to his human form again. And every day he put out a saucer
of milk and a bowl of nuts for his squirrel, Melissa.
2013 The Silversteins