The Brave Little Hopso
Little Timmy, the Tuskaninny, sat on his bed with the covers pulled over his head with a flashlight in one hand and his favorite book in the other. He had been reading, instead of sleeping, for over an hour and noticed that the flashlight was starting to get dim.
“I guess I better hurry and finish reading this chapter and then get to sleep,” he said out loud to himself.
“Yes, you should get some sleep; tomorrow is going to be a big day for you,” said a voice in the night.
Little Timmy sat as still as he could, scared to look out from under the covers but too curious not to. “Who is that?” he asked in the bravest sounding voice he could muster up.
He dropped his book and jerked off the covers only to find himself looking into the eyes of one of the strangest little creatures he had ever seen.
“Who are you? What are you!?” he asked the strange little creature. No longer afraid of such a little funny looking thing like this, he poked the creature in the stomach with his finger to check if it was for real.
“Hee, hee, ha, ha... that tickles. My name is Harry, the Hopso. I am your new petpet.”
“What? How?” asked Little Timmy.
“Silly, don’t you know that tomorrow is your birthday and I am your birthday present from your parents. But don’t tell them I told you. I am supposed to be a surprise!” said the little creature, Harry, the Hopso.
“Cool!” said Little Timmy.
“I was just so excited about having a new home and owner. I just couldn’t stay in that box downstairs any longer. I had to come see what you were like!”
“Well, now you know. Maybe you should go get back in your box so you won’t ruin the surprise for my parents. And, you already surprised me and scared me half out of my wits!”
“I’m sorry, I just wanted to have some fun. I can’t get to sleep in that little box,” cried the little Hopso. “Please let me stay, just for a little while, please?”
“Oh... okay. I’m not sleepy anymore anyway.”
“Yay!” screamed the little Hopso as he leaped in the air and jumped onto the dresser, then over to the nightstand and back onto the bed, knocking over a jar of marbles in the process.
“Shhhh!” Little Timmy whispered to Harry as he jumped out of bed to clean up the mess. “We can’t wake my parents up, so be quiet and quit all that hopping around.
“Okay, I’m sorry. I’m just so excited, I couldn’t help myself.”
“So, what do you want to do for fun besides hop around?” asked Little Timmy.
“Actually, I would really like to go to the kitchen and get something to eat. I’m starving!” said the little Hopso.
“Hmmm... me too. Let’s go! But you gotta be quiet.”
They made their way to the kitchen, Little Timmy tiptoeing while little Harry hopped, hopped, hopped behind him.
Little Timmy opened the refrigerator door so they would have light to see by. He propped the door open with one of the kitchen chairs.
Harry hopped up onto the kitchen counter and started opening all the cabinets, while Little Timmy took two plates out of the china cabinet and put them on the table.
“So, what does a Hopso like to eat?” asked Little Timmy.
“This and this and that,” said Harry as he started throwing boxes of food across the room to Little Timmy. He was throwing boxes and jars of food so fast that Little Timmy couldn’t catch them all in time and before he could get to Harry to make him stop, there was a huge mess all over the kitchen floor.
“Now look what you have done!” Little Timmy yelled under his breath at Harry.
He grabbed Harry and sat him down hard in a kitchen chair at the table.
“Don’t move! Do not move again! Do you hear me?” Little Timmy hissed at Harry between clenched teeth.
Harry, the little Hopso, began to cry.
“Oh, stop that!” snarled Little Timmy. “I am getting tired of having to clean up your messes! We are definitely going to have to make some rules for you to follow!”
“I’m sorry,” cried Harry.
“First Rule! No crying! Here, eat this while I clean this mess up. And, don’t you move!” said Little Timmy as he went to get the broom and mop.
“Yum! This is good,” said Harry. “What is it?”
Little Timmy looked away from sweeping and saw that Harry was eating the last of the fish flavored neo crackers, his favorite!
“Hey, save some for me!” said Little Timmy as he grabbed the box away from Harry. “Here, eat some of this neocrunch cereal. It’s good even without Kau Milk.”
After he finished cleaning up, Little Timmy made himself a salmon fishwich and got a slice of the Iced Fish Cake that his mom had made earlier that day and sat down at the table with Harry and began to eat.
“So, where did my parents get you from anyway? I bet they don’t realize how much trouble you are going to be. Some birthday present; seems more like work to me.”
Harry was so busy eating that he acted like he didn’t even hear what Little Timmy was saying. But, deep down inside, his feelings were hurt and he felt really bad. He wanted his new owner to like him, but what could he do or say to change things?
“Rule number two! No eating my fish neo crackers anymore!” said Little Timmy between taking bites of his salmon fishwich.
“Okay, okay!” said Harry. “What do you like to do for fun, when you’re not fussing at me?”
Little Timmy glared at Harry. “I like to go swimming; what do you like to do besides hop around and make messes?”
It was clear that they had not gotten off to a good start in this friendship. Harry was feeling very bad about everything that had happened and wanted to do something to make things better.
“Well, let’s go swimming then,” said Harry. “A midnight dip in the pond should be fun!”
Little Timmy thought about it for a minute, then began to smile. Swimming was his most favorite thing to do. “Okay, let’s go!”
After cleaning up their plates, they grabbed a couple of towels and quietly snuck out the back door and headed towards the pond.
Little Timmy was skipping all the way while Harry, the little Hopso, was hop, hop, hopping behind him.
As they drew near to the pond, they could hear splashing noises.
“What’s that?” asked Harry.
“I don’t know but let’s wait here and see if we hear it again,” whispered Little Timmy.
After what seemed like forever to Harry, and hearing nothing but crickets chirping all around them, Little Timmy grabbed Harry’s hand and started running towards the pond.
When they reached the pond, they both dropped their towels on the ground, ran down the old wooden dock and dove into the water.
They swam all around the pond and splashed each other. They were laughing and having so much fun that they didn’t notice that someone or something was there with them.
Just then, something grabbed Little Timmy by his tail fin and pulled him under the water!
Everything was very quiet all of a sudden. Harry turned around in circles looking for Little Timmy.
“Timmy, Timmy!” he kept yelling over and over as loud as his little voice would allow him to.
Splash! Splash! “Help!” cried Little Timmy as he disappeared again under the dark surface of the water.
Harry began swimming toward the swirl of water where Little Timmy went down. He dove with his eyes open and by the light of the moon, he saw the meanest looking Jetsam pulling Little Timmy around by the tail. He headed instinctively to the bottom of the pond and began hopping until he was right under the big mean Jetsam. With all his might, he hopped and pushed off from the bottom of the pond and like a rocket headed straight up towards the Jetsam.
Harry hit the Jetsam so hard that it knocked him out of the water.
Little Timmy was out of breath when Harry reached him and pulled him to shore.
“Are you alright?” asked Harry
“Yeah. Boy am I glad you were here to help me! That was the school bully, Gerald, the Jetsam. I bet he won’t mess with me again! Thank you, Harry. I’m sorry for being so mean to you before. You’re alright! You know that? I’m glad my parents got you for me for my birthday! I guess we better head on home now.”
Little Timmy put his arm around Harry’s shoulders and they both hopped home.
“Now, you get back in your box; we don’t want to ruin the surprise, and I am going to get in bed and get some sleep before morning gets here,” said Little Timmy as he patted Harry on the top of the head.
“See you in the morning,” said Harry as he climbed in and pulled the lid back down on the box.
The next morning was pretty routine. Little Timmy got up and got dressed, brushed his hair and teeth, and then went to the kitchen for breakfast.
Little Timmy’s mom was scurrying around the kitchen trying to get some breakfast fixed.
“Hmmm, I could have sworn I had some salmon in the refrigerator,” she said, “but I can’t find it. I was going to make some salmon patties for breakfast. I guess you are just going to have to have a bowl of neocrunch cereal for breakfast, Little Timmy.”
“I’ll get it!” he said as he jumped up from the table and ran to the cabinet. He knew the box was almost empty and he didn’t want his mom to know.
Just then, Little Timmy’s dad walked into the kitchen and said, “How’s our birthday boy doing today?!” He was holding a box in his hands.
“Oh, yes! Come, Little Timmy, and sit down. We have a big surprise for you!” exclaimed Little Timmy’s mom. “Oh, wait! First, let me get the Iced Fish Cake I made for you and light the candles.”
“Uh oh!” thought Little Timmy. He had eaten some of the cake last night. How was he going to hide this from his mom?
She brought the cake box over to the table and just as she opened it, the lid on the box that Little Timmy’s dad was holding flew off and Harry hopped out and landed right in the middle of the cake.
“Surprise!” yelled Harry, the little Hopso.
Little Timmy started laughing so hard that he almost fell out of his chair.
His parents just stood back and watched as Little Timmy grabbed the little Hopso and gave him a big hug.
“I love him! Thank you so much, Mom and Dad! I think I am going to name him Harry. Wow! This is the best birthday present ever!”
Little Timmy’s parents were so glad that he liked his new petpet that they didn’t even notice that some of the cake was missing and that for some reason, the kitchen floor was all sticky.
They sang happy birthday and ate what little cake they could salvage and Little Timmy had a wonderful birthday celebration.
And so it was for many years to come. Everywhere Little Timmy went, there you could also find his petpet, Harry, the little Hopso. The school bully never bothered Little Timmy again and Little Timmy gladly cleaned up all of Harry’s little messes without ever complaining again.