The Gossip Gremlin
"Happy birthday, Princess!!!!" Mom and Dad presented the large box to 12-year-old Amy with great pride. "What is it, what is it, Daddy?" Amy squealed with excitement. She tore the wrapping paper. "It is a pet, is it?" she squealed and then she stopped and just stared down in wonder.
Standing in the middle of the box, just barely 3 inches tall, was a tiny human-like figure. It had arms and legs, a head and a face, but it was so oddly shaped. Its legs were furry and the fur was a flow of purples, greens and pinks. The feet were not feet at all but tiny hooves. The hooves had toes with sharp, tiny toenails for gripping. The torso, arms, neck and face were similarly wildly coloured, so bright it hurt their eyes, and its head was pointy so it always looked surprised and fascinated.
Amy named the gremlin Stanley. Every time she called its name, it squeaked and did a dance. Stanley stayed in his box, very happy at first, but then he slowly got sick. One night, Amy was watching Stanley and talking to Courtney, her friend, on the phone.
"Courtney, did you see what Janie was wearing? Wow, it was so stupid! She has such ugly clothes!" Just then a big squeak erupted from the little box. Stanley jumped to his feet and did a dance. "Courtney, it's Stanley. He got better. We were gossiping and he suddenly got well. He eats gossip, Courtney, he eats gossip!" And it was true. Each time Amy gossiped, Stanley grew larger.
Then came the Thursday when Amy broke the rules, and she sneaked Stanley into her backpack and took him to school. All of the 6th grade girls gathered to hold Stanley and pet him and tell him how cute he was. And then they started.
"Nikki called Cassie a dumb girl...." "Sandra has ugly hair" "Linda was mean to Susan" ...And with each tiny piece of gossip, Stanley did a little yip, a back flip, danced and grew bigger and fatter. The girls didn't notice it happening, but as the gremlin was handed from girl to girl, he slipped through their hands to the floor, and ran off.
The students began to panic at the appearance of the large, fat gremlin. It gave a low yelp, then danced and flipped, but he was so large by now that he broke the table and escaped into the hallway. The frightened students rushed into the halls, seeing tufts of multi-coloured fur flying everywhere.
Suddenly, Mr Bixley, the school principal, came marching down the hall and shouted orders. "Students, to the gym. We are going to put a stop to this!" In the gym, Mr. Bixley and Stanley faced each other like cowboys in a western duel. The principal spoke.
"Heather, come here, tell the truth." Heather moved to the front, to a microphone the AV-guy had quickly brought up. "Leslie didn't cheat on the test. I lied. Leslie is a good person." "Phillip, Jessica, Sarah...tell the truth," the principal commanded. One by one the students stepped forward and spoke the truth into the microphone, correcting their gossiping lies. Each time, Stanley moaned, grabbed his ears and cried big green gremlin tears.
"Now, Amy—come here—tell the truth," Mr. Bixley ordered. Amy stepped up, looked nervous and then said loudly into the microphone, "JANIE HAS PRETTY CLOTHES!"
That was all it took. Stanley fell back into the bleachers and moaned so loudly the students held their ears. He did a forward flip and then just like that with a loud BLIP, he vanished, leaving just a puddle of green gossip goo on the gym floor. "EVERYBODY BACK TO CLASS!" commanded the good principal and with that, there was never again another gossip gremlin in Amy's town.