Alyssa finds herself in BIG BIG TROUBLE when all of a sudden a goblin named Squonk comes to visit and promptly begins to wreak havoc in the house... and of course Alyssa gets blamed for it all! He tells her that it's the mean things that she has done to everyone else finally getting even with her, and she has to figure out how to make it stop.

     It all started the day that Alyssa wouldn’t give her Uncle Tommy a hug goodbye…


     She hugged everybody else; her Aunt Stevie, her Step-Aunt Heather, her Grandma Nonny, even her Step-Grandpa Poppa Bruce goodbye, but when it came time for her to hug Uncle Tommy, she just decided that she wanted to be mean, and ran out the door to the car. Her Mom hollered at her, and made her come back in, but she still didn’t want to give Tommy a hug… she pouted, and stuck out her bottom lip, and she put a great big ugly scowl on her face, and stomped her foot, and tried her best to keep from giving poor Uncle Tommy a hug goodbye… but finally she had to, or else she was going to be in BIG BIG TROUBLE with her Mom!


    No little kid likes to be in BIG BIG TROUBLE, and neither did Alyssa… she knew this because she had been in BIG BIG TROUBLE so many times before that she knew it very well. But even though she didn’t like to be in BIG BIG TROUBLE, sometimes she just couldn’t seem to stay away from it!


    It was like she just reached a point where all of a sudden someone else was in her brain, and they made her act all MEAN, and she did things like playing with things that she knew she wasn’t supposed to play with, or color on things that she knew she shouldn’t. And even though she had turned five years old on her last birthday, SOMETIMES she acted like someone who was only FOUR!

    But as all grown-ups know, that if you keep on being MEAN to others, at some point in time MEAN things start happening to you… but Alyssa didn’t know these sort of things… YET!


    The next Friday that she stayed over at her Nonny’s and Poppa Bruce’s house, she was a good girl… at first. Then she got a little bit bored, and she decided that she was going to TEASE and TORMENT the dogs… Little Bit and Buddha. Now, Buddha was an OLD DOG, and he had been hit by cars a couple of times, and wasn’t up to jumping around and such things like that. But Alyssa got some doggie treats, and she stood on the steps of the back porch, and she held them up way up high where the dogs couldn’t reach them. The dogs both jumped and jumped, and barked at her for teasing them and being so MEAN.


     But Poppa Bruce heard the dogs barking, and he saw what Alyssa was doing, and he came out and caught her. But instead of yelling at her, or putting her in the corner, he did something much, MUCH worse!

     What could be worse than yelling, or putting her in a corner, you might ask? I will tell you what he did… he TALKED to her! NO, you say? Yes, he did… and it was what he told her that scared her so bad…


    “Alyssa,” he told her, after he had sat her down on the little chair that was only for her. “I think that it is about time that someone told you about Squonk.”


    Alyssa looked at him as if she thought he was crazy. “What is a Squonk?” she asked, her curiosity getting the best of her.

    “Not what, but who,” he told her. “Squonk is the name of a Goblin that might be paying you a visit here pretty soon, if you don’t change your ways.”


    Alyssa sat there and looked at him, not really believing him, but she had to wonder what exactly he was talking about.

    “I will explain it a little better for you.” Poppa Bruce sat down in the recliner in the middle of the room. “Squonk is a goblin that only has one job… he travels all around, teaching little kids that it is better to be NICE than it is to be MEAN.”

     “Well, I never heard of him!” Alyssa declared. “And I have been MEAN lots of times and he never showed up!”

    “That is because there are so many little kids being MEAN these days, and he has a lot of work on his hands.” Poppa Bruce explained. “But I can tell you this, if you don’t stop being MEAN to everyone, including the dogs, then he may very well make you his MOST IMPORTANT job, and then you will NOT BE HAPPY at all.”

     Alyssa sat there, not REALLY believing him, but her imagination took over and told her “He could be right!”

    “What does Squonk look like?” she asked.

    “He is about this tall,” Poppa Bruce held out his hand and measured out about six inches, “and about this fat,” he made a circle about as big as an orange, “ and he has no hair but for a little bit above each ear. He wears green striped pants that are way too short, and a purple shirt with sleeves that are too long, and shoes that are pointy on the ends, so it hurts when he kicks you!”

    “Nuh uh…” Alyssa shook her head in disbelief. “How do you know that?”

    “Because believe it or not, Squonk and I are old friends.” Poppa Bruce leaned in close. “He visited me when I was just about your age, and I was MEAN and always in BIG BIG TROUBLE too!”

    Alyssa sat there in her chair, and thought about what Poppa Bruce had told her. Really, she didn’t believe him, because she had never ever seen a goblin, and she wasn’t a REALLY BAD KID, just sometimes she got a little MEAN. So she decided that she would go on like she was, but MAYBE she would just watch out… just in case!

     She was unusually quiet on the trip home that night, busily thinking about all that Poppa Bruce had told her. Her Mom thought that she was just worn out, and put her to bed as soon as they got home.


     Early Sunday morning, she got up out of her Pretty Princess bed, and still wearing her Pretty Princess pink pajamas, went into the kitchen to see if anyone was up so that they could make her some breakfast. Instead, all that she saw was the BIGGEST MESS EVER that she could have imagined… there was all sorts of cereal thrown all over the floor, and milk and orange juice puddles, and in the middle of it all, stood this strange little man… only about six inches tall, with green striped pants, and a purple shirt… and he turned and saw her… and LAUGHED OUT LOUD!

     “It’s a terrible mess, isn’t it?” he asked, sounding as if he were very proud of what he had done. “Some of my best work, if I say so myself!”

     “You are going to be in BIG BIG TROUBLE when my Mom and Dad see this!” Alyssa exclaimed.

    But Squonk (for that was who the little man was) just laughed and laughed. “Me?” he asked. “I’m not going to be in trouble, and do you know why?”

     “Why?” Alyssa asked… but she kinda knew the answer already.


    “Because your Mommy and Daddy can’t see me.” He snickered in a very MEAN way. “Only bad little kids can see me, no grownups allowed!” He started to skip around the kitchen floor, kicking the cereal all around and stomping in the juice puddles, and making the mess even worse.

     “Stop it, stop it!” Alyssa yelled at him. “I will be good, just stop it!”


    He stopped his wild dance, and stood there looking at her. “Oh no, little girl… you have lots more BIG BIG TROUBLE coming your way, indeed!” And off he skipped into the living room, leaving Alyssa desperately trying to clean up the mess before her Mom or Dad got out of bed… but it was too late.

   Alyssa looked up and saw her Mom standing there, her hands on her hips, and the look on her face that Alyssa recognized all too well… for it was the “You are in BIG BIG TROUBLE” look! “I didn’t do it, I really didn’t!” she looked around, but since she was the only child in the house, she didn’t even have a brother or a sister to blame it on.

    “ALYSSA MARIE!” Her mother said. “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?” She stood there and glared angrily at Alyssa, who stood there with an empty cereal box in her hand that she had picked up.

    “I didn’t do it!” she protested… and almost told her Mom that Squonk had done it, but something told her that her Mom would never believe that a six-inch tall goblin with green striped pants and purple shirt had been the one responsible for the mess.

     “Well, who else could have done it, Alyssa Marie?” her mom asked. “I suppose someone broke into our house, dumped all this stuff in the floor, and then left?”

     Alyssa sighed, and knew that she should just be quiet. If she said anything more, she would be in even MORE BIG BIG TROUBLE than she already was… but little did she know that her day had barely started.


    She helped her Mom as best as she could to clean up the mess, soaking up the milk and juice with paper towels, and bringing the broom and mop so that the rest could be swept up and the floor cleaned. She ate breakfast, but not much… she wasn’t really hungry, because now she was worried… worried that Squonk was off somewhere else, doing something else that she was going to get blamed for… and she was right.


     Before the end of the day, Alyssa was in BIG BIG TROUBLE farther than she had ever been… for Squonk had drawn on the two dogs with permanent marker… drawings of big faces with their tongues stuck out, both drawings signed “Alyssa” in big green and black letters right on the dogs’ heads. Her Dad went to play a DVD, and when the player opened, he found a slice of cheese inside it! Then there was the toilet… with three rolls of toilet paper stuffed down it, and water running all over the floor!

    They had taken all her toys away, she couldn’t watch TV for TWO MONTHS, and she had to stay home from her very best friends’ birthday party that she had been looking forward to for the past two weeks… and all because of the things that Squonk had done! Needless to say, Alyssa was very sad, and very mad all at the same time.


     “And just wait until tomorrow!”


     She turned to see Squonk jumping up and down on the pillow on her bed. “Go away!” She whispered at him. “You got me in BIG BIG TROUBLE and I am MAD at you!” He stopped jumping, and came over to the edge of the bed and sat down, hanging his feet over the side.

    He pointed his stubby little finger at her and shook his head. “I didn’t get you in BIG BIG TROUBLE,” he argued. “You did that all yourself… every time that you were mean to the dogs, or to other kids, or to Uncle Tommy… it all got saved up in a great big pile until I came and brought it back to you!”

    “I don’t like it one bit,’ she told him. “I want you to stop doing mean things to me, and go away and never come back!”

    He smiled at her, and climbed down the side of the bed. “There is only one way to get rid of me, but I will tell you how.” He skipped over to where she sat, and leaned on one of her knees.

    “What do I have to do?” she asked.

    “Every time that you start to be MEAN to a person, or an animal… I want you to just stop and think ‘Would I want someone to do that to me?’… and if the answer is ‘No”… then you know that you need to not do it.” He squinted up at her, his face all scrunched up like he was really angry with her. “Or else… I will be back!”

    “No, no,” she told him. “I will be good, I wont be MEAN ever ever again!”


     He patted her on the knee, and smiled. “I believe you, Alyssa.” And “POOF”… he disappeared!


     Alyssa looked all around her room, but he was nowhere to be found. She climbed into bed, and turned out the lamp, just hoping that tomorrow wasn’t going to be as bad as today had been, and that the little Goblin was really, really gone… and in just a few minutes she was fast asleep.


     She woke up to her Mom calling to her, asking what she wanted for breakfast. “Alyssa, do you want pancakes or cereal for breakfast?”

    She padded out of her bedroom, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. “Did you get more cereal?” she asked her Mom, who looked at her funny.

    “Why would I get more cereal, we still have plenty left.”

     Alyssa looked up on the counter, and sure enough, there were three boxes of cereal up there… the same three boxes that Squonk had made such a mess with. She turned and ran into the living room, and her Dad was there, watching a DVD on the television. She pushed the “eject” button as he looked at her wide-eyed. “Hey you, pipsqueak, what did you do that for?” he asked her.

    “Just checking for cheese!” she ran to the front door, pulling it open. The two dogs came piling in, nearly mowing her down… both of them with not a bit of permanent marker on them anywhere! She jumped up and down in excitement… it must have just been a bad dream, she told herself!


    “Alyssa, how many times have I told you to not leave your doll’s clothes on the table?”

    She ran into the kitchen to see what her Mom was talking about… to see her holding a little pair of green striped pants, and a bright purple shirt…


    And from that day on, whenever Alyssa started to feel a little bit MEAN, she took just a moment to think about what Squonk had told her… and if she wouldn’t like it if someone did that to her, she would be good and not do it… and she found out that if she was NICE instead of MEAN, that people liked her better, and she felt better about things, and best of all… she didn’t have to worry about a six inch tall goblin named Squonk ever visiting her again!

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