Horace the Saurus, Or How I Got Grounded by Billy Ishikawa-Watson, age 8
by Shawn Bilodeau
Uhm… Teacher said I had to write [author, compose, type] an essay on how I got grounded, so this is it. I’m not allowed to vid it because it’s sort of a punishment [discipline, sanction, abuse]. But it’s not fair! It’s all Teacher’s fault, really.
It started out because of the earlier [previous, prior, preceding] essay Teacher had me vid. I did a vid on a really, utterly, Wholly SPARKLE new Lego kit that Grampa had got me. It was the Hover Police Urban Assault Tru-tank, with the real AI so it would do what I told it.
It was a wholly sparkle vid, too, but Teacher said I “showed a minimal vocabulary with a heavy reliance upon current slang.” It said I had to do the vid again, but that I had to spend time with the Saurus, first. At least I thought that’s what it said. I’d sorta rammed the tru-tank into one of its speakers making the vid, so it sounded kinda funny and I wasn’t listening as hard as I could.
It was a little confusing [confounding, perplexing, upsetting,] too, as I didn’t know which saurus it wanted me to spend time with. I asked it which saurus, and it just said, “No, the Saurus.” again. Half-etched Teacher! Mommy and Daddy wholly need to replace it with a sparkle nova model.
So, I did what Teacher keeps telling me I need to do when I’m upset. I stopped bouncing on the sofa, I took a slow deep breath, and then another one, and I thought about the problem. I thought about all the sauruses I know [cognize, ken (hah, like that half-etched old doll!), fathom.]
There’s the Tyrannosaurus, and the Stegosaurus, and the Titanosaurus (which can snack on Tyrannosauruses any time it wants to,) and the Allosaurus, and the Brachiosaurus, and a whole bunch of other sauruses, but none of them were The Saurus that Teacher said I had to spend time with. Then I remembered Mommy’s Gene Machine.
It’s how Mommy works when it’s work time. She sits and thinks and when she’s done thinking [deliberating, meditating, reflecting, reflecting that’s pretty funny, she doesn’t look like a mirror] she pushes buttons on the Gene Machine and it makes animals for her that she sells, which puts food on the table. (I’m not sure how, because the Cook is the only one I see putting food on the table.)
Since I didn’t know which saurus Teacher wanted me to spend time with, I decided that I’d use Mommy’s Gene Machine and make one that had a little of all of the other sauruses in it, that way I’d get the one that Teacher wanted, too. I went and talked to the Gene Machine and told it what I wanted and to make sure it put lots of Titanosaurus in it, and T. Rex and Brachiasaurus and all of the others. And some puppy dog, too. Our neighbors, the Crick-Hernandez’s have a puppy that is so much fun to play with.
That’s how I wound up with Horace the Saurus. The Gene Machine whirred and clicked and blinked and SPARKLED! And in a little while, out came Horace. He wasn’t very big to begin with, but then he found the stasis box and ate everything in it. Everything. Including all the containers. By the time he got done, his head was bumping against the high ceiling in the living room.
I think Horace was glad that the living room door was open. He ate the screen out of the screen door and went outside and starting all the bushes around the outside of the house [dwelling, mansion, residence]. By that time, he was nearly as tall as the house. He had to bend down to eat the gate, and then he stepped over the wall.
When he started walking down the street [pavement, roadway, thoroughfare] I wasn’t happy. How could I spend time with him if he wandered off? So I hopped on my hover bike (its name is Bike) and followed after him. It was all pretty exciting, watching him eat [devour, scarf, snack on] tree tops, and step on parked cars, and scratch his chin on solar collectors and keep on growing.
But then we got downtown. He’d stopped growing, because there weren’t that many trees there and I got a little worried [nervous, concerned, perturbed] when Horace started looking into buildings and people started screaming. I didn’t want him eating anyone, or hurting them. So I Bike fly us all around his head to distract him.
It worked really well. He started snapping at me, and almost got me. It was scary and exciting [astonishing, breathtaking, dangerous] at the same time. I moved farther away from him, and he started chasing me. I wasn’t sure what to do then, so I had Bike call Daddy.
He was surprised [amazed, startled, taken aback] when he answered. It was good for me that he was a little bored with work, I think. Bike explained things while we kept leading Horace away from downtown. Daddy told Bike to lead him to the park and it worked! Horace started eating all the trees there and completely forgot about us. We landed and waited there just like Daddy said until he came and got me.
They’ve built a big wall around Horace and he’s the main attraction [allure, draw, inducement] at the park now. Lots of people come from all over the place to see him, and the city charges them for that so they can afford to feed him. Which is good, because even though he’s stopped growing, Horace still eats a lot.
Daddy asked me what had happened, so I told him about Teacher and the Saurus and the Gene Machine and how I was just doing as I was told. Daddy laughed for a very long time after that, then he explained to me that Teacher had been talking about a thesaurus, a big book of words that mean the same thing as a lot of other words. It all seems like a lot of work to me, but then a lot of what grownups do seems like that to me. Maybe I’ll understand it better when I’m older.
So here is my essay [article, manuscript, thesis] that you wanted, Teacher. And I used the thesaurus just like you said. Oh, and as to how I got grounded? Daddy forgot to get Bike when he picked me up, so it’s still in the cage with Horace and I haven’t gotten brave enough to ask Daddy to get it back yet. Until I do, I have to walk everywhere, completely grounded.