Tuesday, April 12, 2011
30 Days: "Diffle McSnug vs. the Cavern" by Jennifer Nielsen
The great adventurer Diffle McSnug is very strong and brave, but also rather rude,
since he’s frequently attempted to take over Elliot Penster’s books to tell his own story.
However, since this is clearly not Elliot’s book, his latest adventure can be told here.
Diffle had not intended to have an adventure that day. He had only planned to hike the
unmapped Himalayan mountain range in search of a new highest peak on earth, when
with an unfortunately placed footstep, he suddenly found himself sliding into a deep
cavern inside the earth.
He hit the ground with a thud and seriously bruised his backside in the process, which
prevented him from properly sitting to think of a way out. However, not sitting turned
out to be a very good piece of luck. With only a little warning roar, the earth burped out a
puff of rancid hot smoke from a small hole in the exact spot where Diffle would have sat.
If you think the moral of this story is that sometimes it’s good to have a bruised backside,
you’d be wrong. Keep reading.
Diffle coughed and choked until the smoke gradually rose and escaped through the long
uphill tunnel. Diffle tried his best to follow the smoke up that same tunnel, but his bruised
backside was uncooperative for climbing and alas, Diffle soon failed.
He then threw his mountaineering rope as high as he could, hoping to pull himself up
with it. But even Diffle could not throw the rope upward that far, and it all tumbled back
down on his head.
Another puff of smoke blew out, choking Diffle even worse than before. Gradually it
rose up the tunnel, but Diffle still felt discouraged. He knew there would be another, and
another, and – wait! He could escape after all!
Yes, Dear Reader, you probably did have this figured out several paragraphs ago.
Obviously you’re smarter than Diffle McSnug. But Diffle recently bruised his backside,
so give him a break.
Diffle removed his coat and placed it directly over the steam hole. When the earth
belched, his coat rose up, trapping the air. But still Diffle held it tight. A minute later it
smoked again. Tears streamed down his face with the smell, but his coat still trapped the
smoke. It burped again, then again. It was all Diffle could do to keep the smoke trapped
beneath the coat. Finally, he could hold it no longer. Diffle crawled beneath the coat,
holding tightly to all corners. The smoke singed his eyebrows off and the smell melted
his nose hairs, but with one final puff, the coat lifted Diffle into the air.
Several times during the trip upward, Diffle wanted to let go, but his fists, which did not
want to fall, remained firmly clenched onto the coat. Fists can be very stubborn like that.
At last, Diffle reached the surface where he finally released his coat, which the smoke
continued carrying upward. A powerful telescope last spotted it exploring deep space on
Later that day, Diffle continued his explorations in the Himalayan Motel 6 pool. He
would seek out another adventure soon, but for now, just getting into the deep end
seemed like enough.