To Read

Horrible Joy

and the Day of Happiness

Horrible Joy was the smallest person in the school. She was also the only one with red hair and lots of freckles. Horrible Joy hated most things about school. Waiting in line, all she saw was the butts of her classmates. At lunchtime, she had to sit on a tall chair at the end of the table so she could eat her food. At recess time she couldn’t play tetherball. It was all the girls wanted to play, but Horrible Joy could never reach the ball. Worst of all, Horrible Joy was very smart and went to special classes for the very smart kids. She was the only one in that class. It was horrible.

Horrible Joy’s real name was Hallelujah Joy Noel Christmas. She was born on, you guessed it Christmas Day. Horrible Joy lived with her Mom and Dad, Mr. and Mrs. Christmas, her brother Sam Hill and her little sister Sparkle Fireworks. It was her grandmother who started to call her Horrible. She would sit on her Grandmother’s lap and tell her all the horrible things that happened to very short people. Like the people in the store that farted in her face or ran into her because they didn’t see her.

Her grandmother would always say, “That’s horrible, Joy!”

The name stuck.

The day of happiness started like every other day. Horrible joy had to fight to get the step stool in front of the sink to brush her teeth. Her brother was leaning over her to put gel in his hair and dropped some on her head. Her sister spit toothpaste on her arms. At breakfast, her mom made her eggs with the yolks all runny which Horrible joy hated. She liked her eggs scrambled with no runny bits. When the bus came to take them to school, her brother forget to lift her up on the steps and the driver had to make the bus go down so Horrible Joy could reach the step. All the kids laughed at her for being so short. “Horrible Joy is a tiny baby”

“Horrible Joy is so small an ant could run her over!”

It was horrible.

Finally at school, her day started normally. Waiting in line, looking at the butt in front of her, she wished her teacher would line them up by height.

“We don’t want to make someone who is tall feel bad, so we just line up with no rules” Mrs. Snowbum would say.

So Horrible Joy was always last in line. Her little legs could not run fast enough to get to the line to be in time to be first. Besides Butch spent the whole morning and every recess at the lineup place so he was always first. The other kids would push her to the back anyway even if she was upfront.

It was horrible

Just as they were ready to go into the classroom, Suzy’s mom started screaming at the top of her lungs. Everyone ran over to see what was happening.

When Horrible Joy got there, Suzy’s mom was pointing at the cafeteria building and screaming, “My baby! My baby!”
Horrible Joy wasn’t sure what was going on. She wanted to ask Suzy, but Suzy was hiding her face in embarrassment, surrounded by the popular kids.

Horrible Joy walked over to the cafeteria to the group of teachers. When she got there, the teachers and the playground monitors were all talking at once.

“How did she get in there?”

“What are we going to do?”

Principle Stern was just shaking his head.

The janitor was saying something about how he meant to fix that hole.

The cook and the cafeteria ladies were all excitedly wringing their hands and crying crocodile tears.

Horrible Joy could not get anyone’s attention to find out what was going on. Finally one of the crying lunch ladies pointed to the hole at the bottom of the cafeteria. It was one of those holes that were usually covered by a screen, but there were none there.

Horrible joy squatted down and looked into the hole. She couldn’t see it, but she heard a baby laughing.

So that was the problem. She stood up and tugged on Principal Stern’s shirt.

“I can go get the baby”

Principal Sterns at first didn’t hear her, so she tugged harder and said it louder.

Finally, he looked at her.

“No, you won’t fit. You are too big.”

Horrible Joy looked at the principal and said “No I am not big. I am small and will fit.”

The principal didn’t hear her because he was already talking to another grownup.

Horrible Joy shrugged. She got down on her hands and knees and crawled into the hole. Once inside Horrible joy was able to sit up. She looked around and saw the baby sitting on the other side of the cafeteria. She crawled to the baby, but the baby just laughed and crawled away. Every time Horrible Joy got close, the baby crawled away. That baby was fast. She was going to have to do something different.

Suddenly, she had an idea. Horrible Joy crawled back out from under the building. She was surprised to see even more grownups there. The fireman and the police had come and were shaking their heads. Horrible Joy tried to talk to the grownups, but they were all busy talking about a plan to get the baby out. One of the grownups was saying he could take the floor out of the cafeteria. The dog catcher was saying he had a long pole. Horrible Joy knew when grownups were planning they would not listen to a kid. She would have to just do it.

Horrible Joy ran over to Susie’s mom, grabbed the bottle from her hand, and went back under the cafeteria.

“Hey baby,” she said “I got your bottle.”

The baby stopped crawling around and sat down.

Horrible Joy shook the bottle at it. The baby said “Ba Ba” and crawled to Horrible Joy. As it got closer Horrible joy backed up until she reached the hole in the wall. She backed out of the hole with the baby following the bottle. Horrible Joy grabbed the baby and sat on the ground. She gave the bottle to the baby and waited for the grownups to notice.

It was the Janitor who saw her first. He gave a shout of joy. The others turned to see what was going on and saw Horrible Joy sitting there with the baby. Suzie’s mom fainted. Someone else grabbed the baby and the Police Chief grabbed Horrible Joy.

He put her on his shoulders and dancing around shouted

“Horrible Joy saved the baby!”

Soon everyone was dancing and chanting “Horrible Joy save the baby!”

Everyone except for Horrible Joy, she was just embarrassed and getting a little seasick bouncing around on the Police Chief’s shoulders. Finally, the school bell rang. Everyone ran to their classrooms. The police chief put Horrible Joy down, so she could go line up. This time, she was put in the front of the line, even Butch didn’t mind. At recess one of the big girls made the rope longer so she could play tetherball. At lunch, they put a booster on a seat in the middle of the table. The best part was she didn’t have to leave regular class to go to special class. The special teacher came to her.

At home, some TV people came and talked to Horrible Joy, except they called her just Joy. On TV that night the news people talked about Joy being a hero. Her mom didn’t cook and bought pizza for dinner to celebrate. Mom even remembered that Joy liked root beer and not coke. Later that night as she lay in bed, the cat even cuddled with Joy. Joy fell asleep thinking what a great day she had. It was a day of Happiness.