Meet the Teeny Weenies!
Suspiciously swift swimmers at a school swim meet cause a frenzy. A boy who likes to litter finally gets the meaning of Earth Day. A girl and her dad go on a fishing trip and catch the surprise of a lifetime. Young chapter book readers ages 7 to 10, reluctant readers, and fans of very short stories will be entertained and delighted by these twelve zany tales by award-winning author David Lubar. Wacky comic book style illustrations by Bill Mayer add to the fun.
David Lubar is the master of the short story for kids. He has written many short story collections for middle grade readers, including The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales. Now he’s back with short stories for the chapter book audience. Don’t be a weenie. Read these stories!
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
|Publisher:||Tom Doherty Associates|
|Series:||Teeny Weenies , #2|
|Lexile:||610L (what's this?)|
|File size:||46 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
|Age Range:||7 - 10 Years|
About the Author
DAVID LUBAR credits his passion for short stories to his limited attention span and bad typing skills, though he has been known to sit still and peck at the keyboard long enough to write a novel now and then, including Hidden Talents (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults) and My Rotten Life, which is currently under development for a cartoon series. He lives in Nazareth PA with his awesome wife, and not too far from his amazing daughter. In his spare time, he takes naps on the couch.
BILL MAYER is absolutely amazing. Bill’s crazy creatures, characters, and comic creations have been sought after for magazine covers, countless articles, and even stamps for the U.S. Postal Service. He has won almost every illustration award known to man and even some known to fish. Bill and his wife live in Decatur Georgia. They have a son and three grandsons.
David Lubar created a sensation with his debut novel, Hidden Talents, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Thousands of kids and educators across the country have voted Hidden Talents onto over twenty state lists. David is also the author of True Talents, the sequel to Hidden Talents; Flip, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror selection; many short story collections including In the Land of the Lawn Weenies, Invasion of the Road Weenies, The Curse of the Campfire Weenies, The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies, Attack of the Vampire Weenies, Beware the Ninja Weenies, Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies, Strikeout of the Bleacher Weenies, and Extremities; and the Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie series. Lubar grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and he has also lived in New Brunswick, Edison and Piscataway, NJ, and Sacramento, CA. Besides writing, he has also worked as a video game programmer and designer. He now lives in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
Bill Mayer is absolutely amazing. Bill’s crazy creatures, characters, and comic creations have been sought after for magazine covers, countless articles, and even stamps for the U.S. Postal Service. He has won almost every illustration award known to man and even some known to fish. Bill and his wife live in Decatur Georgia. They have a son and three grandsons.
Bill's books include Teeny Weenies: The Intergalactic Petting Zoo and Teeny Weenies: Freestyle Frenzy.
Read an Excerpt
Who needs an alarm clock when you have a dog who likes to yank off your covers as soon as the sun rises? Not me. Tugger, my adorable two-year-old Sheltie mix, loves to wake me up early. If yanking my blanket doesn't do the trick, she'll grab my pillow by one corner and pull it out from under my head. If that doesn't work, she'll bark. But it usually works.
That's fine. I had a swim meet that morning.
"Wish I could take you to the meet," I said to Tugger as I was finishing my breakfast.
"Yeah, 'cause the dog paddle is a super-fast stroke," my older brother, Jordan, said. "And a wet dog smells so wonderful."
He can be a total Weenie. And he's the last person who should talk about how things smell. When he comes home after basketball practice, I have to open all the windows in the house. But I didn't feel like trading insults, so I ignored him and scratched Tugger on her back. If I didn't do that, she'd yank at the tablecloth for my attention.
After breakfast, I grabbed my gym bag and headed for the school. It's just three blocks from my house. Tugger followed me to the edge of the lawn, then she flopped down and put her head on her paws. That was as far as she felt like going. But after a yawn and a stretch, she let out a woof that I knew meant "Good luck."
"Nervous?" my teammate Angela asked when I got to the locker room.
"Never," I lied.
"We've got this one," she said.
"For sure," I said. I know it's not good to boast or to get overconfident, but Angela and I were one half of a really strong relay team. We'd come close to beating the state record in the 4-by-100 freestyle. This was the last local meet. The winners would go to the regionals, and then to the state championship. It felt great to be part of a strong team.
"Who's that?" I asked when we were getting ready to start the race. I nodded at the lane next to us, where four swimmers I didn't recognize were lined up. They all had long towels wrapped around their waists, covering them all the way to their feet. When the first swimmer on that team hopped up onto the starting block, she didn't let go of her towel.
"No idea," Angela said. "Not that it matters."
It turned out it mattered a lot.
Angela swam first. I was the anchor, going last. When the whistle blew and the swimmers dived into the water, the girl in the lane next to us finally dropped her towel as she leaped off the block.
That has to slow her down, I thought. Fractions of a second can make a difference. But even though she hit the water behind the others, she quickly made up the lost distance and then started to pull ahead.
"Go, Angela!" I screamed. She was holding on to second place, but was half a body length behind the lead. The next two swimmers on the towel team also shot through the water like fish fleeing a shark. The lead grew greater.
Now it was my turn. We were at least five yards behind when I dived into the pool. The swimmer next to me had already dived in, doing the same strange thing with her towel as her teammates. They all stayed wrapped up in their towels when they weren't in the water.
I tried my best to catch up, but it was impossible. The anchor on the other team was even faster than the first three swimmers.
We were way behind the winners, but ahead of all the other teams in our heat. Our time would probably be good enough to get us into the finals, but if the team with the towels swam the same way again, our hopes for the regionals would be destroyed.
I looked over at them again. I noticed they kept their feet close together. And when one of them went to the locker room, she walked with an odd shuffle.
An idea hit me. It was so wild, I pushed it out of my mind right away. But it kept creeping back, like a dog sneaking back to the dinner table after being carried away. So I shared it with Angela.
"No way," she said. "That's totally ridiculous."
"It makes sense," I told her. "I can't think of any other explanation."
"Then keep thinking," Angela said. "Because there has to be."
There wasn't. I got more and more sure my wild idea was the only possible explanation. We were swimming against mermaids. If that was the case, there was no way we could win.
No. There was one way. It was another wild idea, but it was all I could think to do. I borrowed a phone from a friend in the bleachers, and called my brother.
"I need a favor," I told him.
He laughed and said, "No chance."
But when I told him what I wanted, he decided it would be fun. The best way to get a Weenie to do something is to make him think it's a prank.
I watched the clock. I hoped Jordan would get here in time. He wasn't the fastest kid. He liked to slack off. I guess he'd decided to do just that, and let me down, because by the time the last race started he hadn't shown up.
Once again, the other team pulled into the lead.
The lead widened with the second and third swimmers. It was hopeless. Even if I swam like a speedboat, I'd never catch up.
Right before the fourth leg, as the other swimmer prepared to drop her towel and dive in, I saw someone slip open the side door and peek inside.
It was Jordan. I hoped he wasn't too late. He flashed me a smile, like we were sharing a joke, then put down Tugger. I guess he thought Tugger would run wild, bark at people, cause a commotion, and maybe dive into the pool. He had no idea what I expected to happen.
It didn't matter, as long as it worked.
Tugger looked around, and then dashed toward me. I kept an eye on my teammate, so I wouldn't miss my dive, but I glanced toward Tugger, too.
Don't let me down, I thought.
And she didn't. Just as I'd hoped, Tugger lived up to her name, and her habit. She ran up to the swimmer next to me, clamped down on the end of her towel, and gave a mighty tug.
As the towel pulled free, the swimmer stumbled back off the starting block. Tugger ran to the other side of the pool with the towel. The girl looked at the water and then toward the locker room, as if she had no idea whether to dive in or run away.
That gave me enough time to get a good look at her. It took me a moment to realize what I was seeing.
Her legs and feet were fake!
She was wearing something that slipped over her tail and ended with feet. Her legs and feet could pass for human at a quick glance, or when churning through the water. But right now, as she hopped, stumbled, and slid toward the locker room, I could see my wild idea was true.
She was some sort of mermaid. So were the other three. They all dashed away. I had a feeling we'd never see them again. At least, not at a swim meet.
That was fine with me.
I wanted to pet Tugger, who'd run back over to me to show off the towel, but I had to do my part in the race. I dived in, swam hard, and locked in a win for our team. We were going to the regionals!
Then, I got out, hugged my teammates, and petted my dog.
"You saved the day," I said to Tugger.
My hand was wet. But she didn't seem to mind at all. She wagged her tail. Then, she grabbed my towel and ran off back to Jordan, who was waiting for her by the door.
"We're bringing her to the regionals, right?" Angela said. "Just in case."
I smiled and nodded. "Good idea." You never knew what you might run into at a swim meet.CHAPTER 2
"It's a stupid belief," Myron said.
"Nope," Jasper said as he knelt by the mound.
"Yup," Myron said. "And even if it works, why would we need to know?"
"Because." Jasper spat out that single word, as if the answer were obvious. He leaned over, so his head was directly above the hole.
"You're blocking the sun," Myron said.
"So how can the groundhog see his shadow if you do that?"
Jasper opened his mouth to argue. He disagreed with most things Myron said, because he knew he was way smarter than his friend. But no words came. Jasper hated to admit it, but Myron actually had a point.
He backed away from the hole far enough so his shadow wasn't over it. "I was just testing to make sure there could be a shadow today."
"Was not," Myron said.
After several more rounds of "was" and "wasn't," the weather-watching Weenies switched from exchanging words to swapping shoulder punches.
Once they'd grown tired of arguing and hurting each other, Jasper leaned toward the opening again.
"Maybe there's no groundhog," Myron said.
"Has to be," Jasper said.
"Because isn't an answer."
"Yes, it is."
They waited. They argued. They punched. The sun rose higher. "Really, what's the point?" Myron asked as noon approached.
"We'll know if we might get more snow days at school," Jasper said.
"Oh. That's good," Myron said.
"I know," Jasper said.
And they waited.
"I think it's empty," Myron finally said. "There's no groundhog."
"You don't know anything." Jasper got up and backed off, keeping his eye on the groundhog's hole so he wouldn't missanything. As he inched away, he felt around near his feet until he found a stick. "I'll stir it up a bit."
He thrust the stick into the hole and swirled it around like a giant spoon.
"You'll just scare it off," Myron said.
Again, words led to shoulder punches, but Myron quickly dropped his side of the argument because Jasper had a stick.
"I'm going home," Myron said.
"You'll miss everything," Jasper said.
"There's definitely no groundhog in there."
"Has to be," Jasper said.
Myron turned away. Jasper tossed the stick aside and jammed his face against the hole.
"Hey, you stupid groundhog," he shouted, "come out!"
Then he screamed and leaped to his feet. Blood sprayed from his face like it was a lawn sprinkler.
"I guess there is a groundhog," Myron said. "Did he see his shadow?" Jasper was too busy screaming to answer the question.
But someone else now knew a bit more about the weather.
Down below the blood-splattered earth, the groundhog backed away from beneath the hole and spat something onto the floor of his burrow.
"Got it," he said.
"I knew he'd lean down eventually," his wife said. "We just had to be patient."
"You were right," he said. "I'm glad we waited."
"One nostril or two?" his wife asked.
"Two," he said, batting at the bitten-off nose with one paw.
"So, that means six more weeks of winter?"
"Good to know," she said, giving him a gentle pat on the shoulder.
"Good to know," he agreed, returning the pat. "Let's go back to sleep."
And so they did.CHAPTER 3
BACK TO EARTH
My friend Rudy and I were on our way home from school when he tossed his empty Orange Zap soda can into the wire garbage basket right outside the front door.
"Wrong container," I said. I pointed toward a blue bucket sitting next to the basket. It had that familiar symbol painted on the side, with three arrows chasing each other around in a circle. "That's the one for recyclables."
Rudy shrugged. "Big deal. One little can doesn't make a difference."
"Yes, it does." I reached into the basket, plucked out the crumpled can, and put it in the recycling bin. "Every little bit makes a difference."
"Yeah. Right." Rudy reached into the bucket, grabbed the can, and tossed it back into the trash, throwing it like he was shooting a three-point basket. "Score!"
I took it out again and put it where it belonged. Rudy grabbed it, spat on it several times, making it pretty much untouchable, and tossed it in the garbage. "Your move."
I decided to let the can go. But I didn't want to drop the topic. "You know what tomorrow is, right?" I asked.
"I sure do. It's the day my dad gets me the new battery for my go-kart. I'm definitely winning that race next week." Rudy turned an imaginary steering wheel and went, "Vrooommmmmm!"
I knew his go-kart made a sound a lot more like a tiny lawn mower, or a large kitten, than a roaring muscle car, but I let that go, too. "Tomorrow is Earth Day," I said.
"Oh no!" Rudy said, smacking himself in the forehead with his open palm. "I totally forgot to buy it a present. Now it's going to hate me."
I could see there was no point trying to get him to be serious about anything green. This wasn't the first time I'd taken a shot at it. Yesterday, in the cafeteria, he'd done the same thing with an empty glass bottle. And the day before that, in the library, he'd dumped a report in the garbage can, right next to the paper bin. He'd shoved it down past a bunch of tossed-out paper plates that had been left there after a book club pasta party, so there was no way I could rescue the pages and put them where they belonged.
As much as all of this bothered me, I didn't want to annoy Rudy too much, or get too preachy. That wouldn't make him start caring and stop being such a litter-loving Weenie. Besides, even if it was a lot less cool than a dirt bike or an ATV, his go-kart was fun to ride, and he was pretty good about sharing the fun.
When we reached his house, he said, "Hey, come on over tomorrow afternoon. I'll have the new battery in by then. That's the last thing I need to get ready for the race."
"Just be sure to recycle the old one," I said, before I could catch myself.
"Sure. Definitely," Rudy said.
The next morning, I joined a bunch of kids from my church group, picking up trash along the Musconetcong River, near where it empties into the Delaware. That was our Earth Day activity. My folks were going to take me to a concert that evening, at the high school auditorium, in honor of Pete Seeger. He was a folk singer who cared a lot about the environment.
But between the river and the concert, I had time for some go-kart riding. I met Rudy at his place after lunch.
"Ready for some racing?" he asked.
"Sure." Though, with one cart, it wasn't really racing. Still, we could take turns and see who had the fastest time around the course we'd marked out in the vacant lots behind his house.
We'd used wooden stakes to make a course just like the one the races were held on. There were two hairpin turns, an S curve, and a two-seventy loop, so it took a lot of skill to get the best time. Rudy had lost every race last season, so he was really eager to score some wins this year.
He went first. As he was coming out of the last curve into the home stretch, the weirdest thing happened. I missed the beginning of it, because I'd looked away to watch a pair of squirrels chasing each other. But when I looked back, there was a bunch of sheets of paper flying through the air, like Rudy had run into them.
"That was weird," he said when he got off the cart.
I took my turn. But I wasn't going to set a record for the lap, because I stopped along the way to pick up the papers that were scattered on the ground. After I had them all, I folded them and put them under my seat.
"Come on!" Rudy shouted. "Get moving."
I finished the lap. My time would be terrible, but at least the papers wouldn't blow all over the place. As I pulled up next to him, I saw Rudy rubbing his shoulder.
"What's wrong?" I asked after I got off the cart.
He pointed to the ground, where I saw a bottle.
"I think someone threw this at me," he said.
I looked around, There was nobody in sight, not counting the squirrels.
"Maybe it fell out of the sky," I said.
"Very funny." He swung his arm in a circle, flexing his shoulder. "Take another lap. I want to rest this for a minute."
"Sure." That was fine with me, especially since I'd stopped to pick up papers during my first lap.
This time, as I was coming into the last turn, I actually did see what hit Rudy. And it really did fall from the sky. The sunlight flashing off it as it tumbled caught my attention. It bonked Rudy on the head with a clang I could hear over the whine of the engine. But at least it wasn't a glass bottle. That would have been really bad.
When I finished my lap and got off the cart, I saw he'd been beaned by a soda can. Good thing it was empty.
"I think we should go inside," I said. I grabbed the papers from the seat and tucked them under my arm. I'd find somewhere to recycle them later.
"No way," Rudy said. "I waited a week for the new battery, and I need to get ready for the next race. I'm riding all afternoon. You can go home if you want. I'm not going anywhere."
Rudy got back on the cart, floored the accelerator, and zoomed off. As the stink of exhaust faded, I sniffed the air. It smelled like someone was cooking spaghetti sauce. But there were no other houses near us beside Rudy's, and I knew his parents didn't like to cook.
I sniffed again, then pulled the papers from under my arm. The one on top had some red stains that looked a lot like sauce. It smelled like sauce, too. I turned the page over. My hand clutched it harder as I realized what I was holding. It was a page from the report Rudy had tossed in the garbage.
I looked down at the bottle. It was Crunch Kola, Rudy's favorite brand.
And the can that just fell was Orange Zap, like the one he'd tossed into the trash yesterday.
Then, something hit me. But not from the sky. The thing that struck me came from my brain. The Earth was tossing back the things Rudy had thrown out! If that thought was like a smack to the head, the one that followed was like a dropkick to the gut by a mule with a black belt in karate.
Oh no ...
Excerpted from "Teeny Weenies Tales: Freestyle Frenzy And Other Stories"
Copyright © 2019 David Lubar.
Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Back to Earth,
Can You Stand Success?,
Opening Day #1,
The Pet Sitter,
Off the Map,
Opening Day #2,
A New Wrinkle,
Starscape Books by David Lubar,
About the Author and Illustrator,