August 16, 2013 - 12:03 — AmandaBlau

This summer children entering grades 3 - 5 submitted stories to us on the theme of travel.  We loved the stories so much we thought we would share them with you - one each week.  This first story is about an alien who travels through space to find a home in Chicago.  We enjoyed the two authors' creativity and the story made us wish we could travel from our Milky Way galaxy and see the Skittles Galaxy they created.


Beyond my Planet
by Maggie T. and Stephanie V.
Age 9

Once there was a boy whose name was Tanner.  Now Tanner’s planet, Jamonjie, was being attacked by Candy Land (Dun dun dunnn!)  Candy Land seemed so cute and nice but, it’s not.  It’s so evil that they don’t even give out candy!

“Tanner,” said Tanner’s mom.  “You must leave Jamonjie!”
“Why?” asked Tanner.
“Because Candy Land can hurt you very badly if you stay here.  There is even a possibility that you could die,” said Tanner’s mom.
“But what about YOU?” Tanner cried. “You could die, too.”
“I’ll be fine,” said Tanner’s mother. “Everyone knows that the Gum Drop soldiers only take children to be in their army.  So it’s really important that you leave.”
“OK. I’ll really miss you, though,” said Tanner.
I’ll really miss you, too.  Now quickly go get your things,” said Tanner’s mother sadly.

Tanner went to get food, water, some guidebooks, clothes, and a sleeping bag for his journey.
When he came back to his mother she said, “Tanner the space shuttle is ready, are you alright?”
“Yes mom.  I love you more than anything.  I hope I see you again!” cried Tanner.
“I love---.”  But Tanner’s mom wasn’t able to finish what she was saying because Tanner’s space shuttle, the Flying Penguin, took off. 

Tanner was weeping all the way through his galaxy. And when he saw a sign that said, “You are now leaving the galaxy, Skittles,” that made him cry even more.

You see Tanner was a bit of a homebody and had never even been outside of his galaxy.  He knew that he had to leave his home; but, he didn’t want to go too far.
The first galaxy he entered was called “The Milky Way.”  He landed the Flying Penguin on an asteroid so he could stretch his legs and read about this new galaxy.
“Wow! The Milky Way has over 200 billion stars,” Tanner read. “But I need to live on a planet.” “Oh, and the Milky Way also has a candy bar named after it.  I’d love to eat some candy right now. . .” Tanner thought to himself.

All of a sudden Tanner saw a creature off in the distance.  And this creature was coming closer and closer to Tanner.  When the creature was just inches away from him Tanner screamed, “What is that?!”

“Hello, my name is Dr. Porkchop.  I’m a PIG,” said the creature.

“O. . . Kaaaay,” said Tanner. “Nice to meet you.  My name is Tanner. I’m. . . . I. . . .I mean, I guess I’m half human and now I’m half alien.”

“Good day!” said Dr. Porkchop.  Then he quietly sneered, “See you again. Ma ha ha ha ha.”

Tanner thought Dr. Porkchop was strange but a nice fellow.  He folded up his guidebook and boarded the Flying Penguin.  Then off he went.  He wanted to see what this Milky Way galaxy had in store for him.

It wasn’t long before Tanner saw nice planets that were orbiting a star.  He was headed toward the most colorful one.  It had green and blue swirls and looked a lot like a marble.  As he got closer, he saw that this planet had lots of water and large areas of land.

“This must be planet Earth,” exclaimed Tanner.  He flew down to get a closer look.  The first thing he saw was a tall, thin building that was leaning over to one side.  He looked in his guide, Planets and Everything in Them, and figured out that this must be the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  This meant that he must be over a country called Italy.
“I don’t want to live there,” Tanner said to himself.  “It’s way too crowded.”

As the rocket flew farther west, Tanner saw a big white house with a huge green yard and a beautiful fountain in front of it.  Tanner looked for the same house in his book. 
“This must be the White House where this country’s leader lives,” Tanner said to himself.  “I must be in Washington, D.C. in a place called The United States of America.  But, I don’t want to live here.  It’s way too fancy.

Next, Tanner saw a place with a lot of dancers and restaurants and just the right amount of people. 
“Hey, I like the way this place looks,” said Tanner.
He looked in his Planets and Everything in Them and saw that this place was also in The United States of America and it was called: Chicago.

“Now this is the perfect place to live,” thought Tanner.
When he looked out his window again he saw a large pig wearing clothes.
Why it’s. . . . . . it’s Dr. Porkchop!” Tanner yelled.  He quickly pressed the “LAND” button.  All of a sudden he felt a huge jerk and heard this incredibly loud BOOM!
“I made it!” Tanner cried happily.

Tanner ran off of the Flying Penguin while the pig in clothes waddled over to him on two legs.
“Hi, Dr. Porkchop!” said Tanner.  “I love this place and this is where I’m going to live now.”
“Well, I’ve got a better place for you to live.  You will work for me. Now, come on!” Dr. Porkchop snorted.
“NO!” shouted Tanner.
Dr. Porkchop quickly grabbed Tanner’s arm and they began to struggle.
“Help, help, help!” Tanner screamed as loud as he could.
But Dr. Porkchop had already thrown Tanner over his shoulder and was taking him away.  Tanner did the only thing he could think of.  He pulled Dr. Porkchop’s tail as hard as he could and wouldn’t let go.  The pig turned around and around and let out a huge squeal.  He dropped Tanner and ran away, this time on all four of his legs.  Then he turned around and looked at Tanner with a real mean face.

“You haven’t seen the last of me. . . you. . . you half alien!”
Tanner was happy to get rid of Dr. Porkchop, but didn’t know where he was now going to live.  Just then he saw some balloons float by that said “Lincoln Park Zoo” on them.  He had never seen a balloon and wanted to get one for himself.  He walked into the zoo and saw children everywhere.
“Now THIS is where I really want to live!” said  Tanner.  And that’s exactly where he is right now.

He was even able to send his mother a postcard letting her know that he was OK and that he loved his new home.  He attached the card to one of the zoo’s balloons and it floated away to his old home.  She was so happy to hear from him and she’s kept the balloon ever since; because in Jamonjie, she discovered, balloons never pop!


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