Talitha’s Story: Purple Wumpus

My uncle is a hero.

He never talks about it — and my guardian, Alvin, never talks about it, but I know it’s true.

That’s what keeps him so busy — why he can’t live with me and Alvin. The monsters he fights would chew

us up! I asked my Uncle Jonas if I could help him fight the monsters. He laughed and said I wasn’t quite ready for the Big Monsters — but I could probably handle the Purple Wumpus.

Yun Byoung Chul PENE MENN

The Purple Wumpus is a tiny little monster that hides behind your head, and no matter how fast you turn he stays right behind you! Uncle Jonas loves to point behind me and tell me all of the silly things that the Purple Wumpus is doing. Like singing a song and standing on its head – or brushing my hair for me when I’m too busy – or one time the Purple Wumpus stole a bunch of cookies from the kitchen! Uncle Jonas reached behind my head, and snatched them right away from that little monster. I asked if Alvin would be mad, and my uncle said that WE hadn’t stolen the cookies, so how could he be mad?

I wasn’t sure — and thought about it for a long time — but Uncle had already eaten three cookies, so I decided it was probably all right.

I asked Alvin one time why Uncle never slept when he visited. I could see the light under his door on every time I woke up. Alvin said that Uncle Jonas was a very busy man, and he always had lots of work to do.

I asked my Uncle if I could help him with his work, so he could take a nap. He just gave me a big hug, and told me that he had to stay up late to keep the Purple Wumpus from causing mischief like stealing all of my toys or running around tipping over all the crockery in the pantry. I asked him if we could take turns — he said it was a job for grownups, and I wouldn’t have to worry about it for a long, long time.

I can’t wait until I’m grown up, so I can go on adventures with my Uncle Jonas! Watch out Purple Wumpus — I’m getting faster every day!

[This is from a scene where various characters were telling stories around a campfire — Talitha is nine and awesome.]

2 thoughts on “Talitha’s Story: Purple Wumpus

  1. Wait, so is this a scene out of a short story you’re writing? I didn’t get the context of it, but it still managed to give me goosebumps. Whatever the context, I love how it highlights the way children view adults. It doesn’t matter if the only thing the uncle was doing all night was accounting work, or a similarly boring task; the child’s imagination is gonna turn it into something fantastic.

    • Ha, yeah — this is from a much, much longer piece. I’m glad you enjoyed it! The real context that’s missing is that “Uncle Jonas” is a villain. It’s been clearly established to the other characters that he is a murderer – bad, bad dude. No one has the heart to tell this little girl what her uncle actually does…

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