by Rolli –
Now, suppose you want to ride a rhino. Well, of course you do! Or you wouldn’t be reading this. Lucky for you, rhino riding is a piece of jungle cake. There’s only eight steps!
Step One: Finding a Rhino
First thing’s first. You’ll have to find a rhino. They have them at the zoo, but the zoo people won’t let you ride those ones. Believe me.
Nope, you’ll have to go to Africa. That might be far away, or it might be close, depending on where you live. If you live in Orlando, Florida, it will be a very long swim indeed. But if you live in Zimbabwe, you’ll only have to cross the street. Lucky!
Have you found your rhino? Good. Time for Step Two.
Step Two: Choosing a Rhino
Now, you can’t just ride any old rhino. Nope, you’ll have to look for one with a huuuge horn. Just enormous. Think big – and then think bigger. Think the Empire State Building – only a horn. Don’t worry why, just yet. Worrying comes later!
Have you picked out your rhino, one with a ginormous horn? Perfect! Move on to Step Three.
Step Three: Naming Your Rhino
“Naming my rhino? What a load of goosepotatos!” Is that what you’re thinking? Well, think again.
Coming up with a name for your rhino helps a rider focus. As my grandpappy used to tell me, “Focus is everything!” Then he’d trip on a chair or something. Wouldn’t wear his glasses, grandpappy. Thought they made him look like a buzzard.
So go ahead and choose a name. Something simple, and quick. Like Jo. Or Stevie-Jo. Something with Jo in it. Nothing fancy, like Preston William Carbuncle III. You won’t have time to say anything like that. Believe me.
Have you picked out a good name, with Jo in it? Super! Time for Step Four.
Step Four: Climbing the Booboo Tree
“Booboos? Booboos?!” Is that what you’re saying? Are you jumping up and down? Well, you can stop freaking out. Booboo trees are easy to spot. They’re the tall, mighty ones with band-aids on ’em. They grow like weeds in Africa, so there should be one close to your rhino. They’re tough to climb, those booboos, so you might want to use suction cups. Just suction right up it (watch out for the band-aids), then hide in the leaves at the top. Hey – why not wear a shirt made of band-aids, while you’re at it?
That would make the perfect camouflage!
Are you up in the tree, waiting? Great! Time for Step Five.
Step Five: Distracting Your Rhino
The main thing about rhinos is they’re naturally suspicious. If one figures out what you’re up to, he’ll just raise his horn, and skip off in a cloud of dust. You don’t want that, believe me (especially if you’re allergic to dust).
This is where hula-hoops come in handy. A rhino just doesn’t know what to do or think about a hula-hoop. They don’t have them in nature. So if you toss one down from your tree, the rhino will just stand there staring at it for five or ten minutes. That’s your chance. Go ahead and throw it!
Now, I didn’t tell you to bring a hula-hoop with you – but I shouldn’t have to. Every great rider takes a hula-hoop with him, wherever he goes. Duh.
Step Six: Jumping!
This is almost the most important step. You’ve got to jump out of the booboo tree while your rhino is busy staring at the hula-hoop. If you don’t time it right, you won’t land on the rhino’s head. Nope, you’ll land on his horn. That would be a big mistake. Believe me.
Step Seven: Holding on!
Okay, this might be the most important step. So pay attention! The second you land on your rhino (he should still be staring at the hula-hoop), you’ll need to grab on to something. It’s a good thing you picked a rhino with a big horn, right? Go ahead and grab hold of that horn with all your might. The more might you have, the better!
While you’re holding on, don’t be afraid to say “Whoa, Jo!” or “Steady, Stevie-Jo!” or whatever name you’ve come up with, with Jo in it. It’ll help you focus! As my grandpappy always said, “Quit yer jumpin’ around, you crazy kid!” Quite a guy, my grandpappy.
Time for step eight!
Step Eight: Riding Your Rhino
Congratulations! So long as you’re holding onto that horn, and not lying flat on the ground, which doesn’t count, you’re riding your rhino. Isn’t it a great feeling? Isn’t it just the best, the most exciting ride of your life?
Now, suppose you want to get back off your rhino. Ha! I’m only joking! Who’d want to do a silly thing like that?
1. What’s the first step you’ll take when you want to ride a rhino?
2. What should you name your rhino?
3. What can you use to distract a rhino? Why is it such a perfect distraction?
4. Which step is the most important one when riding a rhino?
5. When you don’t want to ride it any more, how do you get down off your rhino ?
“Highly Recommended… Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat is destined to resonate with kids who love science and clever storytelling techniques, and who need reassurance that it’s okay (preferable even!) to be a little strange.” – ForeWord Reviews
“Brilliantly original, clever and quirky. Rolli’s stories teem with suspense, science, twists – and cats!” – Sharon Plumb, author of Draco’s Child and Bill Bruin Shovels His Roof.