By: Katie Clark
“We missed it again, Lucille,” Nellie said. She climbed onto her trusty turtle and moseyed from town. “One of these days we’re going to save the day, and then the town will say ‘Nellie is the hero of the day!’ Then I’ll say, ‘Ride on, Lucille!’.”
But today was not that day. Today a boy had cried, “Help!” when he fell into the well on the outskirts of town. Nellie had saddled Lucille and leaped aboard. But Lucille was slow. By the time they reached the well, the sheriff had already pulled him up using an old, rusty bucket.
“Hooray!” the town had shouted. “The sheriff is the hero of the day!”
Nellie led Lucille to the creek for a drink. The turtle waded into the cool water while Nellie picked up a bumpy, green rock.
“Another one!” she said. Nellie had five rocks now. They were lumpy, and bumpy, and the funniest rocks that Nellie ever did see. She put it in her saddlebag.
“Come on, Lucille. Time to go home.”
The sunrise woke Nellie in the morning, and she started cooking breakfast over the fire.
“Help!” someone cried.
“By golly, Lucille! It’s time!” She saddled Lucille and hopped on, and they headed east to the mines. “Faster, Lucille, faster!” Nellie cried.
It was high noon by the time Nellie and Lucille arrived at the mining camp. A crowd gathered at the opening.
“A rolling cart came off the track and pinned Old Mister Garret to the rock wall!” a miner said. “We miners banded together and hauled the cart away!”
“Hooray!” the town shouted. “The miners are the heroes of the day!”
“It’s okay, Lucille,” Nellie said. “We probably couldn’t have pulled that old, heavy cart anyway.”
Nellie led Lucille back to the creek for a drink. Lucille waded into the water while Nellie looked for another bumpy, green rock.
“Help!” someone squeaked.
Nellie jerked around. “Lucille?”
“Help!” someone squeaked again.
Nellie raced to the brush that grew alongside the creek. She parted a brown bush, and there, in a crumpled little contraption, sat a tiny purple person. He had one eye and one crooked horn on his head.
“Help!” he squeaked.
“What in tarnation are you?” Nellie asked. She helped the creature from his mess. Ten tiny purple people climbed out behind him.
“I am Keeko, a Greetian of the planet Greet, from the galaxy Gog.”
“Why the blazes are you in Texas?”
“My ship has crashed here in this bush. The pieces of my ship have scattered, and I don’t see them anywhere.”
Nellie looked at the thing he called a ship. It was green. It was bumpy. It looked like the funniest rock she had ever seen.
“Well, Mr. Keeko, I think I might be of some service to you. You wait right here.”
Nellie opened her saddle bag, and took out her rock collection. She returned it to the little purple person from Greet.
Keeko worked faster than a cat could catch a mouse, and soon the ship was fixed.
“Hooray!” the Greetians sang. “Nellie is the hero of the day!”
They piled into their ship. Keeko bowed and held out a small, green lump. “To thank you for your help, I wish to grant you a kindness. Keep this with you always. It will make your ship a bit faster; I noticed she is a little slow.”
The ship zipped into the sky.
Nellie dropped the lumpy green rock into her saddlebag.
“Help!” someone called from across town.
Nellie hopped aboard her trusty turtle. “Ride on, Lucille!” she called.
They made it just in time.