When it comes to a children’s short story, kids love one that contains humor and that deals with an aspect similar to their own lives. Since most kids love peanut butter, this story will have them laughing and asking for it to be read again. It’s a fun children’s short story that both kids and adults will enjoy … even those who are not peanut butter fans.
The Case of the Disappearing Peanut Butter
“Where’s the peanut butter?” I yelled.
“It’s in the pantry,” Mom called as she turned on her blow dryer.
In the pantry? That’s where I was standing. I saw lima beans … ick … and asparagus … barf. There was no way that I, Barry Anderson, would spread those on my toast. I needed peanut butter.
The scab on my elbow itched and so I scratched. It broke open and a trickle of blood dripped onto my shirt. “Sufferin’ sucker fish! Now I’ve gotta get a band-aid.”
As I stepped away from the pantry, my twin brother, Scooter, came up behind me and yawned. He smelled like a p-butter sandwich. “I must have the stuff on the brain,” I thought. Holding my elbow, I said, “Watch it, bleeder coming through,” and I dashed to the bathroom.
“I need a band-aid,” I hollered to my mom over the roar of the blow dryer.
“You’ve got a fan blade?” she asked, turning the dryer to high.
“No! I’m bleeding!” I yelled.
“The cats are eating?” she shouted back. I pulled the plug to the dryer, pointed to my elbow and hollered, “BLOOD!”
“You don’t need to yell. The band-aids are in here.” She opened the medicine cabinet and sitting next to them was the jar of peanut butter.
I squinted, and said, “Mom, why’d you put the peanut butter in here?”
“I didn’t.” She fluffed her red hair and patted me on the shoulder. “Don’t you want a band-aid?”
“Oh, yeah.” I took one out, put it on my elbow, and eyeballed the peanut butter. I felt the bottom of the container. Nope, it hadn’t grown legs. So how had it moved from the pantry to the medicine chest?
Saturday rolled around–the day to have waffles with peanut butter and jam. And maybe a couple of peanut butter cookies on the side. Can you tell I love peanut butter? Scooter came in just as Mom put two waffles on my plate. He smelled good, like p-butter. Which reminded me that I needed some. “Pass the peanut butter, please,” I said.
They looked at each other and Scooter asked, “What peanut butter?”
I looked all over the table. And under the table. And in the pantry, again. “There’s no p-butter. It’s disappeared.”
“Maybe you put it in the fridge by mistake,” Mom said.
I walked to the fridge, stuck my head in and hollered, “None in here.”
“We’re out of beer?” she said. “Of course we are. We don’t drink beer.”
Hoping to make myself clear, I said, “No! All that’s in here is a bottle of ketchup and two pears.”
“You’re hunting bears?” Mom sounded confused. “There aren’t any bears in the fridge.”
“There’s NO P-BUTTER!” I shouted as I pulled my head out.
“Well, you don’t need to yell. Did you check the medicine chest?”
Scooter’s blue eyes widened. “The medicine chest? Why would it be there?”
“Who knows,” I said. “Someone put it there yesterday.” I went and checked the medicine cabinet, but all I saw was that same box of band-aids. I grouched back to the table. Without peanut butter, waffles were a waste. I grumbled and ate sixteen peanut butter cookies instead, then went to get my ball glove. In the pocket of the mitt was the jar of p-butter! I opened it up and it was only half-full. Yesterday, there’d been a whole jar, and Scooter was the one who smelled like peanuts all the time. It had to be him.
I set the jar back in my glove and searched for him. “Scooter, are you the one eating the peanut butter and leaving the jar in weird places?” I asked over the noise of the TV.
“No. I don’t know anything about it.” He turned back to watch Animal Planet.
I rolled up one sleeve and flexed my muscle. “Look at the size of this. You wouldn’t want to fib to someone with such huge muscles. Are you sure you didn’t take the p-butter?” I asked again.
Scooter felt my muscle, then got out a ruler and measured it. “Half an inch,” he declared. It sure looked bigger than that to me. I decided to try from a different direction. “If it’s not you, then how come you always smell like peanuts?”
“Because Dad gave us that peanut-smelling waterless hand cleaner for Christmas.” Reaching for the bottle, he squirted some on and rubbed his hands together.
If it wasn’t Scooter that meant one thing … there was a p-butter thief around! This had to be stopped before there wasn’t any peanut butter left in town.
“Come on, Scooter, we’ve got a crime to solve.” I said, wondering if I had a pair of handcuffs anywhere. Just in case. “The first thing we need to do is to find clues. Pick up that pen from the desk.”
Scooter cocked his head. “What for? To poke the guy and give him ink poisoning?”
“Naw, to write down the clues.” We walked over to the ball glove. “Give me the paper and pen,” I said.
“What paper? All you asked for was this pen.” Scooter waved it and accidentally stabbed me.
“Ouch!” I shook my head in disgust–now I had a bright blue dot poked in my arm.
“Sorry,” Scooter said. “Too bad it isn’t red because it would match your freckles.”
“We don’t want to look dumb, so don’t tell anyone you poked me. We’ll tell everyone at school it’s a tattoo.”
Scooter nodded. “I hope you don’t get ink poisoning and die. But if you do, can I have your ball glove?” I nodded in return, and we started circling the mitt, looking for clues.
“Creeping crawdads!” I muttered. “There’s nothing here but a strand of red hair.”
Scooter scratched his head. “Must be mine.”
“And a piece of blue string that’s probably mine.” I looked at my blue shirt.
“What about that elastic hair doo-dad?” Scooter asked.
“Dunno. Maybe Mom’s. It’s probably not even a clue.”
That night we set a trap for the thief. “I’m putting the peanut butter on the table.” I yelled it so that if the crook was in the next town, he’d still be able to hear me. Then I knotted a piece of string around the jar. It was long enough to reach our bedroom.
“I’ll tie this string to your foot,” I said to Scooter, as we got ready for bed. “When the thief picks up the peanut butter, there’ll be a tug on your toe.”
“Why my toe? Why not yours?” Scooter’s voice sounded muffled as he pulled his T-shirt off.
“Because you wake up easier than I do.” I slid into the cool Star Wars sheets on the bottom bunk and feel asleep.
CRASH! Something flew off the top bunk. “What’s going on?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
Scooter sat on the floor, rubbing his head. “The string jerked me out of bed.”
“Are you okay?”
“Hmph,” he grunted, rubbing it more. “Can you die from a big bump?”
“I dunno. If you do, can I have your bike?” He nodded. We untied the string and grabbed a pen to use on the crook. “I’ll turn on the light, and you poke him with the pen,” I whispered, as we tiptoed into the kitchen.
“Why do I have to be the poker?” Scooter whispered back, gripping the red pen in his hand.
“Because you’ve already poked me once and so you know how to do it. When I count to three, I’ll flip the light on and you jab him. One … two …”
Leaping out like a swordsman, Scooter waved the pen in front of him. “Die, you scummy p-butter thief,” he yelled. Only I hadn’t turned the light on yet, so Scooter was standing in the dark.
“Three …” I flipped the switch. There stood Mom, with a tablespoon of peanut butter in her mouth. She looked awake, but I could tell she wasn’t. “Shhh,” I put my finger to my lips. “Don’t wake her up–she’s eating in her sleep.”
“That explains the clues,” Scooter said. “The red hair and elastic thingy were hers.”
I took the spoon from her and put it on the counter. “The blue string came from her pajamas.”
We guided her towards the bedroom and I whispered, “I’m glad you didn’t poke her.”
Scooter held up the red pen and smiled. “Me, too. But if I had, at least her tattoo would have matched her freckles.”
Other children’s stories by this author:
Children’s Short Story: “Kyle and Weener Discover Groundhog’s Day”
Children’s Short Story: “Veggies for Lunch”
Children’s Short Story: “No Best Time of Year”
And more …