Harris Burdick

This comes from a Children’s Literature class. The assignment was to write a piece inspired by The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg.

From The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg

“Archie Smith, Boy Wonder”

Archie had spent all afternoon playing baseball with his friends. He arrived home just minutes before his mother.

“Did you have a good day at school?” his mother asked.

“It was okay,” said Archie. “Mom, can I go play baseball tonight.”

“Do you have any homework? Your teacher said you’re starting to fall behind.”

“It’s okay, I did it this afternoon.” replied Archie. “Please mom, everyone’ll be there.”

After supper, Archie’s sister cornered him in the garage while he was getting his bicycle.

“You little liar,” she said. “I heard you tell mom you did your homework this afternoon. She’s going to pitch a fit when she finds out you’re failing.”

“I’m not failing,” said Archie. “And I’ll have my homework done. Just mind your own business. And you better not tell, or I’ll tell mom about the smokes you keep in your bottom drawer.”

“I’m not going to tell,” said his sister. “I don’t need to. Everyone knows that fairies come and kidnap little boys who lie to their mom.”

“No they don’t. That’s stupid.”

“Ask Mom or Dad if you don’t believe me.” His sister had him there, he knew he couldn’t ask his parents about lying or they’d know he’d been lying.

“Just leave me alone,” said Archie. “I’ll do my homework.” And with that, Archie hopped on his bicycle and rode off to the corner baseball field.

That night, Archie lay sleeping in bed. A group of small lights gathered outside his window. Then two of them floated in.

A tiny voice asked, “Is he the one?”

“That’s him,” a second voice replied. “Archie Smith, Boy Wonder. That’s what they call him. He hits that baseball like no one else. It’s a shame, really, that we get to take him.”

“What’s he done?” the first voice asked.

“Lying to his mother and not doing his homework. Multiple offenses.”

Suddenly an alarm went off. Archie flew out of bed, and the lights sped out the window.

“What’s he doing?” It was the first tiny voice.

“It looks like he’s doing his homework. Sneaky little kid went to bed to fool his mother. Then set the alarm so he could get up and do his homework.”

“But we still get to take him, right?”

“I’m afraid not, he’s doing his homework now, and sneakiness isn’t against the rules.”

“That’s too bad, we’ll probably have to come back tomorrow to get him anyway.”

“Maybe, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Right now let’s get going. The girl down the hall has been lying to her mother and smoking. Multiple offenses.”

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