Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys

by Howard R. Garis

Chapter 10: “Flop and the Turtle”

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1918
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Garis, H. R. (1918). Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys. New York, NY: A. L. Burt Co.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 4.7
  • Word Count: 1,318


“Bur-r-r! Whew! Ice cream!” exclaimed Curly, the little piggie boy, one morning, as he hopped out of his bed in the clean straw and ran to the head of the stairs to see if breakfast was ready. “It’s cold! Terrible cold!”

“Of course it is,” agreed Flop, his brother. “It will soon be winter and time for chestnuts and popcorn and sliding down hill and all that. Of course it’s cold.”

“I hope there is some warm water to wash in,” went on Curly.

“Warm water! What’s that!” cried his papa from the next room. “Nonsensicalness! Cold water is better for you. It will make your skin nice and rosy. Wash in cold water.”

So Curly, whether he wanted to or no, had to sozzle and splash himself all over in cold water, and really it did him good, for it made him feel nice and warm and made his ears and nose as red as a pink flannel blanket.

Then the two piggie boys were ready for breakfast, and they had hot corn meal cakes, with sour-milk and maple syrup sprinkled on them, and eggs, with the shells taken off, and warm milk and all things like that.

Then it was time for Curly to go to school, but as for Flop, he had not yet been vaccinated, and so he could not go to blackboard classes and learn how to add two and two together and make a mud pie of them, or how to write his name with red chalk that made blue marks.

“What are you going to do while I’m at school?” asked Curly of his little piggie brother, who was playing in the front yard.

“Oh, I think I’ll build myself a little house out of corncobs,” said Flop, “and then I’ll go over and tell Jennie Chipmunk that she can put her rag doll to sleep in it.”

“Fine!” cried Curly. “And when I come home from school I’ll bring you each a lollypop.”

So Curly put on his warm checker-pattern coat and stuck his paws in little red mittens, for it was quite cold that morning, and off he went to school.

But his brother, who had to stay home because he was not vaccinated, looked out in the yard, and pretty soon he said:

“Oh, I guess I’ll go out and take a walk. Maybe I can find something or have an adventure.”

So out Flop walked in the yard, and pretty soon, in a little while, not so very long, he came to a place where there was something that looked like a black stone with yellow marks on it.

“That’s just what I’m looking for,” said Flop, as he saw the queer stone. “I heard my mamma saying the other day that she needed some weight to keep the kitchen door from blowing shut. This stone will be the very thing for her.”

So over he ran to where he saw the thing that looked like a stone, and he picked it up, no matter if it was cold. For there was frost on the ground—white frost that made everything look as though a little shower of snow had fallen—and everything was cold and frozen.

Into the house ran Flop, the little piggie boy, carrying his black stone, all streaked with yellow.

“Oh, see what I have found for you, mamma!” he exclaimed. “It will keep the kitchen door from blowing shut.”

“So it will,” said his mamma. “What a kind boy you are.” So she took the stone and placed it where it would keep the kitchen door from slamming, and going shut, and then she made a custard pie so that Curly could have some when he came home from school.

Pretty soon the pie was done, and Flop was almost asleep in the nice warm kitchen waiting for his piece. His mamma suddenly called to him:

“Flop, will you watch the pie for a minute while I run across the street and borrow a yeast cake from Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady?”

“Yes, of course I will,” said Flop, rubbing his sleepy eyes. Then he looked all around the kitchen, and on the table where it was cooling he saw the nice pies his mamma had made, and he thought how good a piece would be, and then he also saw something else.

Into the kitchen came creeping a bad old egg dog—the same one who had tried to get the eggs from Curly a few days before.

“Pies!” cried the bad egg dog! “Custard pies! How I love ‘em! Yum-yum!” and with that he made a jump and he was just going to eat the lovely custard pie Mrs. Twistytail had made when Flop said:

“Here, you let that pie alone, if you please. It isn’t yours. It’s my mamma’s.”

“No matter!” growled the bad egg dog. “I will eat it anyhow, and you can’t stop me!”

And with that he started to throw Flop out of the window, but the little piggie boy cried:

“Oh, what shall I do? Will no one help me?”

“Yes, of course. I will!” answered a voice, and then that queer object, which Flop had thought was a stone, began to move. Out of a shell came a long neck, and a head with a sharp mouth on the end, and out came four sharp claws, and instead of a stone there was a mud turtle as large as life. Really there was, I’m not fooling a bit!

“I’ll help you!” cried the brave turtle.

“Oh, you!” said Flop. “I thought you were a stone to keep the kitchen door from swinging shut.”

“No, I am a turtle—a frozen turtle,” said the voice. “At least I WAS frozen. The cold weather made me so slimpsy-slopsy that I couldn’t move, if you will kindly excuse me saying so. But as soon as I got warmed up in your nice kitchen I became as lively as ever. I’ll soon fix that dog. Watch me!”

And all of a sudden the turtle bit that dog on the end of its tail, and the dog ran off howling, and so he didn’t get any of the nice pie, and he didn’t bother Flop, nor Curly and his vaccination, any more, and that night they gave the turtle some hot lemonade so he wouldn’t catch any more cold from having been almost frozen by the frosts. And as for that dog, why a dentist pulled one of his ears next day.

So you see what Flop thought was a stone turned out to be a frozen turtle who did him a great favor. And ever after that whenever Mrs. Twistytail made pie the turtle was always in the kitchen to keep the door open, and drive out any bad dogs in case they happened to get in.

And so no more now, if you please, as I am sleepy, and I know you must be, too. But in case the little girl in Montclair doesn’t drop her doll on the sidewalk, and spill the sawdust all over the stick of molasses candy I’ll tell you next about Curly and the chestnuts.