The Broken Whiffersnapple
by Karen Sipps
Over the highway, up past the hill, and just on the other side of the mountain lived a man named Mr. Jon. He was a toy repairman. He sat at a big desk in the middle of an office in a huge workshop. Mr. Jon loved toys. He always took care of his toys, and always reminded others to be careful so that their toys wouldn’t get damaged. Mr. Jon kept all of his toys in their own special boxes when they weren’t in use. He put his name on all of them, and even had special stickers to put on them so if something happened to them everyone would know who they belonged to. Of course, most everybody did take care of their toys. But some people weren’t so careful.
One night, as he was leaving the toy workshop, Mr. Jon stopped to say goodnight to his friend, Joy. He gasped when he walked into her room in the workshop.
“ACK!” he exclaimed. “Your desk is so messy! How do you ever find anything?”
“Oh, I know where EVERYTHING is! Besides, nobody needs anything off of my desk but me! Things are fine just like they are. Don’t you worry Mr. Jon!” said Joy.
“What about your toys, Joy?” he asked. “Aren’t you going to put them in their box for the night?”
“Oh of course, of course I will take good care of my toys Mr. Jon, don’t you worry,” said Joy.
“Sure you will, Joy, and I will grow wings and fly to the moon!” laughed Mr. Jon, as he walked out the door.
Joy laughed. She really did MEAN to take care of her toys. I’ll clean up my toys before I go home. Joy got back to work. Finally, she looked up at the clock. “Oh no!” she cried. “I’m late! I’ve got to leave or the security man is going to lock me in for the night!” Joy looked at her toes wiggling in her socks under the desk. “No time for you now, shoes, I’ll put you on outside!” she giggled, grabbing her jacket as she ran out.
Click! The latch on the door caught just as she stepped onto the sidewalk out side. “Goodnight Travis!” she called to the guard. “Don’t forget to come back tomorrow!”
“I won’t Joy – see you then,” he said.
But Joy forgot. She forgot all about cleaning off her messy desk and putting her toys back in their boxes for the night.
The next morning she walked in to find a terrible thing had happened! All of her toys were laying on he floor! And her most favorite toy in the whole world, the purple whiffersnapple, had been broken!! Oh no! What could have happened? Joy went to find Travis the guard right away!
“Travis! Travis? My purple whiffersnapple is broken!!” she cried. “Did you see anything happen last night after I left?”
“Why no Joy, I didn’t see a thing. Are you sure you put the whiffersnapple away?” asked Travis.
Joy sighed. “No, I didn’t put it away. But I left it on my desk and I was the last person here last night. It should have been fine!”
“Take the whiffersnapple to Mr. Jon – he can fix it. And tonight, maybe you should stick around and get to the bottom of this mystery,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
Joy hated taking the purple whiffersnapple to Jon. After all, he had just told her to make sure to put her special toys away. And this was her most FAVORITE special toy ever. Joy walked into his office and burst into tears. “Oh Mr. Jon,” she said. “The whiffersnapple is broken. I forgot to put it away and now it’s broken! Do you think you can fix it?” she asked, looking at him through her tears.
Mr. Jon looked very carefully at the broken whiffersnapple. “I’ll try Joy.” He set the whiffersnapple down on the table. “In the meantime, why don’t you stick around tonight after all the lights are off. Maybe you will understand why I keep all of MY toys in their boxes.”
Joy nodded. But why do Travis and Mr. Jon both want me to stay until after dark? Hmmmm.
That night, Joy pretended to leave the toy workshop. “Good night Travis,” she called out. Travis knew she was not really leaving.
“Good night Joy!” he said with a wink.
Joy hid around the corner for a few minutes. Then, all of the sudden, she saw something out of the corner of her eye. What was that? Then she saw something out of her other eye! Joy gasped. She crept into the room and turned on the lights.
“AACAAAACCKKK” she screamed!
“AAACCKKKKK!” they screamed.
Joy had stumbled upon 4 little creatures! One was purple with green polka dots and a long elephant nose, one was pink with blue stripes and had giant feet, one was red with black swirlies and had a long monkey tail that was holding a dusting rag, and one was a sparkly blue green color! Joy blinked and rubbed her eyes. What on earth is going on? All of the little creatures had on blue overalls and a toy workshop hat.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“We’re the cleaning crew! Our names are Mike, Spike, Ike and Susie. We come around at night after everyone leaves and clean up. But it is a toy shop, so sometimes we get distracted and start playing with the toys. Lots of people keep all their toys put away in boxes, but we love your room! You never put anything away so we can play in here for hours!”
“But you broke my whiffersnapple!” said Joy. “And the room is never really clean when you leave!”
“We did?” asked Susie. She was the pink one. “We didn’t mean to.”
“Yeah, we’re sorry” said the Mike and Ike and Spike. They really did look sorry.
Joy looked around. She thought and thought and thought. She didn’t want them to break any of her toys, but she knew it would be hard to be around so many toys and not want to play with them. She came up with an idea.
“Okay, what about this? I will keep my most favorite toys in their special boxes, and I will leave some out for you to play with at night, if you promise to play nice with them.” said Joy.
“Oh we will! We will!” said Mike, Ike, Spike and Susie.
And in return, Mike, Ike, Spike and Susie promised to only play with them at certain times of the night so they could get more cleaning done. After they all shook hands, Joy went home for the night.
The very next morning when she got in, she went to se Mr. Jon. The whiffersnapple was fixed!
“Oh thank you Mr. Jon!” she said. “Did you know about the cleaning crew?”
“Of course I did,” said Mr. Jon. “Why do you think I ALWAYS put my toys in their boxes?” “And what about you, little Miss Joy? Do you now understand the importance of keeping your toys put away, especially your most favorite toys in the whole world?”
“Yes sir. I don’t think I’ll have a problem with that again”
And she didn’t. Joy kept her purple whiffersnapple in it’s box. And true to her word, she left some toys out each night for Mike, Ike, Spike and Susie to enjoy as well. They, in turn, appreciated her leaving the toys out for them, and they were very careful to not break any more ever again.
Note: This story is written in honor of Bary Jon Kelly of Lawrenceburg, TN, the best whiffersnapple repairman in all the world.
This material is copyrighted 2009-2020 and the author retains all rights. This story is made available by the author as a service to parents, teachers and libraries, and may be printed for use by the above persons, but may not be distributed, published, copied, or otherwise used without prior written approval from Mrs. Sipps. All rights reserved.