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Intro: This was the first story I’d ever written for children, and it was written for my first-born son, Andrew. Written somewhere around 1990-91, my son was about two-years-old and I was trying to teach him the concept of puting his toys away when he was finished playing with them, to put his dirty clothes in the hamper, to not toss things on the floor, and to generally pick up after himself. My son spoke often of monsters, which is why I created the Mess Monster, thinking it a character he’d relate to easily. Andrew is now 19 years old and has maintained cleanliness and personal hygiene, almost obsessively, throughout his lifetime.

“Rodney and the Mess Monster”
Written by:
Wendi Friend
~ For Andrew ~

Rodney was a little boy who hated to clean his room.
He claimed he simply didn’t have time;
He had better things to do.
So, his mom just left everything in a pile,
Hoping he’d get tired of the mess after ‘while;
But, Rodney didn’t seem to care,
He just left his stuff layin’ everywhere!
He’d come home from school and kick off his shoes,
One of which, he was sure to lose!
His jacket went here, his books – everywhere.
Before long, he got lost in there!
He woke up one morning and opened his eyes
Only to find a horrid surprise!
He was trapped in his room, couldn’t find the door;
He couldn’t get out of bed because he couldn’t find the floor!
He cried for his mommy, his daddy, too.
Rodney was helpless, didn’t know what to do.
Suddenly, he heard an awful sound;
A monster was coming out of the ground!
Rodney was scared and yelled, “Leave me alone!
Go back where you came from. Go on, go home!”
The monster growled, showing his teeth,
“This is my home. You created me!
I’m the mess monster and I love girls and boys
Who won’t pick up their books or their toys –
Because they don’t have time, they have better things to do;
So I’ll just live here forever with you!”
“No!” Rodney hollered, “Go away!”
And his room has been clean since that very day.
To keep the mess monster from moving in with you,
Maybe – just maybe – you should clean your room, too!

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