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The SNAKEMAN!


Snakes! Snakes! Snakes!

BJ knew more about snakes than anyone.That's why people called him 'The Snakeman'. Snakes were all he ever thought about! That's all he ever did!

When other kids played tag, BJ caught snakes. When other kids watched cartoons, BJ watched 'Snake World'.

Even when other kids were fast asleep, dreaming about things like baseball, roller skating or chocolate coated ice cream, BJ was smiling, talking in his sleep about snakes!

All the kids thought BJ was weird, so they stayed away from him.

"Let's face it," they said, "snakes are yuck! . . . and BJ is double yuck!"

What made things worse, was that BJ felt like a failure at school too.

Take math, for instance. When his teacher Miss Beetlebottom asked him, "If three bunnies follow six bunnies into a hole, how many bunnies are together?" BJ would squint his eyes, and try to rev up his brain.

"Bunnies? Bunnies?" BJ would think. "What do I know about bunnies? Ask me what's bigger than a Boa Constrictor! Ask me what's deadlier than a Gaboon Viper! But for Pete's sake, don't ask me about bunnies!"

And so the class bell would ring and BJ still wouldn't have the answer. Everyone always laughed at BJ. But one day , the laughing stopped. Matter of fact, things got serious.

It all started during story writing, when Miss Beetlebottom announced, "Boys and Girls, I want you to write a story about butterflies. Just let your imaginations go wild! Let's have lots of flitter flutter!"

Right away, everyone started writing. Everyone but BJ, that is!

He scratched his head, and he stared at the blank sheet of paper . BJ could imagine a sidewinder in the desert. He could imagine a sea snake in the ocean, but absolutely NOTHING came to mind when he tried to imagine a story about something that went flitter flutter!

Miss Beetlebottom looked right at BJ and shook her head in disapproval.

As the bell rang for recess, Miss Beetlebottom snapped at BJ, "You're not moving till I see a butterfly story, young man!"

BJ sighed and lowered his head.

All the other kids were giggling as they left the room.

But the giggling stopped as BJ's classmates entered the schoolyard. They all froze in terror! Right smack in front of them was a brown mottled snake. It stood erect, like a deadly cobra, ready to strike!

Miss Beetlebottom, hearing the children's cries, rushed into the schoolyard.

The moment she saw the snake, though, Miss Beetlebottom fainted. KERPLUNK!, she fell right on the ground!

Principal Beauregard, better known as 'Bulldog Beauregard', realizing something was wrong, bounded into the schoolyard.

"AAAIIIIIEEEEEE!!", he yelped, "It's a COBRRRAAAA!!" Beauregard zoomed back to his office, and hid under his desk. Slithery snakes always gave him the shakes. But the Principal quickly mustered his courage, and called the Fire Department.

...and THEN what happened was THIS
(Continue on to Part 2)


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