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THE 65-STORY TREEHOUSE
Hi, my name is Andy.
This is my friend Terry.
We live in a tree.
Well, when I say “tree,” I mean treehouse. And when I say “treehouse,” I don’t just mean any old treehouse—I mean a 65-story treehouse! (It used to be a 52-story treehouse, but we’ve added another 13 stories.)
So what are you waiting for?
Come on up!
We’ve added a pet-grooming salon (run by Jill),
a birthday room (where it’s always your birthday, even when it’s not),
an un-birthday room where the longer you stay, the younger you get (so don’t stay too long or you’ll end up like a little baby),
a cloning machine,
a room full of exploding eyeballs,
TREE-NN (Treehouse News Network): a 24-hour TV news center, featuring regular updates on all the latest treehouse news, current events, and gossip,
a lollipop shop run by a lollipop-serving robot called Mary Lollipoppins (she serves every type of lollipop in the world—past, present, and future),
a screeching balloon orchestra,
an owl house with three wise owls (we don’t always know what they mean, but that’s because they’re so wise),
an invisible level,
an ant farm (with 65 chambers),
a quicksand pit,
and a bow and arrow level.
As well as being our home, the treehouse is also where we make books together. I write the words and Terry draws the pictures.
As you can see, we’ve been doing this for quite a while now.
Living in a treehouse may not be for everybody …
but it suits us just fine!
ATTACK OF THE ANTS!
If you’re like most of our readers, you’re probably wondering whether we have a building permit for our treehouse. Well, of course we do. Terry organized it. “Didn’t you, Terry? Terry?! Where are you?”
“Ah, there you are,” I say. “I was telling the readers how you got a permit for the treehouse.”
“GRRRR!” says Terry.
“Terry,” I say, “quit messing around.”
He looks kind of weird. And I think I know why. He’s covered in ants!
“Have you been playing in the ant farm again?” I say.
But Terry doesn’t answer. He just reaches out and grabs me by the throat.
“TERRY?!” I gasp.
Just when I can hardly breathe a moment longer, another Terry rushes in.
“Don’t worry, Andy,” says the second Terry. “I’ll save you!”
The second Terry whacks the first Terry with a badminton racket. WHAP!
And all of a sudden the air is filled with …
There are ants everywhere (which is bad). But I’m not being strangled anymore (which is good).
“Are you okay, Andy?” says Terry.
“Yes,” I say. “I think so, but what’s going on? Why did you attack me like that?”
“That wasn’t me,” says Terry. “It was the ants pretending to be me. I accidentally left the ant-farm gate open and they escaped. I tried to get them all back in but they made themselves into a fake me and knocked me out. Then they must have come after you.”
“But why?” I say. “I didn’t do anything to them!”
“Me neither,” says Terry. “All I know is that now they’ve turned into a giant foot and are about to stomp on us! Run!”
“What are we going to do?” says Terry.
“There’s only one thing we can do,” I say. “Become dog poop, of course!”
“Dog poop?” says Terry. “But I hate dog poop!”
“So do feet,” I say. “They will do anything to avoid stepping in it.”
“Okay,” says Terry. “How do we do it?”
“Simple,” I say. “Just make yourself soft, squishy, and really stinky.”
“How’s this?” says Terry. “Stinky enough for you?”
“Perfect,” I say. “Perfectly disgusting.”
And, sure enough, the ant foot stops stomping and just hovers cautiously in the air above us.
“It’s working!” says Terry. “They can’t squash us now!”
“No,” I say, “not unless they change shape again.”
“Oh no,” says Terry. “They are changing shape again—into a giant pooper-scooper!”
“No problem,” I say. “We’ll just change ourselves into a puddle of water.”
“We’ll be safe now,” I say. “Pooper-scoopers can scoop up poop … but they can’t scoop up water!”
“We really fooled those ants,” I say.
“Yeah,” says Terry. “Ants may be smart, but we’re even smarter.”
“But maybe not quite smart enough,” I say. “Now the ants are becoming a giant paper towel. They’re going to absorb us!”
“But I like being water!” says Terry. “I don’t want to be absorbed.”
“Me neither,” I say. “But we will be unless we change back into us … right now!”
We change back. We don’t get absorbed (which is good). But we do get scrunched up (which is bad).
“If only we had some fire,” says Terry, “we could burn the paper.”
“I’ve got a match,” I say, “but I don’t have a matchbox.”
“That’s too bad,” says Terry. “Because I’ve got a matchbox, but I don’t have a match.”
“Hmmm,” I say.
“Hmmm,” says Terry.
“Hey,” I say, “I’ve got a great idea!”
“What?” says Terry.
“Why don’t we put my match and your matchbox together?”
“That sounds dangerous,” says Terry. “It might start a fire.”
“Exactly!” I say. “Take that, ants!”
“It’s working!” says Terry. “The paper towel is burning up!”
“Yes,” I say. “But I think we’re burning up, too!”
“Yeah,” says Terry. “My head is getting quite hot.”
“That’s probably because your hair is on fire,” I say.
“So is yours,” says Terry.
“AAAGGGGHHHH!” we scream.
But we don’t scream for long, because next thing we know the ants turn into a giant hose and start blasting us and themselves with cool, fresh, fire-quenching ant-water!
They blast and they blast and they keep on blasting until we are trapped at the top of a gushing geyser of angry ants.
“What do we do now?” says Terry.
“Call for help,” I say, “and hope like crazy that Jill hears us.”
Text copyright © 2015 by Backyard Stories Pty Ltd
Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Terry Denton