Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | January 23, 2009

My Robot Won’t Talk

Seattle, Washington. September 30, 2007.


Photo by Samuel Shaw (see more here)

My robot won’t talk.  I lost my lucky moon rock on the way to school, and now something is definitely wrong with my robot.  I had to drag it off the jet-bus and push it across the street.

Zondor’s robot said, “look both ways!” and the jet-cars stopped.

Vik’s robot said, “open please!” and the school door opened.

Mizzi’s robot said, “helmet time!” and helped Mizzi take off her helmet.

My robot said, “urgle murgle gulp.”

I took off my own helmet and my jacket and hung them on the peg that said “Xyla.”
I had to stand on my tip-toes, but I did it all by myself.

“My robot won’t talk,” I told the teacher.

She was busy at her desk tap-tap-tapping on a smooth e-screen.  I tapped her leg.
“Excuse me,” I said.

“Good morning, dear!” said the teacher.  “Ask your robot if you need something!”

I looked at my robot.

It hummed and sputtered. Its lights flashed.  Its e-screen showed a picture of a penguin next to the letter Z.

“Where’s my lucky moon rock when I need it?” I said.

“Blip zoop,” my robot said.  The teacher didn’t hear.

Zondor’s robot said, “build a tower!” and stacked blocks with Zondor.

Vik’s robot said, “draw a picture!” and Vik drew with his finger on the robot’s e-screen.

Mizzi’s robot said, “catch the ball!” and tossed a ball to Mizzi.

I dragged my robot over to the rug.

“Can I play?” I asked Mizzi.

“What’s wrong with your robot?” she answered.

“Zip zip zoople!” my robot said.

“I think its broken,” I said.

Mizzi tossed me the ball, and I tossed it back to her.

My robot turned around in circles.  “Zoop ziggle zim!” it said.

“You need a new robot!” said Mizzi.

We played catch without any robot help until the teacher clapped her hands.

Zondor’s robot said, “clean up time!” and put the blocks away.

Vik’s robot said, “nice drawing!” and printed Vik’s picture.

Mizzi’s robot said, “sit down for calendar!” and we sat down on the rug.

My robot spun around and around in the middle of the circle.  “zoop zoop zoop!” it said.

The teacher walked over, click-clack-clacking on the hard floor until she got to the rug.

“Whose robot is that?” she asked.

I hid behind Mizzi.  The teacher leaned over, humphing and grumphing, and pulled me up.

“Robots must stay quiet at calendar!” she said.

“Ickle tickle zip?” said my robot.

I dragged it off the rug.  I knocked on its head.  I tapped its e-screen.  Now it showed a picture of three monkeys and the number nineteen.  “zip zip zoom!” it said.

Everyone was watching me.

“Look, Xyla’s turning pink!” laughed Zondor.

“That’s one wacky robot!” teased Vik.

The teacher frowned.

I kicked my robot as hard as I could.  “urp!” it said, and fell over, clank-bang-crash, on the floor.

The teacher frowned harder and put her hands on her hips.  Mizzi gasped.
Kicking robots is not allowed.

“urgle…urrr….” said my robot.

Then I saw it!  Something small, and shiny, and stuck in the memory card slot in the back of my robot’s head.  I wiggled it with my finger.  I pushed it with my thumb.  Poink-plink-pop! went the small shiny thing as it skittered across the floor.

“My lucky moon rock!”  I shouted.

The next day, I left my robot at home.

My robot said, “Good-bye Xyla!”

“Where’s your robot?” asked Mizzi when I got to school.

“I don’t need one,” I said.  “Do you want to play with my lucky moon rock?”

“Sure!” said Mizzi.  We played and laughed all morning, until Zondor wandered over.

“Can I play with you?” he said.  “My robot won’t talk.”

I wrote this story for a Highlights Magazine contest last year. This was my first attempt at writing anything for really little kids. It didn’t win, but I still like it.


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