Put a Sock in It

Put a Sock in It

A Story by JC

The story is about a boy who asks questions all the time. The problem is all of these questions drive everyone crazy! One day his mom stuffs a sock in his mouth to stifle the questions...



Put a Sock in It

     Vernon Smith had a big mouth.  It wasn’t big because it could open wide like a dinosaur roaring or an alligator chomping.  It was big because Vernon liked asking questions, all the time.  They spilled out of his mouth at a furious pace.  And all of these questions drove everyone crazy!

       Early one morning Vernon raced downstairs, boiling over with questions to ask.  “Mom, why are pillows fluffier than clouds?  Why is toothpaste stickier than bubblegum and why does a bath take longer than a shower…”

       But Vernon’s mom was busy wrestling his brother into some underwear and socks so he could go to daycare.  So all Vernon’s mom heard was “Blah, blah, blah, blah,” and this was making her mad.

      “Vernon,” she said sharply, “Questions are flooding out of your mouth so quickly we are going to drown in them.  All of these questions have got to stop.  Put a sock in it!  I need a break.” 

      With that Vernon’s mom took a sock from his brother’s foot and stuffed it in his mouth. 

     “That’s better,” Vernon’s mom sighed.  “Now run along and go to school.  Don’t forget your lunch and your hat.” 

     Vernon had to admit the sock was a challenge, but he knew he could still ask questions, even if they were muffled.  He didn’t want his mom to be mad, so he kept the sock in his mouth and waved good-bye.   Vernon was eager to see what questions the day would bring.




     When the crossing guard heard Vernon approaching, he braced himself and tried to hide behind his stop sign.  He even crossed his fingers behind his back, hoping Vernon would walk by.  He was very busy. 

      Vernon had to get up close so his questions could be heard.  The sock might have muted his voice, but it didn’t cramp his style.

       “Mr. Crossing Guard,” he started, tugging his sleeve, “Why are cars faster than trucks?  Why are airplanes higher than treetops?  Why is my backpack and your stop sign both red?  Why does…”

      But the crossing guard was trying to pay attention to the cars and busses as well as the children and the stop lights.  So all he heard was “Blah, blah, blah, blah,” and this was making him mad.

      “Vernon,” he said firmly, “Questions are racing out of your mouth faster than this speeding traffic.  All of these questions have got to stop.  Put a cork in it!  I need a break.”  With that the crossing guard took a cork out of his pocket and popped it in Vernon’s mouth. 

    “That’s better.”  The crossing guard waved to Vernon and said, “Look both ways before crossing the street!” 

      Vernon thought all these things crammed in his cheeks were silly, but he could still ask questions out of the side of his mouth.  Waving good-bye he ran to school.

       When Vernon got to class he sat in his seat, eager to ask about adding, painting and reading.  He even had a few questions about playing his recorder.     





       So when his teacher came into the room he thrust his hand up.  Bouncing in his chair he waved it frantically back and forth.  His teacher put her books down at the front of the room and sighed.  She knew what was coming.

       “Shme!  Shme pleesche!” Vernon tried to squeeze the questions out of the side of his mouth.  “Thwy is nine a bigger number than thix?  Why does ‘th’ an’ ‘f’ sound the some?  Thwy is my recorder quietr than drums?  Thwy…” 

      But the teacher was trying to find chalk, her attendance list and pry gum off the bottom of her shoe.  All she heard was “Thblah, thblah, thblah, thblah,” and this was making her mad.

      “Vernon, she said steadily, “Questions are coming out of your mouth faster than kids racing for the swings.  All of these questions have to stop.  Put a can in it!   Now please wait out in the hallway.  I need to get ready for class.”

       With that his teacher took a can from the food drive box and wedged it in the side of Vernon’s mouth.  Now his questions were truly toned down.  

      “An improvement,” she said, crossing her arms.   Vernon gently closed the classroom door behind him.  “Don’t forget to work on your pronunciation!” she called out after he left. 

       Vernon slid down the wall and thought about his bad day.  His mouth hurt and he felt silly from everything banging around inside of it.

       Then he heard loud footsteps and saw a long shadow down the hall.  Bracing

himself for the Principal, Vernon thought of the questions he would ask about his detention.

       So it was a surprise when the Librarian, Mrs. Booker crouched down in front of him. 



     “Shmurpf?” was the only question Vernon could squeeze out of his mouth.

     “Vernon, what’s stuffed in your mouth?” she asked.  Prying open his jaws Mrs. Booker extracted the can, the cork and the sock.

      “Thank-you,” Vernon said, rubbing his cheeks. “Why are you by my classroom and not in the Library?  Why do you only have two, not three good books about dinosaurs and why did you take things out of my mouth instead of put more in?”

     Mrs. Booker looked Vernon squarely in the eye and said, “Vernon, I’m here to get your class so we can go to the library.  I didn’t know we only had two good books about dinosaurs.  You looked miserable with all of that stuff in your mouth.  I wanted to help.”

      She stood up and knocked on his classroom door.  “Ready to go?” she asked the teacher. 

      “Where did Vernon go?”  Why is it so quiet out here?” the teacher poked her head out the door.

      “I just answered his questions!” explained the Librarian. 

      Vernon was already silently skipping down the hall towards the Library.  And it was totally quiet.  In fact, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.























© 2012 JC

Author's Note

Any comments would be appreciated, ranging from grammar issues to ideas, flow, etc! I would love anything that would help me make this better. Thanks!

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Added on July 23, 2012
Last Updated on July 23, 2012
Tags: children's, story, book, humour, socks, quiet



Milton, Ontario, Canada

I am an Art teacher and Librarian, but in my free time I've recently gotten back into writing (an old joy of mine). I realized some of the ideas in my sketchbook would be better suited to stories th.. more..