There once was a boy named Theodore.  Theodore was eleven years old and lived in a huge city filled with a lot of people. Theodore called Theo by most people, like a lot people had a mom and dad and a little brother who was five, and Theo loved his family very much.  A few months ago Theo’s parents told him that they were no longer going to be together, that they were getting a divorce.  Theo was really angry and didn’t want his whole life to change.  

Theo lived half of the time with his mom and half of the time with his dad.  Theo didn’t like staying with his dad.  His dad always treated him like he was a little kid even though he was eleven and was big enough to do most things on his own.  Theo’s dad moved to a new house.  Theo didn’t like this new house because next door there lived a boy the same age as Theo.  Theo didn’t like his new neighbor because he was strange.  He wore big glasses and was always sneezing.  Theo didn’t like him because he was different.

Theo’s little brother was really annoying. His name was Jakey and he always wanted to hang out and play with Theo but he wasn't big enough. Theo was tired of his family and just wanted to be left alone all the time.

One night after dinner and after Theo had finished his homework and decided that he wanted to play a video game. Theo’s dad told him no but he played anyway. While Theo was playing the craziest thing happened. Theo was sucked into the game. 

"What happened?" Theo thought out loud after he was sucked in. "How did I get pulled into the game?"

Theo started to walk around trying to figure out what happened. All of a sudden he realized that this was the coolest thing to ever happen to him and he wanted to stay in there forever. He wanted to be the king of the game. 

All of a sudden Theo heard this tiny squeaky voice say, "Hey watch it. You’re going to step on me"

Theo looked down and realized that he was about to step on an ant. Theo took a step back and said, "Oh! I'm sorry. Wait! You can talk?"

"Of course I can talk," replied the ant. 

Then Theo remembered that in real life ants can't talk, but Theo was in the game, and anything was possible in a game. 

"No one ever sees me," said the ant with a tear in his eye.  “It’s ok,” the ant continued, “I’m going to go and see the wizard who is going to make me taller.”

“Why do you want to be taller?” Theo asked.

“All I have ever wanted to do was play basketball with the big kids, but I have always been too small, and I was never chosen to be on a team because of it.”  The ant started to leave, but Theo stopped him.

“Wait!”  Theo shouted.  “A wizard?  What can he do?”

“Well,” the ant replied, “The wizard grants a wish to anyone that is willing to do something for him.”

“What kind of wish?”

“Anything you want.”

“What does he ask you to do?”

“I don’t know,” said the ant.  

“Do you mind if I come with you?” Theo asked.  

“What are you going to ask the wizard?” questioned the ant.

“I’m going to ask him if I can stay here forever, so I never have to go back home.  So can I come?  I’ll carry you all the way there,” he offered.

“That would be awesome, of course you can come with me.” Said the ant as Theo lifted him on his shoulder and they both started the journey to go and see the wizard.

While Theo and the ant were on their way to go and see the wizard, they heard a strange noise in the bushes.  Theo, trying to be as brave as he could, went to go and investigate.  Theo saw a zombie.  He was about to run away, the zombie noticed him and called for him to stop.

“Wait!” the zombie started.  “I wont hurt you, I promise!”  Theo didn’t know if it was a trick, but he stayed to see what the zombie had to say.

“I’m a vegetarian,” said the zombie.  “I promise, I will not eat you.”

“A vegetarian?  There is no such thing as a vegetarian zombie?” said Theo.

“I’m different,” said the zombie.  “I didn’t like eating people, so I decided to become a vegetarian, and I like being a vegetarian very much.  The only problem is, my friends won’t hang out with me anymore because I’m different, and people still run from me because they think that I am going to eat them.  I don’t have anyone.”

“We are going to go and see a wizard,” started the ant.  “He will grant a wish to anyone who does something for him.  Maybe you can come with us.  You can ask the wizard to help your friends be more accepting.”

“Really?” the zombie said with delight.

“Sure,” Theo said hesitantly (not wanting to be seen with a zombie who no one though was cool, but not willing to say no).  So Theo, the ant, and the vegetarian zombie went on their way.

After what seemed like hours of walking, the three got tired and decided to sit down and rest.  After taking a short nap, Theo and the others decided that it was time to continue their journey, but before they could a very large man with a mean look on his face approached them.  Afraid of what he might do to them, they prepared to run.  

“Stop!” the big man yelled at them in a deep voice. They were so scared that they froze in terror.  The big man approached them.

“Hi,” he said.  “I couldn’t help but overhear that you guys were on your way to go and see the wizard.  I’m a wrestler, but no one I know thinks that I’m strong enough.  So I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind me tagging along.”

“Sure,” the ant said.  “We would love to have someone like you around.  You are strong enough to protect us and we are about to pass through a dangerous part of the woods.”

The four continued on with the journey.  As they approached the dark woods, Theo, the ant, and the vegetarian zombie started to get scared.  The wrestler went first, for he was the biggest of the group, and the others followed.  As they walked through the woods they heard a lot of frightening noises but they travelers felt safe because the wrestler was there and he was strong and brave and made all their fears disappear. 

As they walked on, they talked and laughed and they all had fun together.  Theo realized that it didn’t matter if they were different form the others of their king, he liked them because they were nice and funny and a whole bunch of other cool things.  He didn’t care that they were different or considered weird by anyone else, her like them and they were all going to be friends.

All of a sudden a venomous snake the size of a car came out of nowhere.  They were all so terrified that they started to run.  As they were running Theo tripped and fell and was about to get eaten by the snake when the wrestler came to his rescue.  

The wrestler fought the snake and won.  The snake slithered away in defeat and the wrestler realized something.

“Thank you,” Theo said to him.

“Of course,” replied the wrestler.  “You are my friend and I would do anything to protect you.  I just realized something.”

“What?” the other three said together.

“It doesn’t matter if others think I’m scary enough.  I like myself the way that I am and that is all that matters.”

“I think so too,” said Theo.  Realizing that the wrestler reminded him of his dad a little (they were both strong and brave and would do anything to protect Theo), Theo started to miss his home and his family a lot and realized that he did in fact want to go home.  Despite having made all these new friends he started to miss his old life.

“I think I want to go home,” Theo told his friends once they had safely exited the dark woods.

“Do you not like us?” the zombie asked.

“No, of course I like you.  You guys are really cool and awesome and the best friends ever, but I miss my family and I want to see them again.  

The group of four made their way to the wizard.  When they got to the great wizards castle, they got really sad thinking about how when Theo left, they would never see each other again.  The entered the castle and wen into the meeting room where they would be able to meet the wizard.  Before the wizard came in, Theo when up to the ant and said: “Hey, I want you to know that you don’t have to ask the wizard to make you big so that you can prove to others that you are big and tough.  You are really kind and being kind is the most important thing in the world.”

“You are right,” said the ant.  “I don’t need to be big to prove that I am cool.”

“I like you the way that you are,” Theo continued.

“Thank you,” the ant said to Theo.

Then Theo went up to the zombie and said: “You should stop worrying about what other people think about you.  You are different from everyone else, but that is a good thing because if you were not a vegetarian zombie, we would have never become friends.”

“You are right,” the zombie said to Theo.  “I’m happy that we are friends and I realize that if others do not accept me the way that I am, then they are not worth my friendship.  Thank you.”

After Theo was finished talking to his friends the wizard entered the room.  “Hello,” he said. “What can I help you with today?”

“I would like to go home,” Theo told him.

“What about the rest of you?” he said 

“Nothing,” the said in unison.  “We are happy with ourselves.”

“I know that I have to do something for you in order for you to help me, so if you can tell me what it is I’ll do it,” Theo said.

“You already did it,” replied the wizard.

“What do you mean?” Theo asked.

“Through your actions and words you helped three other realize that the best thing that they could ever be is who they are.  That is the greatest thing that I could have ever asked for.  I shall send you home.”

Theo was so excited to be going home, but sad to be leaving his new friends.  After he said his good byes, the wizard sent Theo home.


“Wake up! Wake up!”

Theo woke up very confused.  He looked up and saw his dad.  “Dad!” he yelled as he gave him a hug.  “I’ve missed you!”

“Where did you go?” Theo’s dad asked.

“I was sucked into the videogame.  I was gone for a long time,” Theo said confused as to how his dad did not notice his absence.

“Theo you must have been sleeping,” his dad replied.

“No! It wasn’t a dream.  It actually happened,” Theo said defensively.

“Ok, ok” his dad said.


Ever since the day that Theo was sucked in the game, Theo has been happier.  He realized that his dad was awesome and Theo always listened so that his dad would be proud of him.

He has been nicer to his brother Jakey.  Theo realized that Jakey was not annoying; he was just wanted to be big and play with Theo.  So Theo played games with him whenever Jakey wanted to play.

Theo also realized that just because his neighbor was different, that didn’t mean that Theo was allowed to be mean to him.  Theo remembered the zombie and how his friends were mean to him and Theo didn’t wan to be like that.  From then on Theo and his neighbor were friends.