Mars is a destination for space explorers. Related kids’ stories are not out-of-order.
Stobey the Martian Space Worm and Slutter the Martian Slime live on farms next to each other. The farms are on Planet Mars.
One morning, after breakfast, Stobey runs to Slutter’s house and they race to their spaceships. Stobey’s spaceship is squishy and is named Cream Cheese; Slutter’s spaceship is slimy and its name is ‘Smoked Salmon.’
Spaceship Smoked Salmon is named after a kind of smoked fish that was taken along by the first explorers to Planet Mars. It’s real slippery, even after being smoked. Let’s just call it ‘Lox.’
Stobey climbs aboard Cream Cheese and Slutter slides into Lox. They take off and head for a landing strip on Phobos, one of Planet Mars’ moons.
They land on Phobos and explore the mountaintop and come to a wide, deep hole near the center of the peak. Next to the hole they see a sign. On the sign is printed ‘The name of this mountain is ‘Bagel.’
‘Just imagine,’ Stobey laughs. ‘We flew to the moon on Cream Cheese and Lox, and where did we land? … on a bagel!’
It begins to rain. The rain on Phobos is white. The reason the milk is white is that on the moons of Mars it always milk – real milk. There is a story among the Martians that the milk-rain on Phobos really comes from the Cow That Jumped Over our Moon.
Stobey and Slutter take drinking cups from their lunch boxes and hold them up. The cups fill with rain-milk.
‘Hm,’ says Slutter. ‘Here we are, with Cream Cheese and Lox on Bagel — with milk.’
Stobey and Slutter giggle. The giggles turn to laughs. My, how they laugh. They explore Bagel Mountain then walk back to their spaceships. They say good-bye, climb aboard and switch on the ship’s motors. The motors roar and the ships are ready to take off.
Slimy Lox gets off fine but goopy soft Cream Cheese sticks to the Bagel. Stobey presses real hard on the engine pedal. After a real hard push Cream Cheese smears along the ground, finally gets unstuck and squirts into space.
‘Why was it so hard for Cream Cheese to get off the Bagel?’ Stobey wonders.
Stobey hasn’t learned yet that bagels all across our solar system have always had a mysterious and powerful attraction for cream cheese. For instance, on Planet Earth the single most important question throughout history has been, ‘Of what possible use can a bagel be — without cream cheese?’
The two spaceships head for home.
(Try this with children’s favorite snacks.) g-gp/Mike
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