One day Tim Burbanks woke up to find that his quills were pointing backwards. He checked in the mirror. He was very sad. No one seemed to know what to do.
Tim’s Mom discovered that when she patted him backwards, it was fine. But every once in a while she would forget, and then she would get a painful reminder. “Ouch, I rubbed you the wrong way,” his Mom would say. As time went on, people stopped patting him at all.
Tim was a very unhappy porcupine.
At school, nobody wanted to be his valentine.
He tried everything –
But nothing seemed
Then one day, Aunt Dorothy told them about Dr. Cluck. Dr. Cluck, she said, could solve any problem. He was especially good with unusual cases. And Tim’s backward quills certainly seemed to fit the bill.
Dr. Cluck was a very busy doctor, they soon found out. Tim and his parents had to wait several weeks for an appointment. Finally, the day came. Kangaroos and hyenas were also waiting patiently to see Dr. Cluck. There wasn’t much room in the waiting room.
When Tim’s turn finally came, he went into the doctor’s office.
“Sit down,” said Dr. Cluck, so he did. Oddly enough, the doctor was upside-down, doing a headstand on his desk.
“It’s obvious,” said Dr. Cluck,
“Alas and alack,
Your quills are on
Instead of front
“Happily for you,
I know what to do,
You’re in luck –
I’m the amazing Dr. Cluck.
My quilly mate,
Have a look,
In a brook,
You do,depends only on you.
And remember that
Sometimes you need to shrug,
To get a hug.”
And without “so long,”
Or any such thing,
He suddenly began to sing:
“My name is William Cluck III,
What a rooster, what a bird.
My father was a famous Cluck,
His father too,
Was no dumb duck,
And in their footsteps I continue,
To lend a wing to others who,
May not feel as well as you.
So if you’re –
Down in the dumps,
Sick of your humps,
Stuck on a wall,
Getting nowhere at all,
Flat on your back,
Or plain out of luck,
Try giving a call
to Doctor Cluck.”
Then he tapped both his feet,
To an African beat,
Patted his chin,
Ruffled his tail,
Had a sip of ginger ale,
And invited the very next patient in.
All the way back home, Tim thought about the peculiar Dr. Cluck and his strange message. He was not sure that he understood what Dr. Cluck meant. Have a look in a brook? Shrug to get a hug?
But one night, Tim had a dream. He was looking at his reflection in a stream. Then he shrugged, and suddenly, presto! His quills were the right way round again. When Tim woke up, he realized it was only a dream. His quills were still on backwards.
But don’t dreams sometimes come true? He woke his parents, and they all ran together to the nearest stream (fortunately, it was nearby). Tim bent over and studied his reflection in the light of the early dawn. He shrugged. Nothing happened. He shrugged again. Still nothing.
The third time, he gave a tremendous shivering shrug. One quill fell into place, then another, and another. And then, like a deck of cards, all his quills fell back into their proper position. Tim’s parents were amazed. There were many hugs (at least more than a dozen) and kisses all around, and many painless pats as well.
Back at school, all his friends wanted to hug him, and they did. Sally, the shy porcupine he especially liked, asked if she could pat him. Tim felt like a million dollars!
When Tim got home, he sat down and wrote the following letter.
Dear Doctor William Cluck III,
Although you might seem quite absurd,
You really are a special bird.
I’m happy now and feeling fine,
I’m quite a cuddly porcupine!!
P.S. My parents also send their thanks
To this day, Tim’s quills face the right way. And if he ever has a problem, he’s in luck. He can count on Doctor Cluck!
Thank you for reading our book!
If you like it, you might also want to read other children’s books that I’ve written and Rotem Omri has illustrated. For example:
“Gloomeris the Serious Laughing Hyena Meets Dr. Cluck”
Read more about me and see ALL my books on Ourboox (I have many)
Or even better, create a book of your own!!!
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