Wedgie & Gizmo vs. the ToofSuzanne Selfors
This book is for Skylos, my muse.
Don’t Miss Wedgie & Gizmo vs. The Great Outdoors
About the Author and Illustrator
Books by Suzanne Selfors
About the Publisher
GREETINGS, DEAR READER.
Most of you already know who I am. But in case you are new to this planet, or you have spent the last year frozen in a block of ice and are not up-to-date on important matters, I shall introduce myself.
My name is Gizmo, and I am an Evil Genius.
According to Elliot’s comic book collection, which I enjoy reading, all Evil Geniuses have the same goal as I have. . . .
TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
Thus far, no Evil Genius has been successful in taking over the entire world. But I will change that. It is my promise to you that I will be the very first Evil Genius who will rule from sea to sea, mountain to mountain, pet store to pet store. Prepare yourself for the day when King Gizmo is seated on his Evil Throne!
I should note that I am different from other Evil Geniuses because I am a cavy. For reasons I do not understand, humans tend to call my kind guinea pigs. How insulting! Pigs are lowly creatures who muck about in the mud. Cavies are noble creatures who nap in the sun. Pigs eat slop out of buckets. Cavies eat organically grown greens from a plate.
Speaking of cavies, in order to take over the world, I will need a horde of them to follow me and do my Evil Bidding. And so that brings me to today’s Evil Goal: RECRUIT MY CAVY HORDE.
I tried to contact other cavies through my Evil Genius Facebook page, but I have not yet received any messages. I fear that most of my kind live in cages and do not have access to the internet. So I realize that I need a more primitive way to reach them. Thus, I designed a flyer.
I WANT YOU
FOR MY CAVY HORDE.
Are you tired of living in a cage?
Would you like to meet other cavies?
Waddle through foreign lands?
Eat whatever you like?
Then join my horde today and help me
TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
Signed, Gizmo the Evil Genius
But how can I deliver this flyer and make sure it gets into the paws of cavies everywhere? I scratch my furry chin and ponder.
DAD: Hi, Elliot. Hi, Jasmine. How was school?
ELLIOT: It was okay.
JASMINE: Elliot got a trophy for shooting the most baskets in a contest.
ELLIOT: It’s no big deal. I’ve got lots of trophies.
JASMINE: I’ve never gotten a trophy. Not for anything.
Why must those humans always speak so loudly and disturb my important Evil Thoughts? What a nuisance they are. The only one of whom I am fond is Elliot. He is my servant. He provides me with fresh snacks, changes my litter, and delivers sticks for chewing. We cavies like to chew. It keeps our teeth sharp and perfectly proportioned. An Evil Genius must always look his best.
MOM: Elliot! Jasmine! Come get a snack!
ELLIOT: Great, ’cause I’m starving!
Elliot picks me up. I grunt with annoyance. Where are we going? I am very busy using my Evil Brain. But then I squeak with glee as we enter one of my favorite rooms in this new house. It is the place where the humans store their edibles.
I sniff the air. So many delightful scents fill my quivering nostrils. My tummy rumbles as Elliot sets me onto the counter. Will he give me an apple slice? Or a strawberry top? Or perhaps he will give me the treasure of all human foods—a marshmallow! These humans never feed me marshmallows. I have heard them say they are bad for me and will make me sick. Such nonsense.
They simply do not wish to share!
But wait. What is that commotion? The girl child has entered the kitchen. I grunt at her, but she does not heed my warning. She scoops me up, squeezes me, then plants kisses on my forehead. I understand why she wants to kiss me. I am quite handsome, with soft, velvety fur, and I am perfectly plump all over. She cannot resist me. Who could?
But being squeezed is most unpleasant! I bite her finger. She releases me. It is a trick I have taught her. Now, if only I can teach her to give me a marshmallow.
What’s this? My ears perk. My heart skips a beat. Alas, I hear the familiar sound of nails clicking against the floor. I peer over the edge of the counter and glare at what I see. It is the canine who lives in this house. The dog. He looks up at me. He wags his tail, even though it’s not a long tail, just a stub. He smiles sweetly, but he is not fooling me.
The humans call him Wedgie, but I know him by his true name. He is a corgi, and when he wears the red cape of Thor, he becomes . . .
THORGI, my archenemy!
MY NAME’S WEDGIE, AND I’M A VERY HAPPY dog because it’s snack time. I LOVE snack time! I stand in the kitchen next to Jasmine and Elliot and Jackson. They’re my pack. I LOVE my pack! My most important job is to protect my pack. That’s why I always wear my cape. When I wear my cape, I’m Super Wedgie, and I protect my pack with my superpowers.
Like the power of digging.
And the power of chasing.
And the power of herding.
But right now I want a snack. I’m wagging my stubby tail. Snacks make me so happy. I like all food. I like dog food, and cat food, and fish food. But people food is the very best. I smell cookies. I wag extra hard.
Hey, I’m down here. Can I have a snack?
Something is squeaking. I look up. Furry Potato’s on the counter. Hello, Furry Potato! I LOVE the Furry Potato! I like to smell him all over, but I can’t reach him. I jump. And jump. And jump. But he’s way up there, and I’m way down here.
JASMINE: Mom, they handed this out at school today.
Parade of Pets
6 pm–7 pm, Tuesday, September 23,
in the Gymnasium
All pets must be in carriers or on leashes.
All dogs must be friendly.
Trophies awarded for: Best Trick, Prettiest Pet, and Best Owner/Pet Look-alike
JASMINE: Can I take Wedgie again this year?
MOM: Last year he got into a lot of trouble, remember? He chased that cat, and he ate the principal’s speech.
JACKSON: And he pee-peed on the floor.
MOM: The principal was very upset.
JASMINE: I know, but he’ll be better this year. I won’t let him off the leash. I promise.
MOM: Okay, as long as he behaves himself.
JASMINE: Yay! Did you hear that, Wedgie? We’re going to be in the pet parade.
Jasmine’s talking to me. She pats my head. She scratches my rump. I lick her face. But she doesn’t give me a cookie. Elliot’s eating a cookie. Jackson’s eating a cookie. Even Dad’s eating a cookie. How com
e no one gives me a cookie? I decide to use my superpower of staring. I sit next to Jackson and stare at him, real hard. I sit very still.
And stare and stare and stare and stare and stare.
I want that cookie. Please oh please oh please give me that cookie!
My superpower works! Jackson drops the cookie. I open my mouth and catch it before it hits the floor. I eat it superfast so no one can take it from me. That was a really good cookie. I want another one.
Please oh please oh please can I have another cookie?
JASMINE: The whole school thinks Wedgie’s a bad dog, just because he made a mess last year at the parade. If we win, then everyone will know he’s the best dog ever! And I’ll get a trophy. I mean, we will get a trophy.
ELLIOT: Why do you care so much about a trophy? They’re no big deal. They give them out for everything these days.
What’s that sound? I bark at the sound. I follow the sound onto the porch. A truck is stopping across the street. Some people get out. I bark at the people.
Hey, I’m Super Wedgie, and I just ate a really good cookie! The people wave. A girl waves. She’s holding something.
What’s that smell? It’s a new smell. It’s a bit mushroomy and a bit squirrely. But I’ve never smelled it before. I want to know what it is because I LOVE this new smell! I run down the walkway. I squeeze under the gate and run across the road.
JASMINE: Wedgie! Bad dog! Come back!
I need to find this new smell. I sniff my way right up to the girl. She sets something on the ground.
I stop wagging. I stop panting. I stare real hard. The new smell stares back at me.
I don’t know what I’m looking at, but I’m pretty sure I LOVE it!
AFTER SERVING ME AN APPLE SLICE, ELLIOT carries me back to my Eco Habitat. My Evil Brain buzzes with ideas.
In one of Elliot’s comic books, Darth Vader, an Evil Villain, forms an army of Stormtroopers to do his Evil Bidding. I, too, will have my own army, only they will be smaller and furrier, but equally fierce! I must begin my plans to form my Cavy Horde.
First, however, I shall take a post-snack nap. But why is Thorgi barking outside? Such rudeness. My naps are of the utmost importance. If I do not get enough sleep, I become rather cranky.
And when I get cranky, I bite!
I waddle across the bookcase and hop onto the windowsill. The window is open so I squeeze beneath the crack. The barking is coming from across the street. Why must Thorgi always make such a fuss?
Be quiet! I squeak, shaking a paw at him. After a few more barks, he disappears behind a large automobile that has the words Moving Van on the side. It is peaceful again. Thorgi is wise to obey me.
I sit and look at the view. It is quite different from the place where Elliot, his father, and I used to live. There is no snow. No forest. The yard is ringed with palm trees. I lift my face to the sky and let the sun warm my furry cheeks. That is when I notice the bird.
It flies in a circle, then lands on a nearby branch. It is a large bird, black in color. How lucky birds are, to be able to fly wherever they want. A shiver of excitement darts up my furry back. I know what I will do. I will command this bird to carry me to villages and pet stores near and far, so that I can deliver my flyers to cavies everywhere. What a Genius Idea!
I stand on my hind legs and wave at the black bird.
Hello, bird! I call. I need you to carry me on an important mission. But the bird ignores me. Bird! I squeak. Pay attention! I have a job for you! The bird turns and looks at me, but he does not move.
Obey me now or you will feel my wrath! I warn him.
But the bird flies away. It is just as I suspected. He does not understand me because birds have brains the size of a pea. My brain, however, is the size of THREE peas.
I shall have to find another means of travel.
Just as I am about to concoct another Genius Idea, Elliot reaches out the window and grabs me. Then he sets me on his bed. At first I am annoyed by the interruption, but when I see the pile of comic books I smile with glee. Oh joy, it is reading time!
ELLIOT: Look, Gizmo, I got a new Batman comic.
Reading is one of my favorite activities, along with marshmallow eating and nap taking. Whilst Elliot opens his comic, I shuffle through the pile, pushing aside the ones I have already read. Perhaps I will find a story about an Evil Horde.
And that is when I find something unexpected—a catalogue called Gadgets and Gizmos. I am quite fond of gadgets. I often use them in my Evil Doings. And the word gizmo is one of my favorite words, of course. This catalogue looks like something an Evil Genius should read. I turn the pages until I spy an item that makes my little heart skip a beat.
DREAMING OF DRONES?
WANT TO OWN ONE?
Here’s your chance!
Large enough to carry most cameras, but small enough to go unnoticed.
Take aerial photos! Spy on your neighbors!
Large enough to hold a camera? That means it could hold me. Oh happy day! With a bit of clever engineering, I could turn the drone into my own personal flying machine. Darth Vader has his Death Star, and I will have my Drone of Destiny!
I hop up and down with excitement. Imagine what I could do with my own flying machine. How much easier it will be to take over the world if I am not trapped in this human house. The first place I would visit would be Swampy’s Pet Shop. How wonderful it would be to see Gweneviere, the love of my life. I have not seen her since Elliot took me from that shop. But I think about Gweneviere every day, and I intend to make her my queen. Won’t she be surprised when I swoop from the sky? Gizmo the Evil Genius and Gweneviere, reunited at last!
MOM: How come Gizmo’s hopping up and down?
ELLIOT: He does that when he’s happy. I think he likes his new home.
MOM: Aw, that’s sweet.
DAD: Are you going to take Gizmo to the pet parade?
ELLIOT: No. It sounds kinda dumb.
MOM: It’s not dumb. It’s fun. There were lots of guinea pigs last year. I bet Gizmo could win Prettiest Pet.
ELLIOT: Gizmo would hate all that attention. He’s shy. Besides, I don’t need another trophy.
I do not bother to listen to the humans, for I am squeaking with delight. A flying machine will allow me to travel beyond these human walls and locate a large group of cavies. Then I will recruit them.
But where shall I find them? Surely there are more cavies in this town. How exciting! My Evil Plan is about to come true!
Soon, Gizmo the Evil Genius will rule the world!
I’M SO HAPPY TO SMELL SOMETHING NEW! I’m going to sniff it all over, from head to tail. Hello, little buddy. You have four little legs. You have two little ears. And you have a little curly tail. What a funny little tail. But you don’t have much fur, so you aren’t a furry potato. What are you?
JASMINE: Hi. Sorry about my dog. He’s not supposed to run out of the yard.
EMILY: That’s okay. Pinkie seems to like him.
JASMINE: Does Pinkie belong to you?
EMILY: Yeah. She’s a piglet.
JASMINE: She’s soooo cute! And I love her sparkly crown.
Oh look, you have a big wet nose, just like me. You must be a dog! But you’re a funny dog. With a funny hat. Hello, Funny Dog. I’m Wedgie, but today I’m Super Wedgie because I’m wearing my cape. Do you have a cape? You sure smell good. I live across the street. Are you going to live in this house? Are you going to be my friend? Look at what I’m doing. When I run around you, I protect you with my superpowers.
EMILY: What’s Wedgie doing?
JASMINE: He’s trying to herd your pig. Wedgie’s a corgi. Corgis like to herd things.
EMILY: Pinkie doesn’t mind. Look, she’s following him. She must like him.
JASMINE: Yay! They’re friends already!
Jasmine’s getting my leash. That means she wants me to take her for a walk
. The new girl’s getting a leash and putting it on Funny Dog.
Come with me, Funny Dog! I’ll show you around. Stay close to me and I’ll keep you safe.
This is the street. They’ll call you BAD DOG if you run across the street. And they’ll call you VERY BAD DOG if you take a nap in the street. So don’t do that. Stay away from the street.
Guess what, Funny Dog? I’m real important around here. Everyone knows me. Everybody’s my friend.
NEIGHBOR: Hey, Wedgie, get out of my garden!
OTHER NEIGHBOR: Hey, Wedgie, stop chewing on my newspaper!
ANOTHER NEIGHBOR: Hey, Wedgie, don’t poop there!
These are the mailboxes. I like to piddle here. Lots of dogs like to piddle here. Can you smell them? Hey! Brutus piddled here. Brutus lives on the other side of the fence. He always gets into my yard and takes my sticks. I’m gonna piddle where Brutus piddled.
This is Duck Pond. They’ll call you BAD DOG if you chase the ducks.
And this is my yard. And this is my house. Come on, Funny Dog, let’s go inside.
Jackson’s running toward us. He’s got two cookies in his hands. He gives one to me and one to Funny Dog. We eat our cookies. Then we sniff each other again. I LOVE Funny Dog! And she LOVES me! We’re friends. This is the best day ever!
We’re going into Elliot’s room. That means Funny Dog will meet Furry Potato. I’m so happy about that! I bark real loud, to let Furry Potato know that I have something important to show him.
Furry Potato is gonna LOVE Funny Dog!
WHAT A GENIUS I AM, TO HAVE FOUND THE drone in the Gadgets and Gizmos catalogue. At the bottom of the page, there is an order form. I begin to chew around the edges of this form. I will fill it out, then mail it. The day my Drone of Destiny arrives will be written about in history books as one of the most important days ever!
But just when the order form is in my little paws, my ears prick. Someone is approaching. I hear panting. Then paw steps. Followed by smaller paw steps. Elliot’s bedroom door bursts open.