By Bob Henry Baber

The author reserves all rights to both story and drawing. (The drawing was given to the author by a youth.) However, permission is granted to those AppLit readers who wish to make copies of this story for classroom use.

Hey, kids. I know a little tart whose nickname is Thunderpants because she has lightning bolt stickers on the side of her diapers!

"Hello there, Thunderpants. What are you doing?"

"I'm practicing to grow bigger, Silly!"

Well, as you can see, Thunderpants is one of the smartest girls in the whole world. Not only is she smart, but she's good-hearted too. That means that she cares about people. Maybe that's why Thunderpants was chosen to get a magic pacifier with special powers. 

Anyway, one night, when she was sucking on her magic pacifier and was just about to fall asleep, Thunderpants heard the faint weeping of little children on the other side of the earth. 

"What are they crying about, Thunderpants?"

"They're crying because they don't have enough to eat and they're hungry."

So Thunderpants decided that with the aid of her magic pacifier she would fly over and see if she could help. While she was flying, she saw that there was lots of extra food everywhere, and she whooped down and gathered it under her cape. When she arrived the kids were overjoyed to see her, and after eating their fill, they thanked her for the wonderful gift she has brought them. Thunderpants was pleased that she could help, but even while they were celebrating she heard other children crying in a nearby land. Faster than a bubble in a bathtub she went to see what the trouble was. 

When she got there the kids explained to her that they were sad because their parents were at war. So Thunderpants gathered the parents together and scolded them for fighting and not learning to share things and love one another. And the adults were so ashamed of themselves that they laid down their guns and made peace. And everybody was so happy that they threw a great party with Thunderpants as the special guest of honor. 

"You're our hero!" they said. 

"No, I'm not," Thunderpants replied, laughing. "I'm your shero!" 

Now even though Thunderpants had a magic pacifier, feeding the hungry and stopping wars was hard work, and Thunderpants was tired. So she said goodbye to her new friends and flew back across night towards home. And while she did she gathered tiny stars under her cape and sprinkled them over the towns and villages and farms so that each child would have a night light in their room and not be afraid of the dark. By the time Thunderpants got home it was very late, and she barely had enough energy left to hang the one star she saved for herself. Then Thunderpants stood at her open window and said, "Good-night, Moon. See your friend, the sun, in the morning." And with that she crawled into bed, laid her head on the pillow, and slipped into a dream filled with all the other good deeds she was going to do with her magic pacifier and with her good heart, which is, after all, the most powerful magic of all!


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