How to Vanish Forever
How to Vanish Forever
By Michael Lawrence
Many centuries ago, a small village of animals lived in a place not too
far from where you live today. They were a fruitful group. They grew
perfect crops and they always produced a surplus. They were an advanced
race of animals too, and they spent a lot of their time making works of
art. Unfortunately, they were also very wasteful. They made many
useless items that would only end up in the garbage can. As a result, a
large pile of smelly trash formed in the center of the village. Not one
member of the town could stand to walk the streets of the village
without having to pinch their noses shut. Regardless of these awful
conditions, it still took a long time for the villagers to change their
act. It didn't happen easily.
Mr. Duck awoke from his nest on the riverside when he noticed several
large trees moving inside the river. They were standing upright and
they were circling around in a spiral. They began to spin faster and
faster until they sank into the river and disappeared. Mr. Duck
scratched his green, feathery head in astonishment. He pinched his nose
shut and he carefully inched toward the site, making sure that his
webbed feet didn't disturb anything. He didn't want anything else
out-of-the-ordinary to occur.
When he finally reached it, he saw a large whirlpool where the trees
had disappeared. This whirlpool was next to the bank, so Mr. Duck was
careful not to accidentally fall in himself. He looked inquisitively at
it for a long time, pondering its existence. He picked up a large
armful of leaves and lodged it in. Every single leaf went down into the
whirlpool and it vanished without a trace. Mr. Duck studied this
phenomenon further. He decided that he must tell his friends about
Mr. Duck hurriedly flapped his wings through the village. He approached
his best friend, Ms. Frog. She was painting a picture on an easel. She
held a paintbrush in one hand and pinched her nose with the
"Ms. Frog, Ms. Frog," Mr. Duck exclaimed. "You won't believe what I
"What is it?" Ms. Frog said, still pinching her nose.
"There's this huge whirlpool right outside my nest!" Mr. Duck said. He
"Really?" Ms. Frog asked in an interested tone. "May I see it?"
"Sure! I saw a several large trees go down it," the duck said.
"Trees?" Ms. Frog asked. She could hardly believe it. She removed her
hand from her nose.
"It happened just this morning," Mr. Duck said. "Let's go!" Ms. Frog
left her work and followed Mr. Duck to the giant whirlpool.
When they arrived, Ms. Frog gave a long, blank stare at the whirlpool
for quite a while when she threw in an armload of leaves. The whirlpool
ate the leaves as if it were a tasty piece of pie.
"I don't know what to make of this," said Ms. Frog, pinching her nose
again. "I think we should show it to Mr. Wolf." Mr. Duck and Ms. Frog
went back to the village to tell Mr. Wolf of their discovery.
When Mr. Duck and Ms. Frog explained this magnificent phenomenon, Mr.
Wolf wanted to see if for himself. He walked over to the river while
pinching his nose. He stared at that whirlpool and was almost
completely hypnotized by it. He slowly removed his hand from his nose
and gazed at the whirlpool's center. After several moments, he threw in
a hefty armload of leaves and watched it twirl down the
"You know what?" Mr. Wolf said. Ms. Frog and Mr. Duck leaned over
closer to listen. "This is the answer to our garbage problems." Mr.
Duck and Ms. Frog looked at each other with slightly puzzled
expressions on their faces.
"What?" Ms. Frog asked, hinting a slight laugh in her voice.
"If we throw all our trash into this whirlpool, it can no longer stink
up our village!"
"Oh!" Ms. Frog happily exclaimed. "Do you really think so?"
"What'll happen if it gets full?" asked Mr. Duck. Mr. Wolf pondered
this question only for the slightest moment.
"Beats me!" said Mr. Wolf. "Let's not worry about that now. We need to
begin as soon as possible! If I have to smell this horrible stench any
longer, I swear I'll leave this town!"
Mr. Wolf gathered four of his wolf friends to help transport some of
the village's waste to the whirlpool. Mrs. Owl, peering out of her tree
house window, noticed the wolves' activity and stopped to question
their motives. She sternly approached Mr. Wolf.
"Where are you going with that trash?" Mrs. Owl asked while pinching
"We're going to get rid of it where no one will ever have to smell it
again," Mr. Wolf replied. Mrs. Owl automatically turned suspicious; Mr.
Wolf is known in this village for his silly tricks.
"How will you accomplish that?" inquired Mrs. Owl. Mr. Wolf took a deep
breath as he prepared to give Mrs. Owl the story.
"Earlier this morning, Mr. Duck and Ms. Frog discovered a spot in the
river that swallows everything that it comes into contact with,"
explained Mr. Wolf. "We're going to throw the trash from the center of
town so that we don't always have to smell it everywhere we go." Mrs.
Owl looked mightily interested.
"Oh yeah?" Mrs. Owl asked. "Where is this place?" Mr. Wolf motioned for
Mrs. Owl to follow him. The five wolves and the owl headed toward the
In all of Mrs. Owl's life, she never saw anything remotely remarkable
as this phenomenon. She picked up a pile of leaves and tossed it into
the whirlpool, staring at it until it completely disappeared.
"It is amazing," stated Mrs. Owl, still with her nose pinched shut.
"But we had better not throw all our garbage in there."
Mr. Wolf looked shocked. "Why not?"
"Well, it must go somewhere," Mrs. Owl said. "Nothing can just vanish."
Mr. Wolf briskly stepped in front of Mrs. Owl.
"But it is vanishing!" said Mr. Wolf as he threw in his load of trash
followed by his wolf friends. They had briskly turned around to refill
Back in the village, Ms. Frog was spreading the news of this new
marvel. A crowd of twenty, which was about the entire village, formed
around the whirlpool, all with their noses pinched. They threw
unimportant objects into it and intensely watched them spiral to the
center until they disappeared. The crowd was blocking the wolves from
disposing of their trash, so Mr. Wolf persuaded them to help. Mrs. Owl
and Mr. Duck each had their doubts about the scheme, however. Mrs. Owl
was so concerned that she confronted Mr. Wolf a second time.
"This isn't right, Wolf," said Mrs. Owl. "Our trash cannot magically
disappear into one little drain-it must lead somewhere. You must stop
throwing trash into the whirlpool immediately." Mrs. Owl paused for a
short second. "If this village really wanted to get rid of its trash,
we would have stopped making it a long time ago. Every easy thing in
life has a downside to it, and I'm afraid this one is going to be
detrimental." Mr. Wolf yawned and stared at his feet. Mrs. Owl turned
red with anger at Mr. Wolf's inattentiveness and screamed one last
sentence at him. "By George, look at reason!" The wolf slanted back his
pointy ears. He was offended. He took a deep breath to prepare his
comeback. All the villagers grew silent so that they could listen to
"No, you look at reason Mrs. Owl," yelled Mr. Wolf "Our village smells,
and we are sick of it! Let's end it right now!" Mr. Wolf received
several congested 'yeahs' from the crowd. He continued, "After years
and years of having to smell this trash, we have finally found a way to
fix it!" Mr. Wolf yelled. "All we have to do is just dump our trash
down a whirlpool-just one little whirlpool-and our problems will
disappear forever! We have the solution-it beckons us-so, we should act
now before it's gone!" Mr. Wolf then started shaking his index finger
in the air. "And when all of our trash is gone, we will never have to
hold our noses in this town anymore! We can live in that sweet-smelling
village that we have lost since our childhood! Let us throw our trash
into the whirlpool where it will vanish forever!"
An earsplitting cheer came from the crowd and the animals began to
chant "No more trash! No more trash!" With their armfuls of garbage,
they continued toward the whirlpool. Mrs. Owl sadly shook her head. Mr.
Duck, who hasn't yet taken a side, sat under a tree and watched.
In a remarkably short period of time, the whole dump was emptied into
the whirlpool. They happily rubbed their hands together. The community
already noticed that the town's air had significantly improved. Mr.
Duck spent much of the evening admiring a mushroom, that he just
realized had a scent. The day was late and the town's villagers went
back to their homes and went to bed.
Mr. Duck woke up early the next morning. The ground was shaking, and he
heard a very loud gurgling noise outside his nest. He was scared. He
flapped his wings outside and realized that the whirlpool was making
He slowly inched toward the whirlpool and looked inside. He saw some
pieces of trash coming outside of the whirlpool. Suddenly, the ground
beneath him began to tremble violently and the gurgling noise was much
louder. Frightened, Mr. Duck flapped his wings and quickly flew
Pretty soon, there was a big explosion, and it sent a large column of
smelly trash into the sky. Like rain, the garbage began to patter upon
the villagers' roofs. The rest of the villagers woke up.
As each member of the community peeked out their window, seeing the
scattered pieces of trash in their yards and in the street, they felt
ashamed. They should have listened to Mrs. Owl. Without saying a word
or exchanging a look, they stepped out of their houses to gather the
garbage they thought had vanished forever.