The Something

The Something

by Natalie Babbitt


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Overview afraid of an indefinable Something coming in through his window at night. Given some modeling clay by his concerned mother, he finally succeeds in making a statue of the Something...The clever, ironic story interprets common childhood fears of the dark in a way that should prove highly amusing to many small children."--Starred/Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440490500
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1980
Pages: 32
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

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The Something

By Natalie Babbitt

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Copyright © 1970 Natalie Babbitt
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-5518-8


The truth is that Mylo was very much afraid of the dark.

When his mother asked him why, he had a hard time answering. Finally he said, "I keep thinking something will come in through the window."

"What kind of a something?" asked Mylo's mother. "Robbers, I suppose? Or ghosts? There's no such thing as ghosts, you know, and even if we had some robbers they wouldn't be interested in you." And Mylo's mother, who liked to explain things, went on to tell about the habits and customs of robbers.

"I'm not worried about robbers," said Mylo, though he did hate to disappoint her. "And it's not ghosts either."

"Well, what is it then?" said Mylo's mother.

"Just a Something," said Mylo.

This left his mother with nothing at all to explain. She felt very bad about not being able to help him. So the next day she went out and bought a large package of modeling clay and gave it to him, and that made her feel better.

Mylo didn't know what to do with the clay at first. Mostly he made lumps and thumbprints. Or rolled it into snakes.

But after a while he found himself trying to make a statue of the Something he was afraid of in the night.

Every day he worked with the clay. And every day he learned a more about how to make it do what he wanted.

Mylo's mother explained to her friends. "I didn't realize how artistic Mylo is," she said. "He's so busy with his clay, he's forgotten all about being afraid of the dark."

But the real reason why Mylo was so quiet at night was this: He was trying to figure out exactly what the Something looked like. He found himself almost wishing it would come in through the window, so he could get a good look at it and make a better statue in the morning.

Then one day everything seemed to go just right, and suddenly there it was. He had made a perfect statue of the Something. He was very proud of his work.

When he showed it to his mother, she said "That's beautiful, Mylo" in such a special voice that he knew she had no idea what it was.


Excerpted from The Something by Natalie Babbitt. Copyright © 1970 Natalie Babbitt. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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