Junkyard Episode 6 Tonk-Foolery Animated Cover

The Junkyard Short Story & Audiobook Series: Episode 6 - Tonk-Foolery

Tonk is becoming known as the Junkyard prankster. Mike and Joe try to adjust his robotics to change him, but then they wonder if they shouldn't have.

Read myself


Snappy the robot alligator poured his morning cup of oil-tea. He greased his slice of thick, brown toast. Then he opened his issue of Doctor Weekly and sat in his bus-driver’s chair. Snappy pulled the side lever to extend the leg rest and...


Snappy bouncing in the air. Tea cup spilling, book and toast flying.

The chair threw Snappy up! His head crashed into the ceiling of his metal shack. 


He landed back down in his chair.


A little upset and very confused, Snappy looked around wondering how that could have happened.

Suddenly, Tonk the robot rabbit jumped out from behind a metal panel.

He was bent over, laughing. 

“Ba-HA-HA! You got ‘Tonked’!” he said. “I rigged your chair! Wasn’t that fun?! HA!”

“I do not find it as amusing as you do,” said Snappy, rubbing his head. Oil-tea dripped from his metal alligator muzzle.

This was something new in the Swindon junkyard. Friends Mike Himmel and Joe Sakana recently noticed that Tonk, their robot rabbit, had been pranking the other junkyard creatures.

Tonk was usually crafty and creative. But now he was becoming a bit naughty. 

Later that day, Mike and Joe came upon a joyful Mayor Crick, the robot frog. He was springing around the junkyard on his long frog-legs and holding a box.

“I received a parcel in the post this morning. It’s from my Ol’ Uncle Harvey!” Mayor Crick’s rubber-hose-lips were curled into a big smile.

“Cool,” said Mike. “Open ‘er up!”

The whole crew gathered around. Crick untied the strings from the box. Then he unwrapped the plain, brown paper. 

“I can’t wait to see what he sent me,” Mayor Crick said. Then he moved his nose towards the box and opened the cardboard flaps. 


Joe and Mike are shocked, Crick has pie on his face.

Something had launched out of the box with enormous force. Crick’s face was now covered in pie crust and cream. He licked his lips.

“What on Earth?!” he exclaimed. “Why would Uncle Harvey send an exploding pie in a box?”

Tonk couldn't hold back his laughter any longer. He guffawed and slapped the old frog on the back. 

“Ba-HA, Ol’ Crick! Haa you got ‘Tonked’!”

“Wicked!” Mike laughed. But Joe was concerned. Mayor Crick looked upset. 

Ratchet the robot grasshopper put her arm around Crick. She pulled the handkerchief from Crick’s suit pocket and wiped the pie off his headlight eyes.

“Oh! Such a mess! And that was not very kind,” she said looking at Tonk, who was still laughing. “Crick has been waiting to hear from Uncle Harvey for years.”

“Aww. Lighten up,” Tonk said, blinking his own headlight eyes. “It’s just a joke.”

Joe, Mike, Ms Ratchet and Crick look at Tonk.

“Indeed. Just jokes,” said Snappy. “But you should stop to think whether you might be hurting anyone’s feelings, you know.” 

“Aw, jeepers. You’re all fine. Right?” Tonk said. He put his robot paws on his hips. “When did everyone get so sensitive?” 

“I think maybe something’s wrong with your brain-bulb,” said Snappy.

“Hey!” said Tonk. “My brain-bulb is fine! Maybe YOUR brain-bulb needs to be fixed.”

“Hey, hey,” said Joe, stepping between the robots. “Let’s just calm down.” Snappy stomped off to his shack. 

The next morning, Ratchet was resting peacefully in a hammock next to her metal-flower garden. Her eyes were closed and she could hear the pigeons cooing from the tall junk heaps. 

Then Ratchet heard an unusual clanking sound. She opened one headlight eye. 


Ms Ratchet falls from a hammock.

A car horn suddenly blared and frightened her right out of her hammock! Ratchet sprang up on her powerful grasshopper legs high into the sky. Tumbling through the air, she landed on the roof of Crick’s campervan. 


Ratchet sat up, dazed. Then she saw it: a huge speaker had been set up to point directly at her napping chair. Tonk stepped out from behind the fence, holding his belly in laughter.

“Ba-HA!! You got ‘Tonked’!”

Later that evening, Mike saw Tonk in the clearing. The robot rabbit sat silently, slumped over a bowl of nut-and-bolt cereal. Joe was there with him.

“Hey, Tonk. You okay?” asked Mike. Tonk didn’t answer. He just stared into his cereal bowl. 

“Tonk?” Mike leaned in closer. 

“He’s been like this for hours,” said Joe. “He’s not himself.”

Tonk sits on a pile of junk holding a bowl. Joe and Mike watch.

Mayor Crick and Ratchet walked up to them. 

“Perhaps he’s finally realised that nobody likes his pranks,” said Crick, polishing his monocle.

Joe pushed his thick glasses up his nose and leaned towards Tonk. He lifted the flap on the back of Tonk’s head. 


“Hey, his brain-bulb looks different! It's smaller and less powerful than usual.”

“That is because I changed it earlier today,” said Snappy. The alligator robot-doctor held up the lightbulb that used to be in Tonk’s head. “Now he won’t be pulling any more pranks!”

“Oh dear,” said Ratchet. “Even if Tonk has been difficult at times, we don’t have the right to change him into something he’s not.”

“Yeah,” said Joe. “It’s a little too quiet around here without our usual Tonk.” 

“I agree,” said Mike. “An annoying Tonk is, like, way better than a boring Tonk. We have to put his old brain-bulb back in.”

“Oh...fine,” sighed Snappy. The alligator pulled out Tonk’s old brain-bulb from his pocket, reached into Tonk’s head and twisted it back into its socket. 


Snappy works on Tonks head.

Tonk’s eyes lit up and he shook his head. 

“Whew! What was that?” Tonk asked. “The lights just went out

for a second.”

Mike, Joe and all the robots stood in a circle around Tonk.

“Why’s everybody just standing there...? Oh! I see what’s happening. You guys got tired of my pranks. But,” Tonk reached up and felt his head, “did you really shut me down?”

“That was unfair of me,” Snappy admitted. “I’m sorry.”

“And even though we grew tired of your pranks,” said Ratchet,  we realised we missed the real Tonk.” 

“Yeah. I suppose I might have...over-Tonked it,” the robot rabbit said. 

“WAIT!” yelled Snappy, “Your brain-bulb! It’s on fire!” Snappy stepped towards Tonk, grabbed his bowl of cereal and dumped it over the rabbit’s head.


Everyone is happy.

Tonk stood up quickly and looked around at all his junkyard friends. Oil-milk dripped from his face.

“Your head was sparking and smoking. I had to save you!” said Snappy.

“REALLY?” asked Tonk.

“Nope. Not really,” said Snappy, with a huge grin on his muzzle. “You got ‘Snapped’!”

The End

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Benefits of reading Junkyard - Tonk-Foolery

This short story covers the friendship theme. Tonk-Foolery is written and narrated in the third person. We recommend children with a reading age of 6 - 10 years old for this story.

Who are the main characters in Junkyard - Tonk-Foolery

The main character in the Junkyard series is ten-year-old Joe Sakana and his best friend Mike Himmel. This is a sci-fi story series set in Swindon where the boys create robots that become characters. In episode 6 they tweak Tonk because he’s pranking the other robots.