Monty, the boy monster, scooted on his one leg and one wheel through the lobby of the Gristling Inn Bed & Breakfast. He wore a plastic toy ring on one of his furry, green fingers. Monty aimed the finger at the old, owl-like monster behind the reception desk. Then he pushed the ring’s tiny button.
“Sorry, Beatrice. I’ve turned you into a robot!” Monty chuckled.
“I’ve been worried all morning that you’d get me,” said Beatrice, playing along. “How soon ‘til I get my oil tea?” she asked in a robot voice.
“Cool, Monty!” said Plonk, Monty’s hamster-monster co-worker. “Your ring finally came!”
“I bought it with the tip money Ms Lizardo gave me last week,” Monty said. He held out his hand to show off the ring.
“Monty! Plonk!” Snort hollered from the kitchen. Monty and Plonk hurried in just as their warthog boss was putting the last shock-melon into the squeezer.
“Mayor Potamus’s breakfast party starts in just one hour. Those scones aren’t going to make themselves. Get baking!” Snort snorted as he hung his apron and walked out.
Plonk looked at his watch and then into Monty’s buggy, monster eyes. “Forty-five scones in an hour? We got this!”
Pots, pans and metal bowls clanked as the young monsters got to work. They spooned, sloshed, measured and blended the baking ingredients. Plonk and Monty crunched egg shells under their feet (and Monty’s one wheel).
“Butter!” Monty shouted. Plonk tossed it across the counter. Milk sloshed onto Monty’s apron as he caught the butter in the bowl. Monty fumbled the flour sack, sending a big plume of white powder everywhere. The friends laughed. Fifteen minutes later, Monty and Plonk stood in a totally messy kitchen.
Forty-five scones baked in the large oven while Monty and Plonk cleaned up. They knew not to leave proof of their messy fun. Ol’ Snort would not like it.
Before long, they were serving fluffy, golden scones to the guests seated at the elegant tables filling the Inn’s dining room.
“Hold it!” Snort startled Monty, who nearly dropped his tray of scones. “Make sure Mayor and Mrs Potamus get the nicest ones.”
“They’re all nice, sir.”
“Give them these two.” Snort took two scones from Monty’s tray. Then he put on his big smile and served the Mayor and his wife.
Snort then turned to Monty. “Now shoo! I’ll serve the rest. ”
Monty and Plonk left the dining room having finished their task.
“We did it!” Monty held out his green hand for Plonk to slap high-five.
But then Monty gasped. “My RING! It’s gone!” Monty studied his finger, then patted his pockets.
“Did you take it off when we were making the scones?” Plonk asked.
“The scones!” Monty frowned. “My ring must have slipped into the dough! That means it must be in one of the...” Monty and Plonk looked across the dining room. All forty-five guests were seated with warm, golden scones on their plates.
“Someone could swallow and choke on it,” said Plonk.
“We have to find my ring fast before anyone takes a bite!” Monty said. But as the monsters walked around the dining room, it was clear that it would be impossible to see the ring in any of the scones. Monty thought fast. He had an idea.
“A-ha! Follow my lead,” Monty said to Plonk. They went to the nearest table.
“Allow me to butter your scones!” With clumsy jabs, Monty buttered and crumbled each guest’s scone at the first table. But he didn’t see his ring.
“Heavens!” a flamingo-monster man exclaimed.
“What are you doing?” asked a poodle-like lady with horns
“Brilliant, Monty!” Plonk said. “I’ll do the other side of the room.” Plonk trotted off with his own butter knife. Then the scone-busting really began.
*SQUISH* “Whoops,” said Monty as he went from table to table, pretending to accidentally break open each guest’s scone while buttering it.
Plonk did the same, apologising as he destroyed one scone after another.
*FLOOMP* “Oh, clumsy me!”
“Rude boys!” more guests grumbled at the mess happening before their eyes. Plonk reached the final table where Mayor Potamus sat with his wife. Snort was also there giving the mayor special attention. So he hadn’t yet noticed the scone-busting chaos in the dining room.
But when Plonk began clobbering scones at the mayor’s table, Snort turned a brighter shade of red and grabbed Plonk before he could reach the mayor’s scone.
“Plonk, you fool!” Snort snorted. Then he turned to the mayor. “Sorry, Mr Mayor. I assure you, that’s not the way I taught him to serve.”
“Ha, ha, ha. It’s okay,” the mayor laughed. He gobbled his own scone before Plonk could reach it. “You need a bit more practice buttering things, young lad.”
“Leave my dining room at once!” Snort growled at Plonk under his breath. Snort led Plonk by the ear out into the lobby where Monty was standing.
“Well, it looks like my ring’s lost forever,” Monty said, sadly. “We broke every scone but the mayor’s, right? He must have swallowed the ring without even noticing it.”
“Yeah. Easy with such a huge mouth, I guess,” Plonk said, rubbing his sore hamster ear with his paw.
After the party, Plonk and Monty packed the suitcases into the boot of the mayor’s large hippo car. Mrs Potamus smiled at them. “Thank you for your help today, boys. Let me find a tip for you.”
The purple hippo lady looked through her large purse for a moment. Then she pulled out ...a single, golden SCONE!
“Here. I was going to save this for the mayor,” Mrs Potamus said as she held it out for them. “But he’s had plenty to eat.” She patted the mayor’s round tummy.
Monty and Plonk’s eyes went big.
They paused to listen...then heard a very faint sound coming from the scone.
“My ring is in that scone,” Monty whispered to Plonk.
“Thank you, Mrs Potamus. That is so generous of you,” Monty said, reaching his ringless green hand out toward the softly beeping scone. Just as he was nearly touching it...
The mayor snatched the scone with his huge mouth, leaving his wife’s hand dripping with hippo drool.
*CRUNCH!* “Yum! Was that a toasted nut in there?” he asked. Plonk and Monty’s mouths hung open.
“You boys worked hard today. Surely you want a better tip than a scone.”
“Here you go.” The mayor slapped a ten pound note into each monster boy’s hand.
“Wow! Thank you so much, sir,” Monty said. The mayor and his wife ducked into their hippo car and the driver shut the door.
“Here you go, Plonk.” Monty smiled and handed over his money to his friend. “You buy the next robo-ring.”
Plonk smiled back, showing his long hamster teeth, and said, “Or maybe we can pick something bigger...at least bigger than a scone.”