The Squid Incident

Toitoi 20



Words by

Thomas Dean, age 10

Pictures by

Nayef Rahman, age 13

Translation by

Narration by

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Summer holidays and six long weeks of nothing to do. Nothing to do except explore Simon’s favourite place — Te Papa. With its vast rooms and many display cases, New Zealand’s national museum was heaven to Simon. That’s why, on an afternoon in January, Simon and his dad, Sam, were gazing into a display case filled with moa bones.

    “Mmmmmm. This is delicious!” Sam was eating soup from the cafe downstairs. Sam’s big appetite is never satisfied.

     “CRASH!” They both turned around to see what had made the noise. The colossal squid was alive. It had somehow escaped its tank and was sliding across the room, knocking down display cases. Everyone was screaming.

     “Be free, my friend!” shouted Simon’s best friend, Scarlet. One thing you should know about Scarlet is that she is deeply against the imprisonment of all animals.

     “Scarlet!” shouted Simon. “What did you do?”

     “I just zapped the colossal squid with that life-saving thingamajig on the wall to make it come back to life,” Scarlet replied.

     “You shocked it with a defibrillator?” exclaimed Simon.

     “Relax! I do this all the time!” said Scarlet.

    Simon watched in horror as the colossal squid picked up a screaming tourist. “Hilfe!” screamed the tourist. The squid popped them into its mouth and chewed noisily.

    Simon looked around for his dad, but of course, in the midst of all the chaos, Sam had disappeared. Sam was an ex-pirate. While others used swords, he ruled Cook Strait with a knife and fork. Rumour has it he once took down an entire police force armed only with a spoon. Having a pirate for a dad was actually pretty cool, but it made him completely irresponsible. He was never there when you needed him.

    Simon racked his brain for something that might help the situation. Suddenly he remembered the ad he’d heard on the radio that morning in the car: “Do you need help catapulting shoes over a bridge? Need to know how to kill a squid that you zapped with a defibrillator? Need a band to come around to your house and play The Wheels on the Bus 50 times? No problem! Here at Useless Services we provide a whole range of baffling services! With over five choices, the possibilities are endless! Just call 0800 IDONTNEEDTHIS. Useless Services. You’ll never need them.” (Sam listens to very weird radio stations.)

    The squid smashed the wall around the elevator, which was full of people trying to escape. It then picked up the elevator, forced the doors open and poured the contents into its mouth. One person missed the mouth and tumbled on to the floor, out cold. Their smartphone flew out of their pocket and skimmed along the floor towards Simon. He picked it up and pressed the emergency button. He called 0800 IDONTNEEDTHIS. An American woman answered. “Hello, how can I help you?”

     “I need one of your services,” said Simon. “I need to know how to kill a squid someone shocked with a defibrillator.”

     “That’s easy, you just have to shock it again, but this time switch around the wires connected to the battery.”

     “Okay, thank you.”

     “Did you know you’re the first person to call this line in 30 years?”

    Simon hung up. He ran over to the defibrillator on the wall, opened the case and reversed the wires. He pulled out the end of the shocker and dragged it over to the colossal squid which was trying to smash through the wall into the next room. But before he could get there, he was blocked by Scarlet.

     “I’m sorry, but I can’t let you harm her!” she said. She was holding one of the moa bones, brandishing it like a weapon. Simon took a step backwards. He sensed someone behind him. He turned to find Sam standing there. Sam was smiling. Scarlet’s face went from fierce to terrified. Clenched in Sam’s fist was the spoon from the soup.

    With Scarlet taken care of, Simon sprinted over to the squid. He took a deep breath then lowered the zapper so that it made contact with the skin. Electric sparks sizzled all over the squid. Simon jumped out of the way as the squid’s lifeless body slumped to the floor, dead as a dodo.

    Just then, a security guard ran into the room. This, thought Simon, is going to take a lot of explaining.