The Boy With A Tail

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be ? Maya Angelou

Submitted: July 29, 2018

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Submitted: July 29, 2018



"Push as hard as you can!"  Sarah Taylor did as Dr. Rizzo said.  Exerting all her remaining strength, the baby made his entrance into this world.


She leaned back, closed her eyes, and gasped for breath.  She was exhausted, and worried. Not for the health of her child.  All the tests, including the ultrasound, indicated her son would be healthy.It was the other thing they saw on the ultrasound that worried her.  When Dr. Rizzo handed her the child, she saw it was true.  Her baby had a tail. 


The doctors had no answers.  After the first ultrasound, they did genetic tests on her and Robert, her husband.  They found nothing unusual.  No explanation for why their otherwise perfect son had a tail.  They named him Ian, after Robert's grandfather.


While in the hospital, they did an MRI, a CT scan, and every blood test the doctors could think of.  Except for the tail, they had a healthy, normal child.  The neurologist ruled out the possibility of surgically removing it.  He explained, Ian's spinal cord ran all the way down to the end of the tail.  They simply had no precedent to go by.  The risk of causing nerve damage with surgery was too great.


Sarah and Robert decided,  with or without a tail, they would raise Ian like any other child. 


As Ian grew, so did the tail.  By the time he started walking, the tail reached the ground.  There was no way to hide it.  Sarah altered Ian's pants and underwear so the tail would stick out. 


To Ian, having a tail was normal.  It was like a third arm.  He could control its movement.  It would support his weight, when he climbed a tree, or the monkey bars at the playground. 


Unfortunately, the people in their small town weren't as accepting of Ian as his parents.  Sarah noticed immediately, her friends came up with excuses to avoid her.  Other mothers wouldn't let their children play with Ian. 


Still, Ian was a happy child.  And their neighbors couldn't completely ignore them.  Robert owned the only auto repair shop in Addersville.  He also did welding and electrical repair.  There wasn’t a car or machine Robert couldn’t fix. 


Since he didn't have any friends, Ian spent a lot of time at his father's shop.  That worked out well for Robert.  Ian was a quick learner.  With small hands that could fit into the tight spaces under the hood of a car, and dexterous tail that could turn a wrench or hold a flashlight, he was becoming as good of a mechanic as his dad. 


Predictably, when Ian started school, he got picked on.  But only once. Three 2nd graders surrounded him, brandishing a pair of scissors.  "You're a freak, and we're gonna cut off that ugly thing sticking out of your butt!"


Ian lashed his tail at the biggest one, expertly wrapping it around the boy's neck. All three of them tried to pull the tail loose, but Ian had him in an anaconda death grip.  The boy with the scissors tried to stab the tail, but missed and cut a gash in his friend's neck.  By then, the victim's face was purple.  He collapsed to the ground in a heap.  The other boys ran off.


Ian let go.  He began slapping the boy's face with his tail, until he started breathing again.  Word soon got around.  "Don't mess with the boy with a tail.  He's crazy."


When Ian started 2nd grade, his parents decided to have another child. They loved Ian, and with or without a tail, they knew they would love their next child.  When school let out the next year, Ian had a sister.  Becky did not have a tail. 


Ian adored Becky.  As she grew, the two became inseparable.  Ian finally had a friend.  Becky had no idea there was anything unusual about him.  It would be years before she realized that everyone's big brother didn't have a tail. 


They invented a game. Ian called it Catch The Tail.  He would whip his tail around, and Becky would try to grab it, like a cat chasing a string.  There was no way Becky could catch Ian's tail, except when he let her. 


A few days after Becky third birthday, the impossible happened.  Another boy in Addersville was born with a tail.  As with Ian, the doctors had no explanation.


The Smiths were one of the families who shunned Robert and Sarah after Ian's birth. Now, the shoe was on the other foot.  Sarah knew exactly what to do.  She invited the Smiths over for dinner. 


They spent the evening discussing what it was like to raise a child with a tail.Mostly, it was the same as with any child.  Sarah showed Janine how to alter clothes to accommodate a tail. 


Within a year, more Addersville children were born with tails.  Not just boys, girls too.  By the time Ian started high school, half of the first graders had tails.


Even though Ian was a good student, and his parents could afford to send him to college, he decided against it. He had figured out years before, he loved working on cars.  He wanted nothing more than to follow in his father's footsteps.  After graduation, he would work alongside him at the shop.


By then, having a tail was nothing unusual in Addersville.  Most of the young children had one.  Ian realized people were treating him like anyone else.  A young lady brought her car to the shop for service.  She smiled a lot and asked Ian questions about what it was like to have a tail.


When she left, she gave Ian her phone number.  She said, "Call me if you like."  Ian found his first girlfriend.  Her name was Samantha.


One day, Ian, Samantha, and Becky were at a park, having a picnic.  He saw three boys with tails, taunting a boy without one.  "Where's your tail, freak?”  Ian remembered the time he was called a freak, for having a tail.  He approached the boys, and gave them a lecture.  "You should treat everyone the same.  We are all human beings.  Even those who don't have tails."


Not long after that, a couple came to the auto shop with an interesting request.  Their son Jonathan had just started school, and was one of the few children in his class without a tail.  The other kids were picking on him.


They asked Robert and Ian,  "Can you make an artificial tail for our son?"


Robert was skeptical, but Ian agreed immediately.  "It will take a while to figure out, but we'll do it.”  Ian did some research on the internet, and found a company that sold the materials needed to make Halloween masks and fake body parts.  He ordered the supplies they would use.


Samantha's nephew was the same age as Jonathan, and he agreed to let Ian use his tail as a model.First, they used alginate to make a mold of the tail.  That is how dental impressions are made.Then they cut pieces of wire and bent them into shapes that would interlock as a chain, and flex just enough in any direction, like a tail.


They fitted the chain inside the mold, and filled it with liquid latex.  They’d mixed cosmetic pigment into the latex, making it the color of flesh.  After several attempts, they had a realistic tail.  Sarah stitched the base of the tail to elastic straps that would fit over Jonathan's underwear. 


Jonathan was ecstatic when he put on his tail for the first time.  Robert taped a sign in the window at the shop:  "WE MAKE TAILS"


If you're in Addersville, and your car needs work, stop by Taylor's Auto Service.  And if you need a tail, talk to Ian.

© Copyright 2019 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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