from A Grandpa's Notebook, Meyer Moldeven

Stobey the Space Worm is a girl, and she and her friend Slutter the Slime, a boy, live on farms next to each other. The farms are on Planet Mars.

One morning, after breakfast, Stobey runs to Slutter's house and they race each other to their spaceships. Stobey's spaceship is squishy and is named Cream Cheese; Slutter's spaceship is as slimy as he and has the well-deserved name Lox.

Spaceship Lox is named after a kind of smoked fish that was taken along by the first expedition of colonists to Planet Mars from Planet Earth. It's a real slippery fish, even after it's smoked.

Stobey climbs aboard Cream Cheese and Slutter slides into Lox. They take off and head for a landing strip on the slope of a mountain on Phobos, one of Planet Mars' moons.

They land their spaceships on Phobos and explore the mountaintop. They come to a wide, deep hole near the center of the peak. Next to the wide, deep hole they see a sign. On the sign is printed 'The name of this mountain is 'Bagel.'

'Just imagine,' Stobey laughs. 'We flew to the moon on Cream Cheese and Lox, and where did we land? On a bagel!'

It begins to rain. The rainwater on Phobos is white. The reason the milk is white is that on the moons of Mars it always rains milk-real milk. There is a legend in the Planet Mars community that the milk-rain on Phobos really comes from the Cow That Jumped Over the Moon.

Stobey and Slutter take drinking cups from their lunch boxes and hold them up. The cups fill with milk.

'Hm,' says Slutter. 'Here we are, with Cream Cheese and Lox on Bagel, having cups of milk.'

Stobey and Slutter look at each other and giggle. The giggles turn to laughs. My, how they laugh. They explore Bagel Mountain for a while, then walk back to their spaceships. They say good-bye to each other, climb aboard, and switch on the ship's motors. The motors roar and the ships are ready to take off.

Slimy Lox gets off fine but goopy soft Cream Cheese sticks to the Bagel and is in trouble. Stobey presses real hard on the engine pedal. After a real hard try Cream Cheese smears along the surface, finally gets unstuck and squirts into space.

'Why was it so hard for Cream Cheese to get off the Bagel?' Stobey wonders.

She doesn't know, of course, that bagels all across our solar system have always had a mysterious and powerful attraction for cream cheese. For instance, on Planet Earth the single most important question throughout history has been, 'Of what possible use can a bagel be, without cream cheese?'

The two spaceships head for home.

(The same story can be written using hamburger and catsup on a bun with soda pop or any popular, traditional or restaurant combination. Try it with your grandchild's favorite snack.)

That started a series, the first of which was:
Stobey and Slutter Fly to Super-Rock Playground.

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