Small Talk

Small Talk

From Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul

Small Talk

Iwill speak to youth which can accomplish everything, precisely because it accepts no past, obeys no present and fears no future.

Rudyard Kipling

Coffee Soldiers

My mom is a first-grade teacher. It was around Christmas, and all the kids were really hyper. A little boy came into her room and put a coffee mug filled with toy soldiers on her desk. She asked what it was for, and he said, “The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup.”

Vanessa Breeden, age 12

Belated Birthday

One day after work, I was driving my two sons home from school when Christopher asked if we could stop at a store so he could buy a birthday gift to take to school the next day. I said, “Sure, but why?” He proceeded to tell me that tomorrow would be George Washington’s birthday, and he wanted to take him a gift.

His older brother, Richard, looked at Christopher and said, “He’s dead, stupid!”

Christopher’s quick reply was, “Darn, I knew we should have bought it sooner!”

Lois Wooster Gopin

Turkey Day

As a teacher, I know that kindergarten has always been a place to learn important lessons. So, one day when I was visiting the school where my husband was the principal, I went to discover the place of wonder—the kindergarten class.

There, I noticed a little girl busily slapping paint on an easel. To my eye, her creation seemed to be nothing more than a big red blob. “Tell me about your painting,” I said.

The young artist stopped painting. She backed away from the easel and gave her work a careful look. Then she heaved a heavy sigh and exclaimed, “It’s a turkey!”

After what seemed an eternity, she added, “And tomorrow, I’m going to put the skin on it!”

Meg Conner

Being Tall

I wish I was tall. Taller than the basketball players, so that I could dunk the ball so bad. My friends tell me that I am not going to growanymore—but that’s not true. I don’t believe them. I am going to be taller. I just have to wait.

Bader Alshammeri, age 14

Yes, Sir!

My three-year-old brother had been told several times to get ready for bed. The last time that my mom told him, she was very insistent. His response was, “Yes, Sir!” Since he was talking to our mother (and she is a woman), we didn’t expect him to call her “Sir.”

“You would say, ‘Yes, Sir,’ to a man. I am a lady, and you would say ‘Yes, Ma’am,’ to a lady,” Mom said. To quiz him on his lesson, she then asked him, “What would you say to Daddy?”

“Yes, Sir!” came the reply.

“Then what would you say to Mama?”

“Yes, Ma’am!” he proudly answered.

“Good boy! Now what would you say to Grandma?”

He lit up and said, “Can I have a cookie?”

Elizabeth Cornish, age 12

Just a Slight Misunderstanding

In my class, when a person has a birthday, instead of being given a present, the birthday person brings a book to our class for the in-room library. On my birthday, I chose my favorite book: There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom.

I went to the bookstore and asked the lady behind the counter, “Do you carry There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom? ” Instead of looking it up on the computer as I thought she would, she said, “Just a minute,” and she disappeared. My mom and I waited and waited.

Finally she came back, and she said to me, “There’s no one there now—he must have gone home with his mother.”

I started laughing, and so did my mom. The lady was embarrassed—I guess she hadn’t heard me say the words, “Do you carry . . . ?” She had been gone that entire time, looking for a boy in the girls’ bathroom.

Melanie Hansen, age 10

A French Accent

Last summer my family and I went to the beach for a camping trip. When we arrived at the campground, all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and even my grandparents were there. After we got the tent set up, the adults started to make dinner. All of the kids went down to the river.

When we arrived, there were some older kids throwing rocks in the river, so we decided to go downriver a little. As we turned around to leave, my little ten-year-old cousin was already having a blast. He was yelling and throwing rocks in the river. My cousin has a speech problem, so he speaks in kind of a funny way.

As we were walking away, the older kids started laughing at my cousin. They were teasing him and making fun of how he talks. At first he started to get really upset, but then he turned around and asked them why they were laughing. They told him that he talked stupidly. Then he asked them, “What, haven’t you ever heard a French accent before?”

They just stood there for a minute with dumb looks on their faces and finally just walked away.

Erin Althauser, age 13

The Science Snack

In my class, we were doing an experiment on mold and how it grows. We were studying the effects that light and dark would have on the mold. For our concluding science project, we placed pieces of moist bread in various places in the room. Some were placed in the back corner, where it was darker, and others were placed in the front part of the room. We also put some pieces out on our back porch, in the sunlight.

Several hours later, we checked on our specimens to see how they were doing. The ones left on the back porch were nowhere to be found. We searched high and low, but the pieces of bread had simply disappeared.

We later found out that the kindergartners, out at recess, had seen this “feast” laid out before their very eyes. They decided that this was a snack made just for them, so they ate our science experiment—soggy bread, mold and all.

Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg


When I was five years old, my dad told me that I could watch a movie all night called Eyelids. I got excited when bedtime came. “Can I watch Eyelids now?” I asked. But Dad said, “Time to go to bed, son.” I reminded him of how he had told me that I could watch the movie Eyelids. He said, “You have to go to sleep, with your eyes closed, to be able to see your eyelids.” So ever since then, I think before I ask questions like that. I don’t want to be tricked again.

Joshua Cantrell, age 12

The Great Pumpkin

By the time I entered the eighth grade, I had already grown to six feet two inches tall. I was at least a foot taller than any of the other kids at my school, and I was so self-conscious that I didn’t even want to talk to anyone. I walked around sort of bent over to hide my height.

All the kids at school listened to a disk jockey on WLS called the Great Pumpkin. He had a popular program where he answered letters on the air from the kids who wrote to him. I figured that if anyone could solve my problem, it would be the Great Pumpkin. So I wrote:

Dear Great Pumpkin:

  My name is Mark Victor Hansen, and I am in the eighth grade at Jack Benny Junior High. I am six feet two inches tall and taller than anyone else in school. What should I do?

Yours truly,
Mark Victor Hansen

A week after mailing my letter to the Great Pumpkin, I was getting ready for school while I listened to his show. Then I heard, “To Mark Victor Hansen at Jack Benny Junior High: Cut off your head and carry it to school in a paper bag!”

The rest of the week everyone at school kept asking me, “Hey, Markie, where’s your paper bag?”

Just because someone is popular like the Great Pumpkin doesn’t mean they know all the answers.

Mark Victor Hansen

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