There once was a little boy named Glenny, and he had such a big imagination, every day was filled with surprise and adventure.
Glenny Land is located high up in the Book Cliff Mountains of eastern Utah, in the little coal mining town of Kenilworth. Glenny was just five years old then.
There were so many places to play and hide in Glenny Land. There were lots and lots of cedar and pine trees, gullies, big rocks, hills, and the “GARBAGE DUMP” to climb on and explore.
Now, Glenny’s Mom did not mind him playing all over the place, but she absolutely did not like the “GARBAGE DUMP.”However it was there where Glenny found some of his greatest adventures.
It is there in that wonderful old dump that Glenny met Roger the Rat, and this is how they met.
Glenny got up one beautiful summer morning and had his breakfast and since was the youngest he was on his own to do whatever he wanted, while the rest of the family did their chores.
He went next door and talked to the Ropers’ dog, Cloud. Now, Cloud was old and did not have much to say. He just laid there in the warmth of the morning sun, and wagged his tail as if to say, “Hi, Glenny. Have a nice day. Now, go away and let me sleep.”
The neighbor on the other side was Andy Pappas. He was a nice person with the shiniest bald head you ever did see. Andy was working in his flower garden. He smiled with a big grin, and said, ” Glenny. What are you up to? Trouble I bet.”
Glenny told him that he was going to catch a butterfly, and ran off after a big Monarch butterfly. The farther he chased the butterfly, the closer he came to “THE DUMP.”
Just past the old dump was Ronko’s Store. It was part of the old ghost town down there it had been burned out for a long time. The store had almost completely falling down, but it always needed looking into; just to see if something had changed since the last time he took a gander at it.
Glenny walked inside. Halfway through, the floor had fallen down. Therefore, he could stand on the edge and look down into the basement.
There was a lot of broken concrete, old tumbleweeds, mice, spiders, and SNAKES. Now, you just know Glenny was not going to go down there, isn’t that right?
Wrong. He walked back outside, and around to the back of the old store, and down the steps.
Looking inside he could see all the way back to the end of the basement. It was dark back there under the part of the floor above that had not fallen down.
Ever so slowly, Glenny walked inside. His stomach hurt because he was so scared, but he kept on walking, as if a giant magnet was pulling him in further.
A big cement block that once held up the ceiling was lying on its side in the middle of the floor. Glenny felt very afraid, so he got up on the block so he could have a better view.
Now, as he stood there, he was more frightened than ever before, because right there below him, a big rattlesnake was eating a mouse.
Glenny screamed bloody murder, and ran out of there so fast, that he was outside before he knew it, clear across the tracks and up to the edge of the wash where the second dump lived.
At least out there it was nice, warm, and bright.
Standing there looking down into the bottom of the dump, Glenny had no idea that he was about to have his scariest adventure yet. He was about to meet his greatest horror ever.
Now Glenny knew how to climb down there. Golly, he had been down there many times before, so he started down over the edge. The garbage really stunk. There in front of him lay Swenson’s dead cat. Boy, did it stink. Glenny made a wide loop around that old cat.
There lying in the garbage, Glenny found some packages of old doughnuts that Ronnie Jewkes had thrown away from the Company Store. He wondered if they were still good.
He was getting hungry because of everything he had just been through.
He picked up the first package. Yuck, it was full of bugs. As he looked in each package, it is the same story, until he came to the last one, no bugs!
“All right,” he said and tore into it. Oh, how good they tasted, until he got to the green stuff. It was terrible. It had mold on it. “YUCK!”
Glenny threw it down, and made his way down to the old cars at the bottom. He loved to get inside of one old car in particular, because that one was not burned up like all the others and he could pretend to drive it.
The car was green with dark a green interior. Glenny got up on the back of that old car, and climbed in through the window. Now this was living.
There was no one there to boss him around, because that was all his big sisters ever did. Here he was the boss… At least until he met his greatest horror imaginable.
Kneeling on the seat, turning the steering wheel back and forth, he felt something by his right ear on the back of the seat.
Glenny turned around and saw the biggest, and ugliest, rat in the world. That big old rat reached out, bit Glenny’s shirt collar, and hung on.
Glenny screamed the loudest scream in the world, and took off out of the window like he had been shot out of a cannon, but the rat hung on. He did not let go or fall off.
Up the side of the dump Glenny ran, screaming, crying, and calling for help. This time he did not go around Swenson’s cat. He jumped right over it.
There was the rat, still hanging on for dear life, bouncing up and down, and making a lot of noises of his own.
Glenny got to the top of the wash, screaming for all he was worth, and ran smack dab into Jim Bernson, an old hermit that lived by the dump.
Jim grabbed Glenny, and Glenny yelled even louder. He did not know who scared him the most, Jim or the rat. Jim told him, “Calm down, boy. You’re going to scare Roger.”
“Scare Roger who is Roger?” he sobbed?
Jim told him that Roger was his pet rat and that was the manner in which Roger would ride on Jim’s shoulder.
Jim took Roger off the boy’s shoulder, and began chirping at the rat to calm him down.
Glenny made tracks for home. He never went back to that old dump again, at least not until it called again, but his adventures continued in Glenny Land.