Henry the Aardvark

By Ian Mathisen (Phoenixville, PA)

Henry the Aardvark was once a very well known figure. He was the prince of the kingdom, Anteaterland in 1700AD. Anteaterland was on a vast island in the Indian Ocean. The royal family’s palace lied in the very center of the island. If one left Anteaterland they would die, but if they stayed they would live forever.

Now, Henry was a very loyal prince and he did everything to help the general health of the country. One day when he was lifting up chariots that had fallen on pet hamsters, the King called him with the shrill sound of the great horn.

When Henry came, the king was chowing down on the royal dish, ant a la chocolat.  He told Henry that an evil beast that walks on two legs has infiltrated the magical borders with some sort of wooden sea-vessel. Anything that could infiltrate the magical borders must also have the power to kill the immortals, so Prince Henry set out on his quest to kill the intruders.

Henry set up camp near the beach on which the beasts had been spotted. He decided to go around and scout out the area. As soon as he came to the first clearing, he saw four grotesque looking beings; one was holding a weird gizmo. The creature yelled, “That one’s for dinner,” as a rock-like object whizzed past his head. Henry immediately ran off screaming for help. One of the beasts said, “I guess your aim’s a little off todaaaay… wait… did that thing speak and yell help, or am I losing it.” Another said, “No you’re not crazy you can still here it now,” “Heeeeeelp… please somebody, heeeeeelp!” The fourth one said, I think we should find that animal, so they drew a plan.

That night Henry did not sleep well, he kept dreaming about the horrifying two-legged beings, and when he woke up he quickly decided that he preferred the nightmare. One beast was behind him with the shiny rock-launcher contraption aimed at his head. Two more were at his flank with spears, but the fourth was standing there impatiently and unarmed.

The fourth said, “Stay still and hear me out and nothing bad will happen. Now first who or what are you?” Henry replied, “I am Henry the Aardvark, prince of the great country of Anteaterland. Also, one question what are you and why are you here?” The fourth beast said, “I am Tommy, on my right is Louie, on my left is Fred, and behind you is Adolf. We are humans; we came here to explore what was here.” Henry replied, “I have a deal for you, I will give to you a detailed map and the history of this place, if only you leave and never come back.” “You’ve got a deal,” said Tommy, “so tell us some stories.”

The next day with the humans long gone, Henry returned to the palace. The king immediately asked Henry whether he completed his quest or not. Henry lied by making up a story of how he bravely fought of a hundred two legged beasts. He lied because the king would not be happy that his son had disclosed information about the island to invaders. Prince Henry then lived happily on helping the country.

5/15/2025AD: EADS syndrome wreaks havoc among the people in the world, decreasing the population to 1.5billion. The cause: aardvark breath; the bacteria in the aardvark’s lungs is lethal to a human. The disease can be cured, but people keep getting the disease after they have already had it. Scientists find that after one is cured they cannot receive it from another person; they can only get the disease directly from an aardvark. All known aardvarks had been killed ten years ago, yet there was still a source.

The next day, an archeologist finds a scroll, entitled Anteaterland. It contains a detailed map of an island, and a description of a kingdom which contains only aardvarks, ants, and hamsters. He wonders if this has anything to do with the massive cloud of aardvark breath.

Many years later after consulting and scouting, it has been proven that the source is indeed an island in the Indian Ocean and it matches the description on the map. The United States of the World, the only remaining country, plans to attack and rid the world of aardvarks.

It is 2050 in Anteaterland and Henry is doing his usual job. The great horn is sounded to summon Henry. It reminds him of the two legged beasts, and a chill goes down his spine. Henry shows up at the palace and the king is waiting at the door and says, “Henry there has been a giant metal thing seen on the coast of our island by the Ant Bay. “That happens to be the same place I fought those beasts many years ago,” said Henry, “Well I’m off.”

An uneasy feeling was in Henry’s mind as he ruffled through the trees and bushes of the jungle. When he reached the beach he nearly fainted; there was a giant shiny sea-vessel with letters saying, USS Puerto Rico. Suddenly, there was a loud boom as a giant mushroom-like cloud sprouted behind him.

When Henry woke up the king was lying on the ground next to him and the palace and the jungle were gone. All he could see was barren land for miles. He knew this had to be the work of the humans. Henry leaned over to his father and told him what had actually happened that day centuries ago. Suddenly his father filled with rage and yelled, “You are responsible for this, I will never be able to forgive you for this!” He then chanted a very old magical spell. It sent Henry into another dimension to the horrible place called Pennsylvania.

Now Henry lies forever stuck in a cave in the woods of Pennsylvania. Nothing that goes into that cave ever comes out, and if any human goes in they will get EADS syndrome and die instantly…

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