Once upon a time there lived a boy known as Peanut Boy. This peculiar nickname had been given to him at birth, when people in his village had noticed his body was shaped like a small peanut, and that his skin was rough like its outer shell.
Even though he looked different and was smaller compared to other children, Peanut Boy’s parents loved him very much, and never let him feel like he was unwanted. As Peanut Boy became a young boy, he ended up looking exactly like a peanut, waddling around the village and smiling warmly at everyone.
One day, something terrible happened. A dangerous snake known as the Vizzyvoo invaded Peanut Boy’s village.
Now, a Vizzyvoo isn’t just any snake. It’s as fast as a white lie and as long as the wait at the dentist’s office. Its fangs are so sharp even the wind gasps when it bares them.
The Vizzyvoo tore through the village, wreaking havoc and despair. Peanut Boy tried desperately to waddle his way towards safety, but his little legs and peanut body just weren’t fast enough.
Peanut Boy saw the Vizzyvoo lurch at him and he scrunched his eyes shut. There was a thud and a sigh, and when Peanut Boy opened his eyes, he saw his father had jumped in the way, sacrificing his own life to save his son’s. Sharp fangs protruded from his body as the Vizzyvoo roared with rage.
Suddenly, help arrived and a band of brave villagers scared away the Vizzyvoo with flaming torches and rusty pitchforks.
Peanut Boy’s father twitched, and everyone realised he was miraculously still alive. But the village doctor shook his head sadly, and said only the venom of the Vizzyvoo itself would be enough to create an antidote to save his life.
In the dead of night, Peanut Boy fled his village, desperate to find the Vizzyvoo. He didn’t have any weapons, so just bared his teeth in defiance as he waddled down the dusty path, his peanut head bopping as he strode determinedly towards his enemy.
Before long, Peanut Boy came to an ocean, which he knew he had to cross to reach the Jungle of Baqbaq, where the Vizzyvoo lived.
He ventured into the water, but realised he didn’t know how to swim. He began to cry, and a single tear fell into the ocean. Suddenly, a Mermish appeared, licking her lips at how delicious the tears of an innocent soul were.
She promised to help him find the Vizzyvoo, but she wanted something in return. Without hesitating, Peanut Boy agreed and she let him climb onto her back as they both traversed the ocean.
When they arrived on the shores of Baqbaq, the Mermish smiled slyly and said in return for helping him cross the ocean, she wanted his smile. Peanut Boy didn’t have much of a choice, so he sadly accepted and the Mermish took her palm and wiped the smile off his face forever.
Peanut Boy continued for another day before he found the Vizzyvoo’s lair. He had tried to smile on the way, but it was even more difficult than staying awake when a grown-up talks about the economy.
With trembling legs, Peanut Boy entered the lair, and was face to face with the Vizzyvoo snake. It hissed at him, and said for his trouble, he would give him a slow death by wrapping itself around him and crushing him to peanut dust.
Peanut Boy tried to plead with the Vizzyvoo, but within a few seconds it had wrapped itself around him and slowly started constricting, crushing his little peanut body.
The pressure was intense and Peanut Boy screamed, but he refused to give up. He struggled and strained, screaming to the heavens in pain. He looked at the Vizzyvoo defiantly, refusing to cry.
Suddenly there was a loud crack and the Vizzyvoo relaxed its grip. Peanut Boy’s shell had cracked into several pieces, and he fell to the floor with a thud.
He was still alive, but he didn’t understand how. He saw a sharp shard of his peanut shell nearby and sneakily grabbed it. The Vizzyvoo slithered towards him, ready to devour its prey, when Peanut Boy leapt to his feet and launched himself at the Vizzyvoo, stabbing it between the eyes with the remnants of his peanut shell.
The Vizzyvoo shrieked in pain and lurched around, before lying utterly still.
Peanut Boy dropped his shell and waddled over to the Vizzyvoo. Except he wasn’t quite waddling. He was…walking.
Peanut Boy looked down at his hands and gasped. He was a normal boy, with normal skin and normal feet. He crouched and looked at his reflection in the glassy eyes of the Vizzyvoo and saw a strong young boy looking back at him, glowing in soft blue light.
He had been reborn from his struggles with the Vizzyvoo. In the battle he was broken, but now he had been remade.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Peanut Boy wrenched a fang from the Vizzyvoo’s mouth, checking carefully to make sure it had poison in it for the antidote. The tooth was nearly as tall as Peanut Boy himself.
There was one final problem, though. Peanut Boy didn’t have a way to cross the ocean again, and he didn’t want to ask the evil Mermish for help again.
It was then Peanut Boy remembered something his mother had taught him. She used to say whenever there’s a problem, the solution is usually very close.
Peanut Boy looked around and realised he could make a raft from a large piece of his cracked peanut shell. He picked it up and dragged it to the shore, where he stood on it and tested his new legs as he balanced on it, slowly easing himself into the water.
He used the long fang as an oar and traveled across the ocean, the carcass of his past helping him find his way home. However, he was still sad that even though he would save his father, he would never smile again.
Before long, his village came into view, drenched in the tangy glows of sunset, and the small orange specks of evening campfires.
It was at that moment Peanut Boy realised that when we’re reborn, we can shed our old selves and use them as rafts to find new beginnings, with the freedom to glow brighter than ever before. He realised his old shell would never burden him again.
Peanut Boy reached the shore and let his old peanut shell drift away into the ocean, as he gripped the fang in his strong new hands.
As Boy strode towards his village he turned back one last time, looked into the sunset, and smiled.