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Travis McBean & His Jelly Bean Machine

 

Travis McBean & His Jelly Bean Machine

(A naughty, tongue-twisting Canadian classic full of rhyming refrains and happy hyperbole! A tried-and-true rollicking read-aloud version!)

By Kalen Marquis

Once upon a time there was a young boy named Travis McBean.

Although Travis had a regular family and regular friends and lived in a regular house and went to a regular school, there was something that was not so very regular about Travis.

It was just that he was different—very, very different.

And lucky—very, very lucky! It was just that. . . Travis McBean had his very own jelly bean machine!

While all of Travis’s regular friends (who lived in regular houses with their regular families) would use their birthday or allowance money to buy a tiny bag of jelly beans, Travis McBean would just go home and fire up his jelly bean machine!

I don’t know where in the world Travis found his jelly bean machine or who might have given it to him. All I know is that whenever Travis got a hankering, a sweet-toothed yearning for something sugary-sweet and a trifle ooey-gooey-oh-so-chewy, he knew that nothing would hit the spot like a few of those scrumptious little beans of brightly coloured jelly.

It wouldn’t take long before off he went to his most secret hiding spot, the far back corner of his closet, and pull out his mystical, magical jelly bean machine.

Travis’s jelly bean machine wasn’t very big. It was actually small enough that he was able to hide it in an old boot box that he found in the basement.

Travis’s jelly bean machine was the most amazing thing! It didn’t take any electricity and it did not run on gasoline. I’m not sure how it worked but Travis just,

quickly pulled a lever, 

pushed a button or two, 

and there was a wispy puff of steam 

as the gears began to chew 

 

and then it would grink and gronk 

and ping and pop 

and out would squeeze 

a tiny, round, sugary drop!

 

Then there was

a gurgle, some gronking, 

and the tiniest little griggle. . . 

as fresh juicy jelly beans 

tumbled out from its middle! 

 

Out they would come! 

There would be more and more! 

Jelly beans would be everywhere! 

There’d be jelly beans galore! 

 

And Travis, like any kid who liked jelly beans, would begin to scoop them up in his hands . . . or his lunch bag. . . or (when he really had a craving), a deep-deep-deep pillow case from his bed.

It didn’t take long before Travis had the whole thing down to a science. He knew exactly where to keep his little machine so no one would find it. He knew what lever to pull and what buttons to push. And he always knew if it was going to be a handful, lunch bag, or pillow case kind of day.

And that was that. It may not sound fair, but life, they say, isn’t always fair. Some kids have jelly bean machines. Some kids don’t. That’s just the way things go. Everything, they say, equals out in the end.

But that, unfortunately, wasn’t that. I mean life would have gone on pretty much as usual if it hadn’t been for that very sad and sorry morning when Travis McBean forgot to shut off his jelly bean machine.

It was just a regular morning too. Travis, always an early morning sleepy head, had finally wrestled himself free from his bed sheets and was now rushing about trying to pack his homework and gym shoes. He took a look at the bright sunshine which filled his room and knew in an instant that, when it came to jelly beans, today was going to be a “lunch bag” kind of day.

Shutting his bedroom door and opening up his closet with his empty nylon lunch bag in hand, he reached back to his special hiding place and slipped the lid off the old, brown boot box. Then he,

quickly pulled a lever, 

pushed a button or two, 

and there was a wispy puff of steam 

as the gears began to chew 

 

and then it would grink and gronk 

and ping and pop 

and out would squeeze 

a tiny, round, sugary drop! 

 

Then there was

a gurgle, some gronking, 

and the tiniest little griggle. . . 

as fresh juicy jelly beans 

tumbled out from its middle! 

 

Out they would come! 

There would be more and more! 

Jelly beans would be everywhere! 

There’d be jelly beans galore! 

It didn’t take long before the black nylon lunch bag was full. Suddenly hearing his mom calling, “Travis, you’re LATE!” from the other room, he grabbed his bag of ooey-gooey-oh-so-chewy jelly beans and rushed out of the room.

Travis had been in such a hurry that he didn’t have time to look back to see the open closet door, the open boot box, or his little jelly bean machine as it gurgled, gronked, and griggled, sending wispy puffs of steam into the air and letting bright, juicy jelly beans tumble out from its middle.

And oh, how they tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up his closet! And all his toys and stuffed animals began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing their call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly beans tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up his bedroom! And his mother began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing her call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly beans tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up his entire house! And his father began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing his call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly bean tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up his street! And sweet old Mrs. Jenkins next door began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing her call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly beans tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up his classroom! And his teacher began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing that call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly beans tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up his school! And his principal began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing her call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly beans tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up the whole entire community! And the mayor began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing that call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly beans tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up his country! And the prime minister began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing the call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly beans tumbled. They tumbled and tumbled and tumbled. They tumbled until . . . they filled up the Earth and everyone and everything was swimming in layers upon layers of jelly beans! And all the kings, queens, and presidents began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?” But Travis, hearing their call, crossed his arms across his chest and looked down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.”

And still the jelly beans tumbled. They tumbled until those ooey-gooey-oh-so-chewy jelly beans began falling like meteorites into the solar system! And finally, every woman, man, girl, and boy on Earth (and perhaps even a rather odd and slightly eerie voice or two from deep outer space) began to yell and scream,

“Travis! Travis! Travis McBean! Won’t you please shut off your jelly bean machine?”

But, well, you know what Travis did. . .or maybe you don’t. This time Travis didn’t cross his arms across his chest and look down at the ground, saying, “Nope. No way. Nuh-uh-uh.” Instead, he said something like this:

Okay, okay. I’ll shut it off. 

I’ll give it a rest. 

But only if you agree 

To this tiny wee test. 

 

You must gobble these beans. 

You must eat every one! 

They all yelled, “Hooray!” 

“Yummy-yum-yum!” 

 

And that’s just what they did. 

They ate every little bean 

That ever tumbled out 

Of Travis’s jelly bean machine! 

 

In fact, they gobbled so many 

That they began to grow 

Jelly bean fingers 

And a jelly bean nose! 

 

They grew jelly bean ears 

And jelly bean tongues! 

They grew jelly bean hearts 

And jelly bean lungs! 

 

They grew jelly bean legs 

And jelly bean arms! 

They soon had to sound 

The jelly bean alarms! 

 

And that’s the end of the story! 

There’s not much more to tell! 

Except some say Travis was eaten. . .  

While others say he was saved. . .

by the jelly (belly) bell? 

 

© 1991 Kalen Marquis