Vol. 13


The Tornado

c. 1980; Hazelwood, Missouri, USA"The Tornado" illustration, by Walker Brand: A boy runs toward a house as a tornado churns behind him, spewing branches and leaves.

Everybody knows how you’re supposed to go inside and stay in a safe place during a tornado. There was one time when my uncle Andy didn’t, and he learned his lesson when a tornado came. My mom’s (Christy’s) parents were out for their anniversary. Helen and Andy, my mom’s teenage sister and brother, were outside hanging out with their friends in the yard.

Then my mom heard on TV that there was a tornado coming. She put her little brother, Scott, to bed in the basement, then went outside to tell Helen, Andy, and their friends to come inside because a tornado was coming. When she told them to come inside, they called her a “goody two shoes.” She tried to get them to listen, but it was futile.

The wind started to blow and howl like crazy. That is when Helen, Helen’s friend, and Andy’s friends decided to go in. Andy decided to stay outside. When Helen and her friend opened the front door, it ripped off its hinges and flew off, spinning like a piece of paper in the wind.

Andy thought the stick fort he and his friends had made would protect him. Then all of a sudden the black swirling, howling whirlwind picked up the stick fort with Andy in it and slammed it back down to the ground. Andy ran to the jungle gym and held on for dear life. The wind from the monstrous tornado blew Andy around like a flag in a tornado. Even with the intense winds blowing him around, he still held on. Finally Andy was able to get on the ground and run inside, even with the strong winds.

After he got inside, he went down to the basement. My mom, Helen, and their friends were so glad to see Andy in safety with no severe injuries. Until the tornado was gone, they didn’t leave the basement. Meanwhile the tornado continued to cause destruction outside. It smashed up the shed in the yard and scattered the pieces everywhere.

A while later the tornado stopped, but it left a mess. The good news was that the house was fine. When my mom’s parents got home, they found the front door ripped off. They didn’t know there had been a tornado, because it didn’t strike where they were. They found pieces of the shed a few blocks away.

From that experience, Andy learned the lesson that you should always go inside during a tornado.

Ethan Wienstroer; Missouri, USA

Illustrator: Walker Brand; Missouri, USA



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