Elizabeth Turns Off the Lightning

This is not my usual post. My five-year old daughter, Elizabeth, came into our bedroom the other night during a lightning storm and said, “Daddy, please turn off the lightning. It’s keeping me awake.” So I decided to help her turn it off. This is what happened.  


Elizabeth Turns Off the Lightning


Mark Littleton

   A storm raged outside Elizabeth’s window. Lightning flashed. Thunder boomed. Elizabeth cried from her bed, “Daddy, the lightning! Turn off the lightning and thunder!” 

   Daddy stepped into her room. “What’s the matter, Elizabeth?”

   She pulled the sheet up to her nose with her wide eyes bugging out at him. “I can’t sleep. The lightning and thunder scare me. Please turn them off.” 

   Daddy sighed. “To do that, we have to go to the Lightning Switch. We can go in my rocketship, if you want.” 

   “A rocketship? I didn’t know you had one of them.” The sheets came down to her mouth. “It’ll take us there?”


   The sheet came down to her chin. “Will we go to the moon?”


   “Okay.” Elizabeth jumped out of bed, pulled on her snow boots, her mermaid dress, and her cowboy hat.

   Daddy took her downstairs. He grabbed some bananas and they climbed into his minivan.

   “How come you have bananas?” Elizabeth asked.

   “You’ll see. Hold on.” 

   The minivan shot up into the air. High, high above the houses, and then the city. Soon, they were in outer space.

   “Look at the moon, Daddy!” Elizabeth cried. “It’s smiling.”

   “It’s happy we’re coming near to say hello.” 

   “Hello, Moon,” Elizabeth said and waved. She looked out the back window. “Daddy, is that blue round thing earth?” 


   Elizabeth waved again. “Goodbye, earth.”   

   Something hit the windshield.

   “What was that?” Elizabeth cried.

   “Space bugs,” Daddy said.

   Lightning flashed all around.  Bugs splatted. Daddy turned on the wipers and shot some water on the windshield.

   Suddenly, a monkey grabbed the window. “What’s that?” she cried. 

   “A Moon Monkey,” Daddy said. “Give it a banana!”

   Elizabeth handed the Moon Monkey a banana. It smiled and ate.

   Lightning burst all around them. The thunder roared. Elizabeth held her ears.   Soon the monkeys surrounded the van. Elizabeth gave them all bananas.  

   Bugs struck. Moon Monkeys streaked after them eating bananas. Meteors crashed against the sides of the van, leaving bit dents. Up ahead, Elizabeth saw a giant switch. “Is that it?”

   “You’ll have to open your window to switch it off.” 

   The lightning blasted on the top of the van. On the sides. Everywhere. 

   Trembling, Elizabeth let down the window. Her cowboy hat almost blew off, but she pushed it on tighter.

   Moon Monkeys chattered. Bugs zoomed around her. She reached out.

   “It’s too far away, Daddy.” 

   He drove closer. 

   Elizabeth got her hand on the switch. She pulled.

   It wouldn’t budge.

   A Moon Monkey helped her.

   Together, they pulled it down.

   Instantly, the wind kicked up. The lightning crackled even more fiercely. Rain pelted the side of the car.

   “You pushed the switch the wrong way!” Daddy cried. He veered the van around in a circle. They came back to the switch. One of the Moon Monkeys jumped onto the switch and switched it down another notch.

   The wrong way again! Great hailstones clattered against the van. Tornadoes whirled about. Winds tore at Elizabeth’s hat.

   “What do we do?” she cried.

   “Here,” Daddy said, handing her a hammer. “You’ll have to whack that switch back the other way.” 

   Elizabeth took the hammer. She opened her window as Daddy sped toward the Switch. Elizabeth leaned out with the hammer in her hand.

   “You’ll have to stand on the roof,” Daddy cried.

   “I’m afraid!” 

   “You can do it!”

   Elizabeth took a deep breath. Then she climbed out the window. They soared closer to the Lightning Switch.

   Closer. Closer. 

   Elizabeth leaned way over. The switch was just yards away. She raised the hammer. Her cowboy hat stayed in place. And . . .

   She swung at the Switch. Bang!

   Nothing happened.

   Bang! Again.


   “Help, Moon Monkeys,” Elizabeth shouted. “I have more bananas.” 

   All the monkeys jumped on the switch. Bam! Bam! Bam!

   Everything went black.

   The lightning stopped. Elizabeth swung into the window. “Whew!” she said.

   “You did it!” Daddy said and they smacked hands.

   They zoomed back to earth. 

   Daddy tucked Elizabeth in. “Now you can sleep,” he said.

   “Until next time,” Elizabeth said. “But now we know what to do.” 

   Daddy nodded.

   Elizabeth looked up at the moon. “Goodbye, Moon,” she whispered. “Hello, earth.” 

   Daddy left.

   “Okay, you can come out now!” Elizabeth said.

   All the Moon Monkeys jumped onto her bed. Then they all fell asleep and dreamed about bananas, lightning, and switches. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: