* Editor's note: Ned's new invention wreaks havoc with his friends, teachers, fruit and an art museum.
There once was a young inventor named Ned.
He was lying in bed, and he wished he were dead.
Show-and-Tell was this morning, and -- wouldn't you know?
He had nothing to tell and nothing to show.
He went to his closet and dug out his stash
Of valuable treasures he'd found in the trash:
A rusty eggbeater, a toy laser beam,
A handheld electronic spelling machine.
A Slinky with kinks and an old ping-pong paddle,
A snow globe that said "Having Fun in Seattle."
He smushed them together with duct tape and glue.
He had an invention, but what did it do?
He cranked the contraption, the laser glowed red.
He pointed the beam at a shoe on the bed.
With a flash, the old SHOE had turned into a HOSE,
That sprayed ice-cold water on Ned's books and clothes!
Then Ned zapped his LAMP, it turned into a PALM!
He took a deep breath and he tried to stay calm:
"I'll call my invention Ned's Mix-Up Ray!
I'll be rich! I'll be famous! Or at least get an 'A'!"
He ran down to breakfast to tell Dad and Mom
That his shoe was a hose and his lamp was a palm.
"My newest invention makes normal stuff weird!
It lets a CAT ACT, and makes BREAD grow a BEARD!"
But just then the laser beam bounced off a dish,
Changing his AUNT to a big TUNA fish!
"Oops, sorry!" said Ned, and he ran off to school,
While his Mom and his Dad put his aunt in the pool.
On his way, Ned passed by Mr. Clemens, the grocer.
Did he leave the store as he found it? Oh, no sir!
His LEMONS were MELONS, his MELONS were LEMONS.
"Eh, what's the difference," said old Mr. Clemens.
Then Ned went too far -- he made every PEACH CHEAP.
And old Mr. Clemens said, "Beat it, you creep!"
At school, Show-and-Tell started out pretty slow --
Cathy brought mustard. And Gary -- a hoe.
But things got exciting when Ned's Mix-Up Ray
Made Cathy a YACHT and turned GARY to GRAY!
Jane Keene and Jane Greene were both meaner than mean,
But this bad pair of JANES made a nice pair of JEANS.
He made BRIAN a BRAIN, with a big throbbing thinker,
Changed NAT to an ANT and made KRISTEN a STINKER!
Then Ned went too far -- MRS. ETON, the teacher,
Turned into a MONSTER -- a three-headed creature!
"Ned," roared the teacher, "you get an F-plus!"
The she hustled the children outside to a bus.
"It's time for our trip to the Museum of Art.
And I'm warning you, Ned, don't try anything smart.
I have six eyes and they're watching you, Bub."
But she hadn't noticed the BUS was a SUB.
At the Museum of Art, Ned roamed through the halls,
Making PIECRUST from PICTURES that hung on the walls.
He changed ART to a RAT, he turned ART into TAR.
One BUST was the STUB of a smelly cigar.
An URN sprouted legs and went out for a RUN.
And nine NEON sculptures had dwindled to NONE.
When she saw the madness throughout the museum,
The teacher let loose with a three-headed scream.
And suddenly Ned knew this wasn't a game.
Things were a NIGHTMARE without the RIGHT NAME!
The MOOD wasn't good, and poor Ned could sense DOOM,
So he ran and he hid in the little boys' room.
"I've scrambled my friends and the whole art collection,"
Ned thought as he stared at his gloomy reflection.
Then Ned had a brainstorm! He knew it could work!
"I'm a genius!" he cried. "And, well, kind of a jerk."
He aimed at the mirror with NED'S MIX-UP RAY.
The device zapped itself and became UNMIXED SPRAY!
With a spritz of his spray, he made ART from a RAT.
The YACHT became CATHY, the ANT became NAT.
BRIAN's huge BRAIN was tucked back in
KRISTEN the STINKER smelled like a
The only thing left was the three-headed creature.
This monster was scary, but so was his teacher.
Ned sprayed and the MONSTER became
She was angry at first, then she started to sweeten:
"Ned, you have been a most mischievous kid,
But I think you've undone all the damage
And you kept this from being another dull day,
So I'm raising your grade from F-plus to an 'A'."
From THE GREAT SHOW-AND-TELL DISASTER by Mike Reiss. Text copyright (C) 2001 by Mike Reiss. Illustrations copyright (C) 2001 by Mike Cressy. Reprinted by permission of Price Stern Sloan, an imprint of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.