A Mr. Rubbish Mood
It was still dark out when Judy woke up early the next morning. She found her flashlight and notebook. Then she tiptoed downstairs to the kitchen and started to save the world.
She hoped she could save the world before breakfast. Judy wondered if other people making the world a better place had to do it quietly, and in the dark, so their parents would not wake up.
She, Judy Moody, was in a Mr. Rubbish Mood. Mr. Rubbish was the Good Garbage Gremlin in Stink's comic book, who built his house out of French-fry cartons and pop bottles. He recycled everything, even lollipop sticks. And he never used anything from the rain forest.
Hmm...things that came from the rain forest. That would be a good place to start. Rubber came from the rain forest. And chocolate and spices and things like perfume. Even chewing gum.
Judy collected stuff from around the house and piled it on the kitchen table. Chocolate bars, brownie mix, vanilla ice cream. Her dad's coffee beans. The rubber toilet plunger. Gum from Stink's gumball machine. Her mom's lipstick from the bottom of her purse. She was so busy saving the rain forest that she didn't hear her family come into the kitchen.
"What in the world...?" Mom said.
"Judy, why are you in the dark?" Dad asked, turning on the lights.
"Hey, my gumball machine!" Stink said.
Judy held out her arms to block the way. "We're not going to use this stuff anymore. It's all from the rain forest," she told them.
"Says who?" asked Stink.
"Says Mr. Rubbish. And Mr. Todd. They cut down way too many trees to grow coffee and give us makeup and chewing gum. Mr. Todd says the earth is our home. We have to take action to save it. We don't need all this stuff."
"I need gum!" yelled Stink. "Give me back my gum!"
"Stink! Don't yell. Haven't you ever heard of noise pollution?"
"Is my coffee in there?" Dad asked, rubbing his hair.
"Judy? Is that ice cream? It's dripping all over the table!" Mom carried the leaky carton over to the sink.
"ZZZZ-ZZZZZ!" Judy made the sound of a chain saw cutting down trees.
"She's batty," Stink said.
Dad put the brownie mix back in the cupboard. Mom took the toilet plunger off the kitchen table and headed for the bathroom.
Time for Plan B. Project R.E.C.Y.C.L.E. She, Judy Moody, would show her family just how much they hurt the planet. Every time someone threw something away, she would write it down. She got her notebook and looked in the trash can. She wrote down: 1 orange juice can, 1 inside of peanut butter jar lid, 1 plastic bread bag, 4 broken egg shells, smelly yucky wet coffee grouns, 3 paper muffin holders, 2 smooshed Scarlett O'Cherry juice boxes (and straws!), 1/2 bowl of oatmeal.
"Stink! You shouldn't throw gooey old oatmeal in the trash!" Judy said.
"Dad! Tell her to quit spying on me!"
"I'm a garbage detective!" said Judy. "Garbologist to you. Mr. Todd sais if you want to learn what to recycle, you have to get to know your garbage."
"Here," said Stink, sticking something wet and mushy under Judy's nose. "Get to know my apple core."
"Hardee har har," said Judy. "Hasn't anybody in this family ever heard of the Three R's?"
"The Three R's?" asked Dad.
"What's the third one?" asked Stink.
"Re-fuse to talk to little brothers until they quit throwing stuff away."
"Mom! I'm not going to stop throwing stuff away just because Judy's having a trash attack."
"Look at all this stuff we throw away!" Judy said. "Did you konw that one person throws away more than eight pounds of garbage a day?"
"We recycle all our glass and cans," said Mom.
"And newspapers," Dad said.
"But what about this?" said Judy, picking up a plastic bag out of the trash. This bread bag could be a purse! Or carry a library book!"
"What's so great about eggshells?" asked Stink. "And smelly old ground-up coffee?"
"You can use them to feed plants. Or make compost." Just then, something caught her eye. A pile of Popsicle sticks? Judy pulled it out. "Hey! My Laura Ingalls Wilder log cabin I made in second grade!"
"It looks like a glue museum to me," said Stink.
"I'm sorry, Judy," Mom said. "I should have asked first, but we can't save everything, honey."
"Recycle it! said Stink. "You could use it for kindling, to start a fire! Or break it down into toothpicks."
"Not funny, Stink."
"Judy, you're not even ready for school yet. Let's talk about this later," said Dad. "It's time to get dressed."
It was no use. Nobody listened to her. Judy trudged upstairs, feeling like a sloth without a tree. . . .
Her family sure knew how to ruin a perfectly good Mr. Rubbish mood. She put on her jeans and her Spotted Owl T-shirt. And to save water, she did not brush her teeth.
She compled downstairs in a mad-at-your-whole-family mood.
"Here's your lunch," said Mom.
"Mom! It's in a paper bag!"
"What's wrong with that?" Stink asked.
"Don't you get it?" said Judy. "They cut down trees to make paper bags. Trees give shade. They help control global warming. We would die without trees. They make oxygen and help take dust and stuff out of the air."
"Dust!" said Mom. "Let's talk about cleaniing your room if we're going to talk about dust."
"Mo-om!" How was she supposed to do important things like save trees if she couldn't even save her FAMILY tree?
JUDY MOODY SAVES THE WORLD by Megan McDonald. Copyright (c) 2002 by Megan McDonald. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Excerpted from Judy Moody Saves the World! (Book #3) by Megan McDonald. Copyright © 2010 by Megan McDonald. Excerpted by permission of Candlewick, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.