The Loud Letter M
by Daniel Errico
Illustrated by Michiko Cayce
The Letter M lived in the Land of Words.
The Letter M was always yelling because he thought it was the best way to get people to listen.
He was the loudest of all the letters.
He got so used to being loud that he didn’t know how to be less loud.
He talked so loudly that everyone else’s voice was too soft to hear when he spoke.
Nobody called him because he broke their phones with his loud voice.
When he tried whispering, it came out as a loud yell. There was a “No Letter M” policy at all of the libraries.
Even his breathing was loud. He had never won a game of hide-and-go-seek.
He worked as a bank teller at the Bank of Words, right next to the Library of Words.
Every letter that walked into the bank wore earplugs so that the Letter M’s voice wouldn’t hurt their ears.
They smiled and nodded at him, and they pretended they could still hear.
One day he went into the Word Safe and found that it was empty!
He ran out and screamed, “Somebody has robbed the bank!”
But nobody moved.
They could not hear him because they had their ear plugs in.
He picked up the phone and called the bank owner, then his friends, and then everyone that he knew.
But nobody picked up.
They saw that it was the Letter M calling and decided not to answer. They’d broken too many phones talking to him.
He ran next door to tell the people at the Library of Words, but the security guard had a picture of the Loud Letter M and didn’t let him in.
He didn’t know what to do!
He went back to the bank and yelled at the top of his lungs about the safe, but nobody could hear him.
For the first time, he yelled so much that he lost his voice.
He sat down and started to sob.
Pretty soon a crowd of letters surrounded him to see what was wrong.
They all took out their earplugs and comforted him.
“What’s wrong?” they asked.
He answered in a very, very soft voice, “Someone has robbed the bank.”
“Oh, no!” said the Letter P, “My money was in there!”
“Oh, no!” said the Letter F, “So was mine!”
Everyone began yelling and shouting until the bank owner came walking in.
“Someone has robbed the bank!” everyone shouted.
“No, they haven’t,” the bank owner said, “I got a new safe, and it’s safe and sound behind the old one. Didn’t you hear me tell you about it this morning, Letter M?”
“I guess I was talking too loudly,” said Letter M while drying a tear.
Everyone calmed down, knowing that their money was secure in the new bank safe.
For the rest of the day, the Letter M spoke in a very soft voice, and everyone was very happy to talk to him.
In the Land of Words, you don’t have to shout to be heard.