The Strong Letter V
by Daniel Errico
Illustrated by Michiko Cayce
The Letter V lived in the Land of Words.
He was the strongest of all the letters.
When it was time for spring cleaning, he lifted up his house and swept the ground underneath.
He was so strong that he could bend trees with his bare hands.
He was so strong that he could throw a baseball all the way around the world and catch it behind his back.
Whenever the Letter V went somewhere, the other letters marveled at how strong he was.
The problem was that he was always showing off how strong he was.
When he played tennis, he hit the ball so hard that he broke the net.
When someone needed help opening a jar, he broke the top right off.
Whenever he visited a friend, he broke the door off its hinges.
After a while, the other letters stopped inviting him to do things.
They were running out of nets and jars and doors.
One day the Old Letter O was having a big party for his 100th birthday.
He needed as much help as he could to get ready, so he asked the Letter V to help.
The Letter V was very excited to show the Letter O how good he was at helping.
“Blow up these balloons,” said the Letter O.
The Letter V blew so hard that the balloon burst.
Then he did it again.
He broke five balloons before the Letter O came over to teach him how to do it.
“If you blow softly, the balloons won’t break,” he said.
Even though he could blow hard enough to knock down a house, the Letter V breathed softly into the balloons and filled them up.
He was very happy that they didn’t break.
From then on, the Letter V didn’t use his full strength unless he needed to.
All the other letters were happy that he had learned how to use his strength the right way, and they all had fun at the party.
Although, when it came time to break the piñata, the Letter V got the first swing and …
In the Land of Words, there’s a time and place for showing off.