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Xing-Xing Sings

Xing-Xing-Sings: A Tongue Twister Tale

An Extremely Hard Tongue Twister 

By S.E. Schlosser

The Xenos family lived in a rambling old house called Xanadu.  Xavier was a xylographer, which meant that he worked all day engraving words on wood.  His wife Xenia made lovely xenogardens; gardens in which all of the plants – like cactus and sage brush – thrive in dry weather. 

The Xenos’ children, Xander and Xylana, were twins. Xander played in the band at school with his best friend Max Pax. Xander played the xylophone and Max Pax played the sax.

Xylana Xenos loved to bake. Every day after school, she and her best friend Trixie Pixie extracted juices, examined ingredients, and cooked creative cookies.  They hummed along as Xander and Max played duets on xylophone and sax. In the corner of the kitchen, Xing-Xing Xenops, their pet parrot, would sit on her swing and sing.

“My, something smells lovely in here,” Xenia exclaimed exuberantly, breezing in the kitchen door one sunny Saturday afternoon. She kissed her daughter, waved hello to Trixie Pixie and wandered out to work in the garden with Xephyr her pet Xenurine armadillo at her heels. “Xander, play the Box Song,” she shouted over her shoulder as she slipped through the screen door.

“Box! Box!” exclaimed Xing-Xing Xenops excitedly. Everyone in the Xenos family loved the Box Song.   Max blew a long note on the sax and Xander thundered a dramatic chord on his xylophone. Then they played the Box Song while Xylana Xenos, Trixie Pixie and Xing-Xing Xenops sang along.

“We know its unorthodox, but we really love our lox,
and better still we love to box, and gift-wrap too.
Woodbox and workbox and toolbox and tinderbox
Bobby Fox collects socks, so why don’t you?”

We’re standing on our soapbox to save all the muskox;
eliminate the fowlpox and cowpox too.
Shoebox and shadowbox and saucebox and sandbox
Bobby Fox collects socks, so why don’t you?”

Xavier came into the kitchen with Xypher the Xenurine armadillo to claim a cookie from Xylana, as Xander and Max played a musical interlude on xylophone and sax.  Xenia came to the back door to listen to the last verse of the Box Song, carrying an ailing Xanthium plant in her arms.

“We know it’s a paradox to outfox a jukebox;
To laminate a letterbox and boombox too.
Postbox and pillbox and pepperbox and pegbox
Bobby Fox collects socks, so why don’t you?”

We don’t mean to flummox the champion chatterbox
who handles the hatbox of Mrs. La Foux.
Juicebox and junkbox and loosebox and lunchbox
Bobby Fox collects socks, so why don’t you?”

Everyone shouted out the last line at the top of their voices as Xing-Xing Xenops flew around the kitchen exclaiming: “Bobby Fox! Bobby Fox!”  

It was lunchtime on Sunday when the Xenos family realized that Xing-Xing Xenops had gone missing! The Xenos family rushed around the house, calling frantically for Xing-Xing. Xavier looked under the bed in the Master suite while Xenia climbed up to examine the attic. Xander rushed into the living room to look among his comic books and Xylana explored the creepy corners of the cellar. But Xing-Xing nowhere to be found.

“Where can she be?” Xenia wailed woefully as the family met back in the kitchen.

Suddenly, they heard a cackling cry from outside. The Xenos family started in surprise. The cry sounded like Xing-Xing Xenops. But what was she doing outside? The family burst out the back door and looked wildly around for Xing-Xing.

“There she is,” cried Xander, pointing toward the top of Xavier’s Xenography workshop.

“Bobby Fox collects socks!” Xing-Xing Xenops chirped cheerily from her place on the roof.

“Xing-Xing Xenops, you come down!” cried Xylana.

Xing-Xing blinked at Xylana. Then she flew over to sit on a nearby statue of Xenophon, the Greek philosopher.

Xenia tiptoed up behind the naughty Xenops parrot, hoping to catch her by surprise. Xing-Xing stepped sideways to avoid Xenia’s outstretched hand. Then Xing-Xing Xenops saw Xavier sneaking toward her from the far side of the statue. Xing-Xing squawked and flapped away. Up and up she flew, until she landed on a thin branch at the peak of a tall pine.

“Bobby Fox collects socks!” Xing-Xing exhorted exuberantly from the top of the tree while the Xenos family exclaimed in frustration.

“Now what do we do?” Xander cried.

“We need a ladder,” Xylana said. “I’ll get one from the garage.”

“That ladder in the garage is too small,” said Xavier gloomily. “We will have to call the fire department and ask them to rescue Xing-Xing Xenops.”

“It wouldn’t work,” Xenia said. “Xing-Xing Xenops would just fly away as soon as the firemen climbed up to her perch. But don’t worry. I have an idea!”

The Xenos family huddled around Xenia as she whispered her plan. Xing-Xing Xenops watched suspiciously from her place in the pine. She couldn’t hear what Xenia was saying. Her perch was too far away. But Xing-Xing Xenops could see what was happening in the yard below.

Xing-Xing watched the children hurry into the house while Xavier and Xenia set up several deck chairs in the xenogarden.   She saw Max Pax and Trixie Pixie trot up the lane and gallop through the front gate of Xanadu.  She smelled wonderful baking smells wafting from the kitchen while Xavier and Xenia discussed the climax of the Codex Caper, a movie they’d seen recently at the Duplex Theater.

Xing-Xing fluttered to a lower branch in the pine tree, feeling peeved and perplexed. Why wasn’t anyone paying attention to her? Couldn’t they see Xing-Xing cutting a caper in the tree above their heads?

Xing-Xing watched Xypher the Xenurine armadillo nudge through the back door and climb into Xavier’s lap.  Xing-Xing hooted harshly in annoyance. She wanted to sit in Xavier’s lap! But she wasn’t ready to abandon her tree.

Xylana came out of the kitchen carrying a huge plate full of chocolate-chip cookies. Xing-Xing perked up.  She loved chocolate-chip cookies! A moment later, Trixie Pixie came outside with a tray. On the tray were tall glasses full of milk. Xing-Xing loved milk
even more than cookies! Xing-Xing fluttered to a lower branch, watching eagerly as Xylana handed around chocolate-chip cookies and Trixie gave out glasses of milk.

Xander came through the back door wheeling his xylophone on its travel trolley, followed by Max Pax carrying his sax. Xing-Xing reared back on her pine perch and flapped her wings excitedly. “Bobby Fox collects socks! Bobby Fox collects socks,” she called exuberantly.

Starting with a dramatic roll on the xylophone, Xander Xenos and Max Pax played the introduction to the Box Song, and everybody sang:

“We know its unorthodox, but we really love our lox,
and better still we love to box and gift-wrap too.
Woodbox and workbox and toolbox and tinderbox
Bobby Fox collects socks, so why don’t you?”

Xing-Xing Xenops fluttered down from the tree and landed on the back of Xyphyr the Xenurine armadillo, who was still curled up on Xavier’s lap. Xing-Xing fluffed up her feathers until she was as round as a ball and sang her favorite song at the top of her voice. She was louder than the whole Xenos family combined, even with the help of their friends.

Xing-Xing didn’t bat an eye when Xavier Xenos scooped her up with both hands and marched her inside the house. She was too busy singing the Box Song to care about her capture.

“Hurrah!” shouted Xylana and Trixie. “The plan worked!”

“Should we stop singing?” Xander and Max asked as they played the musical interlude between the first and second verse.

“Bobby Fox collects socks, so why don’t you?” Xing-Xing called from the kitchen. Everyone laughed.

“There’s your answer!” said Xenia Xenos, “Xing-Xing wants you to sing!”

And so they did.

Copyrighted content: This is an original story by S.E. Schlosser, who owns the copyright. It may not be reproduced, reprinted or used in any other way without the permission of the author. Teachers may link to or photocopy this story as part of their classwork.