The good the bad and the.., p.1
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       The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy, p.1

           Jon Scieszka
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The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page














  The thundering herd was fifty yards away.

  “Cattle stampede. Here’s what we need:

  Time freeze when Sam waves his sock,” I said.

  Twenty-five yards and still running.

  “Wave your sock,” I yelled.

  Sam threw off his shoe, whipped off his red sock, and started waving it as hard as he could.

  The cattle charged closer.

  Sam waved his sock.

  The cattle kept charging.

  Sam waved. The cattle charged.

  We closed our eyes and prepared to be run over by a real Texas longhorn stampede....


  #1: Knights of the Kitchen Table

  #2: The Not-So-jolly Roger

  #3: The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy

  #4: Your Mother Was a Neanderthal

  #5: 2095

  #6: Tut, Tut

  #7: Summer Reading Is Killing Me!

  #8: It’s All Greek to Me

  #9: See You Later, Gladiator

  #10: Sam Samurai

  #11: Hey Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge?

  #12: Viking It and Liking It

  #13: Me Oh Maya

  #14: Da Wild, Da Crazy, Da Vinci


  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England

  Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,

  Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

  Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre,

  Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0745, Auckland,

  New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank,

  Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Registered Offices: Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England

  First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin,

  a division of Penguin Books USA Inc., 1992

  Published by Puffin Books, 1993

  This edition published by Puffin Books,

  a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2006

  Text copyright © Jon Scieszka, 1992 Illustrations copyright © Lane Smith, 1992

  All rights reserved


  Scieszka, Jon.

  The good, the bad, and the goofy / by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Lane Smith.

  p. cm. - (The Time warp trio)

  “First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin,

  a division of Penguin Books USA Inc., 1992” - T.p. verso.

  Summary: The Time Warp Trio find themselves in the Wild West

  of yesteryear, rubbing elbows with cowboys and Indians.

  eISBN : 978-1-101-07621-7

  [1. Time travel-Fiction. 2. West (U.S.)-Fiction. 3. Cowboys-Fiction.

  4. Indians of North America-Fiction.] I. Smith, Lane, ill. II. Title.

  III. Series: Scieszka, Jon. Time warp trio. ,

  [PZ7.S41267Go 1993] [Fic]—dc20 93-15136 CIP AC

  The.Time Warp Trio ® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

  To my good, bad, and goofy brothers—

  Jim, Tom, Gregg,

  Brian, and Jeff


  High noon.

  A hot, dry wind blows across the prairie.

  “Where the heck are we?” asks Cooky.

  “Cheyenne country,” says Cowboy Bob.

  An arrow whizzes out of nowhere and sticks in the side of the chuck wagon. Cowboy Bob calmly pulls it out and looks at it.

  “Yep. Cheyenne. I’ll bet Sitting Bull and his braves are looking to rustle our cattle off the old Chillum Trail.”

  Cowboy Bob squints up at the ridge. Two hundred Indians on horseback stand ready to attack.

  A flash of lightning. A clap of thunder.

  Two thousand longhorn cattle start to moo and mill around behind Cowboy Bob.

  Cooky blinks nervously. “What are we going to do, Bob?”

  Cowboy Bob tugs on his white ten-gallon hat. “Circle up the wagons and get lunch started, Cooky.” He eases his two six-shooters out of his holster. “I’ll stop these Indians. Then I’ll hold off the stampede. By the time the cavalry comes to save the day, I’ll be ready for grub.”

  “Will the cavalry make it in time, Bob?” Cooky freezes. The background music swells. The scene fades to black.





  Fred grabbed the remote and turned the sound down. “Yes! Cowboy Bob is going to stop Sitting Bull and his Cheyennes from stampeding his cattle off the old Chillum Trail. Can you believe it?”

  “No,” said Sam, eating the last of the potato’ chips. “Because they’ve got it all wrong. Number one, Sitting Bull was not a Cheyenne. He was the leader of a Sioux tribe. Number two, the trail from San Antonio to Abilene was called the Chisholm Trail. And number three, Cowboy Bob is just a bad character actor reinforcing mindless stereotypes.”

  Fred shook two cans of soda, looking for a full one. “Well, excuse me, Mr. Information. Thanks for spoiling the movie.” Fred found a half-full can and emptied it. “I wonder what it was really like back then instead of boring old now.”

  “Thanks so much for inviting yourself over for the night and then calling my house boring,” I said.

  Fred gobbled a handful of popcorn.

  “I didn’t mean your house is boring, Joe. It’s great. But summer vacation is getting boring. Wouldn’t it be great to be real cowboys for just a little while?”

  I thought about galloping across the prairie, firing off six-shooters, roping cattle, and sleeping under the stars. I pulled out a small blue book with stars and moons and twisting silver designs.

  “Well, I have been reading a little more of The Book. And I think I found a spell we could use to get us out of any trouble. It’s called the Industrial Strength Time Freezer Spell and-”

  Sam jumped to his feet. “Oh, no you don’t. If you two guys are going to go get stuck full of arrows and stampeded by cattle, you can leave me out of it.”

  Fred grabbed another handful of popcorn. “Oh, come on, you chicken. We’ve handled giants, dragons, wizards, and pirates. What could be so bad about being cowboys?”

  I held The Book in my lap.

  Sam adjusted his glasses like he always does when he gets excited. “Don’t touch that book, Joe. Every time you do we get in trouble. Just because
your uncle is a magician doesn’t mean we have to be.”

  “You think I don’t know magic?” I said. “Let me show you the Power Broomstick Trick. I’ll hold this broomstick and bet that both you and Joe together can’t push me from this spot.”

  “No way. I’m not trying any tricks or saying anything until you put that book away.”

  “But what if we could wish for something safe like being cowboys for just twenty-four hours,” said Fred.

  “No. That wouldn’t work,” I said, leaning on the broomstick. “What you have to do is—”

  “Wait! Stop! Shut up!” said Sam. “Don’t say another word. I know exactly what’s going to happen. One of you two wizards is going to say something stupid like:Yippee Ki Yi Yippee, Yippee Ki Yi Yo.

  Take us back to cowboys long, long ago.

  “Then that stupid green time-traveling mist will start to swirl around and we’ll be in big trouble again.”

  “That would probably work,” I said.

  Sam adjusted his glasses and stared at me. “What did you say?”

  A faint wisp of green mist began to curl out of The Book.

  “I think that rhymed spell would probably work.”

  “Oh, no,” said Sam.

  The green mist swirled thicker and deeper.

  “Oh, yes,” I said.

  The mist rose over our shoes, the couch, the TV.

  “Yeee haw!” said Fred.


  High noon.

  A hot, dry wind blew across the prairie.

  “Where the heck are we?” asked Fred.

  “Nowhere,” I said.

  Fred, Sam, and I looked at each other. We looked around as the last of the green mist dissolved at our feet. No cowboys. No horses. No six-shooters. No cavalry. Nothing but scrubby cactus, bits of grass, and dirt as far as we could see.

  “What happened? What did I say?” asked Sam.

  “Your ‘Yippee Ki Yi Yo’ spell worked perfectly,” I said.

  “But that’s crazy. I just made it up,” said Sam. “How are we supposed to know how The Book works if it keeps changing how it works?”

  Fred kicked at a cactus and sent up a cloud of dust.

  “That’s how it works,” I said. “It always changes how it works.”

  “Oh, great,” said Sam. “So how do we get home again?”

  “That always stays the same. The only way to get back to our time is to find The Book in this time.”

  Sam looked around at the grass, the dirt, the sun. “Oh, thank goodness. What a relief. I mean, it should be a snap to find The Book out here. You look under that cactus. I’ll look under this one. And in about a hundred years we should be done!”

  “Shhh,” said Fred, holding up his hand. “Do you hear that?”

  Sam and I listened.

  “Yeah, I hear the vultures circling. They’re fighting over who gets to be first to pick our bones,” said Sam.

  “Give me a break,” said Fred. “You’re the one who wished us here. There must be cowboys around here somewhere.”

  “Yeah, The Book has never been wrong before,” I added.

  “This is true,” said Sam. “The Book has almost gotten us killed with King Arthur. The Book has almost gotten us buried with Black-beard’s treasure. But The Book has never been wrong.” Sam looked up at the hot sun beating down on us again. “Remind me to thank your uncle Joe for giving you such a great birthday present ... if we ever crawl out of this desert alive.”

  “Shhh. There it is again,” said Fred. “Do you hear that rumbling?”

  “Yeah, that was your stomach,” said Sam. “You know, we could also die of starvation, or exposure, or sunburn, or hypothermia, or—”

  “I hear it,” I said.

  “Coming from over there.” Fred pointed to a reddish brown cloud of dust on the other side of a small rise.

  “Cowboys!” shouted Sam. “We’re saved! Come on!”

  We ran up the rise and looked over the top. A swarming sea of brown was kicking up the cloud of dust we had seen.

  “That’s a lot of cowboys,” said Fred.

  “Those are cows,” I said.

  “Cattle,” corrected Sam.

  The sound of hooves and mooing grew louder. We could just see a few cowboys riding around the edges of the herd.

  Fred waved his hat and yelled, “Over here, you guys!”

  The noise grew louder. The running sea of horns and legs grew larger.

  “I don’t think you have to call them over,” said Sam. “They seem to be headed right ... uh ... right toward us.”

  I felt the earth beginning to shake beneath us. , “Maybe we should move a little over this way, guys.” We started walking sideways. It didn’t seem to make much difference. The herd kept stretching out in front of us. We walked the other way. Now we could see the cowboys on their horses trying to turn the herd.

  “It’s a whatchamacallit,” said Fred.

  I looked for someplace to hide. There was still nothing but cactus, grass, and dirt.

  “It’s a thingamabob,” said Fred. “It’s a ... a ...”

  “Stampede!” yelled Sam.

  The wave of cattle thundered toward us. We could see their long sharp horns, hear their wild mooing.

  “Run,” yelled Fred.

  “We’ll never be able to outrun them,” said Sam. “The herd’s too big. Joe, what about that Frozen Time Spell?”

  “The Industrial Strength Time Freezer?”

  The cowboys whistled and yelled. The cattle mooed. The ground shook.

  “Now or never,” said Sam.

  I tried to concentrate.

  “Hickory dickory dock. The mouse ran up the clock. Cattle stampede. Here’s what we need...”

  I stopped. The herd was only a hundred yards away, heading straight for us.

  “What?” yelled Fred. “What do we need?”

  “Something to rhyme with clock.”

  “Block, rock, sock!” screamed Sam.

  The thundering herd was fifty yards away.

  “Cattle stampede. Here’s what we need: Time freeze when Sam waves his sock.”

  Twenty-five yards and still running.

  “Wave your sock,” I yelled.

  Sam threw off his shoe, whipped off his red sock, and started waving it as hard as he could.

  The cattle charged closer.

  Sam waved his sock.

  The cattle kept charging.

  Sam waved. The cattle charged.

  We closed our eyes and prepared to be run over by a real Texas longhorn stampede.


  The ground shook. We froze.

  A cloud of heat and noise and dust covered us. It roared past us like a runaway train. And then ... nothing. The rumbling stopped. I opened one eye, then the other. There was nothing to see but reddish brown dust swirling everywhere. I could hear a few cows mooing softly, and what sounded like water splashing.

  “Are we in heaven?” asked Fred.

  “This must be the Time Freezer Mist,” I said.

  Sam coughed. “No, you dimwits. The only thing frozen is your brains. We’re obviously in the middle of a cloud of dust kicked up by a herd of cattle that somehow just missed trampling us to death.”

  “Maybe it was supposed to go ‘Hickory Dickory dare ... ,’ ” I said. “Or maybe ‘Mickey Mouse had a house ...’ ”

  “Shhhhh,” said Fred.

  “Not again,” said Sam.

  We heard a squeaking, banging, and jangling noise.

  “It’s coming this way,” said Fred.

  We stared into the thick, swirling dust.

  The squeaking and jangling grew louder and louder. A big ugly thing with a bunch of legs and five heads suddenly appeared.

  “Whoa, you idjits! Whoa!” growled the thing.

  The dust settled a bit and we saw a wagon pulled by four mules. A funny-looking guy with a scruffy white beard was the driver and the owner of the voice.

  “Shoot howdy. What the heck you boys doing
out in the middle of this godforsaken nowhere?”

  “We’re, uh ... we’re ...” I remembered our last two adventures and the trouble we got into as time travelers. “We’re ... looking for cowboys,” I said. ,

  The wagon driver spit a disgusting brown stream of tobacco juice. “Durn good place you picked to look, pardners-smack in the middle of the Chisholm Trail.” He laughed again. “Though next time, iffen I was you, I’d stand back a mite. Them doggies get running in a awful hurry when they smell water.” He pointed and spit again.

  The whole herd of cattle stood drinking their fill at a river behind us.

  Sam absentmindedly cleaned his glasses with his sock. “You wouldn’t happen to have a thin blue book decorated with stars, moons, and cryptic inscriptions on its cover, would you?”

  “A book, you say?” The driver scratched his beard. “I seen a book once. Last year in San Antone, I think it was.”

  “I didn’t think so,” said Sam.

  “Could you introduce us to the trail boss?” I asked. “Maybe he could help us.”

  “Naw, he ain’t much on reading, neither.”

  “We don’t need help reading. We want to be cowboys,” said Fred.

  The driver looked us over from his seat on the wagon. “You boys aren’t in any kind of trouble, are you?”

  “The truth is, we live in New York about a hundred and twenty-five years in the future,” said Sam. “And we were just looking for something to do on a dull Saturday night, so we used a magic book to come back to this time. But we didn’t tell you that because we didn’t think you would believe it.”

  The driver spit and then burst out laughing. “You are one funny little dude. I cain’t make out half of what you’re saying. But you are one funny little Yankee.”

  “Cooky! Hey, Cooky!” A big man in full cowboy gear—hat, bandanna, chaps, boots, and spurs-rode up at a gallop. He reined his horse to a stop two feet in front of us. “What the h- is this? A church social? Stop the jabbering and get your cussed butt and chow wagon up ahead and set up for the night.”

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