Jimmy was four years-old and he was bored.
"Mom I'm bored. What can I do?"
"Why don't you go to the park to play Jimmy? I saw a little boy about your age playing there. Your father and I are busy putting in some rose bushes."
So Jimmy walked to the park where the boy was digging in the dirt. Jimmy had never seen this boy before and he was so dirty, but he looked like he was having fun. The boy looked up at Jimmy smiling and said: "I love to get dirty and make a mess. It gets me in trouble sometimes I guess. My friends call me Hal. Will you be my pal?"
"Sure, we can be pals," Jimmy said not knowing what he was getting himself into.
"We just moved here," said Hal.
"My name is Jimmy. I live over there," he said pointing.
By the time Jimmy got home from the park he was so dirty his Mom frowned with disapproval. And Jimmy was not alone. The new kid was with him. What a mess!
"Your father and I are still working in the rose garden. Why don't you play with your new friend?
"His name is Hal," Jimmy informed his Mom.
His mother left to go out in the backyard. A mistake she would regret later.
"I have a BIG box of toys in the living room," said Jimmy. "Want to play?"
"I love to play," said Hal.
Hal ran into the living room and dumped all the toy's all over the floor. Jimmy could see that Hal loved to makes messes. Hal was running around pretending to fly a toy plane when he ran into the table and knocked over a crystal vase. It crashed to the floor and shattered into many pieces.
"Oops, I made a little mess," said Hal.
After playing some more and making an even bigger mess Hal made an announcement: " I am so thirsty from playing. I would really love a glass of chocolate milk."
"Chocolate milk, okay," said Jimmy always the good host.
Jimmy ran into the kitchen. He came back a minute later with a glass of chocolate milk for his new pal. Both Jimmy and Hal were drinking chocolate milk when Hal spilt most of his milk over the rug.
"Oops, I made a little mess," said Hal. "You know what I really love Jimmy?"
"What?" asked Jimmy.
"Strawberry jam," said Hal.
"I love strawberry jam too," said Jimmy.
"It's too bad you can't make toast," said Hal.
"I can too," yelled Jimmy. "I can make toast all by myself."
Jimmy ran into the kitchen again and came back a few minutes later with a piece of toast for each of them. He had plastered each piece of toast with a generous layer of strawberry jam. Jimmy took a bite of his toast and Hal took a bit of his as well.
"Mmmm," said the boys. Then Hal dropped his piece on the rug.
"Oops, I made a little mess," said Hal. The new kid also had his hands covered in strawberry jam. Hal looked around the room for a good place to wipe his hands. He got up and started cleaning his hands off on the drapes. It was at this moment Jimmy's parents entered the room.
"Look at this mess!" yelled Jimmy's father. "It looks like a hurricane hit the place."
"My crystal vase, it's broke!" screamed Jimmy's mother. "And what's that on my new drapes?" she squealed in horror.
"Oh that's strawberry jam," said Hal. "I had to wipe my hands off on something."
"What's that big, brown stain on the rug?" demanded the father angrily.
"Oh that's just chocolate milk," replied Hal.
"My rug!" shrieked Jimmy's mother. "My new rug!"
"What's that red stuff on the rug?" roared Jimmy's Dad.
"Oh that's just some more strawberry jam," said Hal calmly.
Jimmy noticed his father's face looked kind of red, but his mother's face was REALLY red. Jimmy guessed his Dad was mad and his Mom was a whole lot madder.
"Maybe you should go home now Hal."
"Okay Jimmy, maybe I will see you later at the park. Bye then," Hal yelled as he rushed out the door.
"Jimmy," yelled his mother. "You had better clean up these toys right now!"
Jimmy's Dad cleaned up the broken pieces of the vase while Jimmy's Mom tried to clean the chocolate milk and strawberry jam out of the rug. She did not look happy. Then his mother stared at the new rug and drapes with a look Jimmy had only seen once before when his Dad wanted to play golf on his Mom's birthday.
"Oh what a mess that kid made," complained the father.
"He's just like a hurricane!" cried the mother.
"Hurricane Hal," cried Jimmy's father. "Hurricane Hal," he said again looking almost insane.
By the time Jimmy's parents cleaned up the mess they seemed very tired and in distress.
The next day when Jimmy's Dad answered the phone Jimmy announced "I'm bringing Hal home." The phone went click and Jimmy's Dad felt sick.
"Hurricane Hal is coming! Hurricane Hal is coming!" Jimmy's Dad screamed running in circles. Jimmy's Mom looked pale as if her heart might fail.
"Hide the breakables," yelled Jimmy's Mom in a panic. The mother then cried: "Oh why did our little Jimmy make a pal of Hurricane Hal?"
Jimmy's father was outside boarding up his windows when a neighbour, Mr. McGregor, asked why he was so worried.
"Hurricane Hal is coming!" he yelled his face turning yellow.
"Won't you help me board up the place?"
Jimmy's Dad glanced down the street. Hal was close enough to greet.
"It's Hurricane Hal and he's far from neat."
"Oh that's just a little boy. What are you so afraid of?" laughed Mr. Mc Gregor.
But when Jimmy arrived at his door he asked to play with Mark McGregor.
"Oh that would be great. I'm sure Mr. McGregor would hate for little Mark to miss out having a pal like Hurricane Hal."
Laughing Jimmy's Dad took the boards off his door and windows looking over at his neighbour and laughed some more.
"Oh he's just a little boy. I'm sure he'll be a joy. What are you so worried for, Mr. McGregor? Hurricanes don't cause too big of a mess. I'm sure he won't be much stress. Have fun at Mark's place," chuckled Jimmy's Dad. "I'm sure the damage won't be too bad."
The look Mr. McGregor gave Jimmy's Dad told everyone he was mad. But it was too late for Mr. McGregor. Hurricane Hal blew through his door and the house would be clean no more.