The Official Website of Robert Munsch

Poems & Stories

Penny

I DON’T LIKE MY NAME

One day Penny went down to the breakfast table and said to her mother, “I don’t like my name. I want a different name. I want to change my name.”

“What’s the matter with your name”, said her mom?

“I want to be more than a Penny. A Penny is not worth very much. I want to be a Toonie. My name could be Toonie.”
(A Toonie is a $2 Canadian coin)

“No”, said her mom.

“How about Loonie?”, said Penny, “My name could be Loonie.”
(A loonie is a $1 Canadian coin)

“No”, said her mom “I think you ARE a Loonie, but I an not going to NAME YOU Loonie.”

“How about Quarter, Dime or Nickel?”, said Penny,

“No”, said the mom, “If you want a new name it has to be a name from the family. We’ll name you after your Great Uncle.”

“Good”, said Penny, “I didn’t even know I had a Great Uncle.”

“Oh yes”, said the mother, “He was my favourite great uncle. Great uncle Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrp.”

Penny said, “You mean your going to name me Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrp?”

“Yes”, said the mother. So she took Penny downtown to the judge and they changed her name to Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrp . .

Penny came home, walked up the street, and saw a new kid. The kid said, “Hi, I just moved in. What’s your name?”

Penny said, “Well, my name is Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrp.”

Then the kid said, “Don’t burp at me. Tell me your name.”

Penny said, “I did tell you my name. My name is Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrp.”

The kid said, “HA! You are making fun of me. Nobody has a name like that. You tell me your name or I am not going to play with you.”

Penny said very slowly and clearly, “My name is Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrp.”

“OK!”, said the kid, “Now you’ve done it! I am not going to play with you. You’re just making fun of me.”, and he ran away.

So Penny walked back inside and said to her mother, “I don’t want to be called Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrp. I want a new name.”

‘Well”, said the mother, “We will name you after your Great Aunt.”

“Great”, said Penny, “I didn’t even know I had a Great Aunt”.

“Oh yes”, said the mother. “You have a Great Aunt. She is my favourite great aunt. Her name was Nyaah-Nyaah.”

“Uh-Oh”, said Penny, “You mean your going to name me Nyaah-Nyaah?”

“Yes”, said the mother. So they went downtown and they went to see the judge and they changed Penny’s name to Nyaah-Nyaah.

Penny came home and she walked up the street and there was that same kid. He said, “I can’t find anyone else to play with. We’ll try again”. What’s your name”.

So Penny said, “My name is Nyaah-Nyaa.”

And the kid said, “That’s not polite to say that. Nobody has a name like that. What is your real name?”

And Penny said very slowly, “My name is Nyaah-Nyaah.”

The kid said, “I am never going to play with you again. You’re not polite. Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye.”, and he ran up the street.

Penny went back inside and said, “Mom, I don’t want to be called Nyaah-Nyaah and I don’t want to be called Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrp. I want my name back. I want to be called Penny.”

“That is a good idea”, said her Mom.

They went downtown, they saw the judge, and the judge changed her name back to Penny.

When they came back from downtown, Penny ran outside. She yelled “Hey kid.”

The new kid came running down the street and Penny said, “We can play! We can play! Now my name is Penny”. “Oh good”, said the kid, “That a real name. Now we can play.”

But Penny looked at that new kid and said, “Wait a minute. I don’t know your name.” And the kid said, “Oh, You want to know my name?. Well, my name is Ah.”

“Ah?”, said Penny, “What sort of a name is that? Ah is too short to be a name.”

“Right” said the kid. “My real name is Ahhhhh – Ahhhhhhhh – Ahhhhhhhhh -Choooooooo.”

“Don’t sneeze at me”, said Penny. “Tell me your name.”

And the kid said very slowly and clearly, “My name is Ahhhhh – Ahhhhhhhh – Ahhhhhhhhh -Choooooooo.”

“I bet you asked your mom to change your name”, said Penny.

“Yes! My name was Niiohontaah and I asked my mom to change it.

“And what?” said Penny, “does Niiohontaah mean?

“It means: When you are walking in a forest in the Spring and it is a cloudy day and you come to one white flower that has sunshine just on it, the way that flower makes you feel is Niiohontaah.”

“WOW!” said Penny “That is really neat! I know just what to do. Let’s go downtown and see a Judge and change your name back to Niiohontaah.”

So they went downtown and Niiohontaah got her name back, and just for fun, Penny changed her MIDDLE name to:
Ahhhhh- Ahhhhhhhh – Ahhhhhhhhh – Choooooooo.