The Intercollegiate Literary Magazine

Fred the Llama Astronaut

There was a llama.
His name was Fred.
He had a llama house.
He had a llama bed.

He had llama friends.
He had a llama wife.
The llama lived a good llama life.

But while Fred’s life was happy and safe,
Deep down, he yearned to go to space.

So the llama went on his computer…
and found a space school…
and applied to become an astronaut.

For his interview, Fred drove to the school
But when he showed up, they saw him drool.
“You yucky llama, get out of our face!”
“Llamas are not meant to go to space!”

The llama went home to cry in his bed.
His wife, Mary, saw him, and she said:
“What’s wrong my husband, Fred?”
“I wanted to be an astronaut,”
But now, all I am is an astro-NOT.”

Mary wanted to help Fred achieve his dream.
She planned for a moment and came up with a scheme.
She got some paint, some tape too.
Cut up some fabric, cut a few holes through.
After an hour of work, she made something at last:
It was a human mask.

“Fred, it’s Mary, I have a surprise.”
Fred lifted his head from his bed and opened his eyes.
His wife was holding a human disguise.
“Put this on,” she said, “go to the academy and apply.”
And that’s what he did.

Fred nailed his interview while wearing pajamas
They didn’t even know he was a llama.
He kept in his spit and his drool.
And got accepted into space school.

He worked hard, he trained for years.
He knew he wanted to be an astronaut for his career.
After graduation, he applied to be a spaceship crewman,
still pretending to be a human.
And he got in.

Before his first mission, Fred was a happy llama.
He was about to blast off into space, so he called his mama…
and his dad and friends and of course his wife…
the wonderful llama who transformed his life.
“When I’m up in space, I’ll be thinking of you.”
Mary the llama smiled, “I know that’s true.”

The spaceship launched into the air.
Fred waited his entire life for this moment, and he was finally here.
But something went wrong…

“Fuel is leaking from the engine of the ship.”
“There’s a missing piece — find it, quick.”

Fred went to check it out with the other astronauts.
He looked at the engine. It needed work — a lot.
Sweat dripped from Fred’s face
If they didn’t fix the engine, they’d be stranded in space.

But how could he fix it? Fred knew he was a fraud.
Soon they’ll all see through his facade.
No matter how long he worked, no matter how hard…
the conclusion was clear: llamas were never meant for the stars.

“I have a confession to make,” said Jerry, another one of the crew.
He was looking quite scared and nervous too.
He leaned over and whispered into Fred’s ear,
“I’m not a real human. I shouldn’t be here.”

“What?” said Fred, quite bamboozled.
Jerry took off his mask, revealing the face of a poodle.
“I pretended to be a human to go to space.”
“I didn’t realize the problems that I’d face.”

“I have a confession too,” said Jessica as she took off her cowl.
“I’m not a human either. I’m just a dumb owl.”

Gary chimed in: “you think you guys are fakes for being a bird and a dog?”
Gary took off his mask and revealed the face of a frog.

Maggie took off her mask showing the face of a cat.
Nick took off his mask showing the face of a bat.

“We’re all fakes! We’re doomed!” said the poodle Jerry.
Fred took out his wallet to look at a picture of Mary.

There was a quote that she wrote:
“If you feel a pull to do something deep in your heart,”
“don’t let anything stop you from playing your part.”

“Everyone,” Fred said, a boldness in his voice.
“Did you come here by accident, or did you come here by choice?”
“You all worked and trained and followed your ambitions,”
“There is no one better to complete this mission.”

“You are right!” cheered Nick the bat.
He used his echolocation and found the piece floating off in the back.

Jerry jumped to the piece like he was fetching a stick.
Rolled over and passed it like he was doing a trick.

Maggie pawed it with her claw like it was yarn.
Jessica caught it with her beak like she would catch rats at the barn.
Gary used his frog slime to seal back the piece.
And, after that, the leak ceased!

But, the engine was getting overheated.
One last miracle would be needed.

Fred the llama felt his call.
He swished his lips, he flexed his jaw.
He drooled all over the engine to stop it from getting too hot.
He’s not just Fred the llama…

he’s Fred the llama astronaut!