Prologue

Robero was walking down Main Street of his town, Knerdville. (He fits in, you'll see.) His mother, Lindrata, was taking him with her to the Everything Store, which sold everything from plastic spoons to pianos. You never forgot where it was, since it was painted lime green, took up a whole city block, and was three stories tall. Lindrata needed a good solid milk crate to rest her feet on at night, since Robero had used the footstool to make a television cable. She hadn't complained, because now they received 112 channels. Robero wanted a new toy to convert into a clock. When they walked into the store through one of the four front doors, Robero made a beeline for the Misfit Section on the third floor, northwest corner. He knew that was where he could find what he wanted. The Misfit Section held items that didn't fit into any of the other sections (obviously). There were broken records, old light bulbs, merry-go-round horses, and dried-up markers on and around shelves coated with peeling paint. As his eyes were scanning the room, something trapped beneath a pink-and-orange refrigerator caught his attention. It was a yellow rubber hat. All of that hat's remarkable uses flashed through Robero's head, and he knew that he had to have it, even if it cost him his television cable. As he bent to tug it out, he lost his grip on the fridge, and it careened backward into an old metal locker, causing a tremendous crash.

"What on earth have you done now, Robero?" Lindrata cried as she rushed into the room, accompanied by a store clerk. She had heard the crash from the Room of Packaging, all the way down on the first floor. "I thought you'd injured yourself! Do you even remember the time that you let the wild boar out of its cage to have a better look at its tusks? It ran you over, smashed the china in here to bits, and destroyed the piano before Animal Control arrived to sedate it! You needed ten stitches and had to stay in bed for five days. You are only ten years old! Why can't you just collect model cars?" The Everything Store also sold animals, if you hadn't figured that out.

"Sorry, Mother. I needed this hat, and the refrigerator just happened to be in the way."

"Well," said Lindrata, calming down somewhat," Next time ask a store clerk to help you." At this, the clerk looked nervous and started to edge out of the room. "Do you really need that ugly hat?"

"Of course! I don't care how mush it costs, either."

The hat only cost one dollar, and Lindrata's crate cost five.

1 Month Later

Robero was in his room, building a calculator out of a phone, when it started to rain. This was most inconvenient, since the roof leaked right over his desk. Searching for a way to stop the water from splashing on his desk, he found rubber hat he had purchased a month ago. It did a superb job of stopping the water.

1st Day of School

It was now Robero's first day of seventh grade. In each of his classes, he needed a different pen or pencil. He had already dropped several when he went to collect his English book. When he opened his locker, his rubber hat fell out. He discovered that it made an excellent pencil holder.

Camping Trip

Robero was on a camping trip with his mother and father. A family friend had dropped them off at a beautiful spot in the wilderness, about seventy miles from civilization. They waved him off, and started to make camp. Unfortunately, they had neglected to check the weather.

While they were asleep, a heavy rainstorm was happening upstream. All of the sudden, water came rushing down the creek. Before they knew what was happening, almost all of their gear, including food and water, had been swept away. They only had their clothes and Robero's hat, which had been on his head, and some iodine drops that had been in his pocket. Since they didn't own a cell phone, things for them looked bad, because their friend wasn't due back for three days. So, they were saved by Robero's hat. Robero used it to collect the unclean river water, and purified it with the iodine drops. They were able to eat enough berries and nuts until being rescued.

Day of Graduation

Robero was finally graduating from Knerdville High School. For the ceremony, all of the graduates have to wear the traditional bright yellow gown and cap. Robero was sure that he couldn't make it through without taking off the itchy hat to scratch his head. That would be undignified. So, as he was leaving the house, he grabbed his yellow rubber hat and tucked it under his graduation cap so that it wouldn't show. Robero's head did not itch once at the ceremony, and the others looked ridiculous scratching so much. Saved once again by the hat.

This is how Robero found his hat, and some of its many uses throughout the years. It's story isn't over, though, and neither is Robero's.