More than anything else in the world Toad wanted to win the smelly-sneaker contest.

Toad's sneakers were smelly. No doubt of that. But the first year he entered the Indian Nations Council Great Smelly Sneaker Contest, he didn't even get third prize.

The second year Toad entered the smelly-sneaker contest, he worked hard at it all year. He had already learned from an Eagle Scout that not wearing sox mattered. By not wearing sox, Toad made his sneakers much, much smellier. In addition, Toad fudged on his showers. He turned on the water. He more or less got into the shower and more or less washed most of himself, including his hair. He knew his mom and dad could tell the difference between the smell of clean hair and the smell of dirty hair, but they trusted him to wash his feet. Toad did not wash his feet, which helped the smell of his sneakers considerably.

Still, that second year Toad got only second place.

Toad was bitterly disappointed. After the contest, he stood sad and dejected by a large garbage can, trying to decide if he should just chuck those second-place sneaker right into the garbage.

"Hey kid!" called a hoarse voice from the other side of the can.

"Yeah?" said Toad.

"How much you wanna win that contest?"

"More than anything!" said Toad.

"I know how you can win, " the voice said.

Toad peered around the garbage can, where a big skinny kid sat on the ground.

"What'll ya give me if I tell?"

Toad offered his brand new back pack, the one he'd worked all summer to earn the money for.

"Here's what ya do," said the kid, and he whispered instructions into Toad's ear, then he put a small vial into Toad's hand.

Toad raced home. The contest rules said you had to start the year with a clean pair of sneakers. Some Scouts tried to cheat, but not Toad. He was sure he'd win, for in the vial was essence of sneaker, foot sweat mixed with scrapings from the sneakers of the last four winners of the Indian Nations Council Great Smelly Sneaker Contest grand prize. Toad put the precious droplets into his new sneakers. The results were instant and made Toad's eyes water.

All that year he went sockless and put plastic bags on his sneakers at night to keep the smell in, even though his parents made him put the sneakers outside.

When it came time for the contest, the judges couldn’t even get close to Toad’s sneakers without being sick. Toad was the clear winner!

Toad was giddy with bliss. When the judges asked if he'd like to donate the sneakers to the Scouting Museum, Toad said "no". He'd wear them home. He'd savor being champion.

Off Toad went, right foot, left foot, wearing championship sneakers, ones you could smell from afar. Right foot, left foot.

Toad was a good long way from home when his left foot started to itch something awful right around his toes, but Toad did not stop to scratch. He went on and on.

And he walked and he walked, and the itch got to itching the whole sole of his right foot and then the whole sole of his left foot.

But Toad kept on walking, without stopping to scratch until he got home. And the itching was terrible-clear up to his ankles!

With a sigh of relief, Toad got home and reached down to take off his championship smelly sneakers.

But when Toad took of the Championship Smelly Sneakers and got ready to scratch, Toad discovered that.............


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