When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

By: Kimberly Willis Holt


One summer in the small town of Antler, Texas, Toby Wilson's life will change. Toby is a boy who lives with his parents, until his mom runs off to Nashville for her singing career. Toby is in love with the perfect Scarlett Stalling and when Scarlett and her long time boyfriend Juan break up, Toby thinks it's the perfect time to let her know how he feels. After hanging out with Scarlett, Toby gives her his moms pearl necklace. She ends up giving it back to him and saying that she doesn't like him that way and gets back together with Juan. Toby and his best friend Cal, go to see Zachary Beaver, "The Worlds Fattest Boy". Zachary is a sideshow freak, who has no friends and spends all of his time in a camper traveling "the world". Toby and Cal start to become friends with Zachary after Paulie (Zachary's guardian) leaves Zachary to go find more people for their circus. When Cal's brother Wayne dies in the Vietnam War, Toby goes and talks to Zachary instead of going to Wayne's funeral. Cal went to Zachary's camper, gave back all of the money that he owed Toby over the years, and ran out of Zachary's trailer crying and screaming. Toby, Cal, and Zachary all became best friends again after they baptize Zachary in the lake with the help of a worker at the Bowl-A-Rama. Paulie comes back to Antler and takes Zachary back with him. Zachary never came back to Antler again.