There once was a man named Dr. Victor Frankenstein. He created a big monster, but then the monster ran away. Dr. Frankenstein looked all over the world for his monster.
Dr. Frankenstein visited his friend, Henry Clerval. Clerval wanted to know what happened. Clerval asked Dr. Frankenstein many questions.
"I tried to create a man," Dr. Frankenstein said, "but I created a monster."
Dr. Frankenstein worked very hard on this experiment. He tried to create a living person out of many parts of lifeless bodies. He sewed together body parts that he found in graveyards. Finally, the creature came to life!
The man he made was eight feet tall. He had stitches sewn around his pale skin. He could only grunt and growl like a wild animal, but he was alive!
"The creature opened his eyes and looked at me," Dr. Frankenstein said. "I knew right away that I had made a terrible mistake."
The monster groaned very loudly. The monster reached out with his huge hands. Dr. Frankenstein was afraid of the monster he created. Dr. Frankenstein ran away from his lab.
When he returned the next day, the monster was gone.
"What happened next?" asked Clerval.
"I was afraid," said Dr. Frankenstein. "I shouldn't have left the creature alone in the lab. It was not ready to be out in the world. And the world will never be ready to accept such a frightening creature."
"Where did the monster go?" Clerval asked.
"I have been looking for him," said Dr. Frankenstein. "During my search, I have talked to many people who saw the monster."
Dr. Frankenstein told Clerval about a man who saw the monster in the woods near the laboratory. The monster saw the man's campfire. The simple monster liked the light and warmth of the fire. The man was frightened by the monster. He ran to the village and told everyone what he saw.
"What did the villagers do?" Clerval wanted to know.
"They went back to the woods with torches and clubs," Dr. Frankenstein said. "They were afraid of the monster. They did not know that the monster was also afraid of them."
The creature began to growl angrily when he saw the mob. Their bright torches and weapons scared him. He stomped his feet. He groaned. Then he ran away from the village and into the country.
"Where did the monster go next?" asked Clerval.
"He ran until he found a place to hide," said Dr. Frankenstein.
The creature came upon a little cave in the country. He did not know why the villagers chased him away. He knew he should be where no one could see him. There, in his tiny cave, no one would be afraid of him.
But the monster was lonely. He moaned and groaned from loneliness. He discovered that he had neighbors. Their cottage was not far from his cave. He often watched them from the woods.
The monster saw that an old blind man lived in the cottage with his two children. The family was very poor. But they were very happy.
Sometimes, when the family left their cottage, the lonely monster would go inside. He borrowed books from their shelves. He taught himself how to read. He spent hours watching them and listening to them. He even taught himself how to speak. The monster loved to hear their voices. He also loved the sweet sound of the old man's guitar.
"Did they ever discover him?" asked Clerval.
"Yes, they did," said Dr. Frankenstein. "It was then that the poor monster's happiness ended."
"What happened to the family?" Clerval asked.
"Remember that the monster was still very young," said Dr. Frankenstein. "He was almost like a baby. He was still learning many new things."
Dr. Frankenstein sighed. "And the world was still not ready for him," the doctor said. Then the doctor told Clerval about the day that the monster met the poor family in the cottage.
One day, the children were not at home. The blind man was outside. The monster walked up to the blind man. They talked for a long time.
Then the children returned. Of course, their father was blind. He could not see the terrifying creature beside him. But the poor children could see the hideous monster. They were afraid. They screamed and shouted.
The creature tried to wave his arms to tell the children not to be afraid. The boy swung a log at the monster. When the girl screamed, the monster covered his ears and groaned.
The monster's deep voice and huge arms were unlike anything they had ever heard or seen before. The creature stomped his feet. He groaned. He was very upset. Then he gave up trying to calm the family down. He groaned and then ran away.
"What happened next?" Clerval asked.
"I was still looking for the monster," Dr. Frankenstein said. "I only wanted to find him. I wanted to help him."
"Help him?" Clerval asked. "But why?"
Dr. Frankenstein replied, "He sounded like he was kind and gentle. I wanted to give him a safe place to live."
"Did you ever find him?" Clerval asked.
Dr. Frankenstein sighed again. "No, I did not," he answered.
Dr. Frankenstein traveled all over the world. He talked to many people about the creature. He heard many horrifying stories about a strange creature.
The creature made terrible, deep noises. The creature crept through the woods. The creature stole food from fields. He peeked through windows at night. When people screamed, he groaned and ran away.
The monster ran far away from people.
The monster went through the snowy Alpine Mountains to the North Pole. Dr. Frankenstein followed the monster all the way to the North Pole. He hid there. It was a vast land covered with ice and snow. Dr. Frankenstein looked for the monster, but he could not find him.
"What happened next?" Clerval asked.
"I gave up," Dr. Frankenstein said. "I came home."
"Is the monster still alive?" Clerval asked.
"Probably not," the doctor said.
"What have I done?" Dr. Frankenstein shook his head and cried. "I gave the monster life, but it was a terrible life for the creature. People screamed wherever the monster went. He had to run away."
"Do you think the monster was angry with you?" Clerval asked.
"The monster must have been lonely and angry," Dr. Frankenstein said.
Clerval shook his head sadly. "Then, my friend, it is good that you never found the monster. He might be angry and looking for revenge."
"I doubt that I will ever see the monster again," said Dr. Frankenstein.
Just then, a bright bolt of lightning struck nearby. Dr. Frankenstein breathed in sharply at the alarming sound.
"The story of the monster was a terrible tale," Clerval said, "but now your long search is over."
Dr. Frankenstein said, "It's good to be home, where I'll be comfortable and safe again."
Be careful if you're caught in the woods alone. Learn about mysterious creatures that have been seen in the woods in the next story, "Big Foot."