Friday, October 5, 2012

Very Good Valerie

Willa Quinlan was five years old. Her older sister, Valerie was seven. Valerie was a very good girl. Willa was a very bad girl. or at least she thought she was. Nobody ever told Willa she was a bad girl. She just knew. All, she ever heard was "Valerie, what a good girl you are" or "Valerie, what a polite girl you are." or "Valerie, what a nice girl you are." Nobody ever said these things to Willa.

Willa was a tomboy. She liked to play in the dirt and climb trees and run around. She couldn't sit still for more than a minute or two. Valerie liked to sit quietly and play with her dolls. She hated dirt and trees. She could sit still for hours.

Willa loved Valerie, but she was also jealous of her big sister. Just once, she wanted to hear someone say "Willa, what a good girl you are." She decided if she needed to be more like her sister to have people treat her like her sister than that's what she would do. She went to her closet and put on a pretty dress. Then, she went down to the kitchen where Mommy was making breakfast.

Mommy was frying eggs. She looked up when she saw Willa and smiled. "Why, Willa" she said teasingly. "I have never seen you wear a dress before without my having to make you wear one."

Willa frowned at mommy and rolled her eyes. "Mommy," she said in her most grown up voice. "I'm five years old now. I'm a lady."

Mommy gave Willa a puzzled look. "Okay, she said. "but, I thought you would want to play in the mud puddles from last night's rain. You can't do that in a dress."

Willa went to the window and looked out. She looked longingly at the mud puddles. Then, she quickly turned away from the window. "I'm too old for that stuff." she said, but she didn't sound happy about it.

"Are you sure?" asked Mommy.

Willa nodded. "When is breakfast? I'm starving." she said quickly changing the subject.

After breakfast, Valerie sat and played with her dolls in the den.  Willa sat and played with her dolls too. She didn't really like dolls that much and she didn't have as many as Valerie. Valerie happily played with her dolls without losing interest. Willa quickly got bored. She started throwing her dolls around.

The noise of the dolls hitting the wooden floor brought Mommy hurrying to see what was going on."Willa!" she said angrily. "We don't throw our dolls on the floor."

 Willa reluctantly stopped. She went over to the window and sat down and looked out. Those mud puddles sure looked fun.  Maybe, if she just went out and looked at them close up, it would be okay. She looked around to see if Mommy was still there. She wasn't. Valerie was still busy playing with her dolls in the corner. She wasn't paying attention to Willa. Willa quietly tiptoed out of the house.

Willa quietly stood by a big mud puddle. She thought about all the beautiful mud pies she could make from such a nice mud puddle. She better not think about that. She better go do something  less messy like Valerie would do if she wanted to be like Valerie. She quickly turned to go back in the house, but she turned a little bit too quickly and lost her balance. Splat! She fell right into the mud puddle.

At just that moment, Mommy looked out of the window. She saw the mudcovered Willa and came running out of the house. "Willa!" she exclaimed angrily. "Why did you put on a nice dress if you wanted to play in the mud?"

Willa instantly started crying. Her tears mixed with the mud on her face making her  an even bigger mess than she already was. "I didn't want to play in the mud, Mommy." she explained through her tears. "I just wanted to look at it. I don't want to do those things anymore. I want to be a good girl like Valerie."

Mommy took Willa in her arms and hugged her tightly not even caring that the mud that was all over Willa started getting all over Mommy too. "Oh, Willa." she said. "Sometimes, you get into trouble, but nobody ever said you weren't a good girl."'

"But everybody always says what a good girl Valerie is."

"That doesn't mean your not a good girl." said Mommy.

"But, Valerie is always a good girl."

"Nobody is always a good girl. Remember when Valerie tried to make doll clothes out of the flowered blanket?"

"She made a big hole in it." Willa remembered. She smiled at the memory, but then she immediately frowned.  "But,it would probably be better if I was more like Valerie. More good."

Now, it was Mommy's turn to frown. "You're a good girl, Willa Quinlan, and I don't want you to be like anyway but you." She gave Willa a big hug not even caring that by now, she was looking almost as muddy as Willa. Willa smiled and happily hugged her mother back.

"Why we don't we go in the house and get cleaned up?" suggested Mommy. "You can put on some clothes that are better for playing in mud puddles."

"I'd like that." said Willa cheerfully following her mother into the house.

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