Friday, June 28, 2013

Quella Runs Quick

Quella Featherstone was a very quick runner. She was faster than all of the girls in her class. She was faster than all of the girls her age in her town. In fact, she was faster than most of the boys her age in her town.  Quella took great pride in her speed, and she was happy to challenge any new kids to a race because she was so confident she could beat them.

One day a new girl moved to town. She was in Quella's class. Her name was Penny Todd. Quella secretly laughed to herself when she saw Penny. Penny was really short and she had short legs. She wouldn't even be a challenge for Quella to race. Still, Quella had a reputation to keep up so she challenged Penny to a race.

Penny accepted happily. "Sure, I'd like to race you." she agreed. She did not seem worried at all.

The other kids tried to warn her not to race Quella. They told her that Quella was really fast. They told her that Quella could beat all of the other girls in class. They told her that Quella could beat all the other girls in town their age. They told her that Quella could beat most of the boys.

"I am fast." bragged Quella. She didn't see it as bragging though. She thought of it as just confirming what the other kids had already said.

Quella looked Penny over and chuckled to herself. There was no way that little thing could beat her when so many others had failed before. For once in her life, she decided to be kind and thoughtful and not crush another unsuspecting opponent. "That's okay." she said to Penny. "You don't have to race me."

"Nonsense." exclaimed Penny rolling her eyes at Quella. "Of course, I am going to race you, and I am going to win." she added confidentally.

All Quella's kind and thoughtful feelings instantly went out of her head. Her eyes blazed and her ears burned. All she could think about was outrunning Penny and making her eat her words. "Oh, it's on then." she replied hotly.

"It's on alright." agreed Penny just as hotly. If looks could kill they both would have been dead on the floor.

They choose a time and place for the race, the next day at the park. The next day when they each arrived at the park separately, word of the race had spread all over town. The park was full. Nobody wanted to miss it. They all wanted to see if anybody could possibly beat Quella the quick.

Quella and Penny took their places at the agreed upon starting line. Somebody called "One, two, three, go!" and they were off. The other kids cheered wildly. Some of them cheered for Quella. Some of them cheered for Penny. Some just cheered in general.

Then, something unusual happened. Quella and Penny reached the finish line at exactly the same time. Quella looked at Penny. Penny looked at Quella. "That never happened before." said Quella with surprise. "I am always the fastest. I have never met anybody as fast as me."

"That never happened to me before either." replied Penny. "At my old school I was always the fastest."

"Well this changes everything." said Quella.

"It does?" asked Penny.

"Yes, now we are the two fastest girls in town" explained Quella. "So, of course, we are going to be friends." she smiled  at Penny.

"We are?" asked Penny but she smiled back.

"Yes," replied Quella. "because we fast girls need to stick together."

"Okay." agreed Penny.

After all, they both agreed it was better to share the top then to be even one step closer to the bottom.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sienna Feels Sick

Sienna James lay on the couch with her head in her hands. Her head was pounding like a drum. Her body ached all over. She was coughing, and she was sneezing. Her throat felt scratchy as sandpaper. "Achoo!" she sneezed into the crumbled tissue that she gripped in her fist.

"What's wrong, baby?" asked Mommy entering the room upon hearing her daughter's sneeze. Her face looked full of concern as she sat beside Sienna.

"I don't feel so good, mommy" Sienna replied weakly.

Mommy touched Sienna's forehead, and then kissed it. "You're burning up. " she said worriedly. She took Sienna's temperature. It was 101 degrees. "My poor baby." she said kissing Sienna again. She took Sienna and bundled her up in the car and took her to the doctor. The doctor said that Sienna had the flu.

Mommy took Sienna home and took her up to her room. In her room, Mommy put Sienna in her pajamas and tucked her into bed. She turned off the light and tiptoed out of the room. Immediately, Sienna sat straight up in her bed even though it hurt her head to do so. "Mommy!" she yelled scratchily.

"What's wrong?" asked Mommy.

"Stay with me, please." begged Sienna.

Mommy sat down and put her arms around Sienna. She sang her a lullaby and sat with her until she fell asleep.

Sienna was sick for a week. Every day, Mommy took care of her. Mommy made her chicken soup and helped her eat it. Mommy sang songs to her. Mommy read to her. Sometimes, Mommy just sat beside her and put her arms around Sienna.

One morning, Sienna woke up and she felt better.  She wasn't coughing. She wasn't sneezing. Her head wasn't pounding, and she didn't feel achy at all. "Mommy!" she called excitedly. When Mommy didn't come, she went into Mommy's room looking for her.

Mommy was lying in bed. She opened her eyes sleepily as Sienna entered the room. Mommy sneezed.

"Bless you, mommy." said Sienna. She ran and got Mommy a tissue. "Are you okay?" she asked as she returned and handed the tissue to Mommy.

"Thanks." said  Mommy taking the tissue and blowing her nose. "No." replied Mommy in answer to Sienna's question. "I'm not okay." she admitted with a scratchy voice. "My head is pounding and my body is aching. I am coughing and sneezing, and my throat hurts."

"Oh Mommy." said Sienna sympathetically climbing up on the bed beside her mother. "I think you have the flu, but don't worry I'll take care of you now." she promised. "Just like you took care of me."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Baby Bonnie Says No

Shanna  Meehan was 6. Her baby sister Bonnie was 2. Bonnie was  very much in her terrible twos. She liked to say no. She liked to say no to everything.  You didn't even have to ask her a question for her to say no.

"Good morning!" said Mommy cheerfully to Shanna and Bonnie as she opened the curtains and let the sunlight stream through the window in the morning.

Bonnie stood up in her crib. "No!" she replied but she said it cheerfully.

"Shanna get dressed." said Mommy. Shanna nodded her head and quickly started putting on her pink and blue sundress that was set out on her chair.

"Come let's get you dressed too." Mommy said to Bonnie.

Bonnie said. "No!"

Mommy got her dressed anyway in her smiley face shirt and yellow shorts. When Shanna and Bonnie were both dressed and Shanna's bed was made, Mommy said. "Time for breakfast."

Shanna nodded. "Can we have cheesy scrambled eggs?" she asked as they went down the stairs and into the kitchen.

Bonnie shook her head as Mommy put her into her highchair. "No!" she said. "No! No! No!"

"Mommy!" whined Shanna. "She's not in charge."

"Don't worry." Mommy assured her. "Bonnie likes cheesy eggs."

"No. No. No." repeated Bonnie calmly. She didn't really seem upset.

Mommy made eggs anyway.  When she put Bonnie's plate in front of her, Bonnie said ."No."

"Why don't you eat your eggs?" asked Shanna with a mouthful of eggs herself. "They're delicious!"  She swallowed and took another mouthful.

Bonnie said. "NO!" she pushed the plate of eggs away and turned her head.

Shanna couldn't help laughing. "Bonnie," she said to her little sister. "Don't you like anything?"

"No." said Bonnie.

Shanna finished eating. She put her dirty dish in the sink to be washed. Then, she came and stood by her little sister's chair. "Do you want anything?" she asked Bonnie.

Bonnie said "No!"

"Are you sure you don't want anything?" Shanna asked again.

"No!" said Bonnie again.

"How about a kiss from big sister?" suggested Shanna.

"Yes!" said Bonnie.  Shanna kissed her. "Yes!" repeated Bonnie. Shanna kissed her again. "Yes." said Bonnie again. Shanna kept kissing her little sister and Bonnie kept saying. "Yes."

Finally Shanna asked tiredly. "Can I ever stop kissing you?"

"No!" said Bonnie.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Krista Can't Keep a Secret

Krista Farentino couldn't keep a secret. She didn't mean to tell, but somehow she always did. "Don't worry about that ugly old bike of yours." she told her sister, Kyla. "Your getting that pink princess bike you wanted for your birthday."

"Mommy!" Kyla pouted glaring at her sister angrily. "I wanted to be surprised!"

Krista told her Dad about the dent in the car, Mommy got trying to back the car out of the garage. "Look Daddy!" she said pointing to the scratch. Daddy touched the dent and knelt down on the floor beside it frowning.

Mommy shook her head and frowned at Krista. "It's just a tiny little thing. You can hardly see it." Mommy said to Daddy.

Krista didn't mean to tell all the time. She didn't want everyone to always be mad at her. Still, somehow secrets always came bursting out of her before she could stop them. It got to the point where nobody wanted to tell Krista anything. She felt sad, lonely and left out.

It got particularly bad one week when every time, she turned around, Mommy and Kyla seemed to be talking in hushed voices about something. Every time, Krista came near they stopped talking. "What are you talking about so secretly?" Krista asked Kyla.

"Nothing." said Kyla quickly making herself busy.

"Mommy?" asked Krista looking up at her mother with sad puppy dog eyes. She hated being left out.

Mommy tried to be strong, but she just felt so bad for Krista. She knew that Krista didn't mean to blurt out secrets all the time. "We're planning a surprise party for Daddy's birthday." Mommy said finally.

"Mom!" shrieked Kyla jumping angrily out of her chair. "Why did you tell her?  Now, we'll never be able to keep it from Dad. We might as well tell him we're making him a party."

"Give her a chance. Maybe, this time she'll surprise us." replied Mommy calmly and confidently.

"She has had plenty of chances! That is exactly why we don't tell her secrets anymore." replied Kyla storming out of the room.

Krista was so happy to be in on the planning of the party. She promised herself this time she was going to keep the secret. It was hard. "What were you three all whispering about?" asked Daddy one evening after he had seen Krista and Kyla and Mommy all huddled together at the kitchen table when he came home from work.

Krista smiled a little too brightly. "Oh just girl stuff, Daddy." she said.

"Krista?" asked Daddy frowning as though he didn't believe her.

"Gotta do homework." exclaimed Krista hurriedly leaving the room when she felt the secret struggling to come out of her.

The next day, when they were all sitting around the living room watching TV, Daddy said. "I thought we'd all go out to dinner for my birthday next week." Kyla looked worriedly at Krista.

"Oh, Daddy." replied Krista. "Can we go to Cracker Barrel? That is my favorite restaurant."

Mommy smiled at Krista. Then, she looked at Kyla as if to say 'You see there is nothing to worry about'. Kyla didn't seem convinced though. There was still a week left to go plenty of time for Krista to blurt out the secret.

The week went by and there were a few close calls, but Krista never blurted out the secret. Every time, she thought she was going to,  she did something else. She left the room, she bit her lip, she took a drink of water anything she could think of to distract herself and keep the secret inside her.

Daddy was really surprised and happy about the party. He couldn't believe they had managed to keep it such a surprise especially with Krista's reputation for telling secrets. "But how?" he kept asking shaking his head and looking mostly at Krista.

"I kept a secret, Daddy." said Krista happily.

"Yes, she did." replied Mommy. "and we are all proud of her." she added.

"I'm proud of myself too." replied Krista.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cassie Climbs A Tree

A big old oak tree stood in the backyard of the house where the Warner family lived. From the time she was just a tiny  little thing, Cassie loved that tree. When she was a baby, she would lie on a blanket under the tree and look up at it. "Do you  like the pretty tree?" Mommy would ask with a smile as Cassie continued staring at it.

As Cassie got older, she thought of it as her tree. When she was three or four, she ran around the tree waving her arms in the air and  shouting, "Twee! Twee!" She pointed up as if she wanted to go up in the tree.

"Maybe, when you get a little older, you can climb the tree." said Mommy. "You are too little now."
Cassie burst into tears. She hated to be too little for anything. She really wanted to go up in her tree.

When she got older, she tried climbing up the tree, but it hurt her fingers trying to hold onto the bark and she kept sliding down and scrapping herself. She tried jumping up to the lowest branch, but she just couldn't get high enough to reach it.

"Maybe - " said Mommy but before she could get another word out Cassie interrupted her.

"Maybe, when I get a little older. I know! I know! I'm so sick of that! I want to be older now! I want to climb my tree now!"

A few weeks later, Grandma came to visit. "My you've gotten taller." Grandma said to Cassie kissing her on the check.

Could it really be true? Could she finally have gotten taller? She ran to the full length mirror in her Mom's room to check it out. She really did look taller.! She smiled at her reflection. Maybe, she would be able to climb her tree now. She couldn't wait to go outside and try.

Cassie ran outside to her tree. She reached up to the tree, but she still couldn't reach the lowest branch. She stood on her tiptoes and stretched her arms out as long as she could and even then she couldn't reach it. She jumped and reached for the branch and just missed it. She jumped again and this time she made it. She grabbed onto the branch with one hand. Then, she grabbed on with the other. She just hung there for a minute.Then, with her legs she hoisted herself up into the tree. She climbed up to a higher branch and  looked down. The ground looked so pretty from way up here. It sure looked a long way down though.  "Mommy! Mommy!" she called in a mixture of excitement and fright.

A few minutes later, Mommy still hadn't come out of the house. "Mommy! Mommy!" called Cassie a little bit louder. Mommy came out of the house. "Whatever is the matter?" she asked without even looking up in the tree. "Grandma and I were making lunch." She looked around but did not see Cassie.

"Mommy, mommy I am up here." said Cassie. "I climbed my tree. I'm finally big enough." she said proudly.

"Oh that's great honey."  said Mommy finally looking up and seeing Cassie in the tree. "I'm happy for you. You have been waiting to climb that tree for a long time.  Now, why don't you come down and get washed, and we'll have lunch. " she added. She turned around and headed back in the house.

"Mommy! Mommy!" called Cassie. "Mommmy, come back!"

Mommy had just reached the door of the house when she turned around. "What's the matter?" she asked.

"Mommy," said Cassie. "Can you please get me out of this tree?"

Mommy laughed. "I'll go get Daddy." she said.