Little Willie Splasher

by Gloria Pieretti

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    Little Willie Splasher wasn’t big enough! Take the day Teacher Hushposher said, “Who can reach the top library shelf?”

    Peter Brown said, “I can.”

    Jack Santos said, “I can.”

    Meg Nash said, “I can.”

    And Little Willie Splasher said, “I can’t.”

    You can believe that Little Willie Splasher was miffed. And he looked glum. But he said nothing. Peter Brown, Jack Santos, and Meg Nash cleaned the library shelves for Teacher Hushposher.

    Take the time Teacher Hushposher thumped on the desk and declared, “Will all the children who can reach the top of the blackboard please stand.”

    Peter Brown stood up.

    Meg Nash stood up.

    But Little Willie Splasher didn’t!

    You can believe that Little Willie Splasher was miffed. He looked glum. But he said nothing. And Peter Brown, Jack Santos, and Meg Nash cleaned the blackboard for Teacher Hushposher.

    One day, Teacher Hushposher stood up in front of the classroom and announced, “I need three nice, tall children to be tall pine trees in our school play. Let me see, who can that be?”

    “Me!” cried Peter Brown.

    “Me!” cried Jack Santos.

    “Me!” cried Meg Nash.

    “Not me!” mumbled Little Willie Splasher.

    You can believe Little Willie Splasher was miffed. And he looked glum. But he said nothing. Peter Brown, Jack Santos, and Meg Nash were beautiful tall pine trees for the school play.

    So it’s no wonder Little Willie Splasher decided that being little was like being good for nothing! And the more Little Willie Splasher thought about it, the more unhappy he became. That’s why Little Willie Splasher went to school one Monday feeling gloomy. He went to school on Tuesday feeling like a rotten egg!

    But leave it to foxy Teacher Hushposher. He called Little Willie Splasher in from recess. Now when Teacher Hushposher called you in from recess, you were in trouble! So you can believe poor Little Willie Splasher was pretty scared when he faced Teacher Hushposher. Especially since Little Willie Splasher had no idea what kind of trouble he was in!

    Teacher Hushposher cleared his throat. He took a long, hard look at Little Willie Splasher and said, “What is your problem?”

    “Why nothin’. Nothin’ at all,” Little Willie Splasher replied.

    “Come, come now.” Teacher Hushposher said. “I haven’t seen you smile for a week. And you never speak unless you are spoken to. There has to be something wrong.”

    At first Little Willie Splasher insisted there wasn’t, but finally he blurted, “It’s just that I’m never big enough to do anything.”

    “Oh, that’s it!” Teacher Hushposher grinned. “Someday you will find out that being little is no problem at all. Now run along and play.” So Little Willie Splasher hurried outside to play, but his heart wasn’t in it.

    It was that very afternoon, right in the middle of spelling, that someone let out a shriek and cried, “Myrtle the turtle is gone!” Everyone gasped at the empty bowl on Teacher Hushposher’s desk.

    “Tut, tut, now,” Teacher Hushposher exclaimed. “That turtle must be right here in this room.”

    As Teacher Hushposher looked all around and under everything, the class did, too. It was Jack Santos who spied Myrtle the turtle in the corner under the reading table.

    “I’ll get her!” cried Peter Brown, who was used to being big enough to do everything. He tried. And he tried. But he couldn’t! For Peter Brown was too big to squeeze in between the table and the supply cupboard where Myrtle the turtle was snoozing.

    “I’ll get her!” cried Jack Santos. “I’m thinner.” So he tried. And he tried. But he couldn’t! For he was too big, too!

    “I’ll get her!” Meg Nash cried next. “After all, I have the longest arms.” So she tried. And she tried. But she couldn’t, because she was too big and her arms weren’t long enough!

    Teacher Hushposher frowned. “If we only had a little fellow who could squeeze in there and pick Myrtle the turtle up, our problem would be solved,” he said.

    Little Willie Splasher’s heart was pounding. His bright little round face was smiling. And before Little Willie Splasher knew it, he heard himself say, “I’ll get her!”

    And Little Willie Splasher, who was never big enough to do anything, got up and did something no one else could do because they were too big!

    Illustrated by Dick Brown