What Did You Do Today?


Every day when I come home from school, my mother asks me, “What did you do today, dear?”

Every day I say, “Oh, nothing.”

And every day she says, “Oh.”

Maybe tomorrow when she says, “What did you do today, dear?” I’ll tell her what I really did.

“When I left for school,” I’ll say, “a big lion chased me for two blocks.”

“Really?” she’ll say.

“Well,” I’ll say, “it was really Johnson’s cat. But it looked like a big lion to me for just a minute.”

“Oh,” she’ll say. “I’m glad it wasn’t a real lion.”

“And when I went out for recess,” I’ll say, “a giant came over to me. He wanted me to help him. He told me he was too big for the slippery slide. He asked me to give him a push. So I did.”

“Really?” she’ll say.

“Well,” I’ll say, “it was really Freddie. But he looked like a giant to me for just a minute.”

“Oh,” she’ll say. “I’m glad it wasn’t a real giant.”

“And during school,” I’ll say, “a king came into our room. He said he wanted me to slay a dragon. Then he made me a knight.”

“Really?” she’ll say.

“Well,” I’ll say, “it was really the principal. He wanted me to take a note to Mrs. Smith’s room. Then he told me I could be his messenger and take notes all over the school. But he looked like a king to me for just a minute.

“And then when it was lunchtime, we had a party. We had fancy foods and good things to drink. We had people standing behind our chairs serving us.”

“Really?” she’ll say.

“Well,” I’ll say, “it was really hamburgers and milk today. And Jerry stood behind my chair waiting for me to leave something. But to me it tasted like fancy foods and good things to drink.

“And on the way home I rode in a golden coach. We had a driver in a fancy suit, and there were people all around wanting to do things for me.”

“Really?” she’ll say.

“Well,” I’ll say, “it was really the school bus. Sally wanted to carry my books for me. But I told her, ‘No, thank you.’

“And then when I got off the bus, a monster was waiting for me. It made loud roaring and howling noises.”

“Really?” she’ll say.

“Well,” I’ll say, “it was really Wilson’s dog. I guess it was glad to see me.”

“I guess so,” my mother will say. “But I’m glad it wasn’t a monster.”

“I’m glad too,” I’ll say.

It would take me a long time to tell my mother all the things that happen to me at school in one day.

So probably tomorrow when she says, “What did you do today, dear?” I’ll probably say, “Oh, nothing.”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dick Brown