Working Together


“I can’t play with you tomorrow,” David told his best friend Kevin.

“Why not?” Kevin asked.

“Tomorrow Daddy will be home from the store and Brian and Carol will be home from school and we’re all going to clean up the yard,” David explained.

“All day?” Kevin asked.

“I guess so. There’s a lot of work to do. We’re going to rake leaves, pull weeds, trim shrubs, and paint things. We’re going to have fun!” said David excitedly.

“Fun!” Kevin said, wrinkling up his nose. “It sounds like work to me!”

“It’s not work!” David disagreed.

“It is so!” Kevin declared. “Raking and cleaning and painting are all work! That’s what my daddy says! You just ask your dad. Work isn’t fun! It’s hard!”

That night when Daddy came into David’s room to say good night, David asked, “Daddy, are painting and cleaning and raking work?”

“They certainly are!” Daddy answered. “And there’s a lot of work to do tomorrow.”

“Is it hard work?” David asked.

“Yes,” Daddy said. “So you get a good night’s sleep and you’ll be ready to help us in the morning.”

“All right,” David said slowly.

Before he went to sleep he thought about what Kevin and Daddy had told him. By the next morning he had decided he was not going to work. He wasn’t going to spend a whole day not having any fun.

At breakfast everyone was dressed in working clothes. David took a long time eating his cereal and drinking his juice.

“Come on, David!” Carol said.

“What a slowpoke!” said Brian.

“I don’t feel very well,” David said. The more he thought about not feeling well, the more he imagined his head hurt. “I have a headache,” he told them.

Mother felt his head. “You don’t seem to be hot,” she said, “but perhaps you should lie down on the couch until you feel better.”

David lay on the couch in the living room while everyone else went outdoors. He closed his eyes, but he was not sleepy. Soon Carol and Brian and Mother and Daddy were making too much noise outside for him to rest. They were calling to each other and making jokes and laughing and talking as they worked.

After a while he heard someone else laughing and talking. Quickly he got up and looked out the window.

It was Kevin! He was helping Brian carry a basket of leaves.

David forgot his headache and rushed out to the backyard.

“Kevin!” he cried. “What are you doing?”

“I’m having fun!” Kevin called.

“But this is work, and you said work isn’t fun!”

Kevin stopped. He thought for a moment. Then he smiled and said, “Working together is fun!”

David smiled, too. “That’s right,” he agreed. “Working together is fun!” And he picked up a rake and began to rake a big pile of leaves.

[illustration] Illustrated by Pat Machin