For Little Friends

By Marianne Wilson McKnight


When we’re helping, we’re happy, … And we like to help mother, For we all love her so (Children’s Songbook, page 198).

Dust Bunny

Trisha watched as Mommy taped the family job chart on the refrigerator. “Everyone’s name is on the chart,” Mommy told her. “Here is your name, Trisha. It’s the one with the smiling-face sticker next to it.”

Trisha was three years old. It made her feel very grown-up to have her name on the family job chart. She watched as Mommy wrote down assignments for her older brother and sister. Then she came to the name with the smiling face sticker by it.

“Now, Trisha, you have a special job,” Mommy said. “You get to be the Dust Bunny.”

Trisha had never heard of a Dust Bunny before, but she watched excitedly as Mommy got out one of Daddy’s old white socks. It had been made into a bunny!

“Each morning you can put on this Dust Bunny mitt and dust the living room like this.” She showed Trisha how to carefully dust the piano keys, the tops of the end tables, and the TV.

“Now, you try it,” Mommy said as she handed the Dust Bunny mitt to Trisha. The inside of the sock felt fuzzy and warm when Trisha put it on. She carefully dusted the piano keys, the tops of the end tables, and the TV.

“Super job, Dust Bunny!” Mommy declared. Then she gave Trisha a big squeeze. Trisha felt good inside.

That night when Daddy came home from work, she said, “Guess who came today.”

“Grandpa and Grandma?” Daddy guessed as he scooped her up into his arms and gave Mommy a kiss.

“No.”

“Santa Claus?” Daddy guessed.

Trisha giggled, “No, Daddy, that’s silly! It isn’t even Christmas.”

“Well then, who?” Daddy asked.

“The Dust Bunny!” Trisha said with a big smile.

“Who is the Dust Bunny? Is she related to Bunny Rabbit?” Daddy asked.

“No,” Trisha said with a laugh. Then she ran and got the mitt and put it on. “I’m the Dust Bunny!”

Daddy watched as Trisha showed him how she dusted the piano keys, the tops of the end tables, and the TV. It looked like so much fun that Daddy had to try it, too!

[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Greer

[photo] Photo by Tamra Hamblin

Make a Dust Bunny

You and your mom or another older person can make a Dust Bunny together. Then you can give a gift of service to your mom, by using it to dust for her. To make one, you will need: an adult’s thick white sock, a needle, a sewing machine (optional), white thread, a ruler, scissors, a black marker, and a pink pom-pom.

  1. 1.

    Turn the sock inside out. Lay it heel-side down, and flatten it as much as possible (see illustration). With a needle and thread or a sewing machine, stitch a U-shape 1/2″ wide x 3″ long (1.3 cm x 7.6 cm) down the middle of the sock’s toe (see illustration 1).

  2. 2.

    Cut down the center of the stitched U-shape, ending 1/4″ (.64 cm) from the bottom (see illustration 2).

  3. 3.

    Turn the stocking right side out, lay it heel-side down, and flatten it as much as possible. With the black marker, draw two eyes. Using a needle and thread, sew the pink pom-pom nose below the eyes to only the top layer of the sock.

  4. 4.

    Slip the sock on your hand—now you are ready to dust!

Banana Caramel Shortcake

1 pound cake

1 banana, peeled

1 container (8 ounces/226 g) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 small jar caramel ice-cream topping

  1. 1.

    For each serving, cut a slice of pound cake and place it on a plate.

  2. 2.

    Slice the banana and stir the pieces into the whipped topping.

  3. 3.

    Spoon a mound of the banana topping onto each cake slice. Drizzle a tablespoon of the caramel sauce over each serving.

[photo] Photo by Tamra Hamblin