For Little Friends

By Laura Lundy


The Happy Book

A true story
“Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?” (Hymns, no. 223).

“Don’t ask me how the science fair went!” Michelle declared, walking into the house after school.

“What happened?” Morgan asked.

“Didn’t you just hear me say don’t ask?” Michelle snapped. She walked right past her little sister and up the stairs. Bang! Her bedroom door slammed shut.

Morgan asked Mom why Michelle was mad. Mom explained that Michelle was hoping her project on hermit crabs would win at the science fair, and that it must not have happened.

“So why won’t she talk to me?” Morgan asked.

“Maybe she will later, honey. For now, we should leave her alone,” Mom said.

“But I want to play with her, like I always do when she comes home from school.”

“I don’t think she wants to play games right now. Maybe you could color or play dolls while I start making dinner,” Mom said.

Morgan went to her bedroom and took out some paper and crayons. She started to draw a picture with flowers. She colored it for a few minutes and then stopped. She quickly jumped up and ran to Mom.

“How long till dinner?” Morgan asked.

“About 45 minutes.”

“Is that enough time to make a happy book for Michelle? I want it to be done by dinner,” Morgan said.

Seeing Mom nod her head yes, Morgan ran back to her room and closed the door.

“Michelle! Morgan! Dinnertime!” Mom called a little while later.

Morgan hurried out of her room and ran to Michelle’s spot at the dinner table. She placed some papers facedown on Michelle’s plate. Then she sat in her own chair.

When Michelle came to the table, she pointed to the papers and grumpily asked, “What’s this?”

“It’s a happy book,” Morgan said softly.

“Oh.” Michelle picked up the papers and turned them over. She studied the first one.

“That’s a picture of a trophy. ‘Cause I liked your hermit crabs the best,” Morgan said. “The next one is a picture of a sad face.”

“Why?” Michelle asked.

“Because I got sad that you were mad and didn’t want to talk to me or play games with me.”

Michelle flipped to the next picture. “I know this one is a heart, right?”

“Yes,” Morgan said. “A heart means I love you.”

Michelle looked at the last picture, then at her sister.

“It’s my favorite. It’s me and you playing a game together.” Morgan looked at her older sister. “Did my book make you happy?”

“Yes, very happy,” said Michelle. “I’m sorry for being angry when I came home from school. I wasn’t mad at you. My project didn’t win anything, and I thought it would, so I was upset.”

“That’s OK. I still love you,” Morgan said.

“I love you too, Morgan,” Michelle said with a smile. “After dinner do you want to play a game?”

“All right!” Morgan cheered.

[illustration] Illustrated by Steve Kropp