Grandpa Jake heard an angry cry from Tristan's bedroom. He hurried upstairs and opened the bedroom door to see a teary-eyed boy. Tristan held his favorite fire engine. The ladder that extended from the engine's back was broken.
"Troy broke my fire engine," Tristan said, in between sobs. "He stepped on it."
"I didn't see it," Troy said sadly.
"But you broke it!" Tristan cried.
"I'm sorry," Troy said. Troy felt bad for breaking the fire engine. He hadn't done it on purpose.
"Let me take a look at it," Grandpa Jake offered. "Perhaps there is something we can do to fix it."
"I don't want Troy to play with my toys anymore!" Tristan said.
"Now, Tristan, that's not being forgiving," said Grandpa Jake. "Troy said he was sorry, and it was an accident."
Tristan looked at his broken fire engine and then at Troy. It was hard for him to forgive his friend.
"Did I ever tell you the story about Crispin the dinosaur?" Grandpa Jake asked.
"No," said Tristan. "Did his fire engine break too?"
"Well, no," answered Grandpa Jake, "but one day he made a mistake that made his sister unhappy. Let’s take your fire engine to my workshop, and while I try to fix it, I can tell you about Crispin."
It had been rainy for many days. Crispin stayed inside his family's den during the storm. He kept himself busy planning games he could play with his friends outside once the rain stopped.
Today the sun was finally shining. Crispin hurried off to find his best friends to see if they wanted to play some games with him.
"Wesley!" Crispin called. "Suds! Where are you?"
Wesley poked his head out of his den. "Here I am. What's up?"
"Would you and Suds like to play games with me?" Crispin asked. "I feel like running and playing!"
"Me too," said Wesley. "Let's find Suds."
The two friends arrived at Suds' den and asked if she'd like to join them.
Suds was eager to have fun. So, the three friends headed off to the nearby forest to play. They decided to play a version of "Capture the Flag," with only one flag to capture. One of the friends would hide the flag and protect it, and the other two would try to capture it.
Wesley took the first turn as protector of the flag. Suds and Crispin would have to capture it.
"One … two … three…," Crispin and Suds began counting.
Wesley hurried off to hide the flag. He placed it carefully inside a large hollow tree trunk.
"Forty-nine … fifty!" Crispin called out loudly. "We're coming to find the flag."
"Not if I catch you first," Wesley replied.
Crispin searched under bushes and behind boulders, but the flag was nowhere to be seen.
Suddenly he heard a playful shrill from Suds. She had found the flag, but Wesley had seen her before she had captured it, and he had run off to catch her.
Now's my chance, thought Crispin, as he ran over towards the hollow tree trunk, where he now saw the flag.
"Aha!" cried Crispin, grabbing it. "I found the flag!"
Crispin ran toward his base with the flag, but Wesley was fast and catching up quickly. Crispin sprinted to the edge of the forest and into a large field. "You can't catch me, Wesley!" he shouted.
"CRISPIN! STOP!" came a shout.
But it was too late. Crispin had run right through his sister Dixie's flower patch. He hadn't seen it while he was running, and Crispin had trampled many of her flowers.
"Uh-oh!" Wesley said with a shake of his head after seeing the disaster. Suds came running out of the forest to see what had happened.
"Look what you've done, Crispin!" Dixie said. She was upset, because she had put a lot of time and care into her flower patch.
Crispin hadn't meant to ruin Dixie's flowers, and he wasn't sure what to do or say. Then he noticed there wasn't the usual fence around her garden. "Where's your fence?" Crispin asked. "If your fence had been up, then I wouldn't have run over your flowers."
Dixie only got more upset. She angrily named the different flowers that Crispin had ruined and talked about how much time it had taken for them to grow. Crispin argued that it was really Dixie's fault for not having her fence up.
"Wait! Wait!" cried Wesley. "It's not right to be shouting at each other. There must be some way we can work this out."
Dixie wiped her tears. "It rained so much that my little fence fell over because the ground was so muddy," Dixie explained. "That's why there was no fence."
"Well, maybe there's something we can do to help Dixie fix her garden," Suds suggested.
"Like what?" Dixie asked. "These flowers are ruined!"
"We could help you put your little fence back up, so that this won't happen again," Wesley said.
"And tie the flowers that are bent to little sticks, so that they'll stand upright," added Crispin.
"That's not going to work," Dixie said sadly. "I'm going to have to dig them all up and plant new flowers. I'm still angry at you, Crispin!"
"I know you're upset," Suds said. "But it was an accident, and Crispin is sorry. Will you forgive him? We can all work together to try to fix it. I'm sure some of the flowers can be saved."
"You're right, Suds," Dixie said. "I'm sorry for being so angry at you, Crispin. I forgive you, and I'd be happy to have your help to fix my garden."
Crispin smiled at his sister. "Thank you for forgiving me, Dixie. You take such good care of your flower patch, and I'm sorry about the mess I made. I can start by putting the fence back up for you."
"Thank you," said Dixie. "I think some of these flowers will be fine if I give them a little extra care."
Crispin went to find the tools he needed to help Dixie.
Suds and Wesley offered to give a hand too. Before long, Dixie's flower patch was looking beautiful again. Crispin made a sign to go on the fence that read, "Caution: Flowerbed Ahead." He also brought his sister some new bulbs and seeds to plant in her garden. Dixie was so happy!
"Troy, I forgive you for accidentally breaking my fire engine," Tristan said. "I'm sorry I was angry at you. I should've put my fire engine back on the shelf instead of leaving it on the floor."
"I'm sorry I broke it, and I'll try to be more careful next time," Troy replied. "Maybe I can lend you my fire engine while yours is getting fixed."
"Thank you, Troy. I'd really like that!"
"Well, boys," Grandpa Jake said, "I think this fire engine will be okay. Once the glue has dried, it will be almost like new."
"Thank you, Grandpa!" exclaimed Tristan. "You did such a good job of fixing it."
Moral: Everyone makes mistakes and needs forgiveness. Forgiveness is love.
Authored by Katiuscia Giusti. Illustrated by Agnes Lemaire. Colored by Doug Calder. Designed by Roy Evans.Featured on My Wonder Studio. Copyright © 2008 by Aurora Production AG, Switzerland.
All Rights Reserved.