It was Tristan's birthday, and his parents had given him a pop-up tent as a present. Tristan was eager to camp out in the tent. Grandpa Jake suggested that Tristan invite his friends, Troy, Chantal, and Derek, over for a campout in the backyard. Tristan was very excited.
Soon Tristan's friends arrived, bringing an extra tent, their sleeping bags, flashlights, snacks, and books to read. They worked together with Grandpa Jake to set the tents up.
Troy had noticed a large flashlight that Chantal had brought with her. He thought her flashlight was a lot nicer than his, and he wanted to see how well it worked.
He turned it on and off a couple of times, but because it was still light outside, he couldn't see how bright the flashlight was.
Hmmm … I know! Troy thought to himself. It'll be darker inside the sleeping bag.
Troy climbed into Chantal's sleeping bag and switched the flashlight on and off, on and off.
Chantal had been playing outside, and then she walked towards the tent and saw a light going on and off inside her sleeping bag. “What are you doing in my sleeping bag?” she asked Troy angrily. “And who said you could use my flashlight?”
“I-I just wanted to see how your flashlight worked,” Troy answered.
Chantal angrily reached out to grab the flashlight and noticed the light slowly fading. The flashlight batteries had died!
Chantal burst into tears. “I'm going to take your batteries now,” she said to Troy.
She leaned over to get Troy's flashlight, but he was quicker than she was. He took his flashlight and ran away.
Chantal went to Grandpa Jake and told him what Troy had done.
“I'm sorry your batteries are dead, and I'm sad about what Troy did, as it wasn't right,” Grandpa Jake said. “But there are better ways to solve problems than getting angry. It's important that you work things out the right way.
“Why don't I tell you a story about Suds and Dixie, and what happened when they got into a similar situation?”
Dixie loved to paint. Her favorite things to paint were flowers and butterflies because she could make them bright and colorful! Dixie didn't only paint on paper; she would also paint pictures on large leaves, pieces of bark, or on see-through plastic to make her own stained-glass decorations.
Mr. Nuggin had asked his students to bring to class something they had personally made. Dixie brought some of her favorite paintings, Suds brought colored soap bars, and Wesley brought a matchstick house. The students took turns presenting their artistic creations.
As Dixie was leaving school, she saw Suds' soap bars. Suddenly, Dixie had an idea. I could paint pictures on a soap bar and decorate it for my mother!
When no one was looking, and without asking Suds, Dixie took one of the soap bars.
“You stole my soap bar, Dixie!” Suds cried out the next day when she saw Dixie painting and decorating the soap.
Dixie hadn’t realized that Suds had come to visit her, and she was surprised to see Suds standing next to her. She quickly tried to hide the soap bar.
“You're the one who took my soap bar! And now you're messing it all up.”
“I'm not messing it up. I'm decorating it.”
“Give it back to me,” Suds said.
Dixie shook her head. “I've worked hard to decorate and paint it, and I'm going to give it to my mother as a gift.”
Suds was very upset. Then she saw a bag of shells that Dixie had been collecting. When Dixie wasn't looking, Suds grabbed the bag of shells and quickly left Dixie's den.
I'd better hide these shells, Suds thought as she hurried home, stuffing the bag in her pocket.
When she got back to her den, Suds went to her room to find a place to hide Dixie's shells. Suddenly, she heard her mother's voice and quickly put the bag under her bedcover, but the shells made the bedcover look lumpy, so just before her mother came into the room Suds sat on the shells.
But as she did, she realized she had made a terrible mistake.
“Have you seen your brother?” her mother asked.
Suds shook her head quickly.
“Well, if you do see him, please tell him he needs to finish his homework.”
When her mother left, Suds carefully looked into the bag and saw that several of the shells were broken. Oh dear! What am I going to do? she thought. Dixie is going to be so angry at me. But then Suds thought, Dixie did take my soap without asking, so it serves her right that some of her shells got broken.
A few hours went by. The more Suds thought about the shells, the worse she felt. Maybe I should tell Dixie, she thought, but then she decided against it.
That night when her mother came to tuck her in, Suds was feeling very sad.
“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” her mother asked.
Suds told her mother what had happened with Dixie’s shells. “I don’t know what to do,” Suds said with a sob.
“It’s always best to be honest,” her mother answered. “Dixie will probably be sad, but it’s better that you tell her. You were upset that Dixie took your soap, but you shouldn’t have taken her shells. And doing that got you into a mess.”
Suds gave her mother a hug. “I’ll tell Dixie about her shells tomorrow.”
* * *
“Dixie, yesterday I took your shells from your room when you weren't looking,” Suds began. “I was so angry at you for taking my soap that I wanted to make you feel bad, too.”
“You took my shells?” Dixie asked angrily, grabbing the bag of shells Suds was holding out to her.
“Yes, and I'm so sorry that I accidentally broke some of them.”
Dixie looked into her bag of shells and cried when she saw that some of her shells were broken. “Oh, Suds, some of these were my favorite shells,” she said.
“I'm so sorry,” Suds replied.
Dixie thought for a moment. “I'm the one who should be sorry,” she said. “I should have asked you before taking your soap. But instead, I only thought about myself and what I wanted.”
“I forgive you,” said Suds. “You can keep the soap bar, and I have another one for you too if you want.”
“Thank you so much. I have an idea of what we can do with these broken shells. We can decorate a box by gluing the broken shells to the outside of the box. It can be our friendship box.”
The two friends hugged and happily set out to find the necessary items to make their friendship box.
“I'm sorry for wasting your batteries,” Troy said to Chantal. “You can use my flashlight if you'd like.”
“I forgive you,” Chantal said. “And I'm sorry for getting angry at you.”
“Well, that's much better,” Grandpa Jake said. “You know, I might have an extra set of batteries that you can use, Chantal.”
“Yes. Make sure that you use your flashlights only when you need to, and then your batteries will last much longer.”
“Thank you, Grandpa Jake, for helping us work this out,” Chantal said.
“And thank you for the story,” Troy added.
Moral: Think about how the things you do will make other people feel, and treat others as you'd like them to treat you. If you make others happy, you will be happy too.
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.