“Hee, hee,” Tristan giggled as he walked up the stairs to the front porch of his home. Grandpa Jake sat in his favorite rocking chair watching the sunset.
“You seem to be having fun, Tristan,” Grandpa Jake said.
Tristan looked up and grinned. “Oh, I just saw the funniest thing!”
“Tell me about it,” replied Grandpa Jake.
“I was playing with my friend,” Tristan began. “When Derek came out of the house, he tripped and fell down the stairs.”
“But the funny thing was that when he got up, his foot was stuck in a small bucket. He couldn’t get his foot out of the bucket. He was pulling and pulling, trying to get it out. When he finally did, his shoe stayed stuck in the bucket.”
By the end of his story, Tristan was laughing very hard, but his grandpa wasn’t. Instead, a sad look came across Grandpa Jake’s face.
“He could have been badly hurt! How do you think Derek felt when you and your friend were laughing at him?” Grandpa Jake asked.
Tristan looked at his grandpa. He was a little puzzled as he thought about that.
Grandpa Jake continued, “If you were in Derek’s place, how would you feel if someone started laughing when something unpleasant happened to you?”
“Not so good, I guess,” Tristan said in a whisper. He stared at the ground.
“It usually doesn’t feel very nice when people make fun of you, especially when you’ve had an accident. That reminds me of a story about Wallace.”
Tristan’s face lit up. “Please tell me!”
Wallace walked slowly along, pushing his way around the blades of grass. He was bent, and he hobbled along, leaning hard on a twig for support. There was a bandage on his leg and a pained look on his face.
The day before, while collecting food for his dinner, Wallace had tripped over a dandelion root and injured his leg. Drudy had come to his rescue. She had gotten him all bandaged up and fed him some dinner too, so he wouldn’t have to walk on his hurt leg.
Today Wallace was feeling a bit better. He was able to hobble along with the help of a crutch, but he still felt pretty miserable.
“Why did I have to get all banged up?” he muttered to himself. “Now I have this big bandage on my leg, and it hurts. I feel terrible!”
Wallace limped slowly on. Suddenly, his crutch snapped in two. Once again, Wallace landed in a heap on the ground.
“OUCH!” he cried. “I didn’t think things could get worse,” he said angrily, “but I’ve fallen once again.”
Just then he heard a snicker nearby. Wallace turned and spotted two little beetles sitting on a leaf laughing. They had been watching Wallace hobble along through the grass, and when his twig broke, it looked so funny to them that they laughed.
“Wallace is so clumsy,” said Specks in between laughs.
The other beetle, Jibber, started chanting, “Wobbly Wallace!”
Specks joined in, and the two began chanting that line over and over again.
Wallace stared at the ground. His sore leg hurt even more now, but what was worse was the hurt he felt inside. He wanted to cry. His eyes grew misty as the two beetles continued chanting.
I guess I really am wobbly and clumsy, Wallace thought sadly. I’m always hurting myself or spilling this or dropping that. I can’t do anything!
“Go away,” he said sadly to Jibber and Specks. But the naughty beetles only laughed harder.
“Oh dear, what happened here?” It was Drudy. She hovered just above Wallace with a concerned look on her face. “I’m sorry that you fell again, Wallace.”
Wallace didn’t look up at Drudy; he continued to stare at the ground. He now had tears in his eyes.
“Does it really hurt?” Drudy asked, wondering why her normally cheerful friend seemed so sad.
It was then that Drudy heard Jibber and Specks, still giggling and chanting nearby.
“Wobble … wobble … Wobbly Wallace!” they said, and then burst into laughter again.
The beetles hadn’t noticed Drudy’s arrival and were very surprised when they looked up to see the dragonfly hovering in front of them. There was a disappointed look on her face.
“Are you beetles having fun?” she asked.
Jibber and Specks stopped laughing and sat up straight. “Uh … uh,” Specks stuttered.
“We saw something very funny, that’s all,” Jibber said, and then giggled as she looked at Specks.
“When Wallace was walking, his crutch snapped,” Jibber told Drudy. “It was so funny.” And the two beetles laughed some more.
But Drudy wasn’t laughing. “It may have looked pretty funny to you,” she said, “but poor Wallace could’ve been badly hurt, and instead of finding out if he was okay, you just laughed at him. You can make someone feel very sad inside if you make fun of him when things go wrong.”
The beetles looked thoughtfully at Wallace. Then, all of a sudden, the leaf they had been sitting on gave in under their weight. The two beetles tumbled to the ground.
Seeing the beetles tumbling to the soft grass was a rather funny sight, but instead of laughing, Drudy hurried over to Jibber and Specks and asked if they were all right.
“Oh dear, that was quite a fall,” she said. “Are you hurt?”
“I’m okay,” Specks said.
“Me too. Just a little tumble,” added Jibber.
“I’m so glad you’re not hurt,” Drudy said as she helped the beetles to their feet.
“I feel bad about making fun of Wallace,” Specks said.
“Me too,” said Jibber. “We’re sorry.”
“And maybe we can help Wallace,” Specks added, “that way he doesn’t have to walk on his sore leg.”
“That’s thoughtful of you,” Drudy said with a smile. “I’m sure Wallace would appreciate your kindness and help.”
Drudy and the two beetles helped Wallace get back home and then fixed his bandage. When Drudy had to leave, Jibber and Specks stayed with Wallace until the sun set.
“It was nice of you to help me and spend time with me,” Wallace said as the two beetles got up to head home.
“We had fun,” Specks said. “And maybe tomorrow we can visit again.”
“That would be nice,” said Wallace.
“I hope your leg feels better soon,” Jibber said. “See you tomorrow.”
“I feel bad about making fun of Derek,” Tristan said thoughtfully after a moment’s silence. “I’m going to try to be nicer to him and not laugh when things go wrong for him.”
“That’s excellent,” Grandpa Jake said. “I’m sure he’d appreciate having you as a friend.”
Moral: Do to others what you would want them to do to you. As you do, you’ll find out how much you get in return.
Authored by Katiuscia Giusti. Illustrated by Agnes Lemaire. Colored by Doug Calder. Designed by Roy Evans. Audio by RadioActive Productions.Featured on My Wonder Studio. Copyright © 2012 by Aurora Production AG, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved.