And to Think That We Thought That We'd Never Be Friends'

STORY TIME

January 16, 2000|By Mary Ann Hoberman

Editor's note: A brother and sister learn that friendship is better than fighting, and they soon spread their message all over town.

One day we were playing outside in our yard

When my brother got mad and he pushed me so hard

That I pushed him right back -- with all of my might--

And quick as a wink we were having a fight!

We thwacked and we whacked and we walloped away,

And we still might be fighting to this very day,

Pinching and punching, my brother and I,

If only our sister had not happened by.

She was sipping some soda pop out of a cup,

And she said she would share it if we would make up;

And since we were thirsty and tired and sore,

We each took a drink and we ended our war.

It's funny how quickly an argument ends...

And to think that we thought that we'd never be friends!

That night after supper we turned on TV,

But we couldn't agree on what show we should see;

I wanted one and my sister another,

And both of us hated the choice of our brother.

And we probably all would be arguing yet

If our dad hadn't come in and turned off the set.

So we put on pajamas, curled up on his bed,

And he read us a wonderful story instead!

It's funny how quickly an argument ends...

And to think that we thought that we'd never be friends!

A day or two later, it wasn't much more,

A great big new family moved in right next door;

How many were in it we couldn't quite tell,

But they each played an instrument -- not very well!

One played a tuba and one a bassoon.

They practiced all morning and all afternoon.

They practiced all evening and all through the night,

And they kept us from sleeping, and that wasn't right.

So we got out of bed with a hippety-hop,

And we marched off together to beg them to stop.

But when we arrived there, they asked us to play,

And they did it so nicely that what could we say?

I took a whistle, my sister a flute,

And my brother a trumpet that gave a loud toot.

My dad took a bugle, my mother a drum,

And we all forgot totally why we had come!

It's funny how quickly an argument ends...

And to think that we thought that we'd never be friends!

We marched down the street, and each person we passed

Loudly complained at our earsplitting blast.

They begged us to deaden our deafening din

Until we invited them all to join in!

We offered them boxes and kettles and spoons,

And once they were playing, they all changed their tunes!

They all were so pleased by the music we made

That they became part of our splendid parade.

More and more people stepped right into place,

More and more people kept up with our pace,

Strutting and striding and stamping their feet,

Marching in time to the drums' steady beat.

Friends who had squabbled and even stopped talking

Settled their differences once they were walking,

Smiled at each other and marched hand in hand,

Keeping the beat of our wonderful band.

And then we could hardly believe what we saw--

Dog and Cat enemies marched paw in paw!

And when our procession arrived at the zoo,

Lions and tigers joined in with us, too!

It's funny how quickly unfriendliness ends...

And to think that we thought they could never be friends!

Excerpted from AND TO THINK THAT WE THOUGHT THAT WE'D NEVER BE FRIENDS. Text copyright (copyright symbol) 1999 by Mary Ann Hoberman. Illustrations copyright (copyright symbol) 1999 by Kevin Hawkes. Published by arrangement with Crown Publishers, Inc., a division of Random House, Inc.

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