An Unhappy Day

Becky Lynn always liked Sunday noon because that was the time when she got to eat lunch with both her mom and dad. "Mom, what are you doing today?"

"I need to finish cleaning the house, and then mow the lawn. I'm afraid I'll be awful busy this afternoon."

"Oh." Becky Lynn didn't sound happy. "How about you, dad?"

"I have to finish rebuilding the transmission in your mom's car, so she can buy groceries and take your grandmother to the doctor this week."

"Oh." It didn't sound like they would be any fun today. "What are these?"

"They're lima beans. Try them. You might surprise yourself!"

After lunch, Becky Lynn decided she didn't like Sunday noon anymore. She went outside to play with her dog. "Otis, why do you keep sniffing around the shed like that? Leave those squirrels alone! Let's play!" But Otis was in more of a sniffing and searching mood than a fetching and chasing mood, so Becky Lynn went next door to play tag with her friends.

Jack and Jenny were already playing hide and seek, and they didn't want to switch to tag.

"But I want to play tag!"

"But we don't!"

Becky Lynn marched back home and sat on the back steps.

"I don't like anything about today! I don't like what everyone's doing! I don't like this house! I don't like the sky! I don't even like my own name! Maybe I should be Becky Lee?"

She tried out her new name on Otis. "Hello, sir. I'm Becky Lee. I'm very important, and everyone does whatever I want!" But Otis's nose was still busy under the shed.

"Maybe if I were Becky Jean?"

She went back to her friends next door and introduced herself.

"No, you're not. You're Becky Lynn! You can't just change your name. It's against the rules!"

"Yes, I can."

"No, you can't."

"Yes, I can!"

"No, you can't!"


Becky Lynn came back home and paced around the backyard.

"Becky Lee? Becky Jean? Becky Sue? Becky Otis?" Her dog looked up at the sound of his name, and Becky gazed thoughtfully into his brown, questioning eyes. "No, not Becky Otis. Becky Ann? Becky Mae? Becky Lou?

"Stop! What kind of little girl would spend all day changing her name? This is the stupidest story you've written so far!"

Becky Lynn?

"Yes, you! You're a stupid writer, and you make up stupid-poopid stories, so I'm taking over this story!"

Becky Lynn, you can't do that. I'm writing this story.

"I can so take over the story, because I am the story! Now let's see. Becky Lynn was a superhero! And her superpowers were so great that everyone in the world did whatever she wanted! Even moms and dads and presidents!"

Becky Lynn!

"She could fly through the air, and lift the whole world--even the shed! She could see through everything, hear through everything, smell through everything, and her superhero suit was so beautiful that everyone wanted to be just like her, so they only did what she told them to do. They were just like puppets to her! Even the dogs and the squirrels and the lima beans!"

Becky Lynn, I don't really think you'd like to live in a world where all the other people were puppets. And besides, you're just a character in a story yourself. I'm the real person here.

"Don't call me Becky Lynn! My name is Becky Ann ... or Becky Lee ... or Becky Jean ... or Becky .... Well anyway, maybe I'll make up a story about you. Then I'll be the real one, and you can spend all day in these stupid stories. OK? Once upon a time there was a stupid-poopid writer, and he made up stupid-poopid stories about stupid-poopid people, and none of them were superheros! Well, what do you think about that? Huh? Mr. Writer? Hello? Are you still there? Mr. Writer? Mom? Dad? Otis? Anyone? Help! Help! Help!"

"Just what are you two doing in my closet, young lady? And why is Otis napping on my best outfit?"

Becky Lynn looked up with a smile. "This isn't a closet, mom! It's a world! And that's not Otis, he's the writer who made us up! He's the only one who's real here. The rest of us are just characters in his story!"

Becky Lynn's mom looked into Otis's puppy dog eyes. "Well, he's the goofiest looking writer I've ever seen!"

"Oh, he's not goofy; he's as handsome as a prince. He's tall and brave and he saves the kingdom every evening, just before dinner!"

Becky Lynn's mom picked her up in a big hug. "Now that's a tall tale, young lady! A handsome writer! Imagine!"