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Authors: Judy Delton

Eggs with Legs

BOOK: Eggs with Legs
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Published by

Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers

a division of

Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

1540 Broadway

New York, New York 10036

Text copyright © 1996 by Judy Delton

Illustrations copyright © 1996 by Alan Tiegreen

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law.

The trademarks Yearling
®
and Dell
®
are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries.

eISBN: 978-0-307-83291-7

v3.1

For Beverly Vavoulis
Lexiphanic, orthodontic, lethonomic,
Sesquipedalic, yardarmic, defenestratic:
Words are our bond, our life and our end.
Thank you, dear Beverly, for being my friend.

CHAPTER
1
The Fake Holiday

“D
o you know what day it is next week?” asked Molly Duff.

“Sure, I know,” said Sonny Stone. “It’s Sunday. That’s a day next week!”

“And Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday!” said Tracy Barnes, laughing.

“And Thursday and Friday and Saturday!” said Tim Noon. “Those are all days that come next week!”

The Pee Wees were on their way to their meeting at Mrs. Peters’s house. She was their leader. They were early, so they sat
on a park bench in the sun because spring felt so good. The snow was gone and they were all eager for summer, when they could ride bikes and go to the beach and eat Popsicles.

“That’s not what I mean,” said Molly. “There’s a holiday next week.”

“What holiday?” asked Rachel Myers. “There’s no holiday. Christmas is over and it’s not the Fourth of July yet.”

“You mean Easter, I’ll bet,” said Kevin Moe.

Molly liked Kevin. He and Jody George were her two favorites of the boys in Troop 23. Jody was handicapped and had a wheelchair Molly loved to ride in. She even wished she had one of her own.

Jody was away on a spring trip with his parents in Florida. His family did a lot of traveling. But Kevin was here, and Molly was almost ready to say Easter
was
the holiday she meant. But she couldn’t lie. Even though no one would know.

She shook her head and said, “No, it’s April Fools’ Day.”

Roger White groaned. “That’s no holiday!” he said. “Where do you see ads that say ‘Celebrate April Fools’ with us,’ or ‘Give your mom a tulip plant for April Fools’ Day’?”

The Pee Wees all seemed to agree with Roger.

“We don’t get the day off from school,” said Rachel.

“And they don’t even make cards that say ‘Happy April Fools’ Day,’ ” said Patty Baker. “I never saw them, anyway. It must be kind of like a fake holiday.”

“If it were a real holiday,” said Lisa Ronning, “Mrs. Peters would have a Pee Wee party for us. And what would she
put on a cake? What does an April Fool look like?”

Kenny Baker nodded. “On the Fourth of July you can have red-white-and-blue frosting. And on Christmas you have red and green, and on Easter you have candy eggs and rabbits. But there’s nothing you can put on an April Fools’ cake. No way. April Fools’ is not a holiday.”

The Pee Wees looked bored and disgusted with Molly’s idea. They began to talk about other things, like the ice rink that had melted and the crabby new teacher in second grade.

“I think April Fools’
is
a holiday,” said Molly’s best friend, Mary Beth Kelly.

It felt good to Molly to have at least one person who agreed with her. But maybe Mary Beth was just being loyal. Maybe she felt sorry for Molly. Maybe she really believed it was a silly idea but didn’t want
to hurt her best friend’s feelings. Molly
hated
pity.

“I mean, it’s on the calendar, you know. My calendar says ‘April Fools’ Day,’ as big as life. If that’s not proof, I don’t know what is.”

But Molly did not need proof. She
knew
she was right.

“It doesn’t matter if the others don’t celebrate,” Mary Beth added. “You and I can. What should we do?”

“Well, the way people celebrate is to play tricks on each other,” said Molly. “I think we should think of a good one to play on Roger.”

Roger White was the meanest Pee Wee in Troop 23. He was always tripping people or hitting them, or showing off. On a recent farm visit, he had pushed Tracy into the muddy pigpen.

The girls looked at him. He was dangling a rubber spider down the neck of Sonny’s T-shirt. Sonny was screaming.

“He deserves a good trick,” said Mary Beth. “Let’s think of something spectacular!”

“He’ll do something mean to get back at us, though,” said Molly.

“Not if he doesn’t know who did it,” said Mary Beth. “Where can we find some tricks to play? Do you think there’s a book of April Fools’ tricks?”

“I think we can make up our own,” said Molly mysteriously.

She got up and started down the street to Mrs. Peters’s house, and Mary Beth and the others followed. When they got there, they went down Mrs. Peters’s steps and into her basement. On top of the big table where they had their meetings was a big pink plastic rabbit. It was inflatable, and it had an orange carrot in its plastic paw.

“Well!” said their leader. “It’s a shame to be indoors on such a nice day. If the backyard wasn’t so muddy, we could have our meeting outside. But we’ll just open up the windows and let some of the spring come in.”

After she did this, she counted to be sure all eleven Pee Wees were present, and then she said, “There are two holidays coming up soon, and I thought we would talk about them and see if we can do something special to celebrate.”

“See,” whispered Mary Beth. “Mrs. Peters is going to tell us how to celebrate April Fools’ day!”

Everyone there wondered if Molly was right—maybe this
was
one of the holidays Mrs. Peters had in mind.

CHAPTER
2
The Big Plan

“T
he first holiday that is coming up,” Mrs. Peters said, “is Easter. And I thought we might dye eggs and make baskets for shut-ins.

“The other one is Mother’s Day. And of course we want to do something nice for our mothers.”

Mrs. Peters had let Molly down! All the Pee Wees looked at Molly, as if to say “See, I told you so! April Fools’ Day isn’t a holiday!”

“Hey, Roger can’t celebrate Mother’s Day!” shouted Sonny. “He doesn’t have a mother. You have to have a mother to celebrate.”

Roger looked angry. He didn’t like to be told he was missing anything, especially anything as important as a mother. Molly felt a little sorry for him. A trick was one thing, but to hurt his feelings was another.

“Tim doesn’t have a dad either,” Roger shouted to Sonny. “What is
he
going to do on Father’s Day?”

Mrs. Peters held up her arms in alarm. “Often,” she said, “people have others who take the role of a parent. Like an aunt, or a friend, or an uncle. It doesn’t have to be an actual parent.”

“Mrs. Peters has opened up a can of worms now,” whispered Rachel to Molly. “This is one of those social issues people
don’t want to face. My mom told me so,” she added wisely. “My mom’s going to school to get a degree in psychology. She’s going to be a psychologist.”

Rachel’s dad was a dentist. Sometimes Rachel liked to show off and brag about her family, but she could also be a very good friend. When Molly had shared her pen pal with Rachel, she had been very grateful. And when Molly’s dad had lost his job, Rachel’s mother had sent a nice dinner over to the Duffs to cheer them up.

“Now that her mom’s in school, she thinks she knows everything,” whispered Mary Beth to Molly.

“Well, she’s right, you know,” said Molly. “Mrs. Peters did open up a can of worms.”

Roger’s eyes were red now, and so were Tim’s. What would their leader do? Maybe Rachel would have to phone her
mother and have her come to the meeting and bring her textbooks and help out!

“It wasn’t Mrs. Peters’s fault,” said Mary Beth. “It was Sonny’s. He had to go and yell at Roger about not having a mother.”

Mrs. Peters took the “can of worms” into the laundry room. She put her arms around Roger and Tim and talked to them privately. When they came back they were smiling. At least a little.

Mrs. Peters went on with the meeting as if there had been no can of worms.

“I think it’s time we start planning what we will do for these two holidays, Pee Wee–wise,” she said. “Besides celebrating, we want to do something to help others, and to earn a holiday badge. I thought we could combine the two days and get one badge, called a spring badge.”

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