This is a story about friendship.

Every night, before the children slept, Dad would tell them a story. Dad was a writer, so children always asked for a story before going to sleep.

“I’m going to tell you a short story about Charlie,” said Dad.

The story went like this:

Charlie was a girl with long brown hair. She was very intelligent and well behaved but nobody noticed this. Her father was always working in his workshop, her mother was always very busy with household chores and her brothers were too big to play with her, so little Charlie was alone.

But this did not discourage her. She fearlessly and joyfully skipped from one place to another, picked fruit from the trees when she could, used her imagination to build toys and had fun watching television programs. Although no one played with the little Charlie, she always found a way to have fun.

However, she still felt a little sad.

When she went to school, it was the same. It was very difficult for her to talk to other children, because they always made fun of her. She was different from them, because she was very good and well behaved. She was smarter than most children, more creative and the teachers noticed this, which also bothered the other children. For this reason, Charlie decided not to try to approach them, because they were very mean to her.

One day, it happened that Charlie was doing a very nice drawing in class, but she really wanted to go to the bathroom. She also very badly wanted to finish the drawing, so she tried to finish it as quickly as she could, but she could not finish it because her little shorts accidentally got dirty. The rest of the children realised this and they started laughing at her. The teacher was not in class, so there was no one to defend Charlie. The girl ran with tears in her eyes towards the bathroom. Inside, she cried. It seemed unfair that everyone treated her badly and made fun of her, because an accident could have happened to anyone.

Charlie thought about hiding in the bathroom until the teacher realised what had happened and went to look for her. Yes, she decided that that was what she would do.

But then, something happened.

Another kid entered the bathroom. Her name was Manu and she was in the same class with Charlie.

Manu was holding an extra pair of shorts and she gave them to Charlie, she also gave her soap.

“Here, clean yourself in the sink. Mom always gives me soap to wash my hands after eating,” the girl said.

Charlie had never spoken to her before, but she had never mocked her either. She accepted the soap and shorts. She washed, put on her new clothes and threw her dirty ones in the trash. Charlie realised that Manu’s shorts were a size too big. After doing this, she noticed that Manu had dirt from the garden on her own shorts.

“But you cannot go back to the classroom like that,” Charlie said, “the class will make fun of you.”

“I do not care,” Manu replied, “I do not want them to keep laughing at you. You are a very good girl”.

Manu took her hand and they walked towards the class room. When they arrived, the other children noticed that Manu had dirty shorts on while Charlie was wearing shorts that were a size too big. They started laughing at them. But Manu and  Charlie sat together, not listening to the laughter. When the children saw that none of this offended Manu and Charlie they stopped mocking them.

From that day, they stopped messing with the little girl.

Manu and Charlie became very close friends even when they grew into adults.

Dad ended the story.

“So you know, kids. Never let bad people discourage you. Sometimes, when you are very good, people will bother you. But if you do not listen to them, they will get tired and stop doing it! If they don’t stop then you have to tell your teacher and your parents.”

“Yes!” The children answered.

The father kissed them on the forehead and said good night. That night, just like every night, the children slept happily because their father the writer had told them a very beautiful story.

 

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