Marisol's Story
written by Marisol

Julia added another splotch of paint to the canvas. There. Her panda looked great. She backed off to admire it and elbowed a can of paint, which spilled all over her smock. She stared at the once-blue-now-purple old T-shirt.

Uh oh, she thought. I'm going to get in BIG trouble.

She yanked the shirt off and tossed it on the bed. Now dressed in a summery pink princess dress, she went back to painting. A smack of paint there, a dribble--oops!--there...

"Oh, do-dee-do, banana low, da dee da dee," she sang as she worked. "Da da da dee, do dee, sweet land of liberty..."

Footsteps thumped nearby. Julia paused. She hoped no one was coming, and that she wouldn't accidentally shove the canvas over again and ruin the surprise.

They didn't and she didn't, so she went back to her art and her song.

"Land where the chickens cried, land where my fathers flied!" she added a signature handprint to the picture. Then she realized there was still paint on her hand. Looking around, she also noticed there was no napkin nearby.

Oh, well. She wiped her hand on her dress. Pulling out her paintbrush, she knocked over another paint can.

Great. Well, it was just a dress-up dress anyways. She added two more splatches and another splootch and stood back again. She tripped on the can and landed in a puddle of paint. She stood up. Her dress was soaked. After a moment's thought, she pulled off the dress and went back to painting in only her undershirt and a slip.

Downstairs, the front door slammed shut and a voice called, "I'm home!"

Julia painted faster. two, no, one more stroke, and it was done. Just in time, too, someone was coming up the stairs.

The person entered. "Why, hello--" she stopped and stared. "What in the world..."

Britney launched herself at Julia. "Hi, Julia, I made a painting for you as a surprise, and I was make-believing I was you, so I painted and got my smock messy just like you do, and I finished my painting right before you came!"

Julia looked at the canvas.

"It's a panda, Julia, because I like pandas 'cause they're so snuggly and sweet and eat bark!"

Julia glanced at the messy floor, her almost bare sister, and the colorful splotch of paint on the canvas that could have passed for a car accident. Then she smiled and gave Britney a hug.

"Thank you, Britney. I love it," she said. Britney kissed her, and Julia hugged her tighter. Then she let go and stared into Britney's eyes. "Now, why don't we give you a bath?"


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