Ivy and Bean
BEAN HATCHES A PLAN
It all began because Bean was playing a trick on her older sister.
Bean’s older sister was named Nancy. She was eleven. Nancy thought Bean was a pain and a pest. Bean thought Nancy was a booger-head. Ever since she turned eleven, Nancy had been acting like she was Bean’s mother. She ordered Bean around in a grown-up voice: “Comb your hair.” “No more pretzels.” “Brush your teeth.” “Say please.”
Bean’s mother said that Nancy was going through a stage. Bean knew what that meant. That meant Nancy was bossy. Bean also knew that nobody likes bossy kids, so she was trying to help Nancy be done with her stage. Here’s how she helped: She bugged Nancy until Nancy freaked out. Bean thought this was pretty helpful.
The afternoon that Bean got her great idea, she was shopping with her mom and Nancy.Actually, Bean was being dragged along by her mom and Nancy. Bean hated shopping. Nancy loved, loved, loved it.
Nancy was trying on skirts. Lots of skirts. She put on a purple skirt. She looked at her front in the mirror. Then she turned to the side. Then she turned around and tried to look at her behind.
“Looks good,” said Bean. “Let’s go.”
“Be patient just a little longer, Bean,” said Bean’s mother. “I think it’s cute, honey,” she said to Nancy.
Nancy looked in the mirror some more. “Do you think the pockets are dumb?”
“I like the pockets,” said Bean’s mom.
“Get it, get it, get it!” moaned Bean. She had never been so bored in her entire life. She was so bored she fell on the floor. Then she took a tiny peek up at the lady in the dressing room next door.
“Get up, Bean!” said her mother. “This minute.”
Bean got up and sat on the triangle seat again. She waited. Nancy looked at herself.
“I kind of like it,” Nancy said. “But it costs forty dollars. That’s all my money. I could get two shirts for forty dollars.”
“Don’t be a tightwad,” said Bean. She had just learned that word. It meant someone who didn’t like to spend money.
“Don’t call your sister a tightwad,” said Bean’s mom.
Bean saw Nancy’s eyes looking at her in the mirror. “Tightwad,” Bean mouthed without any sound. Nancy’s eyes got narrow, and so quick that their mother didn’t see, she stuck out her tongue. Then Nancy turned to their mother and said, “I think the skirt costs too much, Mom. I think I’d rather try on some tops.”
Bean knew then that Nancy was being slow on purpose. Just to drive her crazy.
Bean thought about kicking her in the shin. But then she got the idea. It was a great idea. It was also a helpful idea, one that would teach Nancy not to be such a tightwad. And best of all, her idea would make Nancy freak out. “You’ll be sorry,” Bean mouthed to Nancy.
THE GHOST OF PANCAKE COURT
Bean was hiding inside a big, round bush in her front yard. The bush was right next to the sidewalk, and it was very scratchy and sticky inside, but Bean needed to be in the bush for her plan to work. Here’s how Bean’s plan went: She took a $20 bill out of Nancy’s purse and taped a long thread to it. She put the $20 bill on the sidewalk. Then she held on to the otherend of the thread and climbed into the bush. Nancy would be coming home from school soon. She would see the money on the sidewalk. She would bend down to pick it up. Bean would quickly pull the money away. And then Nancy would freak out. Bean could hardly wait.
There was only one problem. Nancy didn’t come. Bean sat inside the bush for a long time. A branch poked her arm. Leaves fell down her shirt. She itched. She waited. Nothing happened. It was very quiet. Bean was hardly ever this quiet for this long. Because there was nothing else to do, she looked at the house across the street. Really, it wasn’t across the street. It was around the street. Bean loved her street. The first reason was its name: Pancake Court. The second reason was thatit ended in a big circle right in front of Bean’s house. Her dad called it a cul-de-sac. Bean called it cool. If Bean started riding her bicycle at the end of the block and pedaled really, really hard, she could whiz around the circle, tilting low over the sidewalk like a motorcycle racer.
Bean looked up. She saw Ivy come out onto her front porch and plop down on the top step. Bean squinted at her. Ivy looked strange. She wasn’t wearing a dress today. She was wearing a black bathrobe with lots of little pieces
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