Ruben and Beatrice

Ruben wanted a new pet – a lizard from New Zealand. He had seen it in a magazine. His sister Beatrice said she wanted one, too.

“The only reason you want a new lizard is because I do,” Ruben told Beatrice.

It wasn’t true. Beatrice wanted her own pet. It wasn’t fair for Ruben to get a new pet if she could not get one. She was deeply offended by his remark.

“You are not my brother,” she declared before stomping away.

She found her mother in the sewing room.

“Mother,” Beatrice said, “I want to order a lizard from New Zealand. I saw it in a magazine.”

Beatrice hoped she would get the lizard, and Ruben would not.

“Beatrice,” her mother said, “where is the salamander that you brought home from the creek yesterday?”

“I do not know,” Beatrice replied.

“If you do not know where your salamander is, then why do you want a lizard? Go and find your salamander.”

Beatrice left the sewing room disappointed. She still wanted a new lizard.

She found Ruben in his bedroom feeding his goldfish.

“Ruben,” Beatrice asked, “why do you want the lizard from New Zealand?”

“So I can name it Tom,” Ruben replied. “I’ve always wanted a lizard named Tom.”

“What should I name my lizard?” Beatrice asked him.

“You are not getting a new lizard,” he replied. “I am.”

“Can I get another salamander?” she asked.

“Yep,” he said.

“Will you catch it for me?”

“Sure.”

“What should I name it?” Beatrice asked.

Ruben told her to make a list of her favorite names, but she could not do it because she could not spell the names, so she told Ruben her favorite names and he wrote the list.

He added a few of his own favorites as well.

Then Ruben and Beatrice got their nets and their buckets and went to the creek to catch Beatrice another salamander.

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