From Religious Education Administrator Sarah Sutherland:
Last month I wrote about all the fun games children are playing now that spring is here, this month Janeen Grohsmeyer’s story, Playing Fair, talks about our Fifth Principle, ‘All People Need a Vote’. Her story speaks to all of us as youngsters about how we voted for the games we played and was it fair that Julie got to play dodgeball whenever she wanted and Sam never got to play basketball and that he didn’t have a voice in what they played. You will see in this story that Alex, Tabitha, and Shina had the same thing occur, but in the end what do you think they worked out as a compromise?
Fifth Principle: All People Need a Vote:
Playing Fair By: Janeen K. Grohsmeyer
It was a warm summer evening, in that glorious time between supper being over and having to get ready for bed, when the fire flies start to appear one by one, three children went outside to play.
“But what should we play?” asked Tabitha, who was the oldest of them all (by four months and two days). She had bright shiny braces and beads braided into her hair.
“Let’s play tag,” said Alex, who was the next oldest (by two months and fifteen days). He always wore his baseball hat sideways, and he always wore his T-shirt tucked in.
“Let’s play hide-and-seek,” said Shina who was the youngest of the three. She had three braids in her long dark hair, two little braids in front on either side of her face and one bigger braid that hung down her back.
“Tag,” said Alex.
“Hide-and-seek,” said Shina.
“Stop it!” said Tabitha, stomping her foot and crossing her arms. “Let’s vote.”
Shina looked at Alex, and Alex looked at Shina, and then they both said, “Okay.”
“We can have secret ballots and everything!” said Tabitha, and she ran inside her house then brought back paper and pencils and a shoebox with a skinny hole cut in the top.
Shina took her piece of paper and wrote “Hide-and-Seek” in neat and careful letters. Then she folded her paper and put it through the skinny hole into the box. Alex and Tabitha were already done.
“Right! Now we count them, said Tabitha, and she took the lid off the box and unfolded each paper. “Tag, hide-and-seek, tag. It’s two to one. Tag wins.”
“Okay!” said Shina, and the three of them played tag until their parents called them inside to get ready for bed.
The next night, Tabitha brought the shoebox and they voted again. “It’s two to one!” announced Tabitha. “Tag wins.”
Shina sighed. “Okay.”
Tag won the next night, too. And the night after that, and the night after that. “It’s not fair!” Shina said. “But we voted on it.” Alex replied, and that was true. And besides, they lived in a democratic country, and in a democracy, voting was the way to decide.
“It’s still not fair,” Shina muttered and to the new night, when tag won again, she decided not to play.
“Oh, come on!” said Tabitha. “Tag isn’t fun with only two people.”
“Tag isn’t fun at all,” Shina said darkly. “I’m tired of playing tag. I quit.”
Tabitha looked at Alex, and Alex looked at Tabitha, and then they both looked at Shina, who wouldn’t look at either of them at all. Tabitha jingled the beads braided into her hair. Alex turned his baseball hat so it pointed the other way. Then Alex said, “Well, maybe instead of voting all the time, we could take turns.”
Shina looked up. “Take turns?”
“Yeah. Two nights playing tag because there are two of us who like to play it, then one night playing hide-and-seek because there is one of you.”
“We could start tonight!” said Tabitha. “We could even play hide-and-seek for a couple of nights in a row, because we haven’t played it yet at all. How’s that sound, Shina?”
“That sounds great!” Shina said. “I’m going to go hide!”
“Me, too!” said Alex. “That means you’re It. Tabitha” and he and Shina ran off to hide, while Tabitha closed her eyes and counted slow, and sometimes a little too fast. When she got to one hundred, she yelled, “Ready or not, here I come.”
And on that warm summer evening, in the glorious time between supper being over and having to get ready for bed, as the fireflies appeared one by one, the three children played outside until their parents called them home.