Authors: Megan McDonald
“There’s Dad,” said Stink.
“Thanks a lot,” said Dad.
“No. I mean like Cleopatra’s eyelash,” said Judy. “Or a hammer used to build the Statue of Liberty. You know. Stuff old enough to be really worth something.”
“Stuff you didn’t know you had and you find out you’re rich?” Stink grinned. “Like antiques from your great-great-great-grandmother? You go on TV and they tell you it’s worth a bunch of money.”
“I’m afraid nobody’s going to get rich around here. Our old stuff is junk,” said Dad.
“ROAR,” said Judy. She pulled the stem off another cherry.
If only she had something unusual. Really rare. Like maybe a broken plate from another century, or an old letter from the American Revolution.
“So, what’s happening in school these days?” Dad asked.
Judy sat up. Had Dad heard about the white cards? “What do you mean?”
“I mean, is anything interesting going on?”
“Can I stay after school Friday?” asked Judy. “Mr. Todd says I can help clean the fish tank.”
“P-U,” said Stink.
“We’ll see if Mom can pick you up. How about you, Stink?”
Judy popped another cherry into her mouth.
“We learned this funny story about George Washington,” said Stink. “It’s about not telling a lie.”
Judy chomped down on the cherry.
“See, he chopped down this cherry tree. And when his dad asked who did it, Washington said, ‘I cannot tell a lie.’ And he told on himself.”
Judy almost choked. She spit out her cherry pit. It went zinging across the table at Stink.
“Hey,” said Stink. “She spit at me.”
“It was an accident,” said Judy.
“Judy!” said Dad.
“Okay. Okay. I cannot tell a lie. I coughed a cherry pit at Stink.”
“Pick up the cherry pit,” said Dad.
Judy reached under Stink’s chair and picked it up off the floor.
“No fair,” said Judy. “Why should anyone get famous for telling a lie? The whole story about the lie is a lie!”
“Most people don’t realize it’s not true,” said Dad.
“It’s still a good story,” said Stink.
Judy turned the cherry pit over and over. It gave her a brilliant Judy-Moody-Gets-Famous idea. A two-hundred-fifty-year-old idea.
Judy took the cherry pit upstairs to her room. She got out her hair dryer, and turned it on HIGH.
“What are you doing?” asked Stink, who had followed her upstairs.
“What does it look like?” said Judy. “I’m blow-drying my cherry pit.”
“You’re nuts,” said Stink.
After he left, Judy got out the tiny hammer from her doctor kit, the one for testing reflexes. She tapped on the cherry pit to give it scars, so it would look old. Very, very old. Next she took a pin and carved the initials GW on the bottom. Then, she took out her clear plastic bug-box, the one with the magnifying glass on top, and put the cherry pit inside for safekeeping, initials-side up.
“Rare!” said Judy. And that was the truth.
On the afternoon of the garage sale, Stink had his own table filled with tub toys, rusty Matchbox cars, Lincoln Logs, a rubber band ball, Shrinky Dinks that had already been shrunk, paper cooties, broken rhythm instruments, and glow-in-the-dark bugs he made with his Creepy Crawlers machine.
“Stink, nobody is going to buy that stuff,” Judy told him.
“Yeah, right,” said Stink. “And they’re going to buy air?” he said, pointing to Judy’s empty table.
“You’ll see,” said Judy. “I have something better than junk.” She covered her table with a midnight blue tablecloth that looked like velvet. She put up a sign:
Then she set her magnifying bug-box in the middle of the table. Inside was —
— the FAMOUS cherry pit.
Judy added one more line to her sign:
5¢ A LOOK
She could hardly sit still. She wondered how long it would take the newspaper people to come take her picture with the two-hundred-fifty-year-old cherry pit.
Little kids put a nickel in the can and said, “Wow, is that REALLY from George Washington’s cherry tree?”
“I cannot tell a lie,” said Judy. “It is!”
“Where’d you get it?” they asked.
“It’s been in the family forever.”
“Forever since last week,” said Stink. Judy turned on him with her stinging caterpillar look.
“How do you know it’s really George Washington’s?” they asked.
“Just look,” said Judy. She opened the lid and lifted out the cherry pit. “It says GW right here. See?”
“Let me see,” said a girl named Hannah. She showed her little brother. “GW. It’s just like M&M’s.”
“M&M’s!” said the boy, and popped the pit into his mouth.
“Ricky, NO!” said his older sister. But it was too late.
“Spit!” said Judy.
“Spit it out, Ricky!” said Hannah.
“Oh, no! Did he swallow it?” asked Judy. “Stick your finger in his mouth. Is it still in there?”
“It’s gone,” said Hannah. “Say you’re sorry, Ricky.”
“M&M’s. Yum,” said Ricky.
“This is the pits,” said Judy. “Now what am I going to do when the newspaper comes?”
“Duh. Make another one?” said Stink.
Judy groaned. Judy moaned. In one gulp, that kid had swallowed her famous two-hundred-fifty-year-old George Washington cherry pit. In one gulp, Ricky the neighbor kid had swallowed Judy Moody’s ticket to fame.
The only picture of
cherry pit would be an X-ray.