Authors: Patrick Lewis,Christopher Denise
That's What Friends Are For
Written by J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrated by Christopher Denise
For Selis, with love, Grandpat
For Asher and Erin, Chris
Margie Barge's Tears
Teeny and Tugg ran through the jungle to join their friends for an early morning bath. But instead of being in the waterhole, everyone was standing around it. The water was full of air bubbles.
“Do you hear somebody crying, Tugg?” Teeny asked.
Up out of the water burst Margie Barge. She was blubbering big, wet tears.
“What's the matter, Margie Barge?” asked Tugg. “Are you hurt? Are you in pain?”
“Y-Yes and y-yes,” she cried. “Just look at me, Tugg. Have you ever seen so many chins? I ate f-far too much g-grass and water plants, and now look at m-me!”
“Well, you are a hippo after all,” said Teeny. “I thought hippos were happy being large.”
“Do you know what âhippopotamus' means?” Margie Barge asked. “It means âriver horse.' And that's me.” She started to cry again.
Tugg had an idea. He whispered something to Teeny, who scampered off into the jungle.
“Well, Margie,” said Tugg, “at least you do not have hair all over like me! No one can tell my front from my back!”
The other animals started to speak up.
Tina Hyena laughed loud and long. “Have you ever heard a laugh like that, Margie? It is so annoying that sometimes instead of laughing I feel like crying.”
“Listen, Margie,” said Barb Hedgehog. “You should be glad you do not have prickles like mine all over your body. Why, I even scare Rory Lion!”
Margie Barge's smile was returning. She did not feel quite so bad anymore.
Just then Teeny returned. “Margie, meet Henry! He's new to the neighborhood.”