Benjy learns a colorful lesson from a box of crayons.

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Benjy stomped up the back steps. His lunch box clunked as he set it on the kitchen table.


How could Benjy make friends with Dexter?“Hi, Benjy,” Mom said. “How was school today?”


“Awful!” Benjy said, pulling off his jacket.


“Oh? What happened?”


“Dexter dumped my crayons on my desk, and they fell on the floor. The tips broke off two of them. He makes me mad.”


“What did Miss Herrmann do?” Mom asked.


“She kept me in for recess,” Benjy said.


“She kept you in for recess?”


Benjy took an apple from a bowl. “She wanted to know why I yelled.”Benjy's Crayons


“Oh-h,” Mom said. “What else did she say?”


“I have to do something nice for Dexter so we can be friends.” Benjy bit into the apple.


“What are you going to do?” Mom asked.


“I think I’ll dump his crayons,” Benjy said.


During recess the next morning Benjy built a castle in a corner of the sandbox. Scott was building a castle in another corner. Dexter and Pete were watching Scott. All of a sudden Dexter stuck his foot into Scott’s castle.


“You wrecked my castle!” Scott yelled.


Dexter smiled.


“That was mean,” Pete said to Dexter. “Why did you do that?”


Benjy's Crayons“I like to hear Scott yell,” Dexter said.


Benjy stared at Dexter and thought, “I wonder if Dexter would be mean to Scott if Scott didn’t yell.”


Then he thought, “Maybe Dexter likes to hear me yell!”


That afternoon, Benjy worked at the computer. When he walked back to his desk, he saw Dexter standing there smiling. Dexter reached for Benjy’s crayon box and dumped his crayons on his desk. They rolled onto the floor.


Benjy felt angry, but he said to himself, “I’m not going to yell. That’s what Dexter wants me to do.” When he began to pick up his crayons, Scott helped him. That made Benjy feel better. “Thanks, Scott,” he said.


After school, Benjy climbed the back steps. His lunch box clunked as he set it on the kitchen table.


Benjy's Crayons“How was school today?” Mom asked.


“OK.” Benjy sat down at the kitchen table and reached for a cookie. “Dexter dumped my crayons,” he said.


“Oh? What did you do?”


“I picked them up,” Benjy said. “I didn’t yell.”


“Great!” Mom said. “Is Dexter your friend now?”


“Nope!”


“Why not?” Mom asked.


“I still want to dump his crayons.” He took a big bite of the cookie.


At school the next day Benjy heard some crayons fall to the floor. A few of them rolled under his desk. Dexter got down on his knees to pick up the crayons. “They’re Dexter’s!” Benjy thought. “Well, he can pick up his own crayons.”


Then Benjy remembered how Scott had helped him pick up his crayons. He remembered how glad he had felt. Slowly Benjy bent down. He picked up the crayons that had rolled under his desk. He gave them to Dexter.


Benjy's CrayonsDexter’s eyes opened wide, and his mouth dropped open.


“Thanks,” he said, taking the crayons. He looked Benjy straight in the eyes.


“Can we be friends?” Dexter asked.


Benjy grinned. “Sure,” he said.