Annie wants to be a clown for Halloween, but there is just one problem . . .

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Annie could be a . . .“What happened to your eye, honey?” asked the crossing guard when Annie and Mom were on their way to school. Annie hid her face against Mom’s leg. The patch covering her left eye looked like a big bandage.

“Annie’s right eye doesn’t work hard enough,” said Mom. “Covering her left eye makes her right eye work harder. She’ll wear a patch until Thanksgiving.”

Next Saturday was Halloween. Annie wanted to dress up as a clown. Her best friend at school, Swati, frowned when Annie told her.

“Clowns don’t wear eye patches,” said Swati. “Be a mummy. You could wrap a bandage over the patch, and no one would know you.”

“I don’t want to be a mummy,” said Annie. “I want to be a clown.”

“Clowns don’t wear eye patches,” said Annie’s big brother, Greg. “Be Cyclops, the one-eyed monster. Cyclops ate up sailors.”or a . . .

“I don’t want to be a monster,” said Annie. “I want to be a clown.”

“Clowns don’t wear eye patches,” said the checker at the Sav-a-Lot Grocery. “Paint your patch black and be a fierce pirate.”

“Yes!” said Greg. “A fierce pirate with a parrot.”

“Pirates are mean,” said Annie. “I want to be a funny clown.”

or a . . .“You could be a movie star,” said Mom. “Movie stars dress up in fancy clothes. And they wear sunglasses. Your eye patch would never show.”

“I just want to be a clown,” said Annie.

So Mom got Annie a green clown suit with purple dots.

On Halloween Annie put on her clown suit. She looked in the mirror. She saw a big eye patch with a clown suit.

“We could still make you a movie star,” said Mom. Annie just looked in the mirror.

or a . . .“You could still be a mummy,” said Swati, who had come over to show Annie her princess costume.

Greg looked at Swati and at Mom. He looked at Annie. Her face was sad and red.

“You could still be Cyclops,” he said. “Or you could paint a patch black and be a fierce pirate. Except you want to be a clown, don’t you?”

A tear trickled from under Annie’s patch. Mom got a new patch.

Annie looked at the box of patches. Suddenly she smiled. “I have an idea,” said Annie. “Mom, can I have two patches, please?”

She whispered to Greg. “Yes!” said Greg. “Come on, Swati.”

They took the two eye patches to Greg’s room. Greg got his colored markers.

but she really wants to be a . . .When they came back, Annie wore a new patch on her eye and one on her cheek. But they did not look like bandages. These patches were green with purple dots. A sign around Annie’s neck said “Patches” in green and purple letters.

“Meet Patches the clown!” said Greg.

“TA-DA!” said Swati.

“Perfect!” said Mom.

And Patches the Halloween clown did a happy Halloween dance.