The Judgment of Parker

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Parker hummed a happy song as he raced out to check the mail. There was a package in the mailbox! Unfortunately, it wasn’t for him. It was addressed to his three older sisters.

When he came inside, all three sisters jumped up when they saw the package. Parker tossed it up in the air so that he didn’t get trampled. Amy caught it.

“Look, it’s for us from Grandma Helen,” she said.

“Well, open it,” Harriet said. She reached for the package. “You’re taking too long.

Amy scowled and hugged the package to her chest. “Back off.”

Annette sighed. “Just open it, Amy. Sit down, Harriet, or this will just take longer.”

Harriet sat, and Amy opened the package. “Look,” she said, “it’s a gold bracelet with a pretty apple charm.   It’s so cute!”

“But who does it belong to?” Harriet asked. She snatched away the packaging. “All three of us? How is that supposed to work?”

“I suppose we can take turns,” Annette said.

Amy laughed. “Like that would work.”

Parker giggled. His sisters had never been very good at sharing. The giggle had been a mistake. His sisters had forgotten he was there, but now they were all looking at him.

“Parker has no claim on the bracelet, and he’s always been pretty fair,” Annette said.

“Yeah, we should ask him who gets the bracelet,” Harriet said.

“Alright,” Amy said. “So who is it?”

“What?” Parker started backing up.   This was a terrible idea.

“Not so fast,” Harriet said. Her eyes narrowed. “Sit down now, Parker.”   Parker sat.

“Pick me,” Amy said. “I’ll make you the prettiest cake ever!”

“Don’t be silly. I’d drive you to school for a month, Parker,” Harriet said.

“I could drive you to the library and help you with your science fair project,” Annette said.

The sisters glared at each other. All at once, they turned and glared at Parker. Parker felt the back of his neck prickle in sudden dread.

“If you don’t pick me, I’ll put bugs in your lunch box and give you a funny hair cut,” Amy said.

“I’ll put ice in your bed and take away your nightlight,” Harriet said.

“I’ll tape mean signs to your back and hide your homework,” Annette said.

Parker couldn’t take it any more. This wasn’t fair. Why should he care about a stupid bracelet, anyways? He felt angry.

“I don’t think any of you should have it. Mom should have the bracelet. If it was Grandma Helen’s, it should have come to her first anyways.”   Then, before his sisters could react, he ran out of the room and hid behind the door. That usually worked when they were chasing him.

But this time, no one followed. “That’s not a bad idea. Mom will let me borrow it whenever I want, unlike you two,” he heard Amy say.

“Unless I ask her first,” Harriet said. “Let’s go tell mom and see she what she says. It’s like we’re starting all over, thanks to Parker.”

“No, I think he did a pretty good job this time,” Annette said.

“I guess so. Let’s go give mom her bracelet,” Harriet said.

Parker smiled. It sounded like they’d avoided having a war after all. He hurried down the hall and out the back door. It was time to play outside for a little while.