The Wordoes

by David Roper -

Crossword Annie asked, “So, this year, are we going to make…? Uh, are we going to make…?” She scratched her head. “What’s a nine-letter word for ‘a sentimental greeting card’?” Crossword Annie loved crossword puzzles.

Dictionary Dave answered, “Valentine.”

“Right. Are we going to make Valentines for our mothers again this year?”

Worldbook Willie said, “Sure. It’s a lot of fun, and they love it.” Then he added, “Did you know Valentine’s Day started in 496 and is named after St. Valentine?” Willie had read every volume of a popular encyclopedia.

Annie nodded. “Then let’s go by the store and buy some pretty paper.”

Dave said, “We can make the Valentines at my house. I have glue and other stuff we need.”

Willie said, “Real glue comes from animals. Lots of sticky stuff called glue is really cement or adhesive.”

Dave said, “We’d better hurry if we’re going to get any Valentines made before dinner time.”

On their way to Dave’s house, they came across boys playing keep-away with a young girl. The boys laughed as they tossed a book back and forth. The girl jumped up again and again, trying to grab the book.

Annie whispered to Dave, “What’s a five-letter word for ‘a person who is mean to people weaker than he is’?”

Dave said, “Bully or meany.”

Annie shook her fist and shouted, “You bullies! Give the book back to that girl—and leave her alone!”

One of the boys sneered. “Look. It’s those weirdoes who talk funny.”

Another boy snickered. “They’re weird with words. That makes them wordoes!”

The boys started chanting, “Wordoes! Wordoes!” But Crossword Annie could look very cross when she was angry. They finally backed up, dropped the book, and ran.

Annie turned to the little girl. “Are you all right?”

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