Egg and spoon

Archie is nearly four. His big sister Ella is seven. Archie loves Ella but sometimes, when he thinks about her, he feels quite cross. You see, Ella is good at everything.

Ella can play the piano. Ella is the fastest runner in her class. Ella can draw animals and monsters. Ella can swim without armbands and count up to twenty in Spanish and stand on her head and...

Archie’s Mum is very proud of Ella. Archie often hears his Mum on the phone telling her friends about all the clever things that Ella has done.

Today Archie is going to Ella’s school sports day with his Mum. He doesn’t want to go. He knows that Ella will win all the races. He knows that everyone will clap and tell Ella how clever she is. And he knows that tonight his Mum will be on the phone talking to her friends. Talking to her friends about Ella.

And Archie is right. At the sports day Ella wins everything.

Ella jumps the furthest. Ella runs the fastest. Ella even wins that silly race where you have to run with your legs inside a sack. Ella is very happy. Archie’s Mum is very proud. Archie is very grumpy.

The last race of the day is the Egg and Spoon race. In that race you have to go as fast as you can while balancing an egg on a spoon. If you drop your egg you have to sit down on the ground and count up to ten before you can go on. The first person to carry their egg safely over the line wins the race.

The race starts. And guess who’s winning? Yes that’s right. Archie’s clever sister Ella is out in front. She’s going much faster than all the other children. But...is Ella going too fast? She needs to be careful. You can’t rush this race.

And then it happens. Ella drops her egg!

She has to sit down and count up to ten. Other children pass her. They are carrying their eggs more carefully. Ella counts up to ten. Now she can carry on with race. But she doesn’t. Ella won’t get up. She’s angry that she’s not winning any more. She’s still sitting on the ground. Now she’s crying. She’s not even going to finish the race.

Suddenly Archie runs to his sister. He picks up her egg with the spoon and starts to walk towards the finishing line. He walks very slowly. He carries his egg very carefully. At first people watching don’t know what Archie’s doing but then someone says: ‘He’s going to finish the race for his sister.’

All the other children have finished the race so now everyone is watching Archie. He’s going to come last but Archie doesn’t care.

‘Go on, Archie!’ someone shouts.

‘Good old, Archie! You’re nearly there! Keep going!’

Archie keeps walking...very slowly...he can’t...drop...his...egg...now.

When Archie crosses the line everybody at the sports day claps and cheers.

They’re all smiling and looking at Archie - the little boy who finished the race for his sister!

That night Archie can’t sleep. He keeps thinking about all those people clapping. Clapping him. Archie can hear his Mum downstairs talking on the phone. She’s telling her friend all about the sports day. But his Mum’s not just talking about Ella. This time she’s talking about him too.

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