by Carol Cole
Karen stretched up on her toes and reached for the cereal box on the pantry shelf in the garage. Her hand brushed
against something cold and she looked up to find a brown snake curled on the shelf. Her
heart thudding in her chest,
she ran into the house, breakfast forgotten.
"D..dad! There's a snake in the garage," she cried. Just like last week."
They had come home from one of Jimmy's baseball games and a snake had slithered out of the garage when the overhead door
opened. Karen refused to get out of the car until her father told her the snake was long gone.
"You're just a big baby. Scared of a garden snake," Jimmy said.
Little brothers were usually pests and hers was no different.
Jimmy was watching one of his cartoon shows in the family room and burst out laughing when Karen ran into the house.
Her father walked out to the garage and returned dangling the long brown snake in his hands. It was one of Jimmy's
Karen backed away, unwilling to touch even the fake creature. "I could've had a heart attack you little cretin."
She snapped at her brother.
Jimmy continued laughing. "You're even afraid of a rubber snake."
"Jimmy, apologize to your sister right now." Dad tossed the snake to his son. "And keep this in your room or it
Karen was fuming at Jimmy's latest prank. He needed to learn his lesson, but what could she do to convince him to leave
He'd thrown her laundry on the lawn, written her name in chalk with Brian's in a heart on their front walk, and recorded
her phone call with Terry and played it back at school.
The big tournament game was that weekend and Karen thought of a way to get back at Jimmy once and for all. She
offered to help with the laundry and even offered to fold the clothes when they came out of the dryer.
Saturday afternoon the family was ready to leave for the ball park.
"Where's my uniform?" Jimmy asked.
"I put it in your gear bag for you," Karen answered, smiling at Jimmy. "Let's go we don't want to be late."
They got to the ball park and Jimmy ran off to change in the dugout.
A sudden yell and loud laughter reached the bleachers. Jimmy stomped out of the dugout holding a bright pink
baseball uniform. "What did you do to my uniform?" He shouted at Karen.
"I'm sorry. I guess a red shirt was in the bottom of the washer. I didn't see it last night; you know how
dark it is in the laundry room," Karen answered.
"What am I supposed to do now?" Jimmy wailed.
"Play ball?" Karen answered.
Just then the coach walked over. "I have an extra shirt, but you'll have to wear those pants."
Karen just smiled and sat back to watch the game.