Rose's father hated scenes. So he smiled and said, "Of course they are much better than my rotten pictures! Aren't you fierce, Rosy Pose?" and tickled Rose's neck and pretended not to notice when he almost got his hand bitten.
Rose was not fierce at all the night she and Indigo lay in the windy garden looking at the stars. She said, "Perhaps everything will be different this term. Better."
"Yes. It will be fine."
"At my school no one bullies anyone. If you're mad with someone you just put their coats on the wrong peg. Or say, 'Ner, ner, ner! Bugs in your hair!' if you are really, really angry."
"Has anyone ever said that to you?"
"No. If they did, I'd just cross my fingers. Bounces back if you cross your fingers. So they get the bugs."
"Not everyone knows that."
A shooting star fell like a dropped splinter of crystal, scratching a curve of silver across the sky.
"Make a wish!" said Indigo.
Rose made a wish, and then asked, "Why?"
"That's what I always do. Wish on the moving ones."
"Does it matter how fast they move?"
"I don't think so."
"Can you wish on airplanes, too?"
Rose wished on airplanes until she almost fell asleep, and then their mother was at the door calling, "Come in, Rose and Indigo, before you freeze!" and then it was bedtime, and then it was morning.
Copyright © 2003 by Hilary McKay
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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