By Jean Boonstra
Peachie, come here,” said Mrs. Torres. “Are you still hungry?”
Peachie, the tame baby moose, stepped closer to her friend, Mrs. Torres. She nibbled on the carrot in her open hand.
“You love carrots, don’t you?” Mrs. Torres asked. “See, we’re friends, and I like eating my lunch outside with you!”
Peachie nibbled on the carrot and then jumped as she heard footsteps.
“Oh, it’s all right, Peachie. That’s just Mr. Garcia,” Mrs. Torres said soothingly.
“Hi, Mrs. Torres,” Mr. Garcia said with a smile.
“Mr. Garcia,” said Mrs. Torres, “Do you know my friend, Peachie?”
“Of course I do,” he answered enthusiastically. “We’re best friends!”
“Best friends?” Mrs. Torres asked, surprised.
Mr. Garcia unzipped his backpack. “Yes! I have her favorite snack in my backpack.”
Mrs. Torres frowned. “Well, she just ate three carrots. I don’t think she’s hungry.”
“Look, Peachie,” Mr. Garcia said triumphantly. “I have your favorite snac —a peach!”
Peachie sniffed the delicious fruit.
“You can’t feed her that!” said Mrs. Torres, concerned.
“There’s a pit in the middle!”
“I know,” said Mr. Garcia. “I always slice it for my best friend!”
Mrs. Torres crossed her arms. “Well, if she even likes peaches, I guess that’s OK.”
Peachie eagerly ate the yummy peach.
“There you go, my friend,” said Mr. Garcia. “Mejor amiga, my best friend!”
“Peachie,” Mrs. Torres said, trying to get the baby moose’s attention, “I have more carrots, mi amiga.”
Mr. Garcia laughed. “She isn’t interested in carrots anymore.”
Mrs. Torres closed her lunch box with a loud slam. “You can’t just walk up here and decide that you’re Peachie’s best friend,” she said. “I spend every lunch hour with her!”
Startled by the noise, Peachie scampered off into the woods.
Mrs. Torres sighed. “Oh, dear,” she said. “I scared her off.”
“I’m sorry,” said Mr. Garcia, smiling. “It was silly to compete for the friendship of a baby moose.”
Mrs. Torres thought for a moment, then she laughed too. “Yes, it does sound silly when you say it that way. I’m sorry too.”
Mrs. Torres reached into her bag. “You know, I also like to read my Bible at lunchtime. I read a verse earlier; let me see if I can find it.”
“Oh, what were you reading?” he asked.
“Hebrews 10:24: ‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
“Whoa,” said Mr. Garcia. “We were doing the opposite!”
“Yes,” Mrs. Torres agreed. “That was a silly disagreement. Mr. Garcia, you are mi amigo, my friend.”
“Thank you!” Mr. Garcia said. “And you are mi amiga, my friend.”
“Mi amigo, would you like a carrot?” Mrs. Torres asked with a laugh.
“I’ll pass,” Mr. Garcia laughed. “Save those for Peachie. Your amiga will be back again tomorrow!”
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