Recently, a friend of mine asked me if I would write a story about the benefits of sharing, so that she could read said story to her class. So, Chloe, if you're reading this, this story is for you!
Thomas And The Truck
Thomas could hardly wait to get to school. As he rushed along the path, he grinned at the thought of showing off his new toy.
Thomas had turned five over the weekend and his parents had bought him a truck. But not just any old truck - the coolest truck Thomas had ever seen! It had big, shiny wheels, lights that really flashed on and off, a remote control to make it move forwards and backwards and to make the tipper go up and down and it made fantastic noises when you pressed the buttons on the side. Thomas had bounced out of bed that morning, desperate to get to school and show his friends his amazing birthday present.
Charlie was waiting for him at the school gates. "Did you get any good presents?" He cried, when he saw Thomas approaching.
"Wait until you see what I've brought with me!" Thomas shouted back. But the school bell rang before he had time to show his friend. "I'll show you at break time," Thomas sighed, as the boys trudged into class.
Thomas fidgeted in his seat and could barely concentrate through his lessons. Finally, break time arrived and he dashed outside, with Charlie close behind. Thomas set his backpack down on the ground and gently pulled out the truck. Immediately, his fingers brushed against the buttons on the side and the lights began flashing and a loud engine rumble, followed by the beep of a horn, caused Charlie's eyes to widen.
"That is so cool!" Charlie gasped. "Can I have a go with it?"
Thomas nodded. "Of course," he said. "But let me show you how to use it, first. It's really special and I need to make sure you know what you're doing."
Charlie pulled a face. "I've got remote control cars at home, Thomas," he reminded him. "I do know what I'm doing..."
Thomas bit his lip and handed over the remote. "Okay," he said. "Just be careful."
Charlie dropped to the floor and sat in the middle of the playground. He studied the remote control for a few seconds, then began driving the truck around and around, weaving between the legs of his classmates. "This is awesome," he beamed. As the truck whizzed around the the playground, a crowd began to gather around Charlie.
"You're really good at that," Emily said. She pulled a handful of grapes out of the pocket of her school dress. "Here, put these in the back of the truck and drive them over to Beth!" She pointed to her friend with an outstretched finger.
Thomas frowned. "Don't put food in the back," he said. "You might break it!"
Emily folded her arms across her chest. "They're only grapes," she tutted. "Not rocks or anything!"
Ethan, one of the older boys, came rushing over. "Cool truck," he said. "How fast does it go? Shall we see if I can race it?!"
Charlie pressed hard on the remote control and the truck went speeding away, with Ethan running alongside it.
"Don't race it too fast," Thomas grumbled. "You'll run the batteries out!"
The crowd around them was getting bigger and bigger, as more children came to see what was going on. Charlie was laughing and smiling, having lots of fun. Thomas, on the other hand, wasn't. His cheeks were hot and he felt cross.
His friend Harry came over, "Can the truck do wheelies?" He asked.
Charlie shrugged. "I can try," he said.
"No," Thomas replied, through gritted teeth. "No wheelies; it's only meant to go forwards and backwards, it can't do circles!" He grabbed the remote out of Charlie's hands. "See?" He pressed down on the buttons and the truck trundled forwards. "It doesn't go round and round and it's not even supposed to!"
Charlie cocked his head to one side. "Actually, I think I might be able to make it do wheelies..."
Thomas sighed as he handed the remote back. Charlie made the truck spin in a tiny circle and everyone cheered.
Thomas' ears felt all hot and prickly. He felt a strange bubble of anger in his chest. He rushed to his feet and picked up the truck. "I don't want anyone playing with it, anymore," he snapped. He shoved the truck back into his backpack. Slowly, his friends all disappeared. Charlie looked at him with sad eyes, before walking away and leaving Thomas alone.
Nobody spoke to Thomas when the bell rang to go back to class. Thomas didn't try to speak to them, either. He was too cross. When lunchtime finally arrived, he ate his sandwiches by himself, before going back out to the playground with his truck.
Thomas sat on the cold, stone ground, making the truck go forwards and backwards. He made the lights flash and he sounded the horn. But it wasn't so much fun, anymore. He wanted to make the truck do wheelies, but he didn't know how. He wanted to get someone to race alongside it, but nobody wanted to play with him anymore, because he'd gotten so mad with everyone. He sat and thought for a few minutes, then he had an idea.
Thomas tore a sheet out of a notepad in the bottom of his backpack and took a pen out of his pencil case. He wrote one word on the paper: "Sorry." Then he folded it up, put it in the back of the truck and drove it over to where Charlie was standing with Harry, Emily and Beth. Charlie bent down to pick the paper up. He opened it, read it and, to Thomas' relief, he smiled.
"It's okay," Charlie called as he jogged back over to Thomas. "I'm sorry I hogged your new toy."
Thomas shook his head. "I'm sorry I didn't want to share it with you," he said. "You drove it better than I could and I think I got jealous..." He sighed. "But you know what? It wasn't anywhere near as much fun playing with it all by myself." He handed Charlie the remote. "Want to teach me how to do wheelies?"
The two boys began to play together once more and soon, another crowd had gathered around. But this time, Thomas let Emily send things across the playground to Beth. He let Ethan race the truck. And he let anyone who asked take a turn controlling it, too. Everyone was still laughing and having fun when the bell rang for the end of lunchtime play.
"Are you going to bring the truck in again, tomorrow?" Charlie asked, as the boys went back into class.
Thomas grinned. "Yeah," he said, with a smile. "And I'll share it with anyone who asks. It's much more fun that way!"