The old lady whirled around.In a flash
Tom was out the door and scrambling over
Aunt Polly shook her head and laughed.
"That rascal!When will I learn?He's
played that trick on me so many times I
should know it by now"
Aunt Polly worried about Tom.She
wanted her nephew to grow up to be a
good man.She worried that he skipped
school too much. She knew he would skip
school that very afternoon.
"I'll have to punish him tomorrow,"Aunt
Polly decided. "I'll make him work.Tom
hates work.But I've got to do right by
Saturday morning was a beautiful day,and
all the world was out enjoying it.Everyone
except poor Tom.
Tom was on the sidewalk with a bucket
of whitewash and a long-handled brush.
He looked at the fence in front of him.It
stretched ninety feet long and nice feet
high.Painting it would take forever.
Tom dipped his brush into the bucket.
He ran it over the first plank.After one
stroke he stopped and saw how much more
there was left to do.He sat down on the
curb and sighed.
Tom thought of all the excitement he
was missing.Soon the other boys would
walk by.They would make fun of him.
Suddenly Tom saw Ben Rogers coming
down the street. Tom picked up the brush
and went back to work.He had a plan.