The Words of the Exler Family
The twins, Jack and Eeesaw, didn't have much in common.
Jack and Eeesaw were twins. They were born on the same day, but that's about all they had in common. Jack had brown hair and blue eyes, was of medium size, and had a warm kindly look in his eyes.
Eeesaw had hair as orange as an, well, as orange as an orange!
He had orange hair on his head and orange hair on his arms.
Eeesaw had hundreds of freckles, as many as the stars in the night sky. And he was pretty strong for his age. He could lift three gallons of ice cream with only one hand! When Eeesaw laughed, he sounded very much like a donkey, and that's why they called him Eeesaw.
On this particular day, I think it was on a Tuesday, Jack and Eeesaw woke up, yawning and stretching their arms. The curtains were moving gently in the morning breeze and the sun was bright in a clear blue sky. They could see big puffy white clouds sailing slowly by in the breeze, but what Jack liked best was the big sunflower poking its head through the window.
"What a great day it is, Eeesaw!" exclaimed Jack. "The air is so fresh! I'm ready for breakfast, what about you?" And Jack bounced out of bed and started to get dressed.
Eeesaw just sat there in bed with a sulky look on his face. He watched Jack care- fully, his eyes following him as he crossed the room to look for his socks.
"I don't think it's such a great day," said Eeesaw with a little snort.
Jack laughed and looked over at Eeesaw as he buttoned his shirt.
"Come on, Eeesaw, let's go downstairs. Mama is cooking breakfast and it sure smells good. M-m-m-m-m. It smells like bacon and eggs! Wow!" and Jack ran downstairs.
Eeesaw sat in bed, looking around the room until he spotted his clothes bunched together in a pile on the floor. He slowly got up and dressed. With a great sigh, he started down the stairs.
As he came to the kitchen he could smell the bacon and eggs cooking and perked up. A big smile started to move slowly across his face.
Eeesaw took a deep sniff and with a snort thought, "Aaaaaah. I'm hungry. I wonder if there will be enough for me."
Jack was already downstairs talking with Mama. Daddy had already eaten and left for work. As Eeesaw walked into the kitchen, Mama laughed and turned to Jack and gave him a great big hug. Eeesaw's face lost its smile, becoming sulky and mean-looking.
As Jack sat down at the table with a look of pure joy, Eeesaw jabbed his elbow hard into Jack, knocking him off his chair.
Jack jumped up and glared at Eeesaw. Over the sound of the bacon cooking, Mama turned and said, "Sit down both of you and behave yourselves."
Eeesaw grinned at Jack.
They ate their breakfast in silence. Jack went upstairs to brush his teeth. Eeesaw sneaked into the pantry to take some candy, quickly stuffing it into his pocket.
It was time to go to school. Mama kissed them both goodbye.
"Work hard, boys, and learn well," she said. "You know how Papa and I depend on you to do a good job in whatever you do. Please try, Eeesaw." Then she waved at them with a big, loving smile and blew them another kiss as they started down the road to school.
As Jack turned around to wave back at Mama, Eeesaw tripped him, and laughing loudly, raced ahead. Jack picked himself off the ground for the second time that morning and started walking after Eeesaw.
I'll bet you are wondering why Jack didn't just give Eeesaw a punch in the nose.
Jack was angry. But Jack knew that doing the same thing to Eeesaw as Eeesaw was doing to him wouldn't change anything but would probably make things worse. And Jack knew too, that Eeesaw, because of his attitude, had a hard time just getting through the day so Jack felt sorry for him.
Now, Jack and Eeesaw, being the same age, were in the same class at school together. Let's look in and see what's happening.
The noise was deafening.
As Jack walked into the classroom, he saw Eeesaw down on his hands and knees wrestling with another boy. The teacher hadn't come in yet, and children were yelling and screaming, "Fight! Fight!" Some of the children were quietly watching from a distance. Some were jumping up and down on their chairs, throwing spit-balls at the two boys fighting on the floor.
Just then the teacher walked into the room. Everyone except Eeesaw and the boy he was fighting became very quiet. The teacher went over to Eeesaw and picked him up by the ear and marched him into a corner of the room. The other children found their seats quickly and there was a deep silence.
The teacher looked slowly around the room at the girls and boys who looked sheepishly down at their desks. She turned to look at Eeesaw, who had a stubborn expression on his face. "Eeesaw this is the second time this week you've been in a fight. This can't go on. Now you stay there for a while and think about your behavior. And while you are there, you can also think about your schoolwork. You have the lowest grades in the class."
"Now please turn to page seventy- three in your math book," she said.
Jack bowed his head. He was so sad about his brother. For the rest of the morning he tried not to look at Eeesaw.
When the lunch bell rang, the children ran from the school out into the sunshine, shouting and laughing. Jack turned and looked back to see if Eeesaw was coming.
After all the children were gone, and everything was quiet in the school-grounds, Eeesaw came slowly out the door.
Jack was waiting for him. As the two of them walked slowly toward the gate of the school, Jack said, "Why, Eeesaw? Why do you do these things? Don't you know how much Papa and Mama love you? Don't you know they worry about you? God loves you too, and so do I."
He tried to put his arm around Eeesaw, but Eeesaw pushed away from Jack and ran.
Eeesaw looked into his brother's eyes and threw his arms around him.
He started to walk home, but as he turned the corner of the school, he heard a cry. He stopped and listened closely. There. It came again. He walked toward the sound, and there was Eeesaw lying on the ground with his leg twisted under him.
Jack ran quickly toward his brother, and as he came up to him he could see that Eeesaw was trying not to cry.
"Eeesaw, what happened?" Eeesaw just snorted, a half-snort, a weak sort of snort and said, "Leave me alone, Jack. Go away."
Jack took off his shirt and wiped the dirt and tears from his brother's face. He put his arm around Eeesaw and half-carried him to a nearby bench on the side of the road.
There was a store just around the corner.
Jack helped Eeesaw to get his leg up onto the bench in a comfortable position and then ran to the store. He reached into his pocket for the money he'd been saving from his monthly allowance. He had two dollars and thirty-three cents. He quickly bought a soda and Eeesaw's favorite candy bar and ran back to the bench. Jack ran so fast that he was huffing and puffing when he presented Eeesaw with the food. Eeesaw looked up at jack's face. The look in Jack's eyes was so loving and caring that Eeesaw bent his head and started to cry.
"Jack, I'm so sorry I've been so jealous of you." And he started to cry even harder.
Jack sat down on the bench next to Eeesaw. He put his arm around his shoulders.
"Forget it. I know how you've felt. But you are wrong. God loves you. Mama, Papa and I love you very much. Everything will be fine. Please, Eeesaw, forgive me if I've ever hurt you. I want to do well, too. If everybody did well the world would be so beautiful, everyone would be happy."
Eeesaw looked up into his brother's eyes, and threw his arms around him. There was a light shining in Eeesaw's eyes that had never been there before.
If someone had come up the road at that moment they might have wondered at the two boys sitting on the bench, in tears, with their arms around each other.
Jack helped Eeesaw up, and together they walked slowly down the road toward home.