Lucie was four-years-old and had one major goal in life: to be Wonder Woman. (In the late 80s/early 90s, what little girl didn’t have that aspiration?) Meanwhile, her five-year-old brother, Charlie, had quite a different goal in life: to torture Lucie.
Even though they were a year apart in age, the little red-heads looked like twins and as much as Charlie hated it, Lucie followed him around everywhere and wanted to do everything he did. He was tired of it and always looked for a good opportunity to get back at Lucie for her clinginess.
One day, a golden opportunity presented itself and the little boy just couldn’t pass it up. Looking out the window, Charlie noticed his sister running around the backyard in her Wonder Woman Underoos with a bath-towel cape draped around her shoulders. He knew what he had to do.
“Lucie! Lucie! Come here! I know how to make you fly like Wonder Woman!” Charlie ran out the back door and down the steps.
Lucie raced over to meet him, her long red ponytail bobbing up and down. Charlie looked over both shoulders to make sure they were alone, and then leaning close, he whispered. “If you let me cut your hair, then you will be able to fly!”
The trusting little girl smiled from ear to ear, nodding her head and was fairly jumping up and down. “Okay, Charlie! You can cut my hair!”
Charlie sneaked into the house and found his mom’s scissors. Then, he led his little sister back behind the shed and gleefully gave her a very thorough haircut. And when the last of the red hair had fluttered to the grass, he put the scissors down on the grass and smiled.
Lucie didn’t head to the bathroom to look in the mirror. She ran straight for the picnic table on the back patio. She climbed up on the seat, then the table top. And then, making sure her towel/cape was fastened securely on her shoulders, Lucie ran down the length of the table top and jumped into the air with all her strength.
Charlie saw the handwriting on the wall. Before Lucie was in mid-air, he had abandoned her and the scissors and headed for his bedroom. By the time his mother heard the tearful screams, Charlie was as far back under his bed as he could get.
For an interminable amount of time, he waited under there with dustbunnies threatening to choke him. Too scared to cry. He knew that he was in more trouble than he’d ever been in his short life. He heard Lucie’s cries, his Mom’s stressed-out voice, and then the garage door opening and closing as his Dad came home. Finally, he heard his bedroom door open and heard his bed creak above him as someone sat down.
“I wish I could find Charlie.” He heard Dad’s low voice. “I wonder where he’s hiding.”
Charlie couldn’t stop the little cry that came out of his throat.
“I wish I could find Charlie. I’ll bet he’s really scared.”
The tears really started to come then. Charlie tried to smush his face into the carpet to muffle them, but it didn’t work. And before he could even think, he heard Dad’s voice closer to him. He looked carefully and saw that his Dad was lying on the carpet with the edge of the blanket pulled back, watching his son.
“I’m glad I found you. Would you like to come out and talk to me?”
He hesitated for a moment. Wouldn’t Daddy be mad? But his voice was so calm. So, Charlie skooched out from under the bed and sat on the floor next to Daddy.
“You know that you hurt your sister today, don’t you?”
Charlie stared at the floor and nodded.
“And you know that I’m going to have to punish you, don’t you?”
Charlie nodded again.
“Are you ready to apologize to your sister?”
Nothing could’ve prepared Charlie for what he saw when he walked into the kitchen with his Dad. For his sister—with a shorn head, two black eyes, and missing front teeth—was sitting on the kitchen floor, grinning from ear to ear and eating a blue popsicle. When Charlie walked in, Lucie jumped up and ran to him, throwing her sticky, blue arms around him. And before he could open his mouth to apologize, his sister started laughing and shouted, “Charlie, didja see me? I flew! I flew!”