A little later in September 1961
Becky always got a doll for her birthday and Christmas. Her mother was intent on Becky being like herself when she was a child. Jackie loved her dolls and was lavishly provided with them by her father as she grew up. Jackie’s dolls were all named Becky, a name she eventually gave to her newborn daughter. Becky’s dolls were Chatty Cathy, Tiny Tears, and a curly-haired baby doll she named Sally. Two of her new favorites were Shirley Temple and Barbie. Sharon had all the same dolls. The two little girls were quietly playing on a blanket with their Shirley Temple dolls in Becky’s front yard. The dogwood tree a few feet away was in full bloom from recent rains. It exuded a lovely scent.
“I just love Shirley Temple. My Pop-Pops says Shirley got her dimples when God poked her cheeks to see if she was done being in the oven,” Becky said. Becky didn’t have dimples.
“I love Shirley’s baloney curls,” Sharon said.
“My Gramma made me baloney curls once. She twisted my hair around her fingers and wrapped my hair with rags. They didn’t last long. Gramma said it was too much work for curls that wouldn’t last long.” Becky sighed. Becky’s hair was very fine and straight, and it looked much better in a pixie cut or peek tails.
Beverly Evans, who was a few years older than Becky and Sharon, sauntered over to see what trouble she could make.
“I’m going to hide my Shirley,” Sharon said. She did so quickly, quicker than Becky.
“Hi, Becky,” Beverly Evans said. “Are you playing with your Shirley Temple doll?”
“Yes, Shirley is so very cute,” Becky said.
“I can make her even cuter,” Beverly Evans said. “You better let me do that.”
Becky, trying to be a big girl like Beverly Evans, said, “Here, do it.”
Beverly Evans took a comb out of her pocket and began to comb out Shirley’s baloney curls. When she finished, Shirley’s, hair was ragged and straight as a pin. “There, she looks modern,” Beverly Evans said.
“She does not!” Becky shouted. “You ruined her.”
Beverly Evans began to laugh. Becky would have cried, but she was too mad.
“Go home, Beverly Evans” was all she could say to the more modern, bigger, and older girl.
“I know how to make her curls come back,” Sharon said.
“How can you do that?” Asked Becky.
“Well, do you remember in vacation Bible school when our teacher said, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, God will love you?’ If He loves you, He will give Shirley back her baloney curls.”
“You’re right. And you know, my mommy gave me a necklace with a tiny mustard seed inside a glass heart. I’ll go get it.” Becky ran into her house. “Here it is. Now what do we do?” Becky asked.
“You throw it up in the air to heaven and God will catch it, and just like that, Shirley will have her baloney curls back,” Sharon explained.
“I don’t know if I should do that,” Becky said, calculating that she was already in trouble because Shirley Temple’s hair was straight. To give God the mustard seed necklace too would probably make her mommy mad and call her Madame Queen again.
“Faith means believing God can do anything,” Sharon said.
“Okay, here it goes.” The mustard seed went as high as Becky could throw it, and it never came back down. Becky looked for it in the grass and in the dogwood tree, but it was nowhere to be found.
“I’m really in trouble now,” Becky said. “That Beverly Evans is the meanest person I know. We have to get even with her.”
“You can’t fight her. She’s too big and she might punch you in the stomach,” warned Sharon.
The two girls went into Becky’s house and climbed the stairs to Becky’s bedroom. Becky had the biggest bedroom in the house with a lovely window seat. Jackie put a blue satin quilt on the seat. The window seat was a safe perch. Beverly Evans was still on the sidewalk teasing some other kids.
“We need to do something to show her how bad she is. I have an idea,” Becky said, thinking of the absolute insult. “This is what we have to do,” Becky said. “We have to stick our naked behinds out of the window at Beverly Evans.” …
Excerpt from “The Sparkling Adventures of Becky and Friends,” published by Covenant Books. Author Diane Campbell Green. Illustrator, Linda E. Jones. Available at www.dcgbooks.com and Amazon.com.
Winner of a Story Monster’s Royal Dragonfly Award, second place for Children’s Chapter Books, 2021.