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  • Hi There. Welcome to Screen Actors Guild Foundation BookPALS.

  • I'm Melissa Gilbert and I'm the President of Screen Actors Guild,

  • but more importantly, I am the mother of Mikey and Dakota and the stepmother of Sam and Lee and one of our favorite things to do is to read.

  • So it is going to be my pleasure to read this book, "My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother" by Patricia Polacco. Here we go. . .

  • My brother and our mother and I all lived with my grandparents on their farm in Union City, Michigan.

  • Now my babushka, my grandmother, knew lots of things. She knew just how to tell a good story.

  • She knew how to make ordinary things magical. And she knew how to make the best chocolate cake in Michigan.

  • After she told my brother and me a grand tale from her homeland, we'd always ask, "Bubbie, is that true?"

  • She'd answer, "Of course is true, but it may not have happened!" Then she'd laugh.

  • Now, I knew that she loved me all right, but I couldn't quite understand how she could even like my older brother, Richard.

  • He had orange hair that was like wire; he was covered in freckles and looked like a weasel with glasses.

  • The one thing that my bubbie didn't seem to know was how perfectly awful my brother really was!

  • Mind you, he was always nice whenever she was around us; but as soon as she'd leave, he would do something terrible to me and laugh.

  • There were so many things that I couldn't stand about him. The worst was that he was always telling me he could do just about everything better than I.

  • "Bet I can pick more blackberries than you can," he jeered at me one day.

  • "No you can't." "Can so." "Cannot!"

  • "Can," he whispered. "Not," I said louder. "Can!" he whispered so low that I could hardly hear him. "Not!" I screamed back.

  • We both picked berries for most of the afternoon.

  • Well, he upped and did it! He not only picked more berries than I, he set a record that wasn't even challenged for the next ten years.

  • "You make me sick, Richard Barber!" I yelled at him.

  • Then he smiled that smile that only a rotten redheaded older brother could smile.

  • I guess I would have to face it. He could run the fastest, climb the highest, throw the farthest, sit the longest, get the dirtiest, burp the loudest, and spit the farthest.

  • He had no equal, certainly not me!

  • "And I'm four years older than you. . . Always have been and always will be," he sneered.

  • There had to be somethingSOMETHING – I could do that he couldn't!

  • Then an inspired thought comforted me like a fresh breeze on a hot summer day.

  • "Oh, Richie," I cooed as I stood next to the rhubarb bushes. "Do you like rhubarb?"

  • "No!" he said. "It's the sourest stuff on this planet!"

  • Now I knew, at long last, that I had him.

  • "Bet I can eat more of this raw rhubarb than you can without getting the puckers!" I challenged.

  • "I don't think so!" "I do!" "I don't!" he said, narrowing his eyes. "I do!" I insisted.

  • "Don't," he hissed, looking smug. "Do," I said furiously as I grabbed the first stalk and started chewing it almost down to the leaf.

  • When I couldn't get one more sour bite into my mouth, he was still eating with relish. "I thought you said you don't like rhubarb," I said through pursed lips.

  • "I don't like it. . .I love it!" he announced as he popped the last stalk into his mouth.

  • I was so mad, I couldn't even feel how my belly was starting to ache.

  • "I can't stand you, Richard Barber. . . I double dog can't stand you!" I screamed as I went into the house to be consoled by my grandmother.

  • "Yeah, and I'm four years older than you, too, you little twerp. . . Always have been and always will be!" he called after me.

  • Then he laughed that rotten redheaded older brother laugh.

  • That night at dinner I could hardly eat.

  • "Have you been eating angry apples again, child?" Bubbie asked as she sliced me a huge wedge of rhubarb pie. "I baked your favorite!"

  • Richard gave me one of his extra-rotten, weasel-eyed, greeny-toothed grins.

  • At bedtime my bubbie came and sat on the edge of my bed like she did every night. "Look, a falling star," she said.

  • We watched it streak across the sky. Then she spit twice between her fingers and gave her chest a loud slap.

  • "Why did you do that, Bubbie?" I asked.

  • "I was making a wish. . . Didn't you know that wishes on falling stars come true?

  • At last I knew how I was going to get back at my brother.

  • For the longest time I watched the dark sky until I saw a star shoot across the night. Then I spit between my two fingers and slapped my chest.

  • It was done.

  • My wish was to do somethinganythingbetter than my brother. I'd show him!

  • The next morning all I could think about was my wish.

  • I was thinking about it so hard I almost didn't notice the wagons and trucks pulling into the field down the road near Four Corners.

  • "A traveling carnival," my brother shouted as he ran toward me. "They're setting up right here in our field! I bet I can eat more hot dogs than you can," he teased.

  • He was already starting it, but this time I was going to do something so incredible that even he would have to sit up and take notice.

  • He was already starting it, but this time I was going to do something so incredible that even he would have to sit up and take notice.

  • That night I ran straight for the merry-go-round. We must have taken fifty turns on that carousel. But then my brother got off!

  • I stayed on. I went around and around and around.

  • "I knew I could do this longer than you," I shouted to my brother, feeling proud but just a bit dizzy.

  • "Treesha," I heard my bubbie call out. "Get off from that thing. . . It's time to go home!"

  • The last thing I remembered was stepping off from the platform. Next thing I knew I woke up with Bubbie sitting on the edge of my bed.

  • Mom and Grandpa were there, too. "You gave us all a fright!" Momma said. "How do you feel?"

  • "What happened?" I asked. "You fell!" my rotten redheaded older brother announced with the biggest grin on his face.

  • "I don't know what we would have done," my bubbie said softly. "Your brother carried you all the way home, and then he had to run to get Dr. Lee."

  • "You had to have stitches. . . I watched it all!" he said excitedly.

  • "You fell off the merry-go-round right into some pop bottles," my gramps added.

  • "You even passed out!" my brother chirped. "Looks like you finally did something special!"

  • It was from that exact moment that our relationship changed somehow.

  • "Thanks, Richie," I said to him.

  • "What's a big brother for, anyway," he said blushing.

  • That night we were all out in the yard. On hot Michigan nights it was my family's custom to sleep outside, where it was cool.

  • "Look at those stars," Bubbie said quietly.

  • "Wishes are funny, aren't they," I said. "Sometimes they come true differently than you think they will."

  • "That's why you have to be very careful what you wish for. . . It just may come true!" Bubbie said.

  • Then she squeezed both of our hands. "Hang onto the grass," she whispered.

  • "Why, Bub?" my brother asked.

  • "Because if we don't we might float up to the stars." Then she leaned over and kissed us both three times.

  • "I kiss your eyes, and I hold both of your hearts in my good keeping. . . And this night I thank God that I walk this earth with both of you. . .Ah-men!"

  • Then we all just lay on our blankets in the gentle summer night.

  • "I'll always be four years older than you, though," my brother whispered softly. Then he smiled.

  • All of us held one another's hands, and then we all drifted off to sleep.

  • The End. Well, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I enjoyed reading it to you. Thank you so much for joining me here for SAG Foundation BookPALS. Bye.

Hi There. Welcome to Screen Actors Guild Foundation BookPALS.

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私の腐った赤毛の兄はメリッサ・ギルバートによって読まれる (My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother read by Melissa Gilbert)

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    孫伶姍 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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