Cora’s Revenge

by Mary Beth

For her whole life, Cora has had to put up with a sister grabbing things out of her hands, and there wasn’t a lot Cora could do about it, other than cry. But times are changing. Cora and Annie both know it.

It is afternoon. Annie is playing with a couple of small dolls. The dolls are dancing together on the arm of the couch and periodically leaping into the air, as Annie sings exuberantly to them.

Cora is watching. She wants one of the dolls.

Fifteen minutes earlier, the dolls had been lying on the floor. Cora could have played with them then. But she wasn’t interested in them at that time. Annie wasn’t playing with them then.

One of the dolls lies down to go to bed. Annie makes a tiny pillow out of a piece of paper, and uses a washcloth as a blanket. She carefully tucks the doll in, bringing the washcloth just up to the doll’s neck and leaving only the face exposed. Cora, unbeknownst to Annie, is creeping up behind her.

Annie shifts her attention to the other doll, looking around for suitable bedding material. Quick as a flash, a pudgy little hand reaches out, and snatches the sleeping doll. And then Cora scampers very quickly out of Annie’s reach, and turns around to watch her sister’s reaction.

Annie lets out a wail of anguish. “Noooooo, Cora!” she cries. Then she throws herself onto the floor and weeps loudly and pitifully. Cora looks at her and smiles.

Eventually Annie staggers to her feet and dives towards Cora. Annie is fast, and she can get to Cora before Cora is able to react, even though Cora is watching her. She reaches out to snatch the doll back.

Cora then pulls her signature move. With lightning speed she moves her arm behind her back, sticking it straight out behind her, so the doll is as far from her sister as possible. This trick only baffles the enemy for a second or two, but that is just long enough for Cora to turn around and run away.

She runs like a gazelle on the African savannah, dodging back and forth, trying to confuse her enemy.

Annie begins shrieking and chasing her sister, round and round the couch, trying to grab her.

“Just ask her for it back!” Mommy says to Annie. “Just ask and she’ll give it to you! No, don’t grab it out of her hand! Teach her how to be nice! Show her how to be civilized!”

Annie obediently stops herself, resisting the impulse to grab the doll. She knows this strategy has worked in the past. Maybe it will work this time, too. It takes all her inner strength. “Cora,” she says, trying to use her sweetest voice, “can I have my doll back please? Please Cora?”

Cora pauses and looks at her sister. She considers the situation for a few seconds. Then she smiles, and holds out the doll. She walks back towards Annie, still holding out the doll. She has her sweetest-angel face.

Annie’s tears stop. She reaches out her hand, hesitantly. Trustingly. And then, just as her hand brushes the offered doll, Cora yanks it out of reach and runs off, laughing. Annie throws herself onto the floor again, weeping.

“Cora!” Mommy cries. Cora cackles and continues to run.

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