Extensive Reading 2 A Bargain for Frances

It was a fine summer day and after breakfast Frances said,
"I'm going to play with Thelma."
"Be careful," said Mother.
"Why do I have to be careful?" said Frances.
"Remember the last time?" said Mother.
"Which time was that?" said Frances.
"That was the time you played catch with Thelma's new boomerang," said Mother. "Thelma did all the throwing and you came home with lumps on your head."
"I remember that time now," said Frances.
"And do you remember the other time last winter?" said Mother.
"I remember that time too," said Frances. "That was the first time there was ice on the pond. Thelma wanted to go skating and she told me to try the ice first."
"Who came home wet?" said Mother. "You or Thelma?"
"I came home wet," said Frances.
"Yes," said Mother. "That is why I say "be careful" because when you play with Thelma you always get the worst of it."
"Well," said Frances, "this time I do not have to be careful. We are not playing with boomerangs. We are not going skating. We are having a tea party and we are making a mud cake."
"Be careful anyhow," said Mother.
"All right," said Frances.
Frances took her dolls to Thelma's house. She took her alligator doll and her elephant doll. She took her snake doll and her Teddy Bear, too.

As Frances walked to Thelma's house, she sang:

Alligators, bears and me
Are very fond of drinking tea.
The elephant and the wiggly snake
Are happy when they eat their cake.

Frances and Thelma made a mud cake. They put daisies on it for frosting. Then Thelma got out her dolls and her tea set.
"I am saving up for a tea set," said Frances. "I am saving all my allowances."
"This is the best kind to get," said Thelma. "It is plastic and it has red flowers on it."
"That is not the kind I want," said Frances. "I want a real china tea set with pictures on it in blue. The tea set I want has trees and birds and a Chinese house and a fence and a boat and people walking on a bridge. I used to have that kind of a tea set but all I have now is a part of the tea pot. The rest of it is broken."
"That is why that kind of a tea set is no good," said Thelma. "The cups break and the saucers break and the tea pot and the cream-pitcher and the sugar-bowl break and then the set is all gone. My tea set has red flowers and it does not break unless you step on it."
"Well," said Frances, "I am saving up for the other kind."
"How much have you saved up?" said Thelma.
"Two dollars and seventeen cents," said Frances.
"How much does the tea set cost?" said Thelma.
"I don't know," said Frances.
"I'm sure they cost a lot," said Thelma. "It would take you a long time to save up all that money."
"I know," said Frances. "And I wish I had the tea set now."
"Maybe I'll sell your mine," said Thelma.
"I don't want yours," said Frances. "I want a real china one with pictures on it in blue."
"I don't think they make them anymore," said Thelma. "I know another girl who saved up for that tea set. Her mother went to every store and could not find one. Then that girl lost some of the money and spent the rest on candy. She never got the tea set. That is what happens. A lot of girls never do get tea sets so maybe you won't get one."
"If I buy yours, I will have a tea set," said Frances.
"You said you didn't want it," said Thelma. "And anyhow I don't want to sell it now."
"Why not?" said Frances.
"Well," said Thelma. "It is a very good tea set. It is plastic. It does not break. It has pretty red flowers on it. It has all the cups and saucers. It has the sugar-bowl and the cream-pitcher and the tea pot. It is almost new and I think it costs a lot of money."
"I have two dollars and seventeen cents," said Frances. "That's a lot of money."
"I don't know," said Thelma. "If I sell you my tea set then I won't have one anymore."
"We can have tea parties at my house then," said Frances. "And you could use the money for a new doll."
"Well, maybe," said Thelma. "Do you have your money with you?"
"I'll run home for it," said Frances.
"All right," said Thelma. "I will think about it while you run home for your money."

Frances ran home for her money. When she came back Thelma said, "I will sell you my tea set."
Frances gave Thelma her money. Thelma gave Frances her tea set.
"No backsies on this!" said Thelma.
"All right," said Frances. "No backsies."

Frances went home with her tea set and her dolls and she sang,

A plastic pot can pour the tea
For my dolls and friends and me.
Just as well as china!

Red is just as good as blue.
Plastic cups are all right too.
Just as good as china!

When Frances got home she showed the tea set to her little sister Gloria.
"That is a very ugly tea set!" said Gloria.
"What's the matter with it?" said Frances.
"It's ugly!" said Gloria.
"It's a nice tea set!" said Frances.
"It's plastic!" said Gloria. "It has red flowers. It's ugly! I like the china kind with the pictures all in blue!"
"You can't get that kind anymore," said Frances. "They don't have them in the stores!"
"Yes, they do!" said Gloria. "They have them now in the Candy store. My friend Ida got one yesterday and she showed it to Thelma. So Thelma knows that they have them in the Candy store. They cost two dollars and seven cents."
Frances walked slowly to the Candy store. She looked inside and there was Thelma. Thelma gave the storekeeper her money. The storekeeper gave Thelma a china tea set with pictures all in blue. Thelma did not see Frances as Frances walked away.

Frances sang a little song as she walked away,

Now that plastic's what I've got
Backsies are what there is not.
Mother told me to be careful
But Thelma better be bewareful!

Frances thought about no backsies all the way home. When she got home she put a penny in the plastic sugar-bowl of her tea set. Then she called Thelma on the telephone.
"Hallo," said Thelma.
"Hallo," said Frances. "This is Frances."
"Remember," said Thelma, "no backsies!
"I remember," said Frances. "But are you sure you really want no backsies?"
"Sure, I'm sure!" said Thelma.
"You mean, I never have to give back the tea set?" said Frances.
"That's right!" said Thelma. "You can keep the tea set."
"Can I keep what is in the sugar-bowl too?" said Frances.
"What is in the sugar-bowl?" said Thelma.
"Never mind," said Frances. "No backsies! Good-bye!"
Frances hang up. Frances waited for the telephone to ring and when it rang she said,
"Hallo," said Thelma. "This is Thelma."
"I know," said Frances.
"I've just remembered," said Thelma. "I think I had something in the sugar-bowl. I think it was a ring. Did you find a ring?"
"No," said Frances. "I don't have to tell you what is in the sugar-bowl because you said "No backsies!"
"Well," said Thelma. "I've just remembered that I put some money in the sugar-bowl one time. I think it was birthday money. I think it was two dollars or maybe it was five dollars! Did you find money?"
"You said "No backsies!" said Frances. "So I don't have to tell you. I don't have to say how much money is in the sugar-bowl."
"Well," said Thelma. "It is my money and I want it."
"Do you want backsies?" said Frances. "Do you want your tea set back and you will me my money back?"
"I can't!" said Thelma. "Because I used the money for a new tea set. There is only a dime leftover. I will give you the new tea set and the dime. The new tea set is the china kind you want! It has pictures all in blue!"
"You said they don't make that kind anymore," said Frances.
"This one was very hard to find," said Thelma. "And I think it was the very last one in the store."
"All right," said Frances. "Bring it over."
Thelma brought over the china tea set and the dime and Frances gave back the plastic tea set. Then Thelma took the lid off the sugar-bowl and saw the penny.
"That is not a very nice trick to play on a friend!" said Thelma.
"No," said Frances, "it is not. And that was not a nice trick you played on me when you sold me your tea set!"
"Well," said Thelma, "from now on I will have to be careful when I play with you!"
"Being careful is not as much fun as being friends," said Frances. "Do you want to be careful or do you want to be friends?"
"I want to be friends!" said Thelma.
"All right," said Frances, "then I will give you halfies on the dime."
Frances and Thelma went to the Candy store with the dime. Frances bought bubble-gum and Thelma bought life-savers.
Then they went back to Frances's house to skip rope. Gloria came up to turn the rope and skipped too.
"You and Gloria can skip first," said Frances to Thelma. "I will go last."

Thelma skipped first then Gloria. Then Frances skipped and she sang,

One for plastic, two for china
Three for yours and four for minor
Five for tea and six for cakes
Seven for elephants, eight for snakes

Nine's a trip to the Candy Store
Then come ten and ten skips more
Backsies one, backsies two
Backsies are no fun to do

Careful once, careful twice
Being careful isn't nice
Being friends is better!

Then Frances and Thelma shared their bubble-gum and life-savers with Gloria.