Not every good idea is a good idea. Some brainstorms will only get you wet and the one I will tell you about almost drowned me. After my friend Jon said what he did about Belva, I decided I should get the two of them together so Jon could discover that she is not the crabby ogre he thinks she is. Boy, was that idea ever wrong! I must have thought with the brain in my elbow!

Just to prove that I really did engineer a meeting of these two one-of-a-kinds, here is a picture of that event. You get the idea.

Belva blurted out, “Oh, you’re the guy that hides behind the plant! I never heard you called anything but the Hampshire Hermit.”

True, but blunt facts at the wrong time can be insulting. Jon squirmed and made a point of turning toward me to ask, “Is this the lady you said was so much nicer than you had thought she was?” Again, true but by itself it sounded cruel.” I was feeling very uncomfortable.

Belva spoke to me, “Yes, Maudie my friend, I am nice. So why did you drag me into this?”

I wondered that, too, but I tried to make peace. “We are . . . each of us . . . uh . . . nice.” The glorious words that would unite us would not come. “Uh . . .” I croaked, “we can get acquainted and when we do we will find out how much we have in common.” It wasn’t what I wanted, but there it was.

Jon said, “I was thinking the same thing as Belva. That is, thinking why did you drag me into this? If I had wanted to talk to a nincompoop I would have talked to her myself. And if . . .”

Belva interrupted with, “If you wanted to talk to a nincompoop you could of looked in a mirror!” Turning to me she said, “I think that’s what he does behind the shrub—he talks to hisself.”

“Stay away from my plant,” Jon hissed. “Your looks could kill it.”

She laughed in derision. “If your breath hasn’t killed it, nothing could.”

It plummeted downhill from there.

As did my mood. Call me Little Miss Fixit with the naïve, stupid, irrational idea that people can learn to live in peace.

No, I refuse to let that sad line be the end, because dadgummit, people can learn to get along with each other but they have to want to. So I have set it upon myself to try to learn how people might be led, or even enticed, to want to get along.

I’ll let you know what develops from this, which I am calling my Hafta Wanna Quest.

Conversation Starters:

1. Have you ever tried to help two people get along with each other better? What happened?

2. Have you ever become friend with someone you first thought you wouldn’t like?

3. What helps people get along with each other?

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