The Home of the Brave: White


“America, let us go,” Martin pleaded. “We’re tired.”

“But we’re almost done!” America insisted. “Don’t you wanna play with my toys?”

“But you’re not being fair. We’re your brothers and sisters. You can’t treat us like this.”

America stomped her foot on the floor. “If you really were my brothers and sisters, you would help me fix my toys!”

“Is that my sombrero?” Hidalgo asked, pointing at the bed.

“Yeah!” America shouted, running over and putting it on her head. “Isn’t it pretty? If you help me fix my toys, I’ll let you wear some of them.”

“Wear some of them?” Hidalgo asked. “But they’re mine.”

While all of this was going on, none of the children noticed Harriet sneaking off to the closet to find out what was inside. She unlocked the door, opened it, and to her shock, a flood of balls, bows and arrows, slingshots, and wooden drums came pouring out. And last of all, a little boy dropped to the floor with his mouth gagged and his hands and feet tied together behind his back.

“Squanto!” Harriet screamed.

Martin and Hidalgo spun when they heard the noise and jumped when they saw their brother on the floor.

“What happened to you?” Martin asked.

“Why are you tied up?” wondered Hidalgo.

Harriet worked at the gag and the ropes, but they were all too tight for her to undo. “Did you do this, America?”

“He wouldn’t listen to me!” America cried. “I told him I wanted the room, but he wouldn’t leave!”

“So Daddy didn’t say you could have it,” Martin said.

America lowered her eyes to the floor.

“You lied to us!” Martin shouted. “This is wrong, America. You can’t do this to people. We’re your family.”

“Yeah,” said Hidalgo. “And what about my sombreros?!

“I was gonna let you guys play with everything when we were finished,” America pouted.

“Listen,” Harriet said, stepping into the group. “This is wrong. Daddy didn’t say you could take Squanto’s room. And he didn’t say you could take Hidalgo’s sombreros or his maracas.”

“You took my maracas too?!” Hidalgo shouted. “This is loco!

“You need to apologize,” Harriet went on.

“No!” America shouted back, crossing her arms. “They’re mine now. Finders keepers.”

“But you didn’t find them, you took them!” Martin argued. He looked at the wall then stopped. “Is that my teddy bear?”

“I was gonna let you play with it when you were done,” America said, running over to it before he could touch it.

“But it’s mine! You stole it!” He took the teddy bear and carried it across the room.

“Give it back!” America shrieked, grabbing it from him.

“It’s mine!”

America let go with one hand then threw her fist and punched him in the face. Martin dropped to the floor on his backside, holding his bleeding nose.

“That’s enough!” Harriet shouted. “Listen to me. You’re gonna apologize to Martin. You’re gonna apologize to Squanto. You’re gonna untie him then you’re gonna take all your toys out and go back to your room.”

“And what if I don’t want to?” America spat.

The boys gasped.

Harriet narrowed her eyes at her little sister then stepped up and stared down at her. “Then we’re telling Daddy.”

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