All kids hate getting lectures from parents, even if there is a need for little ones to be taught the right thing to do. And most parents don’t realise that there is little use of giving a half an hour lecture when a more effective way would be to teach children a lesson by showing them what to do.
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson is a lovely short story both for kids and adults. Written in the first person from the point of view of a young boy, whose name is not mentioned, it is a story most kids will easily read, relate to and enjoy.
I read it online as it is available in PDF format and there is even a video with the colourful pages of the book in sharp focus as it is read aloud.
Reading it aloud to kids who haven’t started reading confidently on their own is also a good idea as they will enjoy the story and get interested in reading.
Coming to the story, it’s very simple but very creatively written, and the first person tone gives us insight into the feelings of the main character.
A new boy comes to live in the neighbourhood and protagonist already dislikes him enough to call him his enemy number one, on a list of enemies that has no other name.
Without really knowing the new boy, whose name we are told is Jeremy Ross, our story teller finds many reasons to dislike him.
For one, Jeremy has a trampoline on which others were invited to play but the boy wasn’t, and then Jeremy also laughed at our hero when he missed a shot in baseball.
When dad gets to know about it, he is very understanding and discloses that he knows a way to get rid of an enemy — by making an enemy pie for the enemy — and even offers to make one to solve the problem. However, for the secret ingredients to work, there are some conditions to be fulfilled — the boy has to spend a day with his enemy and behave nicely.
So eager is he to get rid of his enemy that the boy agrees to spend the day with Jeremy, and by the end of the day, after having enjoyed so much, Jeremy isn’t an enemy anymore, but a friend and now the boy doesn’t want him to have the enemy pie in case something bad happens to him.
To his surprise, dad and Jeremy enjoy the pie and later the boy too joins in.
Isn’t it the cutest and most effective way for a parent to tell a child not to judge other without knowing them first and that first impressions can be wrong sometimes?
Published in Dawn, Young World, May 12th, 2018