A Job for Janet

“A Job for Janet,” Friend, Feb. 1984, 8

A Job for Janet

Everyone in Janet’s family had a job to do on school mornings. Mother cooked breakfast. Janet’s big sister, Sarah, made the school lunches. Janet’s big brother, Kevin, washed the breakfast dishes. Everyone had a job but Janet.

“Can I help you make the lunches?” Janet asked Sarah.

“No,” Sarah answered. “You are too little. You would just be in the way.”

“Can I help you wash the dishes?” Janet asked Kevin.

“No,” Kevin answered. “You are too little. You would just be in the way.”

“I am not too little to help!” Janet said. “There must be a job for me.”

One morning when Mother was ready to drive Janet and Kevin and Sarah to school, Ruffles, their dog, began to bark.

“Wait,” Janet said. “Ruffles’s bowls are empty. He needs water and food.”

“I’m sorry,” Mother said. “Ruffles will have to wait. We don’t have time now.”

Janet watched Ruffles through the car window as they drove away. His tail drooped. He looked sad. Janet felt sad too.

The next morning Janet got up and dressed quickly. After breakfast she went outside and got Ruffles’s bowls. She carried them into the kitchen. Carefully she turned on the faucet and filled one bowl with water. She filled the other bowl with dog food from the big sack in the cup-board. She carried the bowls back outside and put them beside Ruffles’s doghouse.

“There, Ruffles,” Janet said. “Now you will not have to wait for your water and food.” Ruffles wagged his tail and licked Janet’s hand.

Janet came back into the kitchen just as Sarah finished the lunches and Kevin finished the dishes.

“Now everyone has a job to do before school,” Janet announced. “Mother cooks breakfast. Sarah makes the lunches. Kevin washes the dishes. And I take care of Ruffles!”

Illustrated by Brenda S. Braun