“The Bad-Mood Bus,” Friend, May 2015, 32–33
Kylie stepped onto the big yellow school bus, trying not to look right at Marsha, the bus driver. Marsha always gave Kylie a look that made her feel like a bug under someone’s shoes.
“Sit down and be quiet!” Marsha barked over her loudspeaker. Kylie slipped into a seat next to her best friend, Tanisha.
“Is she ever in a good mood?” Tanisha whispered to Kylie.
“I don’t know why she’s so mean,” Kylie whispered back.
Just then, Marsha yelled, “Boy in the blue shirt! Turn around and face forward!”
Kylie and Tanisha looked at each other and frowned. They used to tell each other jokes on the bus ride, but now they were afraid to—Marsha might yell at them.
On the way home, Marsha yelled at a girl for talking too loud. Kylie didn’t say a word. When she got home, she sat down and put her head in her hands.
“Is something wrong?” Mom asked.
“I don’t know why our bus driver is so mean,” Kylie said. “Why does she hate everyone?”
“Maybe she feels sad,” Mom said. “Maybe she needs a friend.”
Kylie hadn’t thought of that, but it made sense. Anyone could become grumpy without friends.
Then Kylie had an idea. She got out some paper and folded a card. On the front she drew some flowers and wrote, “To Marsha.” On the inside of the card, she wrote: Dear Marsha, My name is Kylie. I have one sister and one brother. I like to draw. Thanks for driving the bus for us! Love, Kylie.
Kylie was nervous on the ride home the next day. Her hands shook as she pulled out the card. At her stop, Kylie handed Marsha the card, then ran out the door.
Kylie thought about it for the rest of the day. She wondered if Marsha would be angry about the card.
The next morning Kylie walked to the bus on jelly legs. She thought Marsha might yell at her. But when she looked up, Marsha gave her a big smile—something Kylie had never seen on her face before.
And then—even stranger—Marsha handed Kylie something. It was a postcard!
Kylie read the postcard on the bus ride to school.
Dear Kylie, Thank you so much for the card! No one has ever been so kind before. It sounds like you have a nice family. I don’t have a family, but I do have three cats I rescued from the shelter. Thanks for thinking of me! Love, Marsha.
Marsha didn’t say an angry word the entire ride.
“What’s that?” Tanisha asked, pointing to the postcard.
Kylie grinned. “A letter from my new friend!”