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That Friday afternoon Priscilla Robin left school feeling very cheerful. She had gotten an A on her book report. She had answered two difficult questions in science. Best of all, she had thought of the perfect place to sell lemonade. Starting Saturday, she would set up a stand at the top of Half-Mile Hill.
Priscilla pulled her old blue bike out of the school bike rack and climbed on. As she pedaled down School Street, the sun felt warm on her back. The breeze felt cool on her face. She turned a comer. Half-Mile Hill rose straight ahead. Half-Mile Hill was the biggest hill on her way home. It was the biggest hill in the whole town. Priscilla pedaled hard to get a good start. She began the long, difficult ride to the top.
"Wheii-wheii-wheiii," panted Priscilla. Her legs felt weak. Her mouth was dry. "Wheii-wheii-wheiii. " Pedaling was slow and hard, but if she stopped, she wouldn't be able to get started again. She'd have to walk her bike the rest of the way up. "Wheii-wheii-wheiii." She could almost see the shady spot at the top where she'd be able to rest.
"Hey, you, Priscilla Robin Redbreast!"
Only one person would say Priscilla's name in that rude way. Only one person would interrupt someone trying to bicycle up Half-Mile Hill. Only one person lived in a house partway up the hill.
Priscilla looked. Beside the road stood a curly haired girl. Her pink and yellow sunsuit was covered with ruffles. Her pink and yellow sandals had ruffly pink and yellow flowers all. over the straps. Only one person wore that many ruffles. Felicity. Felicity Doll.
"Look out! You've got a flat tire," criedFelicity.
Priscilla tottered. Her bike swerved. She scrambled off to check. "There's nothing wrong with my tires," she yelled. "You did that on purpose so I'd have to walk! Wheii-wheii-wheiii." She couldn't stop panting.
Felicity looked concerned. "You've been pedaling hard. You must be thirsty. Would you like some of my cherry soda?" She held out a frosty glass.
Priscilla blinked. "I am thirsty. Thank you, I would." She reached for the glass
"Too bad!" Felicity yanked it out of reach. While Priscilla watched, she gulped down every drop of the icy stuff. Then she crunched the ice.
Priscilla could almost taste that icy cold cube. She gripped her handlebars harder. "I may be thirsty now, but starting tomorrow, there'll be plenty of cold drinks on this hill!"
Felicity stopped chewing. She swallowed what was left of the ice. "Just what do you mean by that?"
Priscilla knew it was a mistake ever to tell Felicity anything. But she was too excited to stop. "The top of this hill is the best place in town for a lemonade stand. Tomorrow I'm going to have one there."
Felicity looked at the quiet, shady spot at the top of the hill.
Priscilla said, "I'm going to charge ten cents for a small glass and twenty-five cents for a large one."
"Ten cents-?" said Felicity. "Twenty-five -- ?"
"Everyone who goes up this hill is thirsty. They'll all buy lemonade, and I'll make lots of money," said Priscilla. She could almost see the tired, thirsty people crowding around her stand.
"Money-?" Felicity frowned. She looked again at the quiet, shady spot at the top of the hill. "A lemonade stand-?"
Priscilla was going to answer, but Felicity wasn't talking to her. Felicity was talking to herself.
"You told who?" said Priscilla's big sister, Eve, that night at dinner.
"Mom," corrected Mrs. Robin. She spread her napkin in her lap. "You told whom ......
"I told Felicity," said Priscilla.
" Wrrrrrouuu, " whimpered Priscilla's dog, Powwow. He was waiting under the table in case anyone spilled food.
Eve looked serious. "Telling Felicity Doll about your lemonade stand was a big mistake."
Priscilla felt her stomach get knotty. Her palms began to sweat.
Mr. Robin said, "What harm could it do to tell Felicity?"
Priscilla said, "Yes, Eve, what harm?"
Eve shook her head. "I don't know yet. I do know that Felicity Doll is a real snake. Telling her anything, ever, is asking for trouble. "
"I knew it, " said Priscilla. She suddenly wasn't hungry.
"Nonsense, " said Mrs. Robin. "By now Felicity has forgotten all about Priscilla's lemonade stand. "
"Do you really think so?" Priscilla felt a little better.
Mrs. Robin said, "I'm sure of it. Who would like chutney with their fish?"
Priscilla's stomach relaxed. Her palms stopped sweating. She thought, Mom's right. What does Felicity care? She took a big helping of chutney and began to wonder just how many glasses of lemonade she would sell the next day.
The next morning Mr. Robin helped Priscilla load the big cooler into her wagon. Mrs. Robin helped her fill it with ice from the freezer. Eve helped her mix four big batches of lemonade in giant jars. Everyone helped arrange the jars in the cooler.
"Do you have enough cups?" said Mr. Robin.
Priscilla nodded. "I have sixty large ones and sixty small ones. I hope I run out of large ones first."
Mrs. Robin smiled. "We hope so, too. Do you have money to make change?"
Priscilla patted her pocket. "I have two dollars in change. I have a shoe box to use as a bank. And to watch my bank, I have a trained guard dog."
"Raf-raf!" barked Pow-wow.
"Good luck!" called Mr. and Mrs. Robin.
"Sell lots of lemonade!" called Eve.
Priscilla pulled her wagon along the sidewalk. Pow-wow trotted alongside. The day was sunny and already warm. In an hour it would be hot. "This is a perfect lemonade-stand day," said Priscilla. "That quiet, shady spot at the top of the hill is a perfect lemonade-stand spot. "
Pow-wow saw the sign before Priscilla did.
Best Enemies Again . Copyright © by Kathleen Leverich. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.