Our Boat


Ferdy and I quarrel sometimes, but not always. We don’t like quarrelling, and yet somehow we can’t help it; and Ferdy will want everything his own way because he is the elder, and that isn’t fair. I ought to have my way sometimes, I think.

Mother gave us a boat not long ago–a beautiful boat, with a sail and a dingy and everything complete, and it was to be between us. So we took off our shoes and stockings and went down by the quay to sail our boat. It sailed as nicely as any boat could, and we were so pleased with it, but in spite of that we began to quarrel. You see, Ferdy wanted to call the boat the “Amy,” after Amy Stevens, a little girl we have met on the beach this summer. Ferdy thinks her as pretty as a fairy, but I don’t, though she’s very jolly sometimes, and can play at anything. Well, Ferdy would have the boat called “Amy,” and I wanted it to be “Isabel,” after mother, because she gave us the boat, and we love her better than any one else in the world. And then we quarrelled. I suppose we made a noise–quarrelling people generally do–for suddenly we found that Amy was watching and listening, and then Ferdy turned very red and did not say anything for some minutes.

“Look here, Alf,” he said at last; “I’ll give you my share of the boat, and then you shall call it what you like.”

“Oh, no!” I said, “you must have half–and so you shall, for if you give me your share I’ll give you mine.”

So we settled it very nicely in that way, and called the boat “Isabel Amy;” and all the afternoon Amy Stevens played that she was the captain and we were the sailors.