Lilly and Anna were best friends.
They ate their breakfast together and they had their bath together.
They both had their hair plaited and they both wore shiny black shoes.
They told each other everything and they played together all day.
At night Mum would tuck them both into Lilly’s bed and they’d cuddle up together and go to sleep.
One day Mum took Lilly and Anna to the park to play.
They swung on the swings and touched the sky with their toes.
They whizzed down the slide with giggles and squeals.
They jumped into the sandpit with both feet and then they stopped.
There was a new girl in the sandpit.
“I like your dolly, can I hold her” said the girl.
Lilly squeezed Anna but she didn’t want to be rude.
The girl pulled at Anna’s arms and knocked one of her shiny black shoes off . She tugged the ribbon out of her plait and got sand in her hair.
Butterflies swooped in Lilly’s tummy. “Can I have her back now,” she asked.
The girl shook her head, “I’m going to keep her.”
“But she’s mine.”
“She’s mine now,” said the girl, “And you can’t tell. It’s a secret.”
That night Lilly couldn’t sleep. Her tummy hurt and her pillow was cold and damp. She sniffed. Her bed felt very big without Anna in it.
At breakfast she couldn’t eat her pancakes and she wouldn’t have a bath.
She didn’t want her hair plaited and she wouldn’t wear her shiny shoes.
“What’s wrong Lilly,” Dad asked but Lilly couldn’t say.
It was a secret.
“Mum?” Lilly asked, “do you have any secrets?”
Mum stopped making lunch, “I don’t think so. I don’t really like secrets, I prefer surprises. They’re much more fun.”
“Hmmm,” said Lilly.
“Dad? If you know a secret, is it alright to tell?”
Dad put down his newspaper, “That depends. If it’s a secret that makes you feel all yucky inside then it’s better to tell Mum or I, or another special grown-up, like Grandma or Pop.”
“Hmmm,” said Lilly.
That night she still couldn’t sleep. She felt yucky all over and she was sure Anna did too.
She got out of bed.
Mum and Dad were watching television.
“What’s wrong Lilly?”
Lilly took a deep breath and then she told them all about the girl, and Anna’s shoe and the sand in her hair. She told them all about the secret. And her tummy didn’t hurt any more.
“That was very brave,” said Mum.
“You did the right thing,” said Dad.
“I know,” said Lilly.
The next day Lilly and Dad went to the park. The little girl was there with her mum.
“It was a secret,” said the little girl as she handed Anna back to Lilly.
“I don’t keep secrets from Mum and Dad,” said Lilly, “especially not yucky secrets.”
That night Lilly snuggled under her blankets and Anna snuggled in beside her.
They yawned and they smiled.
They closed their eyes and they dreamed.