hot rod drawing

The Best in the World

Summary: A kindergarten classroom in Glass Shard Beach, New Jersey, circa 196?.


Stanford set his hand against the construction paper and took out his brown marker. Stanley, who was sitting next to him, had already drawn a rather shoddy drawing of a sailboat in the top corner.

“Okay, class,” the teacher, Mrs. Feldman, was saying, “make sure you keep your hand very still on the paper, or it won’t turn out right. Take your brown markers and trace around your handprints.”

Stanley grabbed a blue marker and slammed his hand down on the paper.

“Stan, turkeys are brown, not blue,” Stanford admonished, beginning to trace around his splayed hand very carefully.

“Well all the awesome turkeys are blue!” Stanley exclaimed, and began to trace his own hand, pressing down on the marker so hard it began to smash and dyed the edges of his hand.

“Would you want to eat a blue turkey?” Stanford asked as he finished his tracing.

“Yeah I would! That would be awesome!”

“Alright class, when you’ve finished, you can lift your hands from the paper. Your thumb will be the neck and head of your turkey, and your fingers are the feathers. Have fun decorating your turkeys however you like!”

The twins each lifted their hands in tandem. Stanley grinned at his drawing, the thick blue lines still shining from the drying ink. He turned to his brother, expecting to see the same smile looking back at him. Instead, Stanford was wearing a frown.

“What’s up, bro-bro?” Stanley took up a red marker and began to draw hot-rod flames on his turkey.

“My turkey came out wrong,” Stanford replied. Stanley stopped mid-flame and frowned at his brother’s handprint.

“How? I don’t see anything weird with it.”

“But it’s wrong,” Stanford insisted. He stared at his hand. The edges had still been dyed a faint brown, despite his best intentions. 

“There’s nothing wrong with it,” Stanley huffed. Stanford didn’t reply, so Stanley decided that his verdict of normalcy had been enough and went back to his hot-rod flames. He was totally immersed in the craft, tongue sticking out in concentration, when Stanford mumbled something so low that Stanley wasn’t even sure he’d heard it.

“My turkey came out wrong because I’m wrong.”

Stanley’s marker froze in place and he turned to his brother. He was just as Stanley had left him before, staring at his hand, but now there were fat tears in Stanford’s eyes. They hadn’t yet fallen, and Stanley wasn’t even sure his brother knew they were there. Stanley glanced back and forth between Stanford and his outstretched hand, trying to figure out what was making him so upset.

“What are you talking about, Ford?” Stanley asked cautiously. The red ink of his marker began to make a bleeding red dot at the end of one of his flames.

“Mine isn’t like everyone else’s. Everyone else has four feathers!” Stanford said around the lump in his throat. He was barely keeping in the tears now, and he was trembling. “I have five! Five feathers! It’s supposed to be four.”

“So? That just means your turkey is better than everyone else’s,” Stanley stated matter-of-factly. “The more feathers there are, the more awesomer the turkey is.”

Stanford stared at him, astonished. A thought came to Stanley and he beamed.

“Hey, that means you have the best turkey in the world!” he exclaimed.

A cautious smile broke out on Stanford’s face. He looked at his hand, and then at the other drawings around him. He broke out into a wide grin, and the fat tears were banished from his eyes.

“Well, you have the best looking turkey in the world,” Stanford beamed.

“Darn tootin’!” He threw his hands in the air and cheered, and Stanford joined him. A few kids laughed around them, but they were all too absorbed in their projects to pay attention.

“Yes! Best turkeys in the world!” he crowed.

“Best brothers in the world!” Stanford echoed. He held up his marker-stained hand. “High five!”

“No, best brothers in the world get the best high-five in the world: a high-six,” Stanley replied, and clapped hands with his brother.