It was a very hot day and my little brother was bugging me.
"Can't you see I'm reading a book?" I said.
Then he asked if we could play a game. I thought it might be fun. Maybe I could come up with something that would get him to leave me alone for a while. Then I could finish reading my new book.
I got an idea.
"OK, let's play pretend. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you will be invisible. That means no one can see you, no matter what."
My brother smiled and seemed to like the idea very much. I thought I was pretty smart and went back to reading.
"But how do we play?" he asked, slightly confused about pretending to be invisible.
"Since I can't see you," I explained, "I can't hear you, and because I can't hear you, I can't answer any questions. Later, it can be my turn to be invisible."
"When?" he wanted to know.
"I can't hear you because you are invisible."
"But invisible means you can't see me. It doesn't mean you can't hear me, or smell me, or feel me."
"Yes, it does," I told him.
He kept on. "Then how did you just answer me if you can't hear me?"
"Because you spoiled the game and now we will have to start all over again. As of this minute, you are invisible. Starting now."
"But wait," he said. "When will you be invisible?"
"After you're invisible!"
I went back to reading. He still looked confused.
Then, he got an idea that was pretty good for a little brother. He started tickling me. And I am very ticklish. But he was invisible. So I had to pretend not to be ticklish, which is really hard to do. I tried to swallow and hold my breath and do everything possible not to laugh.
It was too late. My tickle laugh came out very loud and funny.
I gave up--then tickled my "invisible" brother right back!
Patricia Rust is author of "The King of Skittledeedoo," a children's picture book that promotes literacy. She also heads the Rust Foundation for Literacy. You can visit her at http:// www.PowerForKids.com.
© 2012 Patricia Rust all rights apply