My Friends*

I’ve got two friends, Andreas and Morphoula. All three of us are like one. Once we’ve studied, we show our homework to one another. When one finds something hard, another one will help. We play together at one of our places, taking turns.
I love Morphoula because she’s always beautiful, neat and well-groomed.
She’s mild-mannered, too. She will never shove you, touch your things or use bad language. She’s willing to give whatever they ask of her if she has it. She’s the first to offer what she has to poor kids. She’s also clever, quickly understanding every lesson and, if someone asks about something, she’s willing to explain the lesson to them. She never says anything twice. And she always talks properly and pleasantly.
Her fingers are tidy. I’ve never seen her uniform being filthy - ever. Her books and notebooks, her schoolbag, are super clean.
I love Andreas because he’s clean and well-groomed, too. He doesn’t shout or fight; neither does he lie nor does he get into mischief.
I’ve loved him since the day I saw how brave a boy he is.
It was an afternoon in the early days since school had begun. We had just left school and were walking home with some other children who live in the same neighbourhood as we do. On our way back, there was a pretty big lad, selling sesame rings. While we were passing in front of him, a barefoot urchin grabbed a sesame ring from him and ran away. The sesame ring vendor left his basket on the street and chased the young kid, until he caught him. Yet, in the meantime, the sesame ring had been partly eaten. So, the sesame ring guy started beating the little child, cursing him and pulling him towards the place where he’d laid down his basket.
Then, Andreas went close and told him:
“Leave him alone. He may have been hungry and had no money. There you are! I’ll pay for the ring he took”, he said and took some money out of his pocket giving it to the vendor.
Apparently, however, the vendor enjoyed walloping the child and would not stop. The little boy was screaming in pain.
“Let him go, aren’t you listening?” said Andreas angrily now, while we gathered around.
Then, the guy with the sesame rings looked at Andreas contemptuously and called him a name.
Andreas leapt on him. He so suddenly punched him in the face twice, that the bully was frightened. He let go of the little kid, who immediately vanished into thin air, and tried to take on Andreas. But Andreas intrepidly gave him some more punches, which made the bully stand still, watching us agape.
“This will teach you not to be foul-mouthed”, said Andreas to him, “and not to thrash anyone to enjoy yourself, for I’ve paid you for the sesame ring.”
The bully was still flustered while we walked away.
I have since loved Andreas a lot and have no other friends but him and sweet Morphoula.

*Source: Ρώτα-Οληγαίου Κ. και Δημ. Ζήση. ΑΝΑΓΝΩΣΤΙΚΟ Γ΄ ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟΥ. Αθήναι: Οργανισμός Εκδόσεως Διδακτικών Βιβλίων, 1949. Translated into English by Demetrios Hadjinicolaou.