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Chapter 18
Leslie had five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot. For each hand she had an arm, and for each foot she had a leg. She was a very lucky girl. And she had two lovely, long brown pigtails that reached all the way down to her waist.

When Mrs. Jewls asked a question, Leslie could raise one of her hands.

When Leslie was adding, she could count on her fingers.

When Paul pulled one of her pigtails, she could kick him with one foot while standing on the other.
71But Leslie had one problem. She didn't know what to do with her toes. She had ten adorable little toes and nothing to do with them. As far as she could tell, they served no useful purpose.
"Suck your toes. That's what I do," said Sharie.

But Leslie's foot wouldn't reach her mouth.

"Well, that's all toes are good for," said Sharie. She put her foot in her mouth and went to sleep.

"No," thought Leslie. "They must be good for something. They just have to be."

During recess, she asked Dana. "Dana, what do you do with your toes?"

"I scratch the back of my legs," said Dana. "First I scratch my left leg with my right foot. Then I scratch my right leg with my left foot."

"But my legs don't itch," said Leslie.

"That's good," said Dana. "In that case you can scratch my legs. With your help I can scratch both legs at the same time."

"No, never mind," said Leslie. She walked up behind Louis, the yard teacher, and hopped on his shoulders.

"Louis," said Leslie. "I don't know what to do with my toes."

Louis tugged her foot. "Yes, that is a serious problem," he said, "but I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll take them off your hands for you, or rather, your feet. Just cut them off and give them to me."

"What?" asked Leslie.

"You don't want them, so I'll take them," said Louis. "You won't have to worry about them ever again."
72"No," said Leslie.
"I'll give them to Miss Mush," said Louis. "She can make little hot dogs out of them." Miss Mush was the lunch teacher.

"No, I'm not going to give my toes away," said Leslie.

"All right," said Louis. "I'll give you a nickel apiece for them."

"No, you can't have them," said Leslie.

"Why not?" Louis asked. "They're no good to you, anyhow. And think of all you can buy for fifty cents."

The bell rang.

"I'll think it over," said Leslie. She ran back to class.

"Mrs. Jewls," said Leslie, "I don't see any reason for keeping my toes."

"Oh, Leslie, I'm sure there are lots of good reasons," said Mrs. Jewls.

"Well, I can't think of any. My legs don't itch, and I can't get my foot in my mouth. Louis offered me a nickel apiece for them, and it seems to me like a good deal. But I wanted to check with you first."

"I think Louis was pulling your leg," said Mrs. Jewls.

"No," said Leslie, "he was pulling my toes."

"What would he want with your toes?" asked Mrs. Jewls.

"I don't know," said Leslie, "but if he's willing to give me five cents apiece for them, then I'm going to take him up on it. That's fifty cents."

At lunch, Leslie walked up to Louis. "Okay, Louis,"she said, "you can have my toes for a nickel apiece.
73That will be fifty cents."
"Not so fast," said Louis. "Let me look at them first."

Leslie took off her shoes.

"Yes, yes," said Louis, "the big ones are good, and the ones next to them, but the most I'll give you for the rest of your toes is three cents each."

Leslie was furious. "Three cents each! You told me five at recess."

"I'll give you five cents for the big ones. But just look at that scrawny little runt of a toe on the end, there. You're lucky to be getting even three cents for it. I think you're getting a darn good deal."

"I happen to like that toe," said Leslie.

"Fine, then," said Louis, "keep it. I'll just take the two big toes, and we'll call it square." He reached in his pocket and pulled out a dime.

"Nothing doing," said Leslie. "These toes are sold as a set. It's either all ten for fifty cents or no deal. What am I going to do with just eight toes?"

"Then forget it," said Louis. "I'm not going to give you a nickel for those scrawny little end toes."

"Fine," said Leslie, "no deal. My toes will still be here if you change your mind." She turned and walked toward the hopscotch area.

"Wait a second," Louis called. "I'll give you a dollar each for your pigtails."

Leslie turned around and looked at him with fiery eyes. "Cut my hair!" she exclaimed. "Are you crazy?"
7419: Miss Zarves
There is no Miss Zarves. There is no nineteenth story. Sorry.


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