Thanks to Helen DeBruyn, who posted this story to the Guiding Mailing List.
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Andrea knew she was the best Brownie. She knew her Promise and Law and Motto. She was always on time for each meeting. She knew the Brownie song. She was always quiet in Circle. Yes, Andrea knew she was the Best Brownie. One Saturday, mom asked Andrea to clean her room. “I Promise!” said Andrea. But cartoons were on, and her pet kitty was snuggled up nice and warm, and her room was really, really messy. And Andrea forgot.
Later, mom asked Andrea if her room was clean, and, since Andrea wanted to go outside and play, she closed her bedroom door, told mom her room was clean, and away she went. But Andrea still knew she was the best Brownie. One day, Andrea brought home a math test. She told dad she tried her best, but it was such a nice day, and there were 2 squirrels playing outside her classroom window, and she really just guessed at the answers. Andrea failed her math test, but she still felt okay, because she knew that she was the best Brownie.
Another day, the most popular girl in school asked Andrea to put toilet paper all over the boy’s washroom. Andrea knew that it was wrong, but she wanted to be popular, and toilet paper could be cleaned up, so she did it. But Andrea and the most popular girl in school got caught, and the principal called mom and dad. They were very upset. “Why did you do something you knew was wrong?” And Andrea was grounded from TV for one whole week. But Andrea still knew she was the best Brownie.
Another time, Andrea went on a walk with Grandma. On the walk, they passed some newspaper fluttering on the ground. Grandma asked Andrea to pick up the paper and put it in the trashcan. But Andrea told Grandma that she had made a promise to mom to never pick up trash because she might get sick. So Grandma picked up the paper herself and threw it away. Andrea still felt happy, because she knew she was the best Brownie.
One Wednesday, as Andrea was getting ready to go to her Brownie meeting, mom asked her to help clear the table after dinner. But Andrea had to get her uniform on, and find her book, and brush her teeth, and put her hair neatly in a scrunchie. So she didn’t help. But Andrea still knew she was the best Brownie.
At the Brownie meeting that night, Brown Owl said they were going to talk about the Promise. This was going to be a fun night, thought Andrea. She knew her Promise absolutely perfectly! Brown Owl started, “I Promise to do my best”. Andrea always did her best. Well, maybe not on the math test, but almost always. Brown Owl continued, “to be true to myself.” That was easy, thought Andrea. She always did what she knew was the right thing to do. Well, except when she put toilet paper in the boy’s washroom. Some more of the Promise said, “my God and Canada.” Andrea wasn’t really sure what that meant, but was always proud of Canada. Well, maybe she could have kept her little part of Canada cleaner by picking up the newspaper.
The end of the Promise said “I will help other people and keep the Brownie Law.” Andrea loved helping people and did it all the time! Well, except for the time she didn’t help Grandma. Andrea was quiet all through Brownies, and on the way home. At bedtime, instead of reading a story, mom and dad asked Andrea what was wrong. Andrea said maybe she wasn’t the best Brownie. Mom said all they wanted Andrea to do was to be the best Andrea she could be. If she was the best Andrea, then she would be a good Brownie too. And Andrea made a promise that she would be the best Andrea she could be from then on. And that was a promise she knew she could keep.
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