Share and Share Alike! [1988]

  • Share and Share Alike! – Mandy PSL: #121 [1988]
  • Reprinted – Mandy PSL: #269
  • Cover Art: Norman Lee
  • Inside Art: Tom Hurst

Plot

Sheila and Sharon Terry are twins that are constantly fighting, much to the exasperation of their parents. While they know their daughters do actually care for each other, they are  also fiercely competitive and jealous. They don’t like to see each other get what they think is favoritism. Whether it’s Dad cleaning Sharon’s bike, or Mom making Sheila her favourite sandwiches for lunch. Each perceives the other as having the jealousy problem and their parents have had enough. They tell them from now on everything will be shared and they will get treated exactly the same. The twins are delighted and finally agree that this is what they always wanted.

They are soon to realise it’s not as great a deal as they initially thought,  when at breakfast the next morning they do get exactly the same thing – but it’s something neither of them like. Mom’s logic being they can at least agree on that. Then on the way to school Sharon gets a puncture, and receives lines for being late. Dad’s not going to help her fix the bike because he’s tired of being accused of favourtism. But Mom makes Sheila help so they can share the burden and they even make her write out lines. This trend continues so when a dog causes Sharon to drop shopping breaking jars, they both have to pay. The girls are aware that their parents think they are clever, but they figure they can out smart them by upping the “share and share alike” mentality. They go for a boat trip and when dad comes looking for them they say they haven’t returned because they were using one oar, rowing in circles! When they do exactly same work at school, resulting in a letter from the headmistress, Mom thinks they should call it off but Dad is not broken so easily. He clears things up with the headmistress, and lets the wins know schoolwork is not to be shared.

Perhaps because they are working together to try and outsmart their parents, it ends up having the desired affect of them actually getting along. But then this is quickly undone when when Sheila waits for Sharon after school, and Sharon thinks she’s already gone home. The reason Sharon was delayed was Miss Brett called her over to tell her they have both been selected to cross country competition and Sharon had asked Sheila to wait for her. (This is a bit odd as they were both selected and Sheila was also right there, why didn’t Miss Brett talk to the both of them?!) Now they both intend to win and are more competitive than ever! Then during training, Sheila takes a risk trying to pass Sharon out and falls into the river. Sharon jumps after them and together they make it to shore but Sheila gets sick after. Luckily it’s not too serious but it does mean she is out of the race. On the day of the race Sharon is uncharacteristically quiet. Sharon has a tough race ahead of her and back home Sheila can picture the race and where Sharon would be. Sharon feels Sheila willing her on and is determined to win for both of them. She succeeds and at home the twins are delighted and they will share the cup. Their parents are optimistic that this is the end of their feud.

Thoughts

Favouritism can be a sensitive issue, whether it’s justified or not. There may be a slight issue here of a parent doing extra for a daughter at times but certainly not to any extreme and it’s clear the parents love both daughters. I am reminded of another picture story library book Unfair to Favourites although in that case there is a clear case of favouritism and the sisters get along fine, the resolution is also through a sport (gymnastics).  In this story what the twins perceive of favourtism is made worse by their jealousy. It is when the “share and share alike” rule is brought in, it shows how petty some of their complaints were. Such as arguing about who took the last of the marmalade or toast when they could both be given cereal they don’t like instead for breakfast.

It is a clever idea by the parents, although it seems Dad is much more willing to see it through no matter what! It is fun to see Sharon and Sheila try to outsmart their parents. It’s a pity their teamwork is in a fragile state that it breaks down after argument and they become competitive over race. Then when Sheila nearly drowns things change, perhaps they take mom’s talking to, to heart or it’s the realisation that they would not want to lose each other, but whatever the reason the twins grow closer. Sharon and Sheila feel connected during the race and Sheila knows Sharon has won even before they get the phone call. It’s hard to tell if the “share and share alike” rule did help overall or if this would have happened anyway when they were both picked for cross country. In any case at the end of the story Mom and Dad decide it’s best not to make a big deal out of dropping the rule, but I’d hope that even if they did bring it up that Sharon and Sheila’s relationship is stronger to survive that now.

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