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Two sisters, Shirley and Betty Jo, had one bike. Not each. Just one bike. They had to share, in other words. It took a year or two to get the hang of it. Not the bike, I mean sharing. In the beginning they played tricks on each other to have the bike for themselves. For instance, Betty Jo reported one day: “It’s lost!” A week later Shirley spotted Betty Jo on the bike in the center of their small town. Betty Jo had been hiding it behind Mr. Caroon’s place, enjoying it the whole time and keeping it to herself. She escaped with only a verbal warning. A loud, long verbal warning.

Shirley wasn’t so innocent either. She deflated the tires and hid the pump under the old washtub in the corner of the backyard. This worked for a good while but she got tired of pumping up the tires whenever she wanted to ride. Which was often. The pump magically re-appeared one day. No verbal warnings this time — Shirley never revealed her secret. This is a small oil painting on canvas of a girl’s bike — the old-fashioned kind with no gears. No need to lock it, just lean it against whatever’s handy and go on about your business. It’s always there when you return.

Michael Chambers, Sisters' Bike

Sisters' Bike, oil painting by Mike Chambers

See the Good Will Bike, for a less colorful but just as vibrant bike!