The mistake


On Sunday evening Alex hurried along the street where Daniel lived. It was snowy. Then he stopped. There was a red car opposite Daniel's house. Some of the snow under the car was black.

"That must be oil," thought Alex.


At that moment an old man looked out of a window.

"Beth," he said to his wife. "There's a young man outside, near our car. Look at his green hair - and he has an earring. Do you think he's going to steal the radio?"

"Perhaps he's going to steal the car," Mrs Skelton said. "Should we phone the police?"


Alex didn't see Mr and Mrs Skelton.

"The car has lost a lot of oil," he thought. "Perhaps the Greens know who the car belongs to. I think I should tell Daniel about it."


Alex walked up to Daniel's door and rang the bell.

Daniel was on the phone when the bell rang. When he opened the door, he got a surprise. Daniel almost didn't recognize Alex. His hair was very green.


"Come in, Alex," he said. "What have you done with your hair?"

"Oh, my dad got on my nerves about my hair," Alex explained. "I decided to spray a different colour on my hair. Do you like it?"

Daniel didn't want to hurt his friend. But he didn't like Alex's new hairstyle. He said, "Well, it is very different. Why should everybody look the same? What did your dad say when he saw your hair?"

Alex smiled. "He didn't like it. But my mum thinks the colour is OK. But listen," said Alex. "Does that red car opposite your house belong to your parents?"

Before Daniel could answer, Alex told him about the oil under the car.

"Don't worry," said Daniel. "That isn't our car. We've just sold our car. The red car belongs to our neighbours, Mr and Mrs Skelton. Let's tell them about the oil."


When Daniel and Alex left the house, they saw a police car in the street. Two police officers were with Mr and Mrs Skelton. Then Daniel heard Mrs Skelton's voice.

"Look!" Mrs Skelton shouted. "That's the young man we saw. The boy with the green hair! He's the boy who tried to steal our car!"


The police officers looked at Alex and Daniel. Daniel explained everything fast.

"I only wanted to help," Alex said.

"I'm sorry, young man, it was all a mistake," Mr Skelton said. "We often have problems with boys in this part of Sheffield. They help themselves to people's cars."

"Well, we know that, Mr Skelton," one of the police officers said. "But, don't forget, people aren't bad because they look different."