Annie is counting down the seconds until spring break begins. Finally, the school bell rings, and spring break is here! Annie is excited about her spring vacation with her mother. But when she enters her house, she trips on a toy car. Who could have left it there? It belonged to two little twins--Annie's twin cousins, Chipper and Marla. Annie wonders why they've come. Surprisingly, Annie's mother didn't explain it to her, but she's agreed to watch Aunt Clara's four-year-old twins during spring break. Annie's aunt Clara nneded a break from watching them. They could be quite a handful, and they are. They play with the shaving cream, and Annie tries finding something quiet that the twins could do. Annie knows that her mother can't watch the twins every second because she's so busy. Mother knows Annie's right, so she let's Annie watch the twins herself for part of the time since she has the week off for school anyway. But Annie says she has other things to do. It would be nice if Annie were more selfless.
At Plato's Peak, Annie tells her friends about her dilemma on babysitting her twin cousins for most of her spring vacation. She deserves the week off, and she has worked hard in school. Zach says he's going to do nothing but fish, play, and read. Ari suggests that Annie should ask Aurora who is taking time off to hatch some abandoned bird's eggs. The birds who laid them must have had an accident or something. Aurora could use some company, so everyone goes to visit her. Aurora had been sitting on that nest for several days, and her tail feathers are feeling stiff. Aurora explains to Annie that when you care for someone, you may find it's not so easy at times.
In a Spanish fairy tale called The Line of Golden Light, there lived a girl just about Annie's age named Avilla. She had a younger sister who was blind, and her name was Gabriela. Avilla loved her sister so much. Gabriela wished to see the sunlight, because she said it was the most beautiful thing of all. Avilla would do anything to give her sister the sense of sight to see everything. One day, Avilla went around and asked people how she can make Gabriela see the light. Finally, she came to her mother and father to tell her some good news. An old woman in a cave had a magic cure that would give Gabriela her sense of sight. But her father said that the woman in the cave is a stranger and would turn people down. Avilla just had to go there and get her to help her sister see no matter what happened. As soon as Avilla arrived at the cave, she met the old woman and asked for the cure to give Gabriela her sight. The woman said that Avilla could never do it because many people care more about themselves than other people. Avilla was certain she could do it, even if she had to go from one end of the world to the other just to clear her sister's blindness. So the woman gave Avilla a magic thread and told her to carry it all around the world. And so, Avilla took the thread and started her journey. But when she came to the woods, she didn't want to go in there because it was dark. When the thread grew flowers on it, Avilla thought about Gabriela smelling the flowers and thinking about how lovely they'd look. Avilla went on into the woods until she heard the growling of a bear. . The thread turned the bear into a squirrel who helped Avilla continue on her journey. Avilla knew her trip wouldn't be as scary as she had thought. When Avilla came upon a muddy swamp, she thought that not many creatures could get across. But when she saw a frog hopping across, she thought about Gabriela imagining how funny and cute a frog would look to her. Avilla knew she couldn't quit for her sister. Avilla managed to get herself across the muddy waters with help from the frogs. When Avilla found herself in a hot and dry desert, she felt thursty. Just then, the magic thread turned the sand into jewels. Avilla thought that if the thread could do that, it could give Gabriela her vision. When Avilla finally carried the thread clear around the world and back to the cave, something happened to the old woman. She turned into a lovely princess. She had been sent to the cave many years ago because she only cared for herself. But thanks to Avilla, she helped break the spell. And as promised, the princess gave Gabriela her sense of sight. Gabriela saw everything now, and it all looked more beautiful than she imagined. But what really was the most beautiful of all was Avilla because of her selflessness.
Annie wishes she could find a way to make the twins magically disappear. Sock says he could be just as selfless. Plato himself has a story to tell Annie.
There was once a noble and selfless knight named Sir George. Because of his selflessness, he was known as St. George. He always thought of other people instead of just himself all the time. He brought thieves to justice and slayed wild animals until all the evil and danger was gone away. St. George even made up a song about his bravery and selflessness. One day, some villagers heard loud noises and were scared. There was a fire-breathing dragon threatening the kingdom! He was a very hungry dragon in search of a maiden to have for his dinner. A beautiful maiden pleaded not to be eaten by the dragon. She'd have to fight him herself if she were to die. St. George rode to the scene of horror on his horse. The maiden told the great knight that people's lives are at risk against the dragon who threatened to eat everyone. The maiden's father, the king, was too old to fight him, so she decided on fighting the dragon herself. But St. George said to her that he can fight the dragon with her together. Singing his song, St. George was led to the dragon who was asleep in a pool of water. No sooner had they arrived when the dragon woke up. The battle was on! The dragon breathed his firey breath and caused havoc. When the dragon was wounded enough, St. George gave him his last blows with his sword. The brave knight told the maiden's father that the dragon was dead and the kingdom should fear him no more. Since St. George had been selfless and the princess helped him out, the king rewarded him the right to stay in the kingdom and help protect his subjects. And after the king died, St. George became king in his place.
The princess and the knight really knew how to handle themselves. Annie and Zach wouldn't even go up against that dragon themselves. Suddenly, Ari calls everyone to come over. Aurora's eggs are hatching! After watching the baby birds hatch out of their shells, Annie understands the virtue of selflessness. Maybe babysitting the twins won't be so hard for Annie after all. It would be even better if Zach helped her. Thinking it over, Zach decides that it couldn't hurt to help his friend with her cousins. Plato recites some lines from a poem called Beautiful.