Written by Deborah Hautzig
Illustrated by Tom Leigh
One hot summer day Ernie had a cool idea. "Hey, Bert", he said. "Let's sell lemonade." "Good idea, Ernie", said Bert. "You go buy the lemons. Then we will make the lemonade together." "Right, Bert", said Ernie. "I will get the lemons." And he ran off to the store. On the way Ernie saw Grover and Big Bird. "Hi", said Ernie. "I am going to have a lemonade stand. Be sure to come." "Oh, we will", Big Bird said. "All these feathers can make a bird pretty hot." At Mr. McIntosh's store Ernie saw piles of lemons. He saw piles of oranges, too. The oranges looked delicious. Ernie bought them instead of lemons. Back home, Bert painted a sign. It said: "ICE-COLD LEMONADE 10$ A GLASS." When Ernie got home, Bert looked into the bag. "Ernie! These are oranges!" he yelled. "Where are the lemons?" "At the store", said Ernie. Bert groaned. "We need lemons for lemonade! I will get the lemons", said Bert. "And you finish painting the sign." Ernie said, "Sure, Bert." Bert went to the store. Susan and Bob were there. Bert told everyone what had happened. They all laughed. "I know how Ernie is", said Susan. "We can't expect him to get it right." "Lucky he has Bert", said Bob. "Lucky?" said Bert to himself. "It is not very lucky for me!" Then Bert went home. He walked into the kitchen. It was covered with blue paint! Ernie was covered with paint, too. "Ernie!" said Bert. "What a mess you made. Now I have to clean up. And you have to take a bath." "Right, Bert", said Ernie. "You start making the lemonade. I will not be long." Bert squeezed the lemons. He added sugar and ice water. He filled a big pitcher with lemonade. Then he made the sign look nice and neat. At last Ernie came back. He was sprinkling powder on himself. Most of it fell on the floor. "Hi, Bert! I'm ready to help now." "Help?" yelled Bert. "You are no help at all!" Bert set up the lemonade stand. Grover and Big Bird arrived first. "Mmmm", said Grover. "This lemonade is terrific, Ernie." Big Bird said, "It sure is. Ernie always has good ideas." Bert glared at Ernie. "It is easy to have ideas", Bert grumbled. "It is not so easy to make them work." Susan and Bob came. So did Gordon and Mr. McIntosh. Everyone was thirsty. Clink, clink went their dimes. Mr. McIntosh looked proud. "Ernie got the lemons at my store", he said. "Lemons?" grumbled Bert. "Ernie got oranges. I got the lemons." Gordon patted Ernie on the back. "You did a great job", he said. Ernie smiled. "Thanks, Gordon", he said. "Maybe I will do this every day!" Bert got red in the face. "Every day?" he said. "Sure, Bert!" said Ernie. "I will call it Ernie's Famous Lemonade!" Bert could not stand it anymore. "It's not fair!" Bert shouted. "I did all the work! I always do all the work. Ernie makes a mess. Ernie makes mistakes. But he has all the fun. And everybody expects me to do everything." Then he burst into tears. "Nobody ever even says thank you", he said. He ran inside. "Oh, this is so sad!" said Grover. He blew his nose. "Gee", Big Bird said. "I never knew Bert could cry." "Everybody can cry", Bob said. "That is true", said Susan. "Especially when everyone forgets about them." Everyone felt terrible. Ernie felt the worst of all. "I have to show Bert that I am really sorry. I will get him a present", he said. He left to look for a surprise for Bert. When Ernie got home, he peeked into the kitchen. Bert was sniffling sadly. "I am sorry, Bert", said Ernie. "I got a present to cheer you up. Please don't cry anymore!" He gave Bert the present. Bert stopped sniffling. He opened the present. His frown turned into a smile. "Oh, Ernie!" said Bert. "How wonderful! A Dustpan and brush! But you spent all the lemonade money on me." Ernie smiled shyly. "That is okay", he said. "You did all the work." Bert could not wait to try out his present. He began sweeping up the powder. "I will help, old buddy", said Ernie. "No", said Bert. "I like to sweep. Anyway, I sweep better than you! But you can keep me company, old pal." And Ernie did.