Love and Hate
«Marilla,» said Anne one day, «do any other little girls live near Green Gables? I’d like to have a best friend.»
«Yes,» answered Marilla. «Diana Barry is the same age as you. She lives at Orchard Slope, across the river. I’m going to visit her mother this afternoon. You can come with me.»
Mrs. Barry was a tall, thin woman. Diana was a very pretty little girl with black hair and dark eyes. She had a little sister, Minnie May. Minnie May was three years old.
«Diana, take Anne outside,» said Mrs. Barry.
Anne and Diana went outside and stood quietly by the flowers. Then they started to talk. They talked all afternoon.
«Did you like Diana, Anne?» asked Marilla later.
«Oh, yes,» said Anne happily. «Diana is wonderful!»
Anne and Diana met every day. Sometimes they played in the woods. Sometimes they read books and told stories.
Then summer ended and September came. Anne went to school in Avonlea. She was good at her lessons and she liked the other girls. But Anne didn’t like the teacher, Mr. Phillips, very much.
One day, there was a new boy in school. He was tall, with brown hair. The girls liked him.
«That’s Gilbert Blythe,» Diana said to Anne. «His family went away for the summer. They came back on Saturday.»
Gilbert’s desk was near Anne’s desk. He often looked at her. He wanted her to look at him, too. She was different from the other girls in Avonlea. But Anne wasn’t interested in Gilbert.
Gilbert took Anne’s hair in his hand. «Carrots!» he said loudly. «Carrots!»
Anne jumped to her feet and looked at Gilbert angrily. «I hate you!» she cried. «I hate you!» She hit Gilbert on the head with her slate and the slate broke. Everybody looked at her.
Mr. Phillips ran to her. «Anne Shirley, what are you doing?» he asked. «Answer me!»
«Anne didn’t do anything wrong,» said Gilbert quickly. «I was rude about her hair.»
«Anne, go and stand in front of the class,» said Mr. Phillips.
Anne stood in front of the class all afternoon. Everybody looked at her. But Anne didn’t look at anybody. «I’ll never speak to Gilbert Blythe again,» she thought.
After school Gilbert tried to talk to Anne, but she walked past him.
«Don’t be angry with Gilbert, Anne,» said Diana. «He laughs at my hair because it’s very black.»
«Gilbert Blythe was very unkind,» said Anne.
The children often played outside after lunch. Sometimes they were late for afternoon school. The next day, Mr. Phillips was in the classroom when Anne arrived with flowers in her hair.
«Anne Shirley, you’re late,» Mr. Phillips said. «Take those flowers out of your hair. Then go and sit with Gilbert Blythe.»
«I can’t sit next to Gilbert,» Anne thought. «I hate him!»
She got up slowly from her desk and sat down next to Gilbert. But she didn’t look at him. She put her head on her arms. A little later, Gilbert pushed some candy under Anne’s arm. Anne took the candy and threw it onto the floor.
At the end of the day, Anne took her slate and her books.
«What are you doing, Anne?» asked Diana in surprise.
«I’m taking my things home,» said Anne. «I’m going to study there. I’m not coming back to school again.»
Later, Anne told Marilla about Mr. Phillips. «I’ll learn my lessons at home,» she said. «I’ll work hard and I’ll be a good girl. But I’m not going back to Mr. Phillips.»
Marilla went to see Mrs. Lynde. «What shall I do?» she asked.
«Leave Anne at home,» said Mrs. Lynde. «She’ll get bored. Then she’ll want to go back to school.»
Anne learned her lessons at home. In the evenings she played with Diana. She loved Diana, but she hated Gilbert Blythe.