One day Sam went for a walk with his big brother Eric.
“Don’t go too far,” called Mother as she waved goodbye.
Sam ran ahead. He came to a speckled toad in the road. He waited for Eric.
“Toad,” said Eric. “Toad,” repeated Sam. The toad hopped away.
Sam ran on. A long gray thing wiggled in the dust. “Snake,” said Eric.
“Snake?” asked Sam. He watched it slither away.
A big bird flew over the trees. Sam pointed a fat finger.
“Hawk,” Eric said. “Bird!” said Sam. He laughed and laughed. He knew a bird when he saw one.
The boys came to a pasture fence. Curious cows came to stare at them. The cows liked the grass the boys pulled and threw through the fence.
“We’d better start back now,” said Eric.
“No!” said Sam. The road went over a brook. Sam looked at the water on one side of the bridge; he looked at the water on the other side. Then he ran up the hill beyond the bridge.
“Stop!” shouted Eric. “You are going too far. You can’t walk back.”
“Can too!” called Sam, and he walked up, up the hill. He began to walk slower and slower.
“Come back,” begged Eric.
Sam stopped. He turned around and looked down the hill and over the bridge. Home was a long way off. He was tired.
“I can’t walk home,” he whimpered. “My legs won’t go.” He sat down in the middle of the road and began to cry.
“How would you like a horse to ride home?” Eric asked.
A horse? Sam stopped crying.
Eric stepped over to a tall bush beside the road. He broke off a stout branch. He stripped off the twigs and leaves. He tied his handkerchief to one end of the stick. It made two funny ears.
Eric handed the stick horse to Sam. “This is Twiggy. He is a fine horse. He’ll gallop and trot. You’ll be home in no time.”
Sam got up. He threw one leg over Twiggy. Then away he rode.
He almost beat Eric home.