Wait for Me


Andy stood on the outside of the circle of bigger boys. He tried to see what they were doing. He jumped up and down until the things in his pockets almost fell out.

If only he were taller. If only he were older. Oh, how he wanted to play baseball with them!

Soon the circle of boys broke up. They ran off to the park, and Andy and his little dog, Katy, were left standing alone on the sidewalk.

Andy and Katy ran along behind the bigger boys.

“Wait for me!” Andy called. “Please wait for me!”

But the boys did not hear him. They ran on ahead.

“Their legs are longer than ours, Katy,” Andy told his dog. “We’ll have to hurry to catch up.”

Andy and Katy ran until their legs were tired, and then they slowed down.

A girl on a bike passed them.

“She goes fast because she has wheels,” Andy explained.

A tall man passed them.

“Look how long his legs are,” Andy told Katy.

A big dog ran past them.

“Wow!” exclaimed Andy. “That dog can run fast!”

Andy and Katy kept going. They saw a red box kite up in the air. High over a house, they also saw a blue kite.

Then they saw a boy about Andy’s size sitting on the curb. His kite string was in a tangle, and a torn kite lay on the sidewalk beside him.

“What happened?” Andy asked the boy.

“My kite got caught in the wires and the paper tore,” the boy answered. “I bought this kite as a present for my brother. I was just trying it out to see if it would fly all right.”

“Did it fly all right?” Andy asked.

“Until it hit the wires, it flew very well,” the boy said. “I guess I shouldn’t have tried to fly it. I should have let my brother fly it himself.”

Andy sat down next to the boy. “I have somewhere very important to go,” Andy explained, “but maybe I can help you first.”

Andy reached into his pocket and pulled out some tape and a pair of tiny scissors with rounded points.

“My name is Andy, what’s your name?” Andy asked the boy.

“Chris.”

“Okay, Chris, hold this paper on the stick right here, and I’ll tape it for you,” Andy instructed.

Together the boys taped the kite so it had no holes.

“I think the kite will be all right now,” Andy explained.

“But I don’t think I should fly it anymore,” Chris answered sadly.

“I have two kites at home,” Andy said. “One is in the shape of a fish and the other is red. I’ll go get both of them.”

Andy and Katy ran home and soon came back with the kites. Chris was waiting for them on the curb.

“Here,” Andy offered, “you can fly my red kite.”

“I’ll fly it in the park,” Chris said. “Then it won’t get caught in any wires.”

“I’ll walk with you,” Andy exclaimed, “because that’s where I am headed.”

“What are you going to do in the park?” Chris asked.

“I’m going to play outfield for my brother and his friends,” Andy replied, “if they’ll let me. Sometimes when they don’t have enough big players, they let me play.”

“That’s how my brother is,” Chris said.

When they arrived at the park, Andy looked at the ball players. “See those boys over there? That’s my brother and his friends.”

“I can see my brother playing first base,” said Chris. “You go ahead, Andy. I know you want to play ball.”

“I’ll help you get the kites set up first,” Andy answered.

As they put the strings on the kites, Katy ran through the grass sniffing at all the smells of the park. The wind was stronger now.

“You don’t have to help me anymore, Andy,” Chris told him.

“I know,” Andy replied. “I just want to see how the fish flies in this wind.”

So Andy let out the string and ran with the fish kite.

Chris let out his string and ran with the red kite.

Andy’s fish climbed up into the air. Then the fish dived and dipped back down. Andy pulled on the string and ran faster.

The giant fish went up, up, up—higher than his head, higher than the trees.

Andy let out more and more string. The fish went up until it seemed to be as high as the little white clouds that the wind was pushing across the sky.

Andy looked around for Chris. He saw him not very far away with the red kite high in the air.

Andy heard his brother call, “Hey, Andy, do you want to play right field?”

“No, thanks,” Andy called back. “I can’t now. The wind is just right for flying kites.”

Chris smiled at Andy. “It’s a good day for flying kites,” he laughed.

“It’s perfect,” Andy agreed. “Let’s do this again tomorrow.”

Andy looked at his new friend. Chris was the same size as Andy. Just the right size!

[illustrations] Illustrated by Liz Dunlap