“Mother,” said Jimmy, “tell me right away
How I can catch a friend today.
“I can catch raindrops from the sky
Or a lost balloon bobbing by!
“And I can always catch a ball
Any place where it starts to fall!
“But how I wish I knew some way
To catch myself a friend today!”
Jimmy’s mother only smiled and said,
“There is a way—now use your head!
“Some other boy is lonely too,
And he would like to play with you!”
“I’ll find him if you think I can,”
Jimmy said. “And I have a plan!”
Into a big brown bag he threw
A drum of red and white and blue;
A marching hat that Mother made
Was exactly right for a parade!
He put in cookies, candy too,
And apples that were fun to chew!
The boys were all out playing ball
Till Jimmy called, “Cookies for all!
“Cookies for all! Cookies for free!”
“Great!” each shouted. “Save some for me!”
They ate the cookies and the candy too,
And the apples were such fun to chew.
Munch, munch, munch, munch, munch, munch, munch!
“Now we don’t need to stop for lunch!
“Thanks, Jimmy James. You’re a good guy,”
The boys told him. “And now goodbye!”
Jimmy’s feet seemed to drag along,
Wondering how his plan had gone wrong.
Jimmy put on his marching hat.
He beat on his drum—rat-a-tat-tat!
Soon three boys came running his way.
“Stop!” he called. “Would you like to play?”
“No, we don’t have a drum,” said one,
“Besides, we’re having lots of fun.”
The drum fell as the boys raced by
And rolled into the street—oh, my!
Jimmy’s drum was now quite flat,
He only had a crumpled hat.
Jimmy was sad as he went home
Without a friend and all alone.
“If I had just one friend,” he sighed,
As someone sat down by his side!
Jimmy thought the boy would not want to play
But he shyly smiled at him anyway.
“My bag,” Jimmy said, “is empty now,
“So we can’t play anyhow.”
“Good!” the boy said, “Let’s fill it up!
Or would you rather see my pup?”
A friend can be caught with a smile—
That was the answer all the while!

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dorothy Wagstaff