I like to play with my friends.

Sometimes we build a fort in the big oak tree

with blankets and pulleys and a lookout scope.

It’s a noisy place

full of “Here they come! Lower away!

Get under cover!”

But sometimes

I like to be just by myself

in my room.

I lie on the floor and do a puzzle

or draw a picture of a cat

sitting on a fence

or read my favorite book

over and over again.

I like to play with my friends.

Sometimes we play statues,

twirling around faster and faster.

“You’re a monkey! I’m a streetlight!

What are you?”

BUMP! THUMP!

It’s a good thing we’re not made of glass!

But sometimes

I like to be just by myself

on the grass.

I watch the clouds sail through the sky.

Some of them look like bears

and some like dragon kites.

Once I saw one that looked like an elephant

with a long, long trunk.

I like to play with my friends.

Sometimes we go to the park

and build houses and tunnels and roads in the sand.

Then we pretend we’re mountain climbers on the bars.

We get on the swings and pump and pump and pump

until we’re swinging so high we’re almost flying.

But sometimes

I like to be just by myself

on the porch.

I sit and listen

to the tic-tic-tic of the clock in the kitchen

or the shsh-shsh-shsh of the breeze

against the old screen door

or, sometimes, just the sound of quiet.

Illustrated by Charles Shaw