The Texture Hunt


Amanda hurried toward Rebekah’s house, watching her feet carefully and making some steps short and some long. She almost hit her friend head-on as she neared the gate of one of their neighbors, because Rebekah was walking along and looking down too. They saw each other’s shoes and stopped just in time.

“Why don’t you look where you’re going?” Rebekah teased.

“I’m missing the cracks,” Amanda replied, adding with a grin, “What’s your excuse?”

“I’m looking for textures. Want to help me win the prize?”

“What prize?”

“The box of crayons the teacher promised for the one who finds the most textures.”

“Sure, I’ll help. What are textures?”

“Oh, you know, how something feels when you rub your hand over it. Or how it looks like it would feel. A carpet is fuzzy or loopy or shaggy or carved looking. Tiles can be shiny or rough or patterned. And most glass is clear and smooth, but some bathroom glass is cloudy and bumpy so people can’t see through it.”

Amanda looked down again. “Like the sidewalk is different from the grass?”

“Uh-huh.”

“How about the bark on that tree over there?”

“That’s a good example!” Rebekah exclaimed. “It’ll make a good rubbing.”

“Rubbing?” questioned Amanda.

“Lots of textures make nice designs on paper. I’ll show you.”

Rebekah took some crayons out of her pocket.

“Looks like your little brother has been playing with these,” Amanda said. “They’re all broken, and the paper’s peeled off.”

“Oh, I did that.”

“What for?”

“So I can use the sides,” Rebekah explained, “like this.” She put a sheet of paper against the tree and rubbed the long side of the crayon over it.

The design of the bark showed on the paper.

“Hey, that looks like fun!” Amanda said. “Let me do one. How about a tire?”

“Sure,” Rebekah answered. “Which one do you want, Mom’s or Mrs. Rakich’s?”

“I was looking at the one on your bike.”

“Why don’t we do all three?”

“OK. You could probably win the prize just with tire treads from the cars parked on this street. They all look different.”

“So do the tree trunks!” Rebekah added excitedly. “Wow! I’m sure we’re going to find the most!”

All afternoon Amanda and Rebekah discovered different textures: bricks and boards, walks and walls, fancy fences, shingles, corn shucks, stones, gravel, grass, and grease. They made rubbings of some and lists of others.

Then Rebekah took a magnifying glass out of her pocket, and the two friends looked at skin and fingernails, leaves and flower parts, insects and feathers.

When the sun went down, they went into Rebekah’s house. In her mother’s scrap bag they found slippery satin, rough and tweedy wool, ribbed corduroy, smooth velvet, lace, linen, and polyester knits in many patterns. With Mother’s help they cut samples and made a booklet of the different fabrics.

Mother showed them wallpaper, sandpaper, paper towels, and napkins. They found textures on baskets, towels, dishes, and furniture. By the end of the day, they had found 211 different textures.

“Do you think that’s enough to win?” Amanda asked.

“I don’t know if it is or not,” Rebekah answered, “but if anyone else found more textures than we did, he deserves the prize.”

“No matter who wins,” Amanda said, “no one could have had any more fun than we did!”

“That’s true—but I sure need those crayons. Mine are all used up!”

[illustration] Illustrated by Beverly Glazier