Something Wonderful


Lynn hurried up the street to investigate a large box on the ground next to Grandma Cooper’s gate. Shiny red material hung over the rim of the box, and a sign in Grandma’s handwriting said:

  • FREE

  • HELP YOURSELF

“Oh, it’s beautiful!” Lynn gasped as she began to pull the fabric from the box. She stretched on her tiptoes until both arms were straight above her head and the material billowed around her. Grandma’s drapes! Lynn thought, hugging the cloth to her. I guess she won’t need them in her new apartment. I can use them to make something wonderful!

Lynn stuffed the drapes back into the box and gave it a tug. It didn’t move. Using both hands, she gave the box another tug. It scraped along the ground a few inches. Lynn squeezed in between the fence and the box and, bracing herself, gave a mighty shove.

“What are you doing?”

Lynn spotted the skateboard under Kenny’s arm. “Hi, Kenny,” she said with a big smile. “Would you help me, please?”

Kenny looked from Lynn to the big box and back at Lynn. “What do you want me to do?” he asked.

“If I could get these beautiful drapes home, I just know I could make something wonderful,” she told him. “Could we put the box on your skateboard and push it to my house?”

Kenny knelt beside the box for a closer look. “My house is closer,” he said thoughtfully. “We could make a tepee.”

“No!” Lynn wailed. “You’ll use all of it, and I want to make something wonderful.”

“No, I won’t, Lynn, honest,” Kenny promised. “Besides you can play in the tepee too. And I’ll let you borrow my wagon to take the rest of the drapes home.”

“Well, OK,” Lynn agreed.

Together Kenny and Lynn managed to get the box up onto the skateboard. They had pushed it almost to Kenny’s house when Patty rode up on her bike.

“What’s in the box?” she asked.

“Grandma Cooper’s old curtains,” Lynn told her. “We’re going to make a tepee at Kenny’s, and I’m going to take what’s left of them home and make something wonderful!”

“Wow!” Patty peered into the box. “Could I have some to make curtains for my stage?” she asked.

Lynn started to shake her head, then stopped and said, “OK, if you’ll help us make the tepee first.”

Later, when the three children stood back to look, the tall red tepee seemed to glow in the sun. Patty broke the spell. “Come on, Lynn. Now let’s go to my house.”

“Thanks, Lynn,” said Kenny as they tied his wagon to Patty’s bike. “Come over tomorrow and we’ll play in the tepee. You, too, Patty.”

The girls were going through the gate at Patty’s house when Mrs. Whistler walked by with her baby. “Hi, girls,” she called. “You look busy. What are you pulling in the wagon?”

Patty beamed. “My stage is going to have real curtains. Lynn is giving me the material for them.”

Mrs. Whistler reached into the box and ran her fingers over the fabric. “What beautiful material,” she said. “It would make a gorgeous party dress.”

Patty and Lynn looked at each other. Mrs. Whistler couldn’t afford many pretty things.

“If you’ll help us make the curtains for the stage, Mrs. Whistler, you can have some material for a dress,” Lynn offered.

“Really? Oh, thank you!” she exclaimed. “But I’d be glad to help you, anyway.”

That evening Lynn sat on the floor of her room, looking at a single piece of shiny red cloth. When her mother walked by the open door, she stopped and asked, “Where did you get that pretty material, honey?”

“Grandma Cooper gave it away,” Lynn said. “It isn’t very big. But do you think there’s enough to make something wonderful?”

“Yes, I think so,” said Mother. “How about a doll dress or a heart-shaped pillow?” She hesitated, then turned the empty box upside down and spread the cloth over it. “How about a tablecloth for a party?”

Lynn clapped her hands. “Oh, yes! Let’s do that. And let’s invite Grandma Cooper to the party!”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young