For Little Friends

By Patricia R. Kennington

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    Home with Mother

    When the days are gloomy, Sing some happy song (Hymns, 230).

    Tracy pressed her nose against the big picture window and watched the rain. Tracy usually liked the rain, but today she felt miserable. Her two older sisters, Janet and Merry, were standing on the sidewalk in their bright pink raincoats, waving good-bye to her. They had a clear plastic umbrella to keep the rain off, and they were laughing.

    Tracy waved to her sisters, then began to cry. She would have to wait another year before she could go to school too.

    “It looks like it’s raining in here,” Mother said, coming into the room. She had the popcorn popper in her hand. “I thought that you might like some popcorn,” she added. “Janet and Merry will just have to miss out this time.”

    “All right,” Tracy said with a sigh. She took one last look at her sisters skipping down the street, then followed Mother into the kitchen.

    Tracy was a good popcorn maker. She poured in the oil, and when Mother said it was hot enough, Tracy added the popcorn and shook it just right.

    Mother made caramel on the stove. She had to stand away from the stove, because her tummy was big with a new baby. She looked so funny with the apron trying to cover her big dress that Tracy couldn’t help but laugh. Mother laughed too. “I’ll be glad when this baby comes and I can stand next to the stove again!” she said.

    When the caramel was ready, Mother poured it over the popcorn and shaped the sticky popcorn into round balls. Tracy put each one on a sheet of waxed paper to dry. Then they each ate a popcorn ball.

    Suddenly the kitchen was very bright. “Look,” Mother said. “It’s stopped raining outside.”

    “It’s not raining in here anymore, either,” Tracy said, pointing to her dry eyes. Then she thought of her two sisters and how much she would like to go to school with them. “I do hate to be here by myself, though.”

    “I do, too,” Mother said.

    Tracy was puzzled. “But I’m here with you, Mother. You’re not alone with me here.”

    “I’m glad about that.” Mother put her arms around Tracy. “I would be lonesome without you. One reason that I wanted a new baby is that when you’re at school next year, I’ll have someone to keep me company. And this year while Janet and Merry are both in school, I can have you all to myself for a while!”

    Tracy gave Mother a big hug. “And I can have you all to myself!”

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney

    Double the Fun

    We two little boys one stormy day
    Were forced to stay in the house to play.
    There were papers and toys on every side,
    And two long sticks for horses we’d ride.
    We built a church with blocks so high
    That the tower reached almost up to the sky.
    Then back and forth on our horses we’d run—
    For two little boys can double the fun!

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney