For Little Friends

By Erica H. Stux

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    Mike to the Rescue

    Mike was the youngest and the littlest in his family.

    He was too young to go to school with his brother and sister. He was too little to play basketball with them.

    Mike couldn’t eat as fast as the rest of his family, so sometimes the dessert would be all gone by the time he was ready for seconds.

    He still couldn’t tie his shoelaces so that they stayed tied.

    Sometimes he couldn’t reach the toy he wanted in the toy cabinet. And the cookie jar was completely out of his reach.

    Mike couldn’t ride a bike yet—he was still riding his tricycle. And he wasn’t allowed to cross the street alone.

    He was too small to climb the tree that grew behind the house—he couldn’t reach even the lowest branch.

    Mike couldn’t stay up as late as his brother or his sister, either—they were allowed to stay up a whole hour longer!

    Sometimes it was very hard to be the youngest and the littlest.

    But there were times when being the youngest and the littlest could be nice.

    When Grandma came to visit, Mike was the only one little enough to sit on her lap.

    Sometimes when his brother and sister were in school, Mike and his mother went shopping together. The lady in the bakery would often give him a big cookie. And after lunch his mother would have time to read a story to him. They would laugh together at the pictures in the storybook. That was fun!

    Some days his sister would give Mike a ride in his red wagon. He was the only one little enough to fit into it.

    Mike was small enough that he could turn cartwheels right in the family room. His brother and sister were not allowed to do that.

    When Mike and Daddy went for walks, Daddy would give him a piggyback ride home. Pretty soon he would be too big for that, Daddy said, but now he was just the right size.

    One day something happened that made Mike very happy that he was little.

    The whole family had been shopping together. When they got home, no one had a house key.

    “How can we get in?” they asked each other.

    “I know,” said Mother. “That small window is open. If we boost Mike up to the window, he can climb through it and open the door from the inside.”

    Daddy boosted Mike up to the small window. He wriggled through it, then ran to open the front door. His mother, father, brother, and sister came in.

    “You’re our hero, Mike,” they all said. “You rescued us!”

    Mike grinned. Sometimes being the youngest and the littlest was a very good thing.

    Sailboat Game


    1. 1.

      Cut out and mount sailboats on lightweight cardboard.

    2. 2.

      Punch hole where marked in top of each sail.

    3. 3.

      To make racing lane, tie each end of heavy thread to separate chairs (see illustration). Repeat on other side of chairs to make racing lane for second boat.

    To Play

    1. 1.

      Prepare each boat to start race by fastening safety pin through hole in top of sail and around thread. Boats should be barely touching START chair.

    2. 2.

      Someone shouts, “Go,” and each player blows his sailboat to other end of thread. Player whose boat touches FINISH chair first wins.

    Cinnamon Mix

    2 tablespoons cinnamon powder

    8 tablespoons sugar

    1. 1.

      Mix cinnamon powder with sugar.

    2. 2.

      Pour into clean salt or pepper shaker.

    3. 3.

      Sprinkle on

      • sliced apples or bananas

      • ice cream

      • cereal (hot or cold)

      • mashed sweet potatoes

      • hot chocolate

      • hot buttered toast

      • rice pudding

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young