“Bucky, Bucky,” called Mother. “Where is that boy?” she asked Kelly. “He was here a moment ago.”
Kelly looked under the kitchen table. “He’s not under there. Maybe he’s hiding.”
“It’s time for his nap. Where can he be?”
“I’ll find him,” Kelly said. She looked behind the door, but Bucky wasn’t there. She looked in the broom closet, but Bucky wasn’t there, either. Next, Kelly went to Bucky’s bedroom and looked under his bed. No Bucky. This calls for real action, she thought.
Kelly went to her own room, opened her toy box, and tossed toys onto the floor. At the very bottom of the toy box, she saw what she was looking for. Holding the magnifier to her eye, she chortled, “Now I’ll find him!” She replaced the other toys, then went back to the kitchen and asked Mother, “Is this where he was last seen?”
Kelly looked all around the kitchen. “Aha!” she cried. “The cover is off the cookie jar.” With her magnifier, she followed the trail of cookie crumbs out the door. Oh dear, she thought. Cookie crumbs will be hard to see in the grass.
Some little birds were feeding beside the toolshed. Maybe that’s where he is. Birds can find crumbs anywhere.
Kelly opened the toolshed door. “Bucky,” she called, “are you in here?”
Bucky wasn’t in the toolshed, but he had been there. Kelly found a tiny piece of his shirt caught on the rake. She closed the shed door and looked all around. It had rained, and there was a puddle in the driveway. Bucky loves puddles, she mused.
Wet footprints led from the puddle to the sidewalk. Kelly followed them to the corner. Then there were no more. “Hmmm,” Kelly said, scratching her head.
“Hello, Kelly,” said Mrs. Jones.
“Hello, Mrs. Jones. Have you seen Bucky?”
“He was here just a few minutes ago,” Mrs. Jones replied. “I think that he rode off on the back of some boy’s tricycle.”
“Did you see which way they went?”
Mrs. Jones shook her head. “I was busy in my garden. They were gone when I turned around.”
“Thank you,” said Kelly. As she looked up and down the street, she thought, Mrs. Jones had said “some boy’s tricycle.” If it had been Mike or Tony, she would have said his name. So it must have been the new boy over on the other street.
Kelly ran down the block and around two corners. She didn’t see Bucky. She didn’t see the new boy. And she didn’t see a tricycle.
I think that the new boy lives here, Kelly thought, running up the steps of the pretty brick house and ringing the doorbell.
A lady carrying a baby came to the door. They both smiled at Kelly.
“Hello,” said Kelly. “Have you seen a boy about this big?” She held up the bit of cloth that had caught in the rake. “He had on a shirt this color with a tear in it.”
The lady looked at the cloth. “There was a boy here with a shirt like that, but he’s not here now. And my Charlie is taking his nap.”
Kelly thanked the lady and went back down the steps and headed down the block the other way toward home. Mr. Harvey was sitting on his porch. “Have you seen Bucky?” Kelly asked him.
“Not today,” answered Mr. Harvey.
Mr. Harvey saw everything. He sat on his porch all day. He talked to everyone who went past. If Mr. Harvey didn’t see Bucky, Kelly decided, then Bucky didn’t come this way. Where could he have gone?
Kelly looked back the way she had come. If Bucky had gone back that way, she reasoned, I would have met him. So he had to cut through Charlie’s backyard.
Queenie woofed at Kelly after she had cut through the new boy’s yard and was passing Mike’s house.
Bucky’s afraid of Queenie because she’s so big, but he loves her new puppy! Kelly thought, excited.
She ran as fast as she could around the house. There they were, curled up together in a sunny corner of the porch, fast asleep.