“Sailboat,” Friend, July 1985, 28
Danny clutched his new sailboat tightly as he walked with his mother toward the pond in the park. Today he was going to sail his boat for the first time. Carefully he set it on the water. Then, holding onto a long string attached to the boat, he watched as a breeze caught the sail and moved the boat across the water.
On the other side of the pond, another boy was also watching the sailboat. Danny felt proud when he saw his sailboat skimming easily across the pond, and he wondered if the other boy wished that he had a sailboat too.
Before Danny realized it, the string attached to the boat slipped from his hand. He looked at his boat getting farther and farther from him. “Mom! Mom! My boat’s getting away!” he shouted.
“Don’t worry,” Mother said. “The wind will probably blow it back to where you can reach it.”
Danny waited, but the breeze stopped, and the sailboat just sat in the middle of the pond.
Suddenly the boy on the other side of the pond picked up some rocks and began throwing them into the water near the boat.
Danny ran to the water’s edge and yelled. “Stop it! Stop it! You’re going to sink my boat!”
The boy ignored Danny and kept throwing rocks.
Danny’s eyes filled with tears as he watched his new boat moving wildly up and down in the splashing water. “Oh, Mother, I hate that boy. I hate him!” he cried.
Suddenly Danny realized that his boat was getting closer to the opposite shore. Finally the boy reached out with a stick and pulled the boat to him.
“Now he’s going to steal my boat!” Danny wailed.
The boy picked up the boat and ran around the pond. To Danny’s surprise, the boy handed him the sailboat.
“Hi. My name’s Bobby. I thought I could get your boat back for you by throwing rocks into the water and making the water ripple to move your boat.”
Danny felt his face get hot. He was sorry he had shouted at the boy, and he felt ashamed for saying he hated Bobby.
Danny smiled at the other boy and said, “Thanks, Bobby. Would you like a turn at sailing my boat? I just got it yesterday.”