“Brian Leads the Way,” Friend, August 2016, 18–19
“Michael and Carson, I could use your help today,” Dad said, putting on his work shoes. Brian’s older brothers were watching TV, and they hardly moved.
“C’mon, guys,” Dad said. “Hard work is good for you.”
“OK. But what’re we doing anyway?” Michael muttered.
“We’re planting some bushes along the front of the house. I’ll need help digging and hauling dirt. It’ll be fun working together.”
“Doesn’t sound like fun to me,” said Carson.
Brian frowned. He didn’t really want to spend his whole Saturday working either. Plus, it was going to be hot today. But Dad said he needed help. “I’ll help,” Brian said.
“That’s really nice of you, Brian. But the ground is hard clay, so it’s going to be a tough job. And hauling off the dirt won’t be easy with that steep hill next to our house.”
“I can do it,” said Brian.
His older brothers looked at Brian doubtfully. After all, he was only eight years old.
“OK, boys,” said Dad, “let’s get to work.”
Dad was right. The ground was so hard they had to use a pickax to loosen it up. But while Michael and Carson were off tossing dirt at each other, Brian and Dad finished digging the first hole.
Once the wheelbarrow was full, Dad asked Michael to dump it in the woods near the house. To get there he would have to go partway down and across a steep hill.
“I don’t think I can do it,” Michael said, pushing the wheelbarrow only a few feet. “It’s too heavy. I’ll fall down the hill!”
Carson gave it a try next. “Too heavy!” he agreed. “Dad’s the only one strong enough for that.”
That’s when Brian stepped forward. “I can do it,” he said. He lifted with all his might. He started pushing the wheelbarrow forward slowly.
“That’s OK, Brian. I’ll get—” Dad began. But Brian was determined.
“There’s no way you can make it!” said Michael.
As the hill got steeper, Brian got faster and faster. Now he wasn’t pushing the wheelbarrow; it was pulling him! Dad started after him, but Brian held on tight and steered it to the right. He slowed it down just enough to stop it in front of the bushes at the edge of the yard. Then he heaved it over with a mighty shove and dumped the load.
“Whoa!” said Michael.
“No way!” said Carson.
“You definitely win the prize for hardest worker today,” said Dad as Brian climbed back up the hill.
“Phew!” said Brian, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “I’m just glad I made it back alive!” Everyone laughed.
When the wheelbarrow was filled again, Michael said, “I’ve got this load.” They all watched as he slowly followed Brian’s pathway down the hill and over to the trees, where he dumped another load of dirt. Michael was breathing hard when he got back.
“That was tough,” Michael said, wiping the sweat from his face. “I still can’t believe you did that all on your own, Brian.”
“Yeah! How did you do that?” Carson asked, stretching his arms after hauling the next load.
Before too long the new bushes were planted. Brian had never been so hot and sweaty and tired. But he was glad he could do a hard day’s work with his Dad and brothers. It really had been fun working together.