Making Friends: Excerpts from Chapter 11

…Becky, one of the girls in my kindergarten class, was chosen to be a sunbeam. She said she felt sorry for me, because I could not be a sunbeam. She invited me to come spend the night at her house so we could play together.

Becky lived in a two story house across the street from my grandmother. When we stepped inside, it felt warm not drafty like my grandmother’s house. It smelled fresh and clean. Before Becky guided me up the steps, she said there were fourteen of them. I counted and she was right. Falling up steps is not too frightening, but falling down steps is a major fear of all blind people.

Becky guided me to her room and put my hand on her bed. I immediately felt a lot of stuffed animals. I picked up a teddy bear and gave him a big hug. “My stuffed animals are mainly bears and rabbits. She continued, “I love animals. I have both stuffed animals and tiny china animals. I’ll let you feel my collection of tiny china animals.”

I immediately recognized the giraffe with his log neck and the elephant with his tusks.  “Here’s a rhino with just one horn,” Becky said. I also felt a lion, a tiger and a hippopotamus. Hippopotamus was a big word for kids in kindergarten. “I keep my china animals on my bedside table,” Becky said. I listened as she replaced the animals one by one on her bedside table.

“What color is your room?” I asked. “It’s painted yellow,” she said. “I have two windows with white curtains with butterflies on them and the curtains are trimmed in lace. My mother hung a picture on the wall of my brother and me playing at the beach.”

Well, I slept in Grandmomma’s little front bedroom where I could feel some of the wallpaper peeling off the walls. Becky’s bedroom had the sound of a big bedroom to me.  As we sat on her bed, I told her the newest rhyme I had learned:

“Milk, milk, lemonade. Around the corner fudge is made.”

I pointed to the appropriate body parts. We giggled and giggled. Then, she said she was going downstairs to ask her mother what we were having for dinner. I heard the door to her bedroom close behind her. I heard her light footsteps run down the stairs. Carefully, I found the china elephant on the bedside table. I had put my little suitcase on the end of the bed. I placed the china elephant in the bottom of the suitcase and zipped it up. Just then Becky ran back into the room and said she had told her brother the rhyme, and her brother told their mother and their mother slapped him. On top of that, Becky didn’t have a chance to ask her mother what we were having for dinner. At that point I wanted to leave but I was determined to spend the night. I knew that when I had to talk to Becky’s mother I would feel uneasy.

The next morning when the doorbell rang and I heard my grandmother’s voice I was so glad. I rushed home with Grandmomma and up to my little bedroom. I opened my suitcase and found the elephant. But his back leg had broken off. I never stole anything again.

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