“Ricky’s Walk,” Friend, July 1986, 28
“Good-bye, Mother,” said Ricky. “I’m going for a walk. I’m going to walk to the corner all by myself.”
Ricky walked down the steps of his town house and looked around. The sun was shining high up in the sky. Next door, Mr. Paul was sitting on his front steps. He said, “How are you this fine day, Ricky?”
“I’m fine, Mr. Paul. I’m going to walk to the corner all by myself.”
“That sounds like a good walk. When you come back, would you like to have some cookies with me?” asked Mr. Paul.
“Yes, thank you,” Ricky said. He waved to Mr. Paul and walked down the sidewalk. He looked at the tree in front of Mrs. John’s house. He liked this tree. Its shade felt cool. Ricky patted the tree.
Ricky walked on. What’s that in front of Bill and Becky’s house? he wondered. Ricky got down on his hands and knees to look closer. A whole bunch of ants was trying to move a big piece of bread. Ricky wanted to help them, but he wasn’t sure where they wanted it to go. Besides, he liked to do things by himself, so maybe the ants did too.
When Ricky stood up again, some birds in the next yard flew away. Ricky went over to see what they had been doing. Someone had scattered pieces of bread on the lawn for the birds. That’s where the ants got their bread, he decided.
Ricky walked on and came to the alley. This was the first time that he had ever crossed it by himself. He stopped. He looked. He listened. Ricky didn’t see or hear a car coming, so he walked quickly to the other side. Then he turned and looked back at his own house. It seemed a long way off, but he wasn’t afraid. After all, he had just crossed the alley safely by himself.
Ricky decided to run the rest of the way to the corner. He liked to run. Suddenly he saw a fuzzy caterpillar. Ricky stopped and carefully picked it up. Mother likes surprises. I’ll take it home to her, Ricky decided. Then he walked on toward the corner, carrying the caterpillar gently in his hand.
There’s the mailbox! Ricky said to himself. Touching it meant that he had really gone to the corner all by himself. Ricky gave a sigh of pure pleasure. Now that he had walked to the corner by himself, he would go back and give the caterpillar to his mother and ask if he could have some of Mr. Paul’s cookies. Ricky would tell Mr. Paul about all the things he had seen on his walk. Mr. Paul would like that almost as much as Ricky would like the cookies. They liked to share that way.