“Peas and Carrots,” Friend, Mar. 2000, 8
Kenny was going shopping. He had saved his allowance to buy himself a treat. Just down the street from his house was a little grocery store. Mr. and Mrs. Arnett, who ran the store, had big jars of candy on the counter. They used a little scoop to put the candy into a red and white bag. Then they weighed it on a big old-fashioned scale and told you how much to pay.
Kenny had saved enough money to get a whole pound of candy. That was a lot, but he knew that if he was careful, it would last a long time. He had already decided what kind he was getting. It was his very favorite—peas and carrots. Not real peas and carrots. Candy peas and carrots that looked just like real peas and tiny carrots.
Because the store wasn’t very far from his house, Kenny’s mom let him go by himself. He walked, skipped, and ran down the street. As he passed some of his friends’ houses along the way, he thought, What if people are outside when I come back with my candy? They will see the bag from Arnett’s store and want some.
Kenny had worked hard to save his money for a whole pound of peas and carrots, and he wanted it to last a long time. If he shared it with others, it wouldn’t last very long. So he thought up a plan and turned around and ran all the way home.
“Did you get your treat already? Mom asked.
“No, I forgot something.”
“OK, be careful,” Mom said.
Kenny hurried back to the store, this time carrying something besides money in his pockets.
When Mr. Arnett handed Kenny the red and white bag, it felt heavy. A pound of peas and carrots was a lot of candy! He was going to make it last a long, long time. And his plan was going to help.
As he left the store, Kenny pulled some headphones from his pocket and put them over his ears. He plugged them into a little radio in his other pocket. He turned the radio on and made sure the sound was pretty loud. As he started home, he watched carefully for any friends he might see.
Ashley and Isaac were the first friends he saw. They were just coming out of their house to play. Kenny looked straight ahead and pretended not to see them. He could see out of the corner of his eye that they were saying something to him, but he couldn’t hear them. They were pointing at his bag. He knew that they were going to ask for some of his candy, so he walked a little faster and passed them by.
My plan worked! Kenny thought.
Mrs. Moulton was working in her yard when he passed. He gave her a smile and a little wave. She was pointing at his bag and saying something.
She wants some candy, too! Kenny thought. He looked away and tried to enjoy the loud music.
He looked up the street and saw Hannah coming down the sidewalk on her skateboard. She hopped off and started talking to Kenny, pointing at his bag. He just smiled, bobbed his head in time with the music, and went around her. Hannah was asking him for candy, and he just didn’t want to share.
One more house to pass, and he would be home. He thought the Pierce brothers were visiting their grandma, but he was wrong. There they were, and they had already seen him. They also jumped up and down and pointed at his bag. Kenny pretended he didn’t see them and hurried to his house.
Now all he had to do was avoid his sister and brother and get to his room, where he would be safe at last! He rushed in and headed for the stairs. There was Janelle looking right at his bag and asking for some of the candy that he still hadn’t even tasted. He ran past her and up to his room. Dustin was on his way out to play ball. He reached out to touch the red-and-white bag. Kenny pulled it away and told him to leave it alone. Then he noticed something. The bag wasn’t as heavy as it had been when Mr. Arnett had given it to him. He looked inside.
“Oh no!” Kenny yelled. Instead of a whole pound of peas and carrots in his bag, there were only one pea and two carrots in the bottom. And right next to them was a great big hole! All of his candy was gone!
Kenny was sad. The candy must have fallen out a little at a time as he walked home. He hadn’t heard it landing on the sidewalk because he had had the radio turned up so loud.
Then he thought of something else. Everyone he’d passed had pointed at his bag. All those friends weren’t asking for candy—they were trying to tell him that his candy was falling out of the bag! Kenny didn’t feel like being selfish anymore. He wished he had some candy left to share.
He made another plan.
The next time Kenny saved up enough allowance for some candy, he didn’t take his radio to the store. Instead of pretending to not see his friends, he looked for them. He stopped at all their houses on the way home to share his peas and carrots. And the ones that were left tasted extra delicious.