“Rainbow-Pop Stop,” Friend, July 2012, 4–5
It was a hot day, and Audrey and her mom were driving home from the grocery store. Among the bottles and packages was a special treat that Audrey had picked out: a box of rainbow ice pops. They were Audrey’s favorite kind of ice pop, even if they did make her mouth turn blue and red. She could hardly wait to get home, have a rainbow pop, and play in the sprinklers to cool off.
“Oh dear,” Mom said, slowing down the car. “All the traffic is stopped ahead.”
As they slowly moved forward, Audrey saw several people standing in the road wearing hard hats and bright vests. They were holding up signs to stop the cars. They looked hot and sweaty.
“Roadwork,” Mom said. “I forgot they were doing that today. I guess we won’t be getting home soon. We’ll just have to be patient.”
“Mom, we need to get home soon, or all my rainbow pops will melt,” Audrey said.
“I’m sorry, but if we’re stopped a long time they probably will melt,” Mom said.
“Can I have one now?” Audrey asked.
“You know we have rules against eating in the car,” Mom reminded her. “Especially sticky things. Sorry, honey.”
Audrey frowned. She was sad to think her rainbow pops might be puddles by the time they got home.
Just then they pulled up next to a road worker. “I need you to wait right here, ma’am,” he said to Audrey’s mom. Then he pulled out a rag and wiped his forehead. “Sure is a scorcher,” he said.
Then Audrey got an idea. She reached into a shopping bag, pulled out the box of rainbow pops, and handed it to Mom.
Mom smiled at Audrey. “Great idea,” she said. She handed the box through the car window to the road worker. “Maybe this will help,” she said.
The man grinned. “I’ll have no problem sharing these. Thank you, ma’am.”
Mom pointed to Audrey. “It was my daughter’s idea. I bought them for her.”
The man waved to Audrey. “Thank you, miss. You’ve made our day.”
Audrey grinned back. She was glad the rainbow pops wouldn’t be wasted.
“That was very kind of you, Audrey,” Mom said. “Maybe when we get home we can make some juice pops instead.”
“Maybe,” Audrey said. She didn’t like juice pops as much as rainbow pops, but she was still glad she gave away her rainbow pops.
As they drove past more road workers, Audrey saw some of them holding up their rainbow pops to stop traffic, while others were doing their work with red or blue mouths. Audrey was sure they all looked a little cooler and a little happier, and that made her as happy as Christmas in July.