“A Blue-Ribbon Friend,” Friend, May 2020
Preston ran down the court. He caught a pass from his teammate. Swish! He made a basket just as the recess bell rang!
I wish I could have made one more basket, Preston thought as he walked into the classroom and sat down at his desk. He could hear his classmates laughing behind him and turned around to see what was going on. They were making fun of a boy named Jacob. Again.
Preston didn’t know Jacob very well. He knew Jacob liked to draw. The boys were passing around one of Jacob’s drawings and laughing at it. Jacob was looking down at his desk.
I need to do something, Preston thought.
He walked over and grabbed the drawing. It was a picture of a police officer. “Hey, I like this picture. Do you have any others?” he asked Jacob.
Jacob smiled. He showed Preston drawings of a robot, a dog, and a dinosaur. They were good! The police officer was Preston’s favorite.
“Can I have it?” Preston asked.
“Sure,” Jacob said.
That night while Preston was doing his homework at the table, Mom saw the picture of the police officer. “What’s this?” she asked.
“A kid named Jacob in my class drew it,” Preston said. “Some of the boys were making fun of it, so I asked if I could have it. Everyone stopped making fun of him after that.”
Mom smiled and hung the picture on the refrigerator with a magnet. “That was a kind thing to do,” she said.
Seeing Jacob’s drawing on the fridge gave Preston an idea.
“Hey, Mom, you know how we’re submitting drawings to the county fair?”
“Yeah,” Mom said.
“What if we submitted Jacob’s drawing? I bet it’d win a ribbon!”
“That’s a great idea!” Mom said.
“Can we make it a surprise?” Preston asked. “I want to see Jacob’s face when he sees his picture!”
Mom nodded. “I’ll give Jacob’s mom a call to make sure it’s OK with her.”
The next day, when Preston was playing basketball at recess, he saw Jacob sitting alone. Preston walked over.
“Hey,” he said as he sat down next to Jacob.
“My mom and sisters and I are going to the fair next week,” Preston said. “Want to come with us?”
“Sure!” said Jacob.
The next week, Preston and his family picked up Jacob and drove to the fair. There were lots of fun games and rides, but Preston wanted to go straight to the art booth before anything else.
Preston looked at all the drawings, but there was one he especially wanted to find.
“All right!” Preston shouted. There was Jacob’s police officer. And attached to the drawing was a blue ribbon!
Jacob’s eyes got big. Then he smiled. “That’s my drawing!”
Mom and Preston’s sisters caught up. “Mom, look what Jacob got!” Preston said, pointing to the drawing.
“That’s great!” Mom said.
“And look at yours,” Preston’s sister said. Preston’s drawing of a tiger had won a blue ribbon too!
Preston gave Jacob a high five. No matter what other people said, he was glad they could be blue-ribbon friends.