Another Good Deed
What started out as a beautiful hot summer day turned out to be one of the grossest days of the year. Gordon, Paulo and I had spent all day fishing at the river. The fish were biting and we were having a lot of fun, but all good things must come to an end. By five o'clock we were tired and hungry and it was time to head home and clean up for dinner. As we biked up the hill toward town, we passed a small house with a big yard. A little old lady was struggling to push her lawnmower up and down the steep hills of her lawn. We could see her frail body straining and sweating under the hot afternoon sun. We slowed down to a stop and watched.
"Gee," Gordon said. "Look at that. She's way too old to be mowing her own lawn, especially on such a hot day. Do you think we have time to help her and still make it home in time for dinner?"
I looked at my watch. If we hurried, we could probably make it. We pedalled up her long driveway and waved hello. The old woman saw us and shut off the mower. She smiled at us and we noticed right away that the old woman had no teeth. Gordon introduced us and said that we would like to finish cutting her lawn for her. At first I thought she was going to refuse our help, but then she gave us a gummy grin and said, "That would be wonderful! But I'm afraid I can't pay you. I don't have much money."
"Oh, we don't want any money," said Gordon quickly. "We'd be happy to do it for free. On a hot day like this you should be resting in the shade, not pushing a heavy lawnmower."
The old lady nodded in appreciation. As Gordon started up the mower and began cutting the lawn, Paulo and I sat in the shade on the front porch chatting with the woman, who was a little hard of hearing.
After several minutes, I took Gordon's place pushing the mower while he sat with Paulo and the woman on the shady porch. When I thought I couldn't take the heat much longer, Paulo came and took his turn. As Gordon and I sat on the porch talking to the old lady, my stomach rumbled loudly and sweat dripped from my forehead.
Noticing how hot and sweaty we were, the old lady insisted on going into the house to make us some lemonade. Paulo finished cutting the lawn and joined us on the front porch. We waited for the old lady to return with the lemonade. My stomach rumbled again.|
"I wonder what's taking so long?" I asked, looking at my watch. "We've got to get home for dinner. I'm starving."
Spying a bowl of peanuts on the table beside him, Gordon reached out and helped himself to a few, saying, "I'm sure she won't mind."
Paulo and I helped ourselves to the peanuts as well, and before we knew it, we had eaten most of the bowl. I guess we had all been starving.
"These peanuts are really good," said Gordon, grabbing another handful.
At last the old lady returned with three glasses and a pitcher of lemonade on a tray.
"I'm so sorry," said Gordon. "My friends and I were really hungry and we helped ourselves to the peanuts. Right after supper, we'll go to the store and buy you another bag."
"Oh, don't worry about that," said the woman as she poured three tall glasses of lemonade for us.
"No, really," insisted Gordon. "We shouldn't have helped ourselves without asking. It's just that it's almost dinnertime and we spent the entire day at the river fishing and we were starving."
"I don't mind at all," she said kindly. "You just help yourselves."
"Thanks!" we chorused, reaching into the bowl. And then it happened. As we hungrily munched the last of the peanuts, the old lady sighed and said, "You see, ever since I lost all my teeth, I can only suck the chocolate off them, anyway!"
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Book 1 - The Dead Bird Collection
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