A Bike For All Ages

In the town of Panville, there lived a young boy named Skylar.  He was no ordinary boy…he was a PAPERBOY!

You’re thinking, “What’s so great about that?!”  Well, it’s not the fact that he was a paperboy that was so amazing, but HOW he delivered the newspapers.

The whole neighborhood would watch and wait for Skylar to ride by on his “Commodore” bike.

You could tell the bike was old. Rust spots here and there, chipped paint, dings and dents were the things that gave Commodore character.  And when Skylar rode it, they moved as one.  It was pure magic.

Skylar could do things on his bike that others only dreamed of.  He was able to jump over tall fences, spin in mid-air and move around obstacles with ease.  When delivering newspapers, people would watch and be amazed at his spectacular riding performance.

The people on his route would always marvel at his feats.

Mrs. Smith enjoyed when Skylar hopped on one wheel over her rose garden and throw the paper right on her doorstep.

Mr. Payne clapped loudly whenever Skylar did a somersault over his fish pond and handed him the paper.

Little Suzie would cheer every time Skylar soared over her like a bird.

There was nothing that Skylar and his Commodore bike couldn’t do.

One day while on his route, he noticed a new family moving into his neighborhood.  As the people unloaded their things, he saw a boy off to the side unpacking a long rectangular box with the name Quicksilver on it.

This caught Skylar’s attention, so he continued to watch the boy.

Out of the box came a shiny silver bike.  The boy hopped on it and took off down the street.  He whizzed by Skylar so fast that he was almost a blur.  Skylar was truly impressed.

A few seconds later, the boy returned and skidded to a stop next to Skylar.

“Hi, I’m Frankie.  What’s yours?” said the new boy.


Skylar stared at Frankie’s Quicksilver and then looked at his Commodore bike; he felt embarrassed.

Frankie asked “Hey, wanna race?”

Knowing how fast Frankie could ride, Skylar declined.

“Then how’s about we play follow the leader?” said Frankie.

Skylar thought that was something he could easily do.  “Sure why not” he replied.

“Great, I’ll go first.  Follow me” said Frankie.

The two boys took off with Frankie in the lead.

Up one street, down another.  Around one block, then another and another.  Skylar pedaled hard and fast but was not able to keep up with Frankie’s Quicksilver.

Frankie was so far ahead that Skylar simply gave up.

Skylar looked at his Commodore, “Why can’t you be fast like that!  You’re old, I need a new bike.  Maybe a new one like Quicksilver.”  With that, he rode home.

Bright and early the next morning, Skylar leaped out of bed and made dash for his piggy bank.  Just then, Skylar’s mom popped her head into his room, “What’re you doing?”

“I’m going to buy a new bike.”

“What’s wrong with the one you have now?” asked his mom.

Skylar answered firmly, “It’s not a Quicksilver.”

“Do you have enough saved up?” asked his mom.

“YES!” Skylar exclaimed.

“Okay then, I’ll take you down to the bike shop.”

“Thanks” said Skylar who was busy counting his money.

A few hours later, Skylar came down the street on his brand new Quicksilver.  He saw Frankie and rode up to him.

“Hey, you got a bike just like mine” said Frankie.

“Yeah, isn’t that great!  Now I can go just as fast as you.  Wanna play follow the leader?” Skylar said in eagerness.

“Sure” responded Frankie.

“Okay, but this time…I’ll lead” Skylar extolled.

The two boys took off down the street and up another.  Around one block, then another and another.

Skylar could not believe the speed of Quicksilver.  He was truly excited.  After a fun-filled day of follow the leader, Skylar went home.

He pulled into his garage and parked Quicksilver next to Commodore.  He patted Quicksilver’s seat and said, “Boy, I’m glad I got you.  You’re fast, can’t wait to use you on my route tomorrow.”

As night fell, the two bikes came alive.

Commodore moved closer to Quicksilver.  “Hi I’m Commodore, what’s your name?”

Quicksilver moved away and answered in a fast paced tone.  “Be careful…vroom, vroom, vroom…I don’t want any dirt on my new paint.”

“You sure move fast” Commodore noted.

“You bet…vroom, vroom, vroom.”

“Guess that’s why Skylar likes you.  Can you do any tricks?” inquired Commodore.

“Who needs to do trick when you can move like me…vroom, vroom, vroom said Quicksilver.

“I guess you’ll be able to help Skylar finish his paper route in no time.  No wonder he wanted you” Commodore said in a sad tone.

“Yep…vroom, vroom, vroom…I was built for speed.  Now if you don’t mind I need my rest so I can have energy to go fast tomorrow.”

“Oh okay.  Good night” and with that a depressed Commodore moved back to his spot.

The next day came and Skylar burst into the garage with a bag full of newspapers.  He carefully got onto Quicksilver, making sure not to scratch the paint.

“All right, I’ll finish my route in no time.  This’ll be great!”

With that, off he went.  VROOM, VROOM, VROOM, SWOOSH.  Wind blowing in his face, hair flapping wildly about.  Skylar liked the feeling of going fast.

The neighborhood knew it was time and waited anxiously for Skylar’s arrival.

SWOOSH! Skylar came charging down the street and readied the papers for his neighbors.  Along the way, he noticed something different but couldn’t quite figure out what it was.

As he approached Mrs. Smith’s house, he tried to leap over her rose garden but Quicksilver would not budge.

CRUNCH!  Quicksilver travelled so fast that it flattened Mrs. Smith’s rose garden and caused Skylar to send her newspaper crashing through her window.

Mrs. Smith was shocked, “OH NO! MY PRECIOUS FLOWERS!”

Skylar was moving so fast that he could not stop to apologize.

He sped onto his next destination: Mr. Payne.

Vroom, vroom, vroom” was the only sound coming from Quicksilver.

“Something’s wrong” noted Skylar as he drew closer to Mr. Payne’s fish pond.

“Time to do our somersault over the fish pond” thought Skylar, “Don’t mess up.”

No good.  SPLASH! Skylar and Quicksilver went through the fish pond, dowsing Mr. Payne with water and hitting him in the head with the paper in the process.

Mr. Payne rubbed his bruised head and in shock ran towards his pond, “OH NO! MY POOR FISH!”

Skylar was too far away and moving way too fast to say sorry.

Skylar soon thought to himself, “This is not going well.  I’d better stop and walk the rest of my route before I wreck something else.”

He applied the brakes but Quicksilver would not stop.  He tried again and again and again but nothing happened.  It’s as if Quicksilver had a mind of its own.

“Why won’t you stop?!” wondered Skylar.

The only sound coming from Quicksilver was “Vroom, vroom, vroom!”

Skylar and Quicksilver sped down the street and was soon coming upon little Suzie’s house.

Suzie was waving at Skylar in total excitement, “Yea, Skylar’s coming! Yea!”

“Holy cow!” exclaimed a worried Skylar.  He frantically pressed on the brake REAL HARD but nothing happened.

Quicksilver raced towards little Suzie.

Vroom, vroom, vroom!”

He motioned to Suzie and yelled “GET OUT OF THE WAY!” but she was too busy cheering to hear.  She was in real danger.

As he fast approached little Suzie, Skylar needed to take action.  His eyes scanned the area for an answer to his problem.

“THAT’S IT!” Skylar barely managed to avoid hitting little Suzie by veering into a small stone wall.


As the wall fast approached, Skylar held onto the bike’s handle bars and propped his on the seat.  He readied himself for impact.

“Get ready, five…four…three…two…one…” he leaped off.  KA-BLAM! Quicksilver crashed into the wall as Skylar soared into the air like a bird.

KER-PLASH! He landed square into a neighbor’s swimming pool.

Little Suzie ran and peered over the wall, “WOW, THAT WAS NEAT!  DO IT AGAIN!  DO IT AGAIN!”

“No thanks, once was enough for me” sighed a drenched Skylar.  He hopped over the wall and took in the sight of his once brand new Quicksilver bike.

Pieces of it lay all over.  One tire here, another tire there, handle bar bent, pedals broken off, bike chain lodged in crack of the wall and seat hanging on a nearby shrub.

In the middle of all this mess, lay a scratched up and warped frame.

Skylar shakes his head and gathers up what was once Quicksilver.  He trudges back home.

“What a day, I’m beat.”  Tired from a long day of chaos, Skylar tosses Quicksilver’s parts into the garage next to Commodore and goes into the house.

Commodore beheld this sight “OH NO, WHAT HAPPENED?!”

“I just wanted to go fast but Skylar wanted me to do things that I didn’t want to do.  Like hop over a garden or somersault in the air or even jump high up” said a weary Quicksilver.

“I wasn’t meant to do that” Quicksilver said.

“But those are some of the best things and most exciting things to do” replied Commodore.

“Not for me it isn’t” said Quicksilver, “my biking days are through, I had enough excitement for one day.”

The next day came and Skylar appeared in the garage with his sack of newspapers.  He took a moment to look at what was left of Quicksilver.

“Man, I only had you for a day and now you’re all busted and broken.  I could go fast with you but I don’t know why I couldn’t do anything else.  Where’s the fun in that?!”

Skylar then took a long hard look at Commodore.  “I had you for years and years and was able to do a lot of tricks.  You made my paper route fun.  I knew what I could do with you, guess I should’ve stuck with you all along.  I’ll never make that same mistake again.”

And with that, Skylar and Commodore ventured out of the garage ready to perform their acrobatic routine for the neighbors once again.


Babysitting is difficult and often considered a chore

To those that see this as a task will often hate it more

Watching over children is quite difficult to do,

when their screaming and yelling are all taunting you

Your patience is tried, your nerves are all bent,

you wonder and wonder where your intelligence went

“Why me?!  Why me?!” is what you will think,

The message is clear, damn you need a drink

Before that sip is taken, think back and reminisce

of those great childhood days that you so often miss

To be a child and see the fun things in life

is better than coping with the stress and the strife

Being happy, carefree, while being young and so small

is the greatest feeling to have most of all

It’s no different now than it was back before

Only thing is you understand it even more

You’ve now realized what your parents went through

You’ve known all along it would happen to you

Take heed my child for you’ve surely grown

Let this come to mind and let it be known

Your help was required because you understand and care

Your sympathy and kindness to the children should you share

So remember this poem for one day you’ll see

You’ll go through this again when you start your family.




Always eat your vegetables.

Wesley was the most fastest, smartest, strongest, energetic student in his whole entire 4th grade class.

If there was a race, Wesley would come in first place. If there was a question that a teacher asked , Wesley would be the first to raise his hands and answer. If there was an arm wrestling contest, Wesley would always win. From the start of the school day till the end of the school day Wesley would be wide awake and ready to do anything.

Everyone in Wesley’s 4th grade class wanted to be like Wesley and they wanted to know what his secret was to being the most fastest, smartest, strongest, and energetic student in all of 4th grade. He didn’t know.

Everyday during lunch, Wesley would be discouraged at what his mom made for him. His lunch was always a sandwich and vegetable sticks. As he ate his lunch, Wesley would remember what his mom always told him, “Don’t forget, always eat your vegetables.”

Wesley looked at the other students and wished he had what they had…pizza, hamburger, fries, potato chips, and candy.

One day Wesley traded his vegetable sticks with Judy and had a pizza slice. It was simply delicious. The next day, Wesley traded his vegetable sticks with Nicky and got a hamburger. It was even more delicious. From then on, Wesley traded his lunch with a different classmate each day, and ate the lunch he always wished for.

After doing this for quite some time, Wesley started to feel sluggish at the start of the school day till the end of the school day. Everyone else moved around him energetically.

Soon Wesley noticed that if there was a race, he was the last to finish. If there was a question a teacher asked, all the other students were quick to raise their hands while he pondered the answer. If there was an arm wrestling contest, he lost.

During lunch break, Wesley started to notice that the other students were eating vegetable sticks with their sandwiches. Not one student was eating what he liked…pizza, hamburger, fries, potato chips, or candy.

Wesley wondered why the other students were eating what he used to eat.

Wesley asked Judy why she had vegetable sticks with her lunch. She replied, “My mom said it’s good for you. It keeps you healthy and makes you strong, smart, and fast.” Wesley turned to Nicky and asked him why he had vegetable sticks with his lunch. He answered, “My mom said the same thing. Vegetables make you strong, smart, and fast.”

Wesley looked at the lunch that his mom made for him. A sandwich and vegetable sticks. He remembered what his mom always told him before school, “Don’t forget, always eat your vegetables.” He soon realized that the reason why he was the fastest, strongest, smartest, and energetic was because he ate his vegetables.

From then on, Wesley never forgot to eat his vegetables.

Mark Kaneshige

“Monsters!!!”…Under The Bed

Quinn was always afraid to go to sleep in his room at night. He thought that the monsters under his bed would grab him once the lights were out.

When he was ready to go to sleep, Quinn would get in his bed and ask his mom or dad to turn off the lights. If he was thirsty at night or needed to go to the bathroom, he would yell for his mom or dad to turn on the lights.

One night, Quinn was tired and ready for bed.

“Mom, I’m in the bed now, can you turn off the lights” yelled Quinn.

His mom stood in the doorway and said, “Quinn, you’re old enough to turn off the lights by yourself.”

“But mom, how will I get in the bed?” asked Quinn.

“What do you mean?” asked his mom.

“If I turn off the lights by myself, the monsters under the bed will grab me before I can get in bed” said a concerned Quinn.

“Nonsense, there are no such things as monsters” said his mom, “now turn off the lights and go to sleep.” With that, his mom walked away leaving Quinn with the dilemma of turning off the light.

Quinn looked at the light switch and then looked at his bed. He searched his room for an answer to his problem…and there it was, his baseball bat.

He hopped into bed and stretched out, with the bat in hand, and used it to turn off the light. CLICK! Victory! With the lights off, Quinn could now go to sleep.

The next night when Quinn was ready for bed, he looked for his bat. It was nowhere to be found.

“Mom have you seen my baseball bat?” shouted Quinn.

His mom stood in the doorway and said, “Oh, I let your cousin Nicky borrow it, he lost his.”

“But mom, I needed the bat to turn off the lights” said Quinn.

“Don’t be silly, just turn it off with your fingers” said his mom. And with that, his mom left.

Quinn looked at his fingers and said, “Nope, I’m not gonna do it.” He looked around his room and gathered up his toys and shoes and brought it onto his bed.

He looked at the light switch and picked up a toy. With careful aim, he threw the toy hoping it would hit the light switch off. SWOOSH, it soared through the air and…WHACK! It missed.

Quinn threw another toy…WHACK! He missed again.

He threw another toy and another and another…WHACK, WHACK, WHACK! No luck. He decided to use his sneakers.

This time Quinn went toward the edge of his bed, took careful aim and…SWOOSH! The shoes soared through the air and hit the light switch off. Quinn smiled and went to bed.

Just then, the lights came back on. “Young man, what are you doing?” angrily said his mom.

“I didn’t have my bat, so I used my shoes to turn off the lights” said a proud Quinn.

“Don’t do this again. Tomorrow night you use your fingers and turn off the lights like a normal person” said his mom.

“But mom, if I do that I won’t have time to get in the bed. The monsters’ll grab me!” Quinn said.

“There are no monsters under your bed!” said his mom, “Now go to sleep and don’t let this happen again.”

CLICK! His mom turned off the lights. Quinn laid in his bed with a look of concern.

“How am I gonna turn off the lights with my hand and get into bed before the monsters grab me?” Quinn pondered. His eyes lit up and he said with a smile, “Yes, I got it!”

The next night came and Quinn was ready for bed. He got four chairs and lined them up in a row. It went from the light switch to his bed.

Quinn got up on the first chair, that was near the door, and turned off the light. CLICK! He proceeded to the second chair and the third.

Because it was dark, Quinn almost lost his balance, “Whew! That was close” said Quinn. He slowly and carefully stepped onto the fourth and final chair and then finally plopped onto his bed.

Quinn smiled with pride knowing that he found a way to turn off the lights with his hand and get on the bed out of the monsters’ reach.

The next night came and Quinn prepared for bed, he walked into his room and saw that the chairs were gone.

“Mom!” yelled Quinn.

His mom rushed into his room, “What’s wrong?”

“What happened to the chairs I had here in my room?” asked Quinn.

“Why do you need the chairs?” asked his mom.

“I use the chairs to turn off the lights with my hand” said Quinn, “and then I walk on top of it to get to my bed. The monsters can’t get me.”

“There are no such things as monsters under the bed” said his mom, “turn off the lights like a normal person and walk into your bed. Do you understand?”

Quinn lowered his head and answered, “Yes, I understand.”

And with that, his mom left.

Quinn put his hand on the light switch and stretched his body toward his bed. He stretched and stretched and stretched and stretched but no luck. So close but yet so far.

“How am I gonna get into bed?” wondered Quinn.

He thought and thought and thought and then finally he got an answer.

“I know, I’ll run and jump into bed. If I run fast enough, the monsters won’t be able to grab me.”

With his hand on the switch, Quinn got into a runner’s stance. He counted, “One…two…THREE!”

CLICK! Off went the lights.

Quinn made a dash for his bed. Just before he could jump into bed, Quinn tripped over one of his toys.

KA-THUD! Quinn falls onto the floor, a few inches from his bed.

“OH NO! THE MONSTERS ARE GOING TO GET ME!” screamed Quinn. Frightened of what’s to come, he shuts his eyes.

A couple of seconds past, and then another, and then another. Quinn slowly opens his eyes and sees the underneath of his bed. There’s nothing but empty space.

Quinn smiles and chuckles to himself.

Just then…CLICK! the lights go on. “

Quinn what’s wrong? Why did you scream?” asked his mom.

“Oh nothing. I just slipped and fell when I was getting into bed” said Quinn.

“Are you alright?” his mom asked.

“I’m fine!” exclaimed Quinn, “I just need some sleep.” “

Okay then, get into bed and I’ll turn off the lights” said his mom.

Quinn stood up, grinned and proudly said, “That’s okay mom, I can turn off the lights by myself!”

His mom asked, “Aren’t you worried about the monsters under the bed?”

CLICK! Quinn turned off the lights and got into bed and said to his mom, “There are no such things as monsters under the bed. Good night.”

Mark Kaneshige

How to make a good mudpie better.

Judy liked playing with mud, not in the mud mind you, but with the mud. She especially liked making mudpies. And she was real good at it.

On sunny days, Judy pulled out her little cart of supplies into her backyard and studied the dirt. She would grab a handful of dirt and feel it to see if it was the right texture and temperature for making mudpies.

“This is perfect” said Judy.

She would take an empty pail and shovel from her cart and fill it up with dirt. She would then add some water from a bottle into the pail and mix it with her long wooden spoon.

Judy would take the pail of mud over to a sunny flat section of the backyard and carefully spooned out some mud onto the ground. She always made four round mudpies because she liked the number four.

“I wish there was some way I could make my mudpies better” said Judy.

With that, she stepped back and let the sun bake her mudpies. While waiting for her pies to bake, Judy would smell the flowers, shoot some colored marbles, and play in the sandbox.

After doing all those things, Judy went to check on her mudpies. She always inspected it carefully before touching them.

“It’s ready” she said.

Judy picked up her mudpies and carried it over to a box labelled “Judy’s pies”. She opened it and put the mudpies in with her other collection of mudpies.

She stared at her collection long and hard and thought to herself, “There must be a way to make my mudpies better.”

She thought and thought and thought but could not come up with an idea. Feeling frustrated, Judy went into the house to find an answer.

She went into the kitchen where her mother was putting the finishing touches on a cake.

Judy noticed her mother placing some candy flowers and gumballs around the edges of the cake.  She then threw some candy sprinkles in the middle for color.

Her mother showed Judy the cake and asked her, “How do you like the way this cake looks?”

“Wow, it looks pretty” replied Judy.

After watching her mom decorate the cake, Judy got an idea.

“That’s what I’ll do” exclaimed Judy. She then ran out to the backyard.

Judy was hard at work making her mudpies. Before setting her pies out in the sun to bake, she picked some flowers, grabbed her marbles, and got some sand from the sandbox.

When she set her mudpies on the flat ground, Judy did exactly what her mom did when decorating the cake.

Flowers and marbles were place on the edges of the pie and sand was sprinkled in the middle for a little color.

While the sun baked her mudpies, Judy did not smell the flowers, shoot her marbles, or play in the sandbox, instead she went to “Judy’s pies” box.

She took out her mudpies and brought them over to the dirt section one by one. When she was finished, she went to check her other mudpies.

Judy carefully inspected her new mudpies and then picked them up. She carried them and placed them into “Judy’s pies” box. She looked at her creation but didn’t smile.

She ran into the house and came out with a pen. She scribbled something on the box and then stepped back. “Judy’s cakes” was now written on the box.

“There, that’s better” said Judy with a big smile. She looked at her colorful mudcakes and said, “Now that’s how to make a good mudpie better.”

Mark Kaneshige

A Beard, A Mustache or A Goatee

Seven year old Sam would sit in front of a mirror all day and stare at his face.

“What should I have, a beard, a mustache, or a goatee?” wondered Sam.

The reason he asked himself that question was because he had three uncles who he thought were interesting.

His first uncle, Uncle James, had a white beard, not as long as Santa’s, but just as noticeable. Uncle James had a tendency to stroke his beard. His second uncle, Uncle Bill, had a nice black mustache that curled at the ends. Uncle Bill had a tendency to twirl his mustache whenever he could. And his third uncle, Uncle Matt, had a brown goatee that hung from his chin and flapped everytime the wind blew. Uncle Matt would rub his goatee with his fingers from top to bottom.

“Maybe I should have a white beard like Uncle James, yeah that’s what I should have” said Sam.

He looked high and low all over his house to make a white beard. Sam found the answer in his refrigerator…a can of whipped cream. Sam squirted out a handful of whipped cream and rubbed it on his face. He shaped it like Uncle James’ beard and went to see himself in the mirror.

“Just like Uncle James” said Sam. With that, he stroked his beard and proudly walked around the house.

“What are you doing? What is that on your face!?” asked his mother.

“I put whipped cream on my face to make a beard like Uncle James” answered Sam.

“You eat whipped cream, not put it on your face. Wash your face” said his mother.

Feeling disappointed, Sam went to wash his face. Sam sat back in front of the mirror and stared at his face again.

“Maybe I should have a black mustache like Uncle Bill” said Sam. And with that he found a black pen and scribbled a dark mustache on his face.

He looked at his mustache, “This is much better than the whipped cream.” Sam pretended to twirl his mustache and proudly walked out of his room. He headed out the door when… “Sam, what did you do to your face?” shouted his mother.

“I used a pen and made myself a mustache like Uncle Bill” replied Sam, “isn’t it neat?”

“Young man, you use a pen to write things with, not draw on your face. You go wash your face right now” shouted his mother.

“But mom, I want a mustache” replied Sam.

“You need to have hair to have a mustache, now go wash your face” exclaimed his mother.

Feeling disappointed again, Sam went to wash his face. Sam sat back in front of the mirror again and stared real hard at his face.

“Maybe I should have a brown goatee like Uncle Matt” said Sam, “but this time I should use some hair.” Sam thought about cutting some of his to make his goatee but it wasn’t brown. He thought real hard and finally thought of an answer…his dog Oscar was brown.

“That’s it!” shouted an eager Sam, “That’s what I’ll use, Oscar’s fur.”

With a scissor in hand, Sam found Oscar. Oscar had a nice and silky brown fur that was soft to the touch. Sam grinned with delight and cut a handful of Oscar’s fur. He placed the brown fur on some sticky tape and fashioned it into a goatee. He then put the sticky tape on his chin and rubbed his goatee from top to bottom.

Sam looked at himself in the mirror and cracked a big smile when all of a sudden… “Sam get over here right now!” screamed his mother.

Sam dashed out of his room and went to his mother. His mother was sitting next to Oscar, who had a big bald spot in the middle of his back. She did not look happy.

“Young man, did you do this to Oscar? And now what is that on your face?” said his mother.

“I used Oscar’s hair to make a goatee like Uncle Matt” said Sam.

“Sam, to have a beard, mustache, or goatee, you need to grow hair” said his mother.

“So when am I going to grow some hair?” asked Sam.

“Not for awhile I’m afraid, but in the meantime I stopped by the costume shoppe and picked up these things for you” said his mother.

She presented Sam with a white clip-on beard, a black press-on mustache, and a brown press-on goatee. “Gee thanks mom!” said a delightful Sam.  And with that, he scooped them up and ran to his room.

Sam laid down the white beard, the black mustache, and the brown goatee.

He looked at the mirror and stared at himself. “What should I have…a beard, a mustache, or a goatee?” wondered Sam.

Mark Kaneshige

My dad is…

One bright day, at a very busy playground, there were three young boys playing in a sandbox.

Michael, Timmy, and Alan were playing with their action figures when suddenly one of the boys stood up. Alan looked at his astronaut action figure and then turned to Michael and Timmy. Alan said proudly, “My dad is the best dad in the whole world. He’s an astronaut and he gets to fly a rocket ship and work in space. He’s up there right now doing cool things in space.”

As soon as Alan finished talking, a fire engine truck drove by with sirens wailing and lights flashing. Timmy stood up with great pride and said, “That’s nothing, my dad is the greatest dad in the whole world. He’s a very busy fireman. He puts out a lot of fires and rescues people all the time. I’ll bet he was on that truck.”

After hearing Alan and Timmy talk about their dads, Michael said, “Wow, your dads are really neat. I wish I could have one of your dads.”

Alan and Timmy were curious and asked Michael, “So what does your dad do?”

Michael lowered his head in shame and replied, “Oh nothing special, he doesn’t do cool stuff like work in space or put out fires. My dad is a businessman who works in an office. Everyday after work, he comes home and plays ball with me or challenges me in a video game. Once in awhile when he’s not too tired, we’ll go rollerblading or to a movie.”

Alan and Timmy looked at each other and then looked at Michael. Alan said, “Wow you’re lucky.” Timmy agreed, “Yeah, you are lucky to have a dad like that.”  Michael was a bit puzzled at what Alan and Timmy said.

Michael responded, “Why am I lucky?”

Timmy said, “My dad is so busy being a fireman that after work, he’s too tired to do anything with me. All he does is sleep.”

Alan said, “My dad works in space so I hardly ever see him. I wish I could do stuff with my dad like you do.”

Timmy agreed, “Yeah, I wish my dad would do cool stuff with me like your dad does with you.”

After hearing this, Michael raised his head in pride and stood up. He said very proudly, “My dad is the best dad in the world. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t do neat things in space or put out fires, he’s the greatest because he’s there to do things with me. I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world!”

Mark Kaneshige

3 Feet 2, nothing I can do.

The Foster family is a very, very tall family. Dad Foster is 6 feet tall. Mom Foster is 5 feet 11. Together they had five children, three boys and a girl. The oldest child Billy is 6 feet 4. The second oldest child Chad is 6 feet 2. The third oldest child Beth is 5 feet 11. The fourth child Anna is 5 feet 10. And finally the youngest child is Ricky who was only 3 feet 2.

“3 feet 2, I’m so short there’s nothing I can do” Ricky always said with a disappointed face.

Everyday Ricky would measure his growth in the doorway, and everyday it was the same…3 feet 2. He longed for the day to be tall like his brothers and sisters. Because he was the shortest, Ricky always felt like there was nothing he could do by himself.

When Ricky wanted to read his favorite books from the tall bookshelf, he had to ask Anna to get the books for him. When Ricky wanted to drink a cup of juice, Beth always had to get a cup for him from the high cupboard. When Ricky wanted to play with his prized toy cars, he always asked Chad to bring it down for him from the top shelf of his closet. When Ricky wanted to hang his model planes from the ceiling of his room, Billy hand to string it up for him.

“3 feet 2, I’m so short there’s nothing I can do” sadly said Ricky.

Ricky decided to do something. He got four big soup cans and taped two to the sole of his right shoe and two to the left sole. He stood up and already he felt tall. Ricky tried to walk but the weight of the soup cans were too heavy. He could only move about an inch from where he stood. This was not going to work.

“I got a better idea!” exclaimed Ricky.

He took off his shoes and made a dash for his room. He brought a chair into his closet and stood on top. He parted his clothes and hung onto the clothes bar. He held on for as long as he could and then let go.

“There, that should’ve made me taller” said Ricky.

Ricky decided to make an attempt to get something that was out of his reach. He went to get some ice cream from the freezer’s top shelf. Ricky strained to reach the ice cream, just then his mom and dad appeared and plucked it off the shelf for him.

Ricky felt disappointed.

He asked his parents, “When am I going to grow and be tall like the rest of the family?”

“Why do you want to know?” said his mom.

“Because I’m only 3 feet 2. I’m so short there’s nothing I can do” replied Ricky.

“Nonsense” replied his dad.

“But it’s true. When I feel like reading my favorite book, Beth has to get it down for me. When I need a cup for some juice, Anna gets me a cup. When I want to play with my cars, Chad has to bring them down from my closet shelf. And when I change my model planes hanging on the ceiling, Billy has to do it for me.” said Ricky.

His mom looked at him and said, “You know, your dad and I as well as Billy, Chad, Beth, and Anna were all short when we were young. As we got older, we grew taller.”

His dad added, “You’ll catch up to us soon. Who knows, you might even grow up to be the tallest one in the family.”

Ricky cracked a little smile but was still disappointed that he was 3 feet 2.

One day Ricky was outside with two of his best friends, Dexter and Sam. Ricky laid on the ground and said, “Dexter, grab my hands and Sam, you grab both my feet. On the count of three, pull as hard as you can.” Dexter and Sam felt a little weird but did what Ricky asked. “One…two…THREE!” shouted Ricky. Dexter and Sam pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, until they were too tired to pull. Ricky leaped up and stood there smiling as if he were 10 feet tall.

He looked at his friends, “So do I look any taller?”

Dexter and Sam looked at him from heat to toe and both said, “No.”

Feeling defeat, Ricky decided to go inside. On his way in, he noticed the whole family huddled in a circle. Out of curiosity, he went to see what was going on. “What happened?” asked Ricky.

“I was going to do some yard work, so I took off my wedding ring to put it in my pocket. It slipped out of my hands, dropped to the ground and rolled beneath that small crevice in the corner.  I couldn’t reach it” said his mom.

“Maybe I can crawl inside to get it” said his dad. His dad tried but was too big to fit in the small space. Billy tried but was too big as well. Chad tried, and then Beth, and then Anna. Everyone was too big and tall to fit in that tiny space.

“Let me try” said Ricky.

Since he was only 3 feet 2, Ricky easily crawled into the small space and retrieved his mom’s ring. When he came out, his family cheered and congratulated him on a job well done. His mom hugged him and said, “You see, sometimes being short is not so bad. You can do things that tall people can’t do.” Ricky smiled with joy.

Later that night the whole family celebrated Ricky’s accomplishment over a hearty meal. The next day when Ricky went to measure himself in the doorway, he noticed that he was an inch taller. He was extremely happy that he grew. It wasn’t alot but that was alright by him. Ricky grinned and proudly said, “3 feet 3, I’m still short but that’s fine by me. I can do things that tall people can’t do.”

Mark Kaneshige

Chloe’s Stage Fright

Chloe was the only student in third grade that loved to dance. It didn’t matter where, it didn’t matter how, it didn’t even matter if there was music playing or not Chloe just loved dancing. Her dancing involved a lot of twirling, skipping, hopping, jumping, swaying, and prancing.

Chloe’s teacher, Miss Keegan, noticed Chloe’s fondness for dancing and thought she was the perfect choice for the part of the dancing princess in their third grade play. Miss Keegan walked up to Chloe and asked, “Hey Chloe, we’re having a play this Friday night and I was wondering if you would like to be in it?”

Dancing away, Chloe replied “I dunno.”

“I think you would be perfect as the lead character” said Miss Keegan, “the dancing princess.”

She stopped and looked at Miss Keegan.  “Dancing?” said Chloe.

“Yes, you like to dance right?” asked Miss Keegan.

“All the time” exclaimed Chloe.

“So do you want to be the dancing princess in our play?” asked Miss Keegan.

“Yes!” said an excited Chloe.

“Great. The play is going to be in four days so we’ll be rehearsing for a short while afterschool.” said Miss Keegan. “Okay” answered Chloe. And with that, Chloe danced away with a hop, skip, and a twirl.

Afterschool, for the next four days, Chloe rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed with Miss Keegan and a few of her classmates. Miss Keegan was pleased at the way her students practiced, “I’m proud of you all. And especially you Chloe, you dance very well. You’re all going to do just fine for tonight’s play. See you later tonight.” Chloe was so happy to be in a play that involved the one thing she loved the most…dancing. Chloe gathered her things and proceeded to walk home. She was joined by two of her friends, Sarah and Kevin, who were also in the play.

As they were walking home Chloe said “Isn’t it great that we’re in a play?”

“I guess so” replied Sarah, “but I’m kind of scared.”

“Yeah, me too” said Kevin. Chloe was a bit puzzled and asked “What are you scared of?” “Performing in front of all those people” said Kevin.

“Yeah, all those people staring at you. I hope I don’t trip or fall. Everybody would laugh at me.” Sarah added. Chloe was a bit concerned at what Sarah said.

“I hope I don’t forget what to say” said Kevin, “that’s even more scarier.” Chloe started to look a little scared.

“I’m glad I’m not you Chloe” said Sarah. Kevin said the same, “Yeah, I’m glad I’m not you.”

“Why?” asked a puzzled Chloe.

“Because you’re the main character” said Kevin, “you have to dance and talk.” Sarah added, “Yeah, all those people will be watching you. What if you trip and fall or forget your lines?” “Everyone will laugh at you” said Kevin.

Chloe was now scared.

Sarah and Kevin waved Chloe goodbye as she headed into her house. Chloe ran up to her room and sat on her bed. “I wish I wasn’t in the play” said Chloe.

Just then, her mom entered the room, “Are you ready for the play tonight?”

“No” answered Chloe.

“Why not? Didn’t you rehearse all this week with Miss Keegan?” asked her mom.

“Yeah” said Chloe, “but I’m scared.”

“What are you scared of?” asked her mom.

“What if I trip and fall or forget what to say, everyone will laugh at me. I’m scared.” said Chloe.

“Don’t be, everybody gets a little stage fright when they have to speak or perform in front of people.” said her mom. Chloe was puzzled at what her mom said, “Stage fright? What’s that?”

Her mom looked at her, “That’s when you get nervous. You’re worried about every little that could go wrong, like tripping, falling, or forgetting what to say. But if you practiced hard enough that won’t happen.” “You practiced hard didn’t you” stated her mom.

“Yes” said Chloe.

“You dance all the time and you never forget a step right” said her mom. “Yeah” said Chloe. “So don’t worry so much” said her mom, “you’re only doing what you love to do except it’s on a stage. You dance all the time in front of your dad and I, your brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, and cousins.”

Chloe listened to every word her mom said. Her mom added, “When you go on the stage tonight, just pretend that your dad and I, your brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, and cousins are the only ones in the audience okay?”

Chloe thought for a second and smiled, “I can do that.”

That night Chloe remembered what her mom said. She never forgot what to say and she twirled, hopped, skipped, swayed, and pranced with ease. Everyone cheered and clapped when the play was done. Chloe took a bow and smiled.

“I did it!” Chloe proudly said, “Let’s do this again!”

Mark Kaneshige