“I can’t wait to get there. What do they have? Do they have a swing set or jungle gym?” Kim anxiously asks. She has been waiting to go to the park for what seemed like ages.
Allie nods, “Yep. It also has a pond, tennis courts and a volley ball net. This park is great. My grandma takes me here all the time because my grandfather works close by.”
Kim points out into the distance and yells, “Look we’re here! Wow, a baseball field and basketball hoops.”
Allie asks, “What do you want to do first?”
“Let’s walk around the pond first.”
“That sounds nice. That way we can see everything”, Allie agrees.
The girls stroll around the pond and watch the ducks. Kim notices a bridge leading to a trail. “Where does that trail go?”
Allie replies “I’ve never gone that way before, but it looks like it goes through the woods.”
“Let’s go on a nature walk.” Kim suggests.
“Can we?” The girls ask, pleading with their guardians.
Kim’s mom and Allie’s grandmother shake their heads and the four of then head across the bridge. The bridge is not very high and Allie notices a group of boys playing in the stream below.
A boy their age looks up at her and musters the courage to say “hi”.
“Hi. I’m Allie and this is my best friend Kim. What are you doing?”
“We’re catching crawfish. I’m Roger, that’s my younger brother David and my older brother Ben. Do you want to join us?”
“Yes!” Allie replies excitedly as her grandmother lead the way down.
Kim looks worriedly at the water, “As long as I don’t get my shoes wet. How do you catch them?”
Roger eagerly showed them, “Flip over the rocks slowly so you don’t scare them. Ah! Here’s one. Grab him just behind his head so its pinchers can’t get you. We have buckets on the shore to collect them in.”
The kids began grabbing rocks and turning them over. Kim stays close to the stream’s bank, while Allie fearlessly jumps and maneuvers until she is near the middle of the stream. Flipping over rock after rock, Allie manages to find a crawfish and catches it. She is pleased with herself and heads back to the buckets. Suddenly Allie slips and falls in the water, but manages to laugh as she wipes water from her eyes. Recovering, Allie says “And you were worried about your shoes Kim!”
The group gathers their things and head up the path. The kids all have fun spinning around trees and jumping over rocks- they even admire some birds flying past. The song of the birds seemed to match the rhythm of Allie’s sneakers as they squish the whole way up to the top of the hill were Roger’s house is located. Inside, Allie dries her clothes and put her sneakers in the sun. Roger, Kim, and Allie spend the next few hours coloring pictures together. Allie makes pictures of her and her grandma cooking together; Roger draws his favorite hockey players and tells Kim all about the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Kim draws outfits for Allie and Roger. She tells the two that she is going to be a fashion designer someday. Soon it is time for Kim and Allie to leave. They hug their newfound friend goodbye…for now.