This is the chapter one of a first reader book for children.
Chapter # 1
My Best Friend Charlie
My name is Mazy Mooney, and Charlie Roberts lives right across the street from me. We do lots of things together, such as ride bikes, chase each other around the block, play baseball, roller skate, go to the park, and hang around at school. He is my best friend.
We get along with each other very well, unless some of the girls want me to do things with them. When that happens, I know Charlie won't come around much. He doesn't want to do some of the things us girls are doing. But, if I see him out in his yard, I ask if he would like to come over.
He has other friends too that come to visit him once in a while. Thomas is one of them. He is not as easy to get along with as Charlie is, and does not like to do the things we do. Sometimes he tries to cause trouble.
Oh yes, there is Tony who lives a couple of blocks down our street. Willie, Charlie's brother, hangs around with us at times too.
Actually when the boys all get together, I stay to myself. Trying to get in on what they are doing feels a little odd.
One fine June afternoon two of my friends came to visit me. We decided to play hide and seek. As I looked across the street, Charlie was sitting on his front steps.
"Come on over Charlie," I yelled to him. "We are going to play hide and seek."
"No thanks," replies Charlie. "My dad wants me to help him clean the garage."
Maybe that's true, but I don't think he wants to be seen playing with us girls.
"Suite yourself," I yelled.
A few months ago, back in the summer, my parents were having a picnic in our back yard. They invited family, friends, and neighbors. Charlie, Willie, and their parents were asked to join us. Lots of people came, including my friends Joanie, Anna, and Rachael.
Everyone ate a lot and visited with each other. The adults played horse shoes.
My friends and I played other games.
I have a tether ball, and that is one thing we all like to do. We took turns with different partners. First it was Rachael and me. Then it was Joanie and Anna. Finally as Charlie kind of stood back away from us, I asked him to play. He shuffled over and we began to hit the ball. He had a weird look on his face.
"What is the matter Charlie?" I asked. "Aren't you having a good time?"
"I don't know," he replied. "You don't care anyway."
"Sure I do," I said.
"You have all your other friends to be with and I know you just asked me to play because you feel sorry for me," he told me while he hit the ball again.
"I always want to play with you Charlie," I told him.
We hit back and forth a few times not really getting anywhere.
Just then he punched the ball so hard it came around and hit me square in the face. My nose started hurting right away.
"Ouch," I cried out loud. "What did you do that for?"
"I'm sorry Mazy," Charlie said. "I didn't mean to hit it so hard. I was just a little mad."
I sat down on the grass to compose myself. He sat down beside me, while Anna ran to get Mom.
"Let me get a good look at your nose, Mazy," said Mom. "What happened here?"
"Charlie hit the ball, and it got me in the nose real hard," I told her.
"I sure didn't mean to hurt Mazy," Charlie told my mom
Holding my hand over my nose I felt something warm seeping between my fingers. My nose was bleeding.
Mom sent Dad into the house to get a moist wash cloth.
"Here hold this on your nose for a few minutes and pinch it a little. The Bleeding will stop," Mom told me. These things happen sometimes. You just need to be careful."
By then several people had gathered around us. One of them was Charlie's mom. She just gave him a funny look and took him to the picnic table. It looked like she was scolding him.
"Charlie didn't mean to do this," I told everyone. He just hit the ball hard.
Mom checked me over good, finally the bleeding stopped, and I got back up in no time. I walked around the yard a little bit.
"Let's go do something," Joanie said.
The girls and I decided to walk down to the park to swing. As we started off, I looked back over my shoulder and invited Charlie to come with us. With a grin on his face, he caught up.
"Come on Charlie," I said.
The park wasn't far away. It could be seen from my back yard.
The wind began to pick up, and the trees rustled. It was a hot day with the sun shining bright overhead. The breeze made us feel a little cooler.
As we walked Charlie apologized again and said he realized that getting mad over me having other friends was silly. He knew we were best friends forever.
"No matter how many other people we have in our life, we will always have time for each other," I told him.
I think he just likes to be reminded sometimes.
We got on the swings and went up as high as we could go. Then we went down the slide about a hundred times. The monkey bars came last. I was careful not to bump my nose.
"How is your nose doing?" asked Joanie. "It looks pretty red."
"It hurts a little, but I'm okay," I told her.
After we all played together at the park, Charlie suggested we ride bikes down the sidewalk. After that we went back to my house to finish our picnic. By then all of us were ready to eat again.
We grabbed some food and something to drink.
Sitting around in my back yard we talked. All of us, including Charlie, who was getting in on the conversations. Lots of different things were brought up, including going back to school.
It wasn't too long before most of our guests started getting ready to go. The men picked up the trash and the women gathered all of the dishes. My friends and I pitched in to help fold chairs and move tables. We were all going in different directions
"You know, your nose is a little swollen," said Rachael. "Maybe you should let your mom take another look at it."
"I need to go inside and look in the mirror first," I told her. I stepped inside the bathroom as I got into the house to take a good peek. "Oh, it is big and red."
I yelled at mom to come see it. "Yes it is swollen a little," she said. "It looks like it is alright, but I will make you an appointment to see the Dr. You all have to be careful with that tether ball."
That did make me feel a little better when she said it looked okay.
Rachael and I went back outside to sit at the picnic table. Toni, Charlie's friend, had stopped by and joined the group. They were all laughing and messing around as we approached.
I let them know what mom had said. Charlie looked sad. But, I told him not to worry about it. He let out a groan, but had a smile at the same time.
"Don't you worry, Charlie," I said. "You can just call me Rudolph until this redness and swelling goes down."
Everyone laughed with me.