Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lucky and his neighbor Penelope

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Lucky. Every day when he friends wanted him to ride bikes with them he would race outside only to find his bike had a flat tire. By the time he aired it up, his friends had ridden off without him. Lucky didn't feel so lucky.

When it rained, Lucky couldn't find his rainboots. In fact, the only shoes he could find were last summer's flip flops. But his mom was in a hurry and couldn't wait for him to look anymore so Lucky had to wear the flip flops anyway. He came home with soaking wet feet and a nasty cold. Lucky didn't feel so lucky.

On Saturday when his mom would take him to the skating rink to skate with his friends, Lucky fell the first time he took off across the smooth, shining wooden rink. He spent the rest of the day with an ice pack on the black and blue knot on his knee. Lucky didn't feel so lucky.

Lucky's neighbor Penelope was very lucky. When her friends wanted to ride bikes, she led the line of shiney bikes cruising through the neighborhood. Penelope never had a flat tire.

When it rained, Penelope always arrived at school wearing her rubber boots with pink and green flowers dancing on the side. The rain never touched her feet and she rarely spent a day in bed with a cold.

At the skating rink, Penelope flittered around the room like a ballerina, graceful and smooth. Her knees never bore the marks of bruises.

Lucky wondered how Penelope could be so lucky.

Then he started to watch her. Every evening when she finished riding her bike she checked both tires and added a little air if they were low before she went inside. She even put her bike in the exact same spot in the garage every night. Lucky looked over to his bike laying on it's side in the grass still wet from last night's rain. He was pretty sure both tires were flat. He shrugged his shoulders, wandered over to his bike, picked it up and filled the tires. Maybe tomorrow he would be ready to ride with his friends.

Later that week when Lucky followed his mom to Penelope's house to take a plate of cookies to the family. He tiptoed down the hallway and stole a glane into Penelope's room. He guessed she hid her toys in her toybox because nothing littered the floor. Against the wall sat a small shelf with four pairs of shoes lined perfectly in a row: a pair of school tennis shoes, the flowered rainboots, a pair of pink flip flops and black patent leather church shoes. When Lucky got home he looked into his own room. Toys covered every inch. He could barely make out the tip of one tennis shoe under a pile of dinosaurs and train cars. His toy box was empty. He shrugged his shoulders, toss some toys into the toy box and found his rain boots under the bed. Maybe he wouldn't have wet feet and a cold the next time it rained.

On Saturday he watched Penelope examine her skates before she ventured onto the skating rink floor. She took a couple of slow rounds balancing on the side and wall before skating freely across the floor. After falling a couple of times, Lucky checked his skates took and realized one had a loose wheel. He exchanged them for another pair and tried to get his balance before skating again. Amazed, he made quick, steady rounds and went home with no bumps or bruises.

Lucky realized being lucky had little to do with luck after all.