Peter and the Woolly Bear

written by Frances Wosmek

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It was morning in Sunnyport. The sun was shining. Peter was on his way home from the store. A fresh loaf of bread was tucked under his arm. I wonder what all my friends in Boston are doing, he was thinking. I wonder if they remember me. Here he had no friends at all. He felt sad and lonely.

Papa had driven a cab in Boston. In Sunnyport he was a lobsterman. "... Just like my father back in Portugal," he sometimes told Peter proudly. "Someday, you will be one too."

Peter did not think he wanted to be a lobsterman....but, Yes, Papa", he would say, because Papa always looked so pleased.

You will find friends," Mama would hurry to add. "Here in Sunnyport you have boats, the water and plenty of room.

Peter looked back over his shoulder. Two boys were coming his way, carrying fishing rods. They were talking and laughing.

Peter slipped into an open doorway. He held his breath until the boys had passed. He waited until they were out of sight, then, after making sure there were no others, he continued on his way.

He stopped to watch a small, woolly bear caterpillar scurry across the sidewalk in front of him. It seemed to him it was being very careful to keep inside the crack.

"Why are you walking in a crack?" Peter bent over to ask.

"If the sidewalk is kept on, you're sure to get stepped on," he was sure he heard the caterpillar reply in a squeaky little caterpillar voice.

"Is that what woolly bears say?" asked Peter with interest. "We say, 'If you step on a crack, you'll have to go back!"


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