The Run Away
Illustrations by Betsy Caldwell Meredith
“NO!” Grrr! That was not how a mom was supposed to react. She was supposed to come and say how sorry she was. Not my mom. She offered to help me pack. I was even madder now.
I went into the bedroom. I got a bag from my closet. I shoved my pajamas into it. I put in my favorite book. I put in my best shirt and some underwear. Did I pack my toothbrush? Don’t be silly! Of course not!
I took my bag and marched out the back door. I shouted, “Good bye!” I gave the screen door a good hard push so it slammed nice and loud.
I hadn’t even bothered to put on my shoes.
I was going to move to my neighbor’s, the Dickinsons. They lived a little way down the road. I wasn’t allowed to walk on the road by myself so I started stomping across the field. Nothing but weeds was growing that summer around last summer’s corn stubs. It was lumpy and bumpy on my bare feet but I didn’t care.
Suddenly, I stepped on a stick that felt strange. I mean really strange. It was a moving stick.
I was thinking, “I’ll show them! They’ll miss me when I’m gone! The Dickinsons will appreciate me!”
I jumped and I’m pretty sure it jumped, too. It was gone in a flash of black and green.
It was right then that I forgot why I was mad at my mom. I forgot why I ran away.
I turned around and ran home screaming, “MOMMY!”
There she was at the back door waiting for me. She just held the door open and said, “Welcome home, Lee-Ann.”
Yikes! It wasn’t a stick! It was a snake!
When I Was Seven
It was a hot sticky summer day when I decided to run away. I was seven years old. I forget what I had done or what made me decide to run away. I will tell you what made me forget.
I was so mad at my mom. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe my mom needed more coffee. Maybe she was grouchy because my baby sister Ellen kept her awake at night.
Possibly, I was just being ornery.
I was mad! I was done! It was over! I wasn’t going to put up with all that bossiness from my mom any more.
“I’m running away!” I yelled.
“Would you like me to help you pack?” my mom calmly replied.