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.