I’m so tired of school, I honestly don’t think I can make it until the end of the school year without a break. This is not good because it’s only October. Mom says I’m grumpy and need more sleep. Grace said she doesn’t think I’m eating right, and Pearl the human says I complain too much. Just between you and me, I think it takes a complainer to know a complainer. Anyway, I have decided to go one whole day without complaining. I only mean out loud. I can still complain in my mind where nobody can hear me.
There’s Grace with her dish towel and Pearl with her air cigarette.
I’m on my way to Pearl the human’s place to walk Pearl the dog before school, which will give me a little time to prepare for the day. Oh, by the way, if I hear anyone else complaining, I will suggest they listen to themselves because they might benefit from an exercise like I’m embarking on.
I was doing just fine until Pearl asked me what was wrong. I said, “nothing.” Then she said . “you haven’t said two words this morning and that’s not like you.”
I was about to argue with her, but remembered my self-test, so instead of saying, “I hate getting up early and I hate school,” I said, “I would be more than happy to say two words, Pearl…Good bye.”
As I was walking out the door, Pearl said, “You’ll walk through life much easier with a smile on your face.”
I didn’t think the school day would be as hard as it was. You’re not supposed to talk in school anyway, but it seems the less you talk, the more people get suspicious. My best friend, Kathy, thought I was mad at her. Instead of saying, “I’m not mad, get off my back,” I said, “I’m not mad at anybody in the whole world.”
I’ll admit, I didn’t say much all day because most of what I was going to say would have sounded like I was complaining. I kept telling myself what my mom always tells me. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” I pretty much had to keep my lip zipped all day.
Mack’s Cafe is on the corner
After school I stopped in at Mack’s cafe for a Bing and a Coke before I took Pearl the dog for her long walk. I had been thinking about that Bing all day so you can imagine how I felt when I accidentally dropped it into the trash. I threw the candy bar away and kept the wrapper. I must have been overwrought. I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t been so distracted by the new girl at the cash register who couldn’t make change. She felt so bad, she took a dollar out of her pocket and offered to buy me another Bing.
“It’s not your fault.” I said. “I should have been paying attention to what I was doing.”
The waitress looked at me and said, “Most kids would be mad that they dropped their candy bar in the trash and take it out on the first person they see. You must be a real nice person. It’s like my dad always says, “keep your face towards the sunshine, and you will never see the shadows.”
The windows above the store are to Pearl’s living room and bedroom.
I left the cafe and walked across the street to Sanderson’s store and climbed the stairs to Pearl’s place. Grace was there and when she saw me, she bustled across the hall to her rooms and came back with three homemade chocolate chip cookies, a box of cracker jacks and an apple. She was grinning from ear to ear when she gave them to me. It was only then that I remembered Grace thought I wasn’t eating very good. This was her attempt to try to help. I ate the cookies so she would feel better. I could have used some milk with them, but I didn’t want to complain.
Pearl the dog had been sitting there beside me, without complaining, but she was really ready to go for a walk and I was too, so away we went. I wanted to go see what the kids south highway sixteen were doing, but Pearl wanted to go to the elementary school. She just loves to watch the kids swinging, and when they go down the slide she stands down toward the end where she’s just tall enough to stick her head over the side so the kids can pet her as they slide by. Pearl and those kids could do that for hours, but I get kind of sick of it. (I just thought that, I didn’t say it.)
“Come on Pearl. We’ve gotta go,” I called her like that three times and she ignored me. “Pearl!” Come here! I want to go back.” I was really starting to get mad, so I stomped over by the slide. Then I heard her whining really loud, so I decided to find out what was wrong before I complained. It wasn’t Pearl whining, it was the little kid that lived down the hill from the school. Pearl was licking his hand.
“What’s wrong, Pearl?” I asked. Pearl whined, which is a high pitched complaining sound. I could tell she wanted me to follow her. She looked up at the top of the slide where the little wooden stand that you push yourself off from is. I did as Pearl wanted me to and climbed up to take a look. I didn’t see anything at first and started back down, but Pearl whined again like she wanted me to keep looking. Then I saw a big old rusty nail sticking out. It had a piece of the little kid’s shirt on it.
Well, we took the little kid home and he never stopped bawling the whole time. (I just thought that, I didn’t say it.) Anyway, we told Mrs. Anderson that he pierced his hand on a real rusty nail that was sticking out at the top of the stairs.
I hate to tell you this part. The next day Mrs. Anderson told everybody that I had saved her little boy from getting lockjaw because I told her he injured his hand on a rusty nail. He got a tetinus shot just in time. I didn’t tell her that Pearl was the one paying attention, not me.
Pearl the dog still acts like she loves me. At least she didn’t complain. She didn’t care who got the credit, she just wanted to take care of that little boy. I guess Pearl the human is right when she says Pearl the dog loves all living things…even crying little boys. Uh Oh…where did the kitty come from?