Joshua lived by the shores of Lake Erie. Every morning he walked with his friends along the shore and they searched for shinny rocks. The shinny rocks that they found were pieces of beautiful colored glass. The glass was made so smooth by the waters of the lake.
Joshua saved his rocks in an empty Skippy Butter jar that he had on his dresser. Every evening before going to bed Joshua separated the shinny rocks into piles. Some piles had the same color, and other piles were small shinny rocks, and others were bigger rocks. Before he went to sleep, Joshua placed the most beautiful shinny rocks in an old sock that his Grandpa gave to him. Each one was like a jewel, and so hard to find. Purple, orange, red, and black were the best but, blue and green were also special. The rocks in the sock were his favorites, and he would never give them away, or even trade them with his friends.
Many children who lived by the lakefront collected the shiny rocks, except for his neighbor, Francis. Francis couldn’t walk along the shore, because Francis was bound to a wheel chair. When Francis was born he had a disease and he was never able to walk like the other children. Every morning, Francis would sit on his porch, and watch the other children search for shinny rocks.
Francis had a pet goldfish. The goldfish was a beautiful orange color – just like a Halloween pumpkin. The goldfish was named Pumpkin. Each morning, Francis would take Pumpkin in the fish bowl and sit and watch the children searching the shore for shinny rocks. Francis really wanted to go down to the shore and search for the rocks with his friends.
Each morning when Joshua came back from the beach, he would stop to show Francis the rocks that Joshua collected. Francis was so happy to see, and touch the shiny rocks. The boys were such good friends.
One day when Joshua was walking back from the beach, he saw that Francis was not sitting on the front porch. Joshua went to the rear of Francis’s house. Seated in his wheelchair under a big oak tree was Francis. Joshua walked over to say good morning. Joshua saw that Francis was crying. As Joshua got closer, he noticed that the fish bowl was empty. On Francis’s lap was Pumpkin the goldfish. Francis told Joshua that Pumpkin died last night. Joshua said that he was very sorry. Francis wanted to bury Pumpkin in the yard, and Joshua offered to help. Joshua went into his garage and got a small garden shovel. Joshua dug a small hole next to the trunk of a big oak tree. Joshua took Pumpkin from Francis and placed Pumpkin in the hole. Joshua put the soil on top of
Pumpkin. Francis was crying so hard. Joshua told Francis that he had a big surprise and that he would return in a minute
Joshua went into his house, and returned in a few minutes to Francis. Joshua had his Grandpa’s sock in his hand. Joshua opened the sock and poured several of the very best of the jewel-like rocks on top of the grave. Joshua put his best : blue, orange, pink and peach on the soil. Francis stopped crying, and he smiled such a big smile. He never saw such beautiful shinny rocks. Joshua also smiled, and he held the hand of Francis.
The next day, Francis’ father decided to bring Francis down to the water’s edge to be with his friends. The wheelchair became stuck in the sand, and all the children helped carry the chair to the water’s edge. Joshua came over to Francis and when Francis was not looking, Joshua took a green rock out of his pocket, and secretly dropped the rock in front of the wheelchair. Soon Francis noticed the rock and reached for it, and as he did he fell out of the chair onto the sand. Francis was so excited; he wasn’t even hurt by the fall.
Seeing how happy Francis was, Joshua once again secretly dropped another shinny rock a few feet away from Francis. Francis saw the rock and he crawled over to the rock. He shouted for joy. All the children were watching. Francis’s Father was so happy for Francis. Joshua continued to secretly place his rocks further down the beach, and Francis excitedly crawled to collect his new found treasure. He never saw that it was Joshua who was placing the rocks for Francis to find.
On the beach was a very big tree trunk that had been swept to shore by a storm. Joshua placed a magnificent bright red shinny rock on the top of the trunk. The rock was high up on the trunk. Francis saw the beautiful red rock. To get the rock, Francis had to grab onto the branches on the tree trunk and pull himself up to a standing position. He had to use all of his strength to pull himself up. With all his might, he finally reached the shiny rock. Francis was fully standing for the first time in his life. His Father, and all the children cheered for Francis. Joshua cheered the loudest, and the longest. He truly loved his friend Francis.