Billy Crawford walked slowly down the long winding road back to the farm. It was the same two miles he had walked to and from School for the last two years since they had moved to the Country.
His mind was far from the walk home from School. Actually it was inside of the Western Auto Store in town where a bright new red Schwinn bicycle was for sale.
Actually, he preferred the color blue but would be more than happy with a red bike.
He had prayed for a new blue Schwinn bicycle for as long as he could remember. Blue was his favorite color. In his dreams he would see a beautiful, sleek, new blue Schwinn bicycle and would ride it tirelessly.
Billy remembered talking to his cousin Robert who worked for Anderson’s Grocery Store making deliveries. Robert had graduated and would be quitting in a couple of weeks to go to college. Mr. Anderson had promised Billy the job but he would need a bicycle.
Numerous times Billy had dropped hints to his Mom and Dad about how much he wanted a bicycle. They now knew he needed it to get the job at Anderson’s Grocery Store. He was quite certain he would get a bicycle for his fifteenth birthday which was only two weeks away. He had also mentioned blue being his favorite color many times and was sure the bicycle would be blue.
Time seemed almost at a standstill. It seemed as if his birthday would never get here.
Almost as a daily ritual he would walk two blocks out of the way to look at the shiny new red bicycle in the store window on his way home from School.
About ten days before his birthday, he arrived home and he was shocked to see a Police car in front of his home. A Policeman was on the porch talking to his Mom. His Dad had been injured at work and was in the hospital. Billy’s heart sank. He loved his Dad with all of his heart. They did most everything together, ball games, fishing, camping, the list was endless. He ran to the barn where he hid and cried uncontrollably
That night at prayer time Billy’s prayers for a bike were replaced with a simple sincere prayer for his Dad’s healing. Dear God, he prayed, please let my Dad get well and forget about the bike and anything else I have asked for.
Friday two days before Billy’s birthday his Dad came home from the Hospital. He apologized to Billy that there would be no bicycle for his birthday. With no pay check coming in for at least a two more weeks it would mean a sacrifice on everyone’s part.
Sunday after Church Billy’s Mother fixed his favorite meal of fried chicken and mashed potatoes. After dinner a huge chocolate cake was set on the table as the rest of the family sang “Happy Birthday”. As Billy blew out the candles he didn’t even make a wish. He had gotten his wish already. His Dad was home from the hospital and was going to be ok. The harmonica he got for his birthday was no comparison to the bicycle he had wanted but life was good. The family was together, dinner was great and the chocolate cake was delicious.
Shortly after dinner the telephone rang. It was Cousin Robert. Going away to College he wouldn’t need his old bicycle at least for a while and thought Billy might like to use it until he got his own.
Yeeeeesssss! Billy ran out into the yard. Thank you God! Thank you God!
The sound of an automobile startled him and he looked seeing a familiar old van drive into the yard. He knew the driver but was surprised to see Mr. Anderson from the Grocery Store.
You know, Mr. Anderson said, I really need a good young man to deliver my groceries.
I figured you could pay me back at $10. A week he said pointing to the back of the van. In the back of the van Billy saw the best looking and shiniest new Schwinn bicycle he had ever seen.
Mr. Anderson said, I’m sorry but they had sold the red bicycle at Western Auto and I had to a take blue one.
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