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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)

TITLE: Grandma's Little Helper
By Jesus Puppy
11/23/06


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Grandma's Little Helper

"Let me get that for you," Harry said while reaching for the coffee shop door. Being in just the right place to give help came in handy as the arrival of baked goods always blessed his morning with the aroma of fresh bread. The danish he received for lending a hand was an added bonus.

"Why thank you, Harry," Kaylee, the normal delivery person for Peach-tree Bakers, grinned as she handed over a rack of rolls. "Strange how you show up at the right time."

"Humm, it is at that," his wide smile gained a laugh as Caroline stepped out from behind the counter.

"Harold of Morning," she called out. "You know the routine, put them on the table in back."

Delivery days were a blessing for the youth, as the new bread coming in for the shop's sandwiches meant the old was removed. Harry always made a point to get there first thing, even though he knew they kept it for him. He preferred to bag it himself and save Kaylee the extra work.

"How's you grandmother doing?" Caroline asked as he went passed for a second rack of rolls.

"She's ok, I guess," the boy replied, you could hear the worry in his words. "I think the rain is getting to her, hate to think what the winter will do."

A short while later he walked off down the street, a half full trash bag thrown over one shoulder and a smaller sack held carefully in his left hand. Carol watched with wonder for the young boy as the clouds begun to grow dark once more from the threat of rain. . .

"Such a good kid," Kay commented as she set empty bread racks beside the door. "What does he do with that bread anyway?"

"Harry's my little delivery boy," Caroline leaned against the counter sipping her tea. "He takes it down to the Mission for me. He is a wonder, that’s for sure."

"He lives near here then?"

"No," she replied sadly. “His parents died in a wreck a couple years ago, and now he stays with his grandmother. He said she has a place for them down below 32nd Street somewhere. That's why I give him the fresh loaf for all his help."

***************************************

A heavy drizzle started to fall before Harry even made it to the mission, his load of bread was always so welcome and helped to feed many at the little soup kitchen they held each day at noon. By the time he reach the 32nd Street bridge, only a matter of a half hour later, it was coming down rather hard. As he got to the place his grandmother normally sat, and found her missing, he began to worry.

"Mema," he shouted as he looked around for the elderly woman, his sudden fear only changing to relief when he heard her calling.

"Over here, Harry," she called as she walked slowly toward him.

"Mema, you know how I worry when you change places like that without telling me."

"Don't you worry son," the old woman smiled as she sat back against a bridge piling, "I ain't given up my place. Benny found some old crates and broke 'em up for a fire. Been over there to chase the chill, and gab some with the boys."

"Just be careful." Harry pulled and extra blanket from the rusty shopping cart his grandmother kept their things in and draped it around her shoulders. "Miss Caroline sends her love, and gave me a fresh loaf of bread."

"That girl's such a sweetheart ." She slowly opened the foil wrapped French-bread, savoring the aroma. "Why it's even still warm. I am gonna have to meet her sometime and thank her."

"Now Mema, that's too far for you to walk."

"I know sweetie," she replied as she stretch to get comfortable. "And this cold air is killing my old hip."

The roar of traffic and weather died down as the rain slowed to a drizzle once more. Harry took a piece of the bread from her hand, and said a quiet prayer for his grandmother and all those he had met through the day. As the sky grew lighter, he smiled.

"Look Mema," he almost laughed, "The suns coming out. Maybe we can make it to the Kitchen for lunch."


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This article has been read 1063 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dolores Stohler11/30/06
I enjoyed your story. You made some spelling & punctuation errors though. I would suggest you read your work over carefully before submitting & use a spell check if you have one.
julie wood11/30/06
I really enjoyed this story! Great dialogue--though the way Harry talks sounds unusually grown up and formal for a young boy.

Beautiful and moving descriptions of all the characters and their actions--I could see the grandma with her shopping cart and hear her talking (very different speaking style from her grandson).

I did not realize at first just how destitute these characters were--finding that out really moved me, especially in light of their own selflessness and enjoyment of life!
Sue Dent12/03/06
I thought the child was older at first too but it didn't disrupt the story for me to learn he was younger later. My son is seven and talks like this all the time. He sat down with my friend tonight while I went to get him a drink at Chuck E. Cheeses. She said he looked at her and says, "So, how are you doing this evening!" LOL I too was overwhelmed by how bad off the boy and his grandmother were and yet he still volunteered. Good stuff here!
Debbie Sickler12/03/06
I really enjoyed this, especially the ending. :)
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/03/06
Very sweet story. Couple of minor typos, but otherwise well written. I like it!
Marilyn Schnepp 12/04/06
Very sweet story, but needs editing (as others have mentioned).
Joanne Sher 12/04/06
So heartwarming. What a testimony to a volunteer's heart. You never expect one who is so in need to be the giver. Great characterization too.
Jan Ackerson 12/04/06
I love heartwarming stories like this--strength in adversity. Nice!
Donna Haug12/04/06
We can never tell just from outward appearances what the situation of a person is, can we? You brought that truth to light in a very effective way.
terri tiffany12/04/06
So well written! beautifully done - made me boo hoo at the end and wished for more story so they could be helped. Nice job.
Donna Emery12/05/06
Very, very nice. This one warmed my heart for sure. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely story.
Stephen Paynter12/05/06
I found this a moving poignant tale ... Thank you for writing it.
Catrina Bradley 12/05/06
Ooh, this is the 2nd time I've read this. Loved it just as much, if not more this time. Great job!
Allison Egley 12/06/06
Oh, this was great. I really enjoyed it. I could see everything happening as I read.
Sara Harricharan 12/06/06
A great read. Good job. :)
Leigh MacKelvey12/06/06
I read this once before, but didn't have time to write a comment ( on my teacher's 5 minute break!)I loved it the 2nd time too! The image of the boy and his mema living in the cold broke my heart. Do you think readers thought that mema was a mispelling for mama? Being from the south, I knew it was a name children call their grandmother. I couldn't find any mispelled words, so maybe that's why there were comments about a spelling error?! Wonderfully written.
Cheri Hardaway 12/07/06
Heartwarming! And I love the title. Blessings, Cheri