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If working for drum lessons wasn’t enough, now I would be working to pay for the kitchen window I broke when I tossed my drumsticks in the air. I was sure my parents were unhappy I’d purchased the drums without their permission and unhappy about the gaping hole we now had in our house. Dad had mentioned the drums might very well cause a civil war – at the very least a divided doghouse.
“Woody,” Mom said in a voice that sounded tired, “we’ve had enough excitement. I think you and Chloe should forget about the drums for a minute and concentrate on your chores. By the way, aren’t your library books due back in today?”
“Yes ma’am,” I answered.
“Please gather up the library books, and you and Chloe return them to the library. We’ll finish talking about the drums and the window later.”
“Yes ma’am,” I replied. I grabbed my library card as well as the Curious George books I’d checked out earlier. While walking to the library, Chloe and I stayed on the sidewalk, just like Mom instructed. We talked about the drums, sniffed petunias, blew on a few dandelions and waved at our neighbors.
“Hey, Chloe, there’s Mr. Malone sitting on his porch. Didn’t he fight in the Civil War? I bet he knows something about our drum set.
“Hi, Mr. Malone! Chloe and I were wondering, did you fight in the Civil War?”
I don’t think he heard me because, with a strange look on his face, he got up from his chair and went in the house. I made a note to myself to ask Mom if Mr. Malone was going deaf.
“Let’s sing the rest of the way to the library, Woody,” Chloe suggested. “We’ll even sing that silly song you love about the peas.”
As we finished our walk to the library, Chloe and I sang,
“Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas!
“Eating goober peas!
“Goodness, how delicious,
“Eating goober peas!’’”
As we arrived at the library and spotted Mrs. Grant, the head librarian, I was imagining how great the drums would sound on the chorus to that song and was thinking of the perfect place for Chloe to strike the cymbals.
“Hey, Woody! Hey, Chloe! What brings you two cuties back to the library today? Are you looking for some more Curious George books?” Mrs. Grant asked.
“Actually, we’re looking for books about drums. In fact, while we’re here, let’s find some books about the Civil War,” I said, hoping we’d find information about our drums.
“Well, you’ve come to the right place,” Mrs. Grant smiled and said. “Head over to the online catalog, and I’ll be over in a minute.”
Chloe and I pranced to the catalog. After we located “The Beginning Drummer” and “Drum Rolls for Doggies and People Too,” we decided to turn our attention to the Civil War.
Because Chloe had better typing skills, she carefully typed the words “Civil War” in the search box and then clicked on the word “Go.” We waited a few seconds before a box popped up that said 992 items found.
“Nine-hundred and ninety-two items???”
I must have accidentally shouted because several people, including Chloe and Mrs. Grant, said “Shhh!” at the same time.
“Sorry,” I whispered. Recognizing our dilemma, Mrs. Grant helped. “Narrow your search, Woody.”
“I’m confused,” I confessed.
“You’re asking the library to locate every book that mentions the Civil War. If you narrow your search, you can focus on a certain part of the Civil War. Are you interested in causes, battles, casualties, outcome? The possibilities are endless,” Mrs. Grant explained.
Chloe and I stared at each other. “Really, we don’t know anything about the Civil War,” Chloe confessed.
“In that case, why don’t you type ‘Civil War overview’ in the catalog?”
Chloe obeyed. While we waited for the information to load, the bulletin board overhead caught my attention.
Interested in Earning Money?
I could hear myself shouting, “Yes! Yes!” I definitely wanted to earn extra money. Underneath the heading were several advertisements of available jobs in our town.
Trim Carpenter Needed
Ever since I’d hammered a nail in my left paw, Dad wouldn’t let me use his tools. That was out.
Since I didn’t know what a telemarketer was, I probably wasn’t interested.
Seeking Experienced Baby Sitter
Would I have to change stinky diapers? No thanks!
And then the next advertisement looked as if it was written exactly for me.
“Mrs. Grant! Mrs. Grant!” I shouted as loudly as possible. “How do I get this job?”
Thanks to Kentucky Utilities/LG&E, Kentucky Press Association and the KY Secretary of State for helping to make this statewide literacy project possible. Go to www.kypress.com to hear each chapter and try the chapter activities.