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~NAME0s~ Day: A Lesson in Courtesy



~NAME0s~ Day: A Lesson in Courtesy
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.82

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    courteous, courtesy, marked, actually, especially, curlicues, yeah, exactly, accept, tears, exchange, nearly, however, several, barely, return
     content words:    Roaring Falls Water Park, Falls Water Park, Roaring Falls, Roaring Springs, Donnie O'Bannon, Water Park, Feeble Dweeble, Lazy River, Wright Edelman


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Donnie's Day: A Lesson in Courtesy
By Joyce Furstenau
  

   Characters   
Donnie:  a ten year-old boy
mother:  Donnie's mother
Jason:  Donnie's best friend
Lucas:  Donnie's neighbor boy

     He knew he had to go when he heard that the new ride, the Cyclone, had opened at Roaring Falls Water Park this year. Donnie O'Bannon knew exactly how he wanted to spend his birthday. He wanted to go to Roaring Falls Water Park. He knew he was going to have to gradually work on mother. He still had two months before his birthday.

     After dropping several hints over the next few weeks, Donnie was fearful he would lose his nerve. One evening at supper, he brought it up again. "Did you hear about the new ride at Roaring Falls?" he asked.

     His parents had been discussing the purchase of a new lawnmower. His sister was playing with the peas on her plate. Donnie spoke up again, "I heard there is a super new ride at Roaring Springs. I sure wish I could go there for my birthday."

     "What? Goodness, Donnie. That place is expensive," said mother.

     "I know. I thought maybe it could be my birthday present. If I could go, I wouldn't ask for anything else," he asked in a pleading voice.

     "All right, but it's very expensive. We can't take a whole group," said mother.

     "That's okay. I've thought about it, and I would take just one friend along," he agreed. His parents looked at each other to see if there was any disagreement. They both gave Donnie the okay to bring one friend to Roaring Falls for his birthday. Donnie knew exactly whom he was going to invite: Jason Fowler. He and Jason had been friends since kindergarten.

     mother called to make reservations. Because she called early, she got one ticket for half price.

     "That worked out great," said Donnie when mother told him she had booked a spot.

     Donnie decided since he was only allowed one friend, he wanted to make an extra-special invitation. He asked mother for some of her special stationery. He got out his newest colored markers and went to work.

     
Donnie O'Bannon

     requests the pleasure of the company of

     Jason Fowler

     on

     Saturday, May 25

     to celebrate the birthday of

     Donnie O'Bannon

     Pickup time will be 9:00A.M.

     Location: Roaring Falls Water Park

     Bring: Courage

     You will be brought home in the late evening



     Donnie decorated the invitation with fancy curlicues and leaves. He drew a picture of himself and Jason spinning down the Cyclone at the bottom. He put two check boxes at the bottom for Jason to mark and return: "Yes, I can come." "No, I can't come." mother gave him a stamp, and then he gave it to the mailman.

     The following week, Jason told Donnie he liked his invitation.

     "Does that mean you can come?" he asked.

     "You'll have to wait until you see the reply," said Jason smugly. They both laughed, and off they went for a game of lunchtime soccer. Sure enough, the following day, Donnie got his reply. The box with "Yes, I can come," was marked. Donnie was excited. "Only one more week until Roaring Falls and the Cyclone," he thought. Since he had not invited anyone else, the boys didn't talk about the trip at school. Donnie didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings because he could only invite one person.

     The following week, Donnie noticed Jason was hanging around with the soccer team. He didn't see much of Jason all week. At the end of the week as they were leaving school, Donnie heard one of the soccer players say, "See you tomorrow, Jason."

     "Yeah, see you tomorrow, Kevin," he answered.

     "What? What do you mean? Tomorrow's our big day at Roaring Falls. You promised. You checked the box 'Yes, I can come,'" said Donnie.

     "Sorry, Donnie. It's the big soccer tournament this weekend. I can't make it," announced Jason. He picked up his books and left.

     Donnie felt as if he had been kicked in the stomach. He didn't understand at all. He wanted to yell, "You can't do that! You promised," but Jason was gone.

     Donnie was near tears by the time he got home. "What's wrong?" asked mother. He explained the whole exchange between sobs. "That wasn't very courteous," she said.

     "What do you mean by courteous?" asked Donnie.

     "Courteous means that you think about how others would feel before you do something," she answered. "It isn't very courteous to accept an invitation and then decide not to go at the last minute, especially without saying anything."

     mother promptly called Jason's mother to see if she could clear up the matter. After a lengthy conversation, she tried to explain what happened to Donnie.

     "It seems that when Jason joined the soccer team in April, one of the obligations of being on the team was that if the team made it to the tournament, he would need to be there. They didn't realize it was the same date until this week. Jason was supposed to tell you earlier. I guess he didn't realize he was the only person invited. He didn't think it would matter, so he let it pass. He agreed that it wasn't very courteous at all. He said he was really sorry."

     Donnie was inconsolable. It would not be nearly as much fun to go by himself. He was ready to forget the whole thing. mother suggested he invite the neighbor boy, Lucas Dweeble.

     Donnie said, "No, Mom, not 'Feeble Dweeble,'" and went off to his room. Lucas was much smaller than Donnie and wasn't interested in the same things. Donnie thought about it for a while in his room. He thought about not going. He thought about being alone at Roaring Falls all day with no one to share the excitement of the Cyclone. Finally, he told mother to ask Lucas. He secretly hoped Lucas couldn't come.

     Lucas, however, was able to come. Donnie found Lucas to be an entirely different kid at the water park. He laughed a lot and was a great swimmer. He might be little, but Lucas was not feeble. Donnie could barely keep up with him. They hit the Cyclone at least ten times that day. There was one ride Lucas was not tall enough to go on. Lucas told Donnie to go ahead.

     "No. Friends should stick together," answered Donnie, and off they went to float the Lazy River.

     Donnie had a great birthday. He was actually happy he decided to ask Lucas. He had learned a lesson about courtesy and friendship. Donnie had a very happy birthday after all.

     
Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree. ~Marian Wright Edelman



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