A Penny, A Day
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A Penny, A Day
By Beth Beutler
1 "You are not going to day camp until you study your summer school lessons," Mrs. Brown told her daughter Penny. "You know that is the rule."
2 Penny stomped back to her room and shut the door, making sure it would not slam. Mother hated slamming doors. Penny had slept too late, and the day was off to a bad start.
3 She plopped on her bed and fumed. "Why do I have to go to summer school, anyway!" she thought angrily. "It's not my fault we had to move." She got up and pulled some shorts and a cotton t-shirt out of her drawer and changed into them.
4 A couple of months ago, Penny's family had moved to a new state. She had to take a test for her new school. They recommended she take some summer school work in order to be prepared for starting in the fall. She had missed several weeks of school due to the trips to prepare for the move and the move itself. So now Penny went to summer school each morning then to an afternoon day camp. It wasn't that she didn't like her teacher. Penny just thought it was silly to have to go to school in the summer. She was afraid she'd miss out on spending time with new friends. Then she would not feel like she belonged at the new school.
5 Mrs. Brown was back in the kitchen. She sighed. Even though her daughter didn't realize it, Mrs. Brown hated that Penny had to spend her summer studying. She tried to remind herself that it was a good lesson for Penny, that life wasn't always fun and games. Penny usually had it pretty comfortable.
6 Within a few minutes, Penny settled into the routine of reviewing spelling words. She started to write them five times each. It was hard to keep from dreaming about day camp. However, she stayed on task somehow. She didn't see her mother peeking into her room. Mrs. Brown smiled as she watched Penny whisper her words in practice. She remained quiet so she would not scare Penny. She was pleased to see Penny already making an effort to complete her work. She decided she'd steal some time with Penny this afternoon.
7 Penny bounded out of her room about an hour later. By this time, she had cheered up. But when she looked at the clock, she realized she would already be late to day camp. Being late was more embarrassing that not going at all. She plopped onto the stool and put her face in her hands.
8 Mrs. Brown came out and hugged her. "You worked hard this morning, Penny. Good girl. Let's go play outside."
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