Neighbors

by Elizabeth Knight -

Poppy glanced round as Mom turned the car into the drive. The houses on either side of theirs frowned down between tall trees. Her family had only moved in two days ago and she didn't know anyone.

“Open the trunk, Poppy,” her mother called, switching off the ignition.

Poppy lifted the heavy back door to unload the groceries and out rolled a watermelon. Green and white it flashed down the road knocking over the mail man's bicycle. The fox terrier from the house opposite gave chase, yapping frantically.

“Felix!” shouted its owner and rushed after him. Cats on sunny patios streaked for the trees.

“Mom,” shouted Poppy, slamming the trunk door, “the watermelon's rolling down the road.”

“Well run after it quickly,” shouted Mom, “but watch out for the cars.”

Poppy bounded after the melon. Arriving first, the terrier leaped confidently in front of it, his teeth clicking uselessly against the tough shiny skin.

The melon bowled him over in a flurry of flying paws and angry yelps.

Mr. Finkelstein from Number 29 had rounded the corner and was hauling his grocery cart up the road, watching a squirrel bounding about in the trees above.

“Look out!” yelled Poppy as the melon gathered speed.

Startled, Mr. Finkelstein ducked behind his cart. Smack went the melon into the cart which flew sideways and Mr Finkelstein sat down suddenly in the middle of his squashed bananas and bagels. The melon rolled on...

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