by Diane Smit -
For the umpteenth time, Brett tossed a bone for his dog Tricks. The dog retrieved the leathery bone, and then returned it happily to Brett's outstretched hand.
Brett patted the tail-wagging dog. "I wish I could be as happy as you with nothing to do but retrieve sticks," he said with a sigh. Summer had just begun, and it didn't look promising. He missed his school friends and wished he was still in school. There were no kids living close by, and the few that were had gone on vacation.
The squeaky lid of the mailbox prompted Tricks to bark. He looked at Brett.
"Mail's here," said Brett. "Let's bring it inside. Maybe the cookies are ready to eat."
Brett grabbed the mail and opened the door to his house. Suddenly, Tricks gave another bark. Brett looked in the direction of Tricks' alarm. A girl and a boy were walking towards him.
Rebecca came from the kitchen where she had been baking cookies. "Who is that, Brett?" she asked.
"I've never seen them before," Brett said.
The girl smiled when she saw Rebecca. "Hello," she said politely. "My name is Krista, and this is my brother Charlie. We've just moved here and would like to meet you."
It didn't take long for Krista and Rebecca to chat away like old friends. Brett showed Charlie the backyard and together they played with Tricks who bounced happily chasing sticks.
Later, when Rebecca offered the guests some freshly baked cookies, Krista explained that she and her brother had just moved for the fourth time in five years. Their father had a job that required him to move from time to time.
After their new neighbors left, Brett and Rebecca told their mother all about the new friends.
"What house did they move into? I'll take them a meal tomorrow to help them settle into our community," said Mom.
Rebecca looked at Brett. He shrugged his shoulders. "We don't know where they live. They didn't tell us," said Rebecca.
For the next two days, Rebecca and Brett biked around the neighborhood in search of the new friends. They scoured the neighborhood, communicating to each other with two-way radios. Rebecca went on one end of the street while Brett searched the other. Finally, on the second day, Brett spotted them.
"Rebecca!" he radioed. "They went into a blue house behind our street. Over!"
Rebecca radioed back, "Ten-four. Be there in a minute. Over!"
When they arrived at the house Rebecca and Brett knocked on the door.
"Hello," a woman said when she opened the door.
"Hello, my name is Rebecca.”
"And I'm Brett,” he added with a grin.
The woman smiled. "You must be the new friends Krista and Charlie talked about. Please come in."
Krista and Charlie came to the door and greeted them...