A Cross-Country Running Race
The Meredith family lived in a small community. As the economy was in decline, some people in the town had lost their jobs. Many of their families were struggling to make ends meet. People were trying to help each other meet the challenges.
Mrs. Meredith was a most kind and thoughtful woman. She spent a great deal of time visiting the poor. She knew they had problems, and they needed all kinds of help. When she had time, she would bring food and medicine to them.
One morning she told her children about a family she had visited the day before. There was a man sick in bed, his wife, who took care of him and could not go out to work, and their little boy. The little boy — his name was Bernard — had interested her very much.
“I wish you could see him,” she said to her own children, John, Harry, and Clara. “He is such a help to his mother. He wants very much to earn some money, but I don’t see what he can do.”
After their mother left the room, the children sat thinking about Bernard. “I wish we could help him to earn money.” said Clara. “His family is suffering so much.”
“So do I,” said Harry. “We really should do something to assist them.”
For some moments, John said nothing, but, suddenly, he sprang to his feet and cried, “I have a great idea! I have a solution that we can all help accomplish(完成).”
The other children also jumped up all attention. When John had an idea, it was sure to be a good one. “I tell you what we can do,” said John. “You know that big box of corn Uncle John sent us?Well, we can make popcorn(爆米花), and put it into paper bags, and Bernard can take it around to the houses and sell it.”
When Mrs. Meredith heard of John’s idea, she thought it was a good one, too.
With everything ready, Bernard started out on his new business.
A 5000-metre race, part of the Sports Festival of our school, was held by the school students’ union last Sunday.
150 participants from three grades were involved in the race. Among the most of the participants were students and teaching staff. The racing route started at the school gate and ended at the foot of the South Hill.
It turned out to be a great success. Not only does it build up our body but it also enriches our school life.
When Mrs. Meredith heard of John’s idea, she, too, thought it a good one. Then she said, “you may send him every Saturday morning, if you will pop the corn for him yourselves. John, will you agree to take charge of the work?” “Indeed, I will,” replied John, and he kept his word. Very soon the children were busy popping the corn, while their mother went out to buy the paper bags. When she came back, she brought Bernard with her. The corn was all popped, the paper bags filled, and arranged in the basket when Bernard arrived.
In a short time, he started out on his new business. And much sooner than could be expected, he returned with an empty basket. Never had he earned so much money before in his life. When he found that it was all to be his, he was so delighted that he could hardly speak, but his bright smiling face spoke for him. People began to watch for the “little pop-corn boy,” and every week he had at least fifty cents to take home, and often more. All this was because of John’s bright idea, and the way he carried it out.