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Annie's Christmas Parade

Annie loved parades. She loved to watch them on television. She loved to be in the front row when one came through town. Today’s parade was super-special. It was the town’s annual Holiday Parade. As the youngest member of the Little Twirlers Club, her job was to carry the club’s flag.

She was all dressed and ready to go. She eyed the mirror on the back of the hall door. Her silky, shiny white shirt was tucked into her dark blue shorts with the glittery stripes down the sides. Her brand new sneakers were perfect. They glowed they were so white. Her mom had braided her hair so it wouldn’t fall in her eyes while she performed. She looked terrific.

As everyone lined up for the parade, disaster struck. Lightening split the sky as thunder rumbled and boomed. Several of the twirlers began to cry. Annie didn’t. She stood in her spot, holding her flag high.

“Sorry, folks. The parade is going to be canceled because of the thunderstorm.” A man with a megaphone said. He walked up and down the parade talking to the people who had not already run for their cars.

Miss Janice, the Twirlers coach grabbed Annie’s flag. She lowered it to the ground. “I’m sorry, Annie. We won’t be marching today.”

“When will we march?” How could they cancel the parade? This was her big moment.

“I’m afraid we won’t be able to march again until the Founder’s Day parade. By then you’ll be twirling a baton like the other girls.”

But Annie wanted to carry the flag. She followed the coach to where her mother stood on the porch of the library. It was not fair. She wanted to march and carry her flag and perform the routine she’d worked so hard to learn.

The next day she and her best friends Joey, Matt and Carla were playing in Matt’s back yard.

“Let’s have a parade of our very own,” Annie said, interrupting Matt. He was explaining what he had done to be grounded this time.

“What?” The others were confused by the sudden change in subject. They were used to it. Annie always came up with fun, crazy ideas.

“We’ll have our own holiday parade,” she repeated.

“Who will be in it?”

“We will. All of us.”

Since Monday was almost over, they decided to hold the parade Tuesday just before dinner. They needed time to prepare.

At four-thirty Tuesday afternoon, Annie kicked off the parade. She wore her blue and white costume. She carried a bright red flag with the decorated Christmas tree on it. She marched down the sidewalk to Joey’s house. She waved her flag left and right, forward and back, then in circles, just as she’d practiced. Joey was waiting for her.

She marched past him; he stepped into line behind her. He wore the clown costume his mother made him for Halloween. He wore face paint and a funny rainbow-colored wig. He pulled his red wagon. Boingo, his biggest, fuzziest stuffed gray gorilla was riding inside. Boingo held Joey’s brother’s tape recorder. Christmas music blasted from the speakers.

They marched around the corner. Matt was in his driveway. He sat on his blue and purple bicycle. He wore his green sweater with his bicycle helmet and jeans. In the front basket sat his favorite stuffed green dinosaur, Growl.

After Annie and Joey filed past, he pulled into line. The parade continued around the corner and down the sidewalk. They stayed on their block since they were not allowed to cross the street without an adult. Every other house, Matt would pause, do a wheelie on his bike then ride to catch up.

Carla waited in her carport. She wore her fanciest pink dress and shiny back dancing shoes. Four stuffed rabbits sat in her little sister’s baby carriage. Once the others passed by, she pushed the carriage into line behind him. The carriage’s one squeaky wheel would keep time with the music if she marched at just the right speed. She tap-danced every time Mike did wheelies. Then she would run to catch up. The metal taps on her shoes clicked with every step.

The procession moved past Annie’s house and all the way around the block again. By the time they went around the second time, people were standing in their yards or sitting on porches. Children waved as they moved past.

When the reached Annie’s house the second time, Annie turned up her sidewalk. The others followed one by one. They continued until they reached the front steps. The neighbors followed, stopping on the sidewalk. So Annie and the others decided to put on an after parade show.

Annie ran through her entire flag routine from start to finish, marching up and down the sidewalk. Joey went next, doing cartwheels and somersaults across the lawn. Matt did tricks on his bicycle, careful not to tear up the grass. Finally Carla performed the dance she’d learned the week before in tap-dancing class.

When they were finished, everyone clapped and laughed, saying it was the best parade they had seen in a long, long time.

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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

Downloads: 2069