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Billy Boy

Leeann Troll


 

 

Billyís family had breakfast together every morning. The table was always very quiet. Billy ate his cereal and apple, and his parents didnít speak to him much. He would try to speak to them, but they would ignore him and tell him to keep eating his breakfast. There was no real reason for them ignoring Billy, except they were so into their work. They did the same thing every day; they would eat breakfast and go out to the field to tend to the corn and then tend to the animals. They didnít have time to pay attention to Billy. That morning, especially, Billy really needed to talk to his parents. While he had been playing the afternoon before, he saw a raccoon running through their sweet corn fields. Billy watched the raccoon take a bite out of one ear of corn, then go right on to the next. He was ruining many good pieces of corn. Billyís parents worked very hard to make sure the sweet corn stalks grew evenly and straight up. The raccoon was trampling on all the stalks and causing them to fall down. Billy knew if he told his parents about the raccoon, they would be very proud of him. The most important thing to them was their work and their work was the sweet corn. Billy hoped that by telling them he would at least get a little attention, so he decided to speak up.

"Mom, I need to tell you something," Billy said to his mother.

"Not now Billy," his mother said. Then she took a drink of her coffee and kept on knitting.

"No Mom, itís really important, it has to do with the sweet corn," Billy insisted.

"Now Billy, you know those sweet corn fields are very important to your father and me so I donít want you running around in them," his mother replied.

"But mom, thatís not it. Itís notÖ" Before Billy could even explain himself, his mother interrupted.

"Just stop Billy, I told you I am busy right now. We can talk later," she said. Billy had heard "we can talk later" many times. His mom was always saying that to him to get out of something, so Billy thought he would try to tell his father.

"Dad, can I talk to you please?" Billy asked, "I have something to tell you."

"Son, didnít you just try this with your mother? She said you could talk later. Now why donít you run along and play with some of your new toys, " his father said. Then he picked up his cigar and continued reading the newspaper.

Even though his parents wouldnít take the time to really communicate with him, Billy could tell his mother and father honestly thought they were good parents. Whenever the family was somewhere and they would run into other family members or friends they would talk about their wonderful relationship with Billy. They would explain how they bought Billy all these wonderful toys and how there was always good food on the table. This was all true, but what Billy wanted most was their priceless attention.

That hot Saturday morning in July took place in a little town in Iowa. His name was Billy, but everyone called him Billy Boy. He grew up on a farm with his mother and father. His mother was pretty with her long dark hair and bright blue eyes. She was skinny and fair skinned. His father was bald with big brown eyes. He was tall and slim with dark skin. They were always busy on the farm and didnít pay any attention to Billy. Billy most often would wear old jean overalls. The left knee was ripped out and the right knee was so grass stained and worn out that you could tell it was going to rip at any moment. Under his overalls, he wore a short sleeved, plain button up shirt. His favorite one was red and blue and he wore it all the time. Also, he wore a baseball cap. His little face peeked out from under the brim. His eyes were green and his cheeks were covered in freckles. His red hair poked out from under the sides of his hat and curled a little at the ends. On his feet were brown work boots. His father bought them for him to help around the farm. However they hadnít been put to use for work yet. Billy was just your average seven-year-old farm boy out looking for adventure. All he really wanted was some attention and that summer he would find it.

Their family grew sweet corn, which was their pride and joy. They also raised livestock so there was always something to do. After his parents left the table that morning, Billy ran outside to play. First he played with his football, but that didnít last long since itís hard to play catch by yourself. Then he took a piece of paper and made an airplane. He tossed that around until he became extremely bored. He had no one to play with and he was very lonely. He decided to dish up some ice cream and take it to his favorite maple tree in their front yard a few yards away from the gravel road. He had made a seat out of some wood, which he placed on a limb in the tree. He sat there eating his ice cream enjoying the summer day. After his ice cream was gone, he placed his hands behind his head and lay back on the rough limb of the tree. Soon, Billy felt something crawling on his arm. He slowly moved his arm around to the front of his body, so as to not to move whatever was on his arm. Once his hand was around, he was delighted to see it was a little green caterpillar. His eyes were almost bigger than his head and his body was long and furry. Billy was so excited that he would have a new friend. He took the caterpillar in his hand and raised him up in front of his face.

"I will name you Charlie," he said with delight, "we can be friends forever." The caterpillar smiled at Billy, then he closed his hand and climbed out of the tree as careful as he could. Once he got down, he went back inside his house. He walked inside and went to his room to find an old shoebox. He took newspapers and lined the bottom of the box. He then went outside and got leaves for food and sticks for the caterpillar to climb on. Charlieís new home looked great and Billy smiled at his good work. He then set Charlie down gently in his new home.

"Why thank you, I think this house will do just fine," Charlie said to Billy.

"You can talk!" Billy exclaimed.

"Well of course I can," Charlie replied, "Most animals can, itís just that you humans donít take the time to listen to us. Many humans think they do, but they really donít. You have to open your heart and really open your ears to hear us and you have. Let me just say I am very glad you did, I was getting lonely in that tree."

"I am very glad I can hear you talk too, I donít have any friends around here to play with and my parents donít pay any attention to me." Billy said to Charlie.

Billy and Charlie spent the rest of the day together. Billy took Charlie down to the creek by their house where he gave him a bath. After the bath, they walked through the cornfields and Billy let Charlie crawl on the stalks. While Charlie was crawling on the stalks, they heard a rustling sound through the field.

"What is that?" Charlie asked.

"Iím not sure Charlie, but it might be the raccoon I was trying to tell my mom and dad about this morning." Billy said.

"I donít know what youíre talking about," Charlie said.

Billy explained to Charlie about his parents and how they didnít pay attention to him. He also told Charlie about the raccoon he saw the other day.

"I am so sorry," Charlie said, "Iím glad I am here to be your friend."
"I am tooÖ" Billy was about to finish his sentence when the rustling began again.

"You know what Billy, I bet your right, that probably is a raccoon." Charlie said.

"What should we do?" Billy asked.

"I have an idea. We should go find the raccoon and trap it. Then we can go get your parents and show them. They will be so happy that you got the raccoon before it could damage their corn, they will be sure to give you plenty of attention then," Charlie said with excitement .

"Great idea!" Billy explained. Billy picked up Charlie and put him on his shoulder. Together they went deeper into the field, walking very slowly not to scare the raccoon. They walked until they were at the edge of the field at one of Billyís special spots. Billy had dug a large hole there weeks before. He would go to the hole and sit in it when he was sad. Billy thought it would come in handy in catching the raccoon. Billy gathered up some large twigs and placed them across the hole so that the raccoon would fall right in the hole. All Billy had to do was chase the raccoon near the hole. After it was all set up Billy took Charlie and placed him in a small tree just a few feet away from the hole.

"I want you to stay right here Charlie. I donít want you to get hurt or fall off my shoulder when I am chasing the raccoon. You have a very important job though. I need you to be my lookout. When you see the raccoon coming you yell at me to come back over." Billy explained to Charlie.

"Ok, I can do that," Charlie said.

"Great! Now I am going to go run around in the field and try to get the raccoon to come over towards the hole," Billy said. Then Billy went into the field and began to skip around in all directions. He made all the noise he could to try and get the raccoon to run towards his trap. Billy was only skipping around for a while, when he heard his fatherís tractor. He looked back and saw him driving it into the field to spray the corn for insects. Billy knew his father would be mad if he saw him in the field. Not even thinking Billy ran as fast as he could towards his trap. He ran so fast that when he got towards the hole he couldnít stop. He slid right into the hole. When he landed Billy twisted his ankle. Billy laid at the bottom of the hole crying in pain.

"Help Charlie, Help! I canít get out, my ankle hurts, I canít move it," Billy cried through his tears. Charlie climbed down from the tree as quick as he could and crawled to the edge of the hole.

"Billy what can I do? Iím not strong enough to pull you out but I want to help" Charlie said. Billy continued to cry. Charlie thought it couldnít get any worse until he saw the raccoon in the field.

"Billy I can see the raccoon, he might come over here, you have to yell as loud as you can so your dad will come help us," Charlie said.

"But he will be mad at me for playing in the field, I will get in trouble," Billy said wiping the tears from his face.

"Donít worry about that, you have got to do this! If you donít, the raccoon might hurt you!" Charlie cried.

Billy realized he had no choice and began to cry out, "Daddy! Daddy help! I need you Daddy!" Charlie watched Billyís father continue on the tractor. Then engine was so loud he couldnít hear Billy. Luckily seconds later, Billyís father shut off the engine and began to walk towards their home.

"Yell louder, Billy," Charlie yelled down to Billy, "Your dad just shut off the tractor; he will be able to hear you now."

"Daddy! Daddy help!" Billy called out. Charlie was excited when he saw Billy ís fathers head turn toward the noise.

"He can hear you, keep yelling!" Charlie said. Billyís father could tell it was Billy and he began to run towards them.

"Hurry!" Billy called out. Charlie watched as Billyí s father got closer and closer until he could see Billy.

"Oh no! What happened?" Billyís father asked.

"I fell into the hole and hurt my ankle, please get me," Billy pleaded. Billyís father climbed down into the hole. It was a tight squeeze but he managed to pick up Billy and lift him up and out of the hole. He laid him on the ground then climbed up after him. Just then the raccoon began to rustle in the field right behind them.

"Look out dad, turn around!" Billy cried. Billyís father turned around and saw the raccoon. While Billyís father was looking at the raccoon Charlie climbed into Billyís pocket. Billyís father turned around and went to grab a stick. The raccoon saw Billyís fatherís sudden movement and he ran out of the field right towards Billy.

"Heís coming, help!" Billy yelled. His father turned around quickly and tried to stop the raccoon but it was too late. He had already bitten Billy on his arm. Luckily he only bit him once and ran off. Billyís father picked up Billy with Charlie in his pocket and carried him home. Billy cried the whole way with his ankle still throbbing and his arm bleeding from the bite. Once home, Billyís father rushed inside and found his wife.

"We have to get Billy to a doctor, he was bitten by a raccoon," Billyís father cried to his wife. The family got in the car and quickly rushed into town to the hospital. Once there, a doctor gave Billy a full check-up. Luckily, he was going to be fine. The doctor just gave him some medicine to apply to the wound so it would heal. And for his ankle it was just a little swollen.

When they got home it was late and time for bed. That night, Billy sat Charlie on his lap and read him stories. After story time Billy decided to let Charlie sleep in his bed with him. Billy slept on his side and laid Charlie right next to him. Soon after Billy fell asleep, Charlie crawled up onto his shoulder and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning Billy woke up covered in red dots. They were about the size of a dime and they stuck out from his skin like little mountains. They were icky and a little painful. Billy had already had the chicken pox, so he didnít know what they were. He didnít know what to do but to yell for his parents. It was no use; they were outside and couldnít hear him. Even if they did, he didnít know if they would come. Billy got up enough strength to run outside and get his mother. She examined the dots, but was clueless to what they could be. She then got his father who decided they should take him back to the doctor. Once again, they all got in the car and headed into town. Once at the doctorís office the doctor concluded that Billy had a rare disease that can be given to humans by animals. The doctor was sure it wasnít from the bite though, so to Billyís parents it didnít make sense. Billy knew inside where it had came from, but he couldnít admit it to himself. His parents didnít know about Charlie and they were scared that he could have got it from their livestock. Luckily for him he had gotten to the doctor in time and there was a medicine he could use to cure the disease. They got the medicine and headed for home.

Once they were home Billy knew he had to get to his room. In all the excitement he had totally forgotten about Charlie being in his bed. He had to hide him before his parents found him. He ran to his room and stripped his bead sheets until he saw Charlie lying on the bed. Billy scooped him up in the palm of his hand and set him back into his box. As he went to close the box his parents came through his door.

"What do you have there Billy?" his mother asked.

"Oh, nothing," Billy replied with hesitation.

"Now Billy," his father said sternly, "I know there is something in that box, now what is it." Billy knew he had to show them he was just afraid what they might do to his only friend. He opened the box slowly and revealed Charlie.

"Oh no," his mother gasped, "could this bug be how you got sick!?" Billy began to cry he knew Charlie was going to have to leave.

"Donít cry, I'm here. I wonít let that bug hurt you anymore," she said.

"You donít understand. This isnít any bug; this is a caterpillar, my caterpillar, my friend Charlie. He is the only one who cares about me. He is the only one who pays attention to me. You canít hurt him, you canít!" Billy shouted. Billyís mother and father looked at each other in shock. It had all just come to them. They never paid any attention to Billy. He was so alone and all he wanted was their love. Then his mother and father took each othe rís hands and raised them up to shoulder level. Together they kneeled down to the floor and said, "Come here son." Billy ran into their arms and he let them embrace him. That was the first time Billy had got a hug like that. It felt so good to him he couldnít help but cry.

"I love you, I love you!" he chanted over and over. His parents replied and held him until he was red in the face. That day Billyís whole life changed. He now had the two best friends in the world, his parents. As for Charlie, Billy knew he had to let him go. He picked up his shoebox and all together they went outside. The family walked down to the maple tree where Billy had found Charlie. Billy took the shoebox and held it up to his face.

"Thank you so much for what you have done for me, I love you," Billy said to Charlie. Billy could tell Charlie loves him too and that he was sad to go. Still, Charlie didnít say anything back for he didnít want Billyís parents to know that he could talk. Charlie let a little tear fall just before Billy began to cry. Billy opened the box and let Charlie crawl out. It hurt him so bad to see his friend go, but he knew it was for the best. Charlie had given him the best present in the world. He had opened Billyís parentís eyes to what they werenít seeing. Ever since, you can find Billyís parents at the maple tree thanking Charlie for giving them a second chance with their son.


Acknowledgments

I would like to thank everyone in the class for reading my story and giving me suggestions on how to make it better. I would also like to thank everyone in the class who gave a word to use for our "fantasy challenge." I used your words to make this story. Also I would like to thank Terry Heller for his wonderful ideas. His knowledge in English and his great creative ideas helped me work on my story and make it better. Thanks again everyone!


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