Neighborhood Rock
Wake the Imagination
The motto in our house is to always be:
"Nice and Kind."  I've tried to follow this
example myself and found that overall it
serves me well.  A smile and a helping
hand goes a long way to forming solid
and lasting friendships.  
Neighborhood Rock by Tim Seston

Tori skipped down the street to the end of her block
Where she liked to throw balls off her favorite rock
It was flat on the top and smooth on one side
As tall as a mailbox and three times as wide

Seven days in a row this is where she had been
She'd found it last week when her family moved in.
She liked to play ball as much as she could
And think of her friends from her old neighborhood

But today when she reached the end of her block
A girl was sitting on top of her rock
"Now who is this girl and how old was she
And why had she chosen this new place to be?"

Tori approached and when she got there
The girl turned around and gave her a glare,
"Please don't disturb me, I'm reading my book"
Tori froze in her tracks with a sad, puzzled look.

She thought to herself, "This is not fair at all
You're here on my rock where I like to play ball."
But before she said something Tori thought twice,
"The way to make friends is to always be nice"

"Hi, my name is Tori."  She said in the end.
"I'll leave if you want but I'd rather be friends
I'm new to this town and have come here to play
Against this big rock for the last seven days."

Tori then waited with hope in her eyes
The girl closed her book and looked up with surprise
"She likes to play ball and I like to read
Who knows if this friendship will ever succeed"

"Hi, my name is Emlen, I live pretty near
I've read on this rock for over a year.
Last week I was sick with a terrible flu
But now that I'm back, it's nice to meet you.

Then Emlen asked Tori a really tough question,
"If we're to be friends, May I make a suggestion?
Can we do something else instead of playing ball
I'm not very good and don't like it at all

And now it was Emlen at the end of her rope
Waiting for Tori her eyes filled with hope.
Tori stood still and looked all around.
She glanced at the rock, then stared at the ground.

At last Tori spoke with a smile on her face.
This rock that we love is the perfect home base
Let's pretend we are friends from one of your books
Like two young detectives out catching the crooks

Emlen's face lit right up.  She liked her new friend
They played all that day.There was much to pretend.
They acted out scenes from the books Emlen read.
Tori lay on the rock like a princess in bed

Then the rock was their hideout, and later a boat
Then a castle protected by a hundred foot moat
Then finally the rock was a citrus fruit stand
And Emlen picked up Tori's ball in her hand

"This one is real juicy the best of the crop."
She threw it to Tori, who did not let it drop.
They winked at each other
andplayed some more catch
With ripened pink grapefruits, the best of the batch.

With a hug and goodbyes and the next day arranged
At dusk the two parted
but their lives had been changed
For many more years they came to the rock
And played with each other at the end of the block.

Sometimes they just talked
of the books that each chose
And sometime played catch like a couple of pros
But much of the time they liked to pretend.
Emlen and Tori were the closest of friends.