Listen and read-along with this fun story by, Mary E. Merlo.
One hot summer afternoon, Mr. Eggaloo needed to go to the nearby store.
“Hey, boys, I’m going to the market. Want to walk with me?”
Six-year old Ollie looked up from playing with magnetic building blocks. “Do you have to get much?”
“Milk, bread and some bananas.”
“Can I ride my bike?”
“Sure, but stay close to me. Zack, want to go, too?” Dad asked his three-year-old.
“Me, too!” Zack nodded his blond head. He dropped a blue car he was playing with. “Take bike, too!”
“Okay,” Dad said, “we’ll take your red tricycle with the push handle. Let’s go.”
Together, on this sunny day, they started down Merritime Street.
“Dad, I can go faster than you and Zack. Watch!”
“You sure can, but don’t get too far ahead. Let’s stay together.”
“How fast do you think my bike goes? 100 miles an hour?”
“You’re fast, but 100 miles an hour is faster than most cars. I’d guess you go about 10 or 15 miles per hour.”
“It’s hot today, Dad. Can we buy ice cream at the store?”
“Maybe. It’s a good day for cold ice cream.”
Down the block came Mr. Sparkfire walking his little dog Tulip. They greeted him and stopped to pet the dog wagging its tail. When Dad said it was time to go, they waved goodbye.
A large butterfly flew nearby. Zack shouted, “Flutterby!”
“Now, you might not think that little guy goes fast, Ollie, but he does,” Dad said.
“Butterflies flap their wings 15-20 times a second! They can fly at speeds over thirty miles an hour. That’s like the speed of a car.”
“Wow! How do you know?”
“I read it in a magazine for Kids while I waited in the dentist office for my appointment.”
Overhead, they heard a large airplane. “Look!” Ollie pointed. They stopped to watch the glistening white wings glide across the sky.
“What speed is that airplane flying, Dad?”
“That’s a big passenger jet with powerful turbine engines. They can cruise at speeds of 400-500 miles per hour.”
“Whoa! That’s really fast.”
“And you’re really pokey. Let’s get moving or we’ll never get to the store. ”
At the end of the block, they turned left toward the Food Market. Ollie stopped his bike to pick up a flat, black stone.
“How fast do you think I can throw it?”
“Not a good idea to throw it now, Ollie. You could break a window or hurt somebody. If you want to save it for the cottage, put it in your pocket. It would make a nice skipping stone on the lake. Otherwise, back on the ground it goes.”
Mr. Eggaloo felt this short trip was taking much too long. “Let’s move a little faster, guys.”
“Faster,” Zack repeated
Their twelve-year-old neighbor Leo passed by on his bike. “Hi Mr. Eggaloo, Ollie, Zack!” he called and kept pedaling. They shouted hello as he sped by.
“What speed would you say Leo’s going?”
“Faster than us,” Dad said, becoming tired of answering speed questions.
Finally, they arrived at the market and parked the bikes. Inside, they found a grocery basket and shopped for the bananas, milk and bread. When they reached the frozen foods section, they stared through the glass at ice cream choices. So many to pick from.
“Which should we choose?” Dad asked.
“Popsicles!” Zack said.
“Ice cream bars!” Ollie said.
“Hmmm, let me think. Last time, Zack picked Popsicles. I think we’ll select ice cream bars this time.”
“Okay,” Zack and Ollie agreed.
“How about chocolate covered strawberry bars?” Dad suggested.
”Mmm…yummy,” Zack and Ollie smiled and rubbed their tummies.
Finished with shopping, they waited in line to check out.
“Will the ice cream melt before we’re home?” Ollie asked.
“Shouldn’t take any longer to walk home than if we put the ice cream in a hot car, buckled up and drove home.”
“How fast does ice cream melt? What speed?”
“I don’t know if it has a melting speed. When I’ve eaten ice cream outside, it melts slower than you might think. It seems to melt faster when you lick it. Then, it disappears quicker. It’ll last until we get home.”
“Can we eat an ice cream bar on the way?”
“Me, too,” Zack piped up.
“Let’s wait until we’re home.”
“Aaaw, why Dad? We’re hot,” Ollie said.
“If you must wait until we’re home to eat the ice cream, then you’ll go faster. Wanting ice cream will make you speed up.”
Ollie giggled. “You think ice cream will make me go faster?”
“I’m sure it will! It usually takes five minutes to walk to Goody Food Mart. Today, it took us twenty-five minutes. That’s five times longer.”
“Whaaat? I rode my bike fast.”
“Yes, you did, but you kept stopping. Can we can go home without making stops?”
“Okay! No stopping at all. We’ll go at ice cream speed – fast!”
They reached home quickly and found Mom in the kitchen. “Oh, good!” she said. “You brought the groceries. Thank you.”
“Ice cream, too!” Ollie said. “Dad wanted us to wait until we were at home to eat it.”
“He had you wait that long?”
“Yup! He said it took too long going to the store. We needed to move faster coming home so the ice cream wouldn’t melt. We went at ice cream speed!” Ollie sang.
“What is ice cream speed?” Mom asked.
“Fast – very fast! Ask Dad. He knows everything about speed.”
About the Author
Mary Merlo is a retired Human Resource Manager in the automotive industry and writes poetry, memoir and children’s picture books. Her work has appeared in a number of literary publications, including The Avalon Literary Review, Silkworm 12, Peninsula
Poets, and Poetry Society of Michigan – Anthology 2021.
One of her poems won first place in 2021 NFSPS Annual Poetry Contests competition and was published in Encore 2021 Prize Poems. She’s been published in various online magazines and has received awards from DWW for children’s short stories. She’s a member of Detroit Working Writers (DWW), Poetry Society of Michigan (PSM) and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Mary enjoys spending time with family, especially grandchildren, who inspire storytelling. She believes skills developed writing poetry provide an excellent basis for expanding creative interests into other literary genres, especially children’s short stories.
Categories: Audio Stories/Poems