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Authors: Ilene Cooper,Amanda Harvey (illustrator)

Tags: #Ages 6 & Up

Absolutely Lucy

BOOK: Absolutely Lucy
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2000 by Ilene Cooper
Interior illustrations copyright © 2000 by Amanda Harvey

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House
Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Random House and the colophon are registered trademarks and A Stepping
Stone Book and the colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Visit us on the Web!
SteppingStonesBooks.com
www.randomhouse.com/kids

Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at
www.randomhouse.com/teachers

The Library of Congress has cataloged the first Random House edition of this book as follows:
Cooper, Ilene.
Absolutely Lucy / by Ilene Cooper; illustrated by Amanda Harvey.
    p.   cm.
“A Stepping Stone Book.”
Summary: Bobby is a shy boy until he gets a beagle puppy named Lucy, who helps him to make new friends.
eISBN: 978-0-307-51013-6
[1. Bashfulness—Fiction. 2. Beagle (Dog breed)—Fiction. 3. Dogs—Fiction.]
I. Harvey, Amanda, ill. II. Title. III. Series.
PZ7.C7856Ab 2004   [E]—dc22    2003014987

Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.

v3.1

For the real Emmelou and her boy, Bill —I.C
.
To Michael —A.H
.

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

1. Shy Guy

2. The Birthday Present

3. Lucy

4. Lucy in Trouble

5. Lucy to the Rescue

6. One Friend

7. Dog School

8. Two Friends

9. One More Friend

B
obby Quinn did not have any friends. He was shy. He had been shy as long as he could remember.

He was very shy when he was three years old. His relatives came to the Quinns’ house for Thanksgiving that year.

Bobby ran into his bedroom and crawled under his bed.

“Bobby, come out and say hello,” his mother begged.

Nobody could make him come out.

Bobby was very shy when he was five years old. On the first day of kindergarten, Bobby cried. He didn’t want his mother to leave. He didn’t want to meet the children in his class.

“But Bobby,” his mother said, “don’t you want to make new friends?”

“Absolutely not!” Absolutely was the biggest word Bobby knew. He used it whenever he could.

Bobby cried every day for a month. When he stopped crying, it was too late. By then, none of the children wanted to meet him. They called him Cry Bobby.

Bobby was very shy in the first grade. He was shy in the second grade, too. He kept his head down. He didn’t look up, even when the teacher called on him.

After school, Bobby did his homework. He spent the rest of his time drawing. He was good at drawing. He drew dinosaurs and fast cars.

When second grade was over, Mrs. Quinn wanted Bobby to go to camp.

“Absolutely not!” Bobby said.

“But what will you do all day?” Mrs. Quinn asked.

“I’ll read. I’ll draw,” Bobby answered.

Mrs. Quinn sighed. “That sounds a little lonely.”

Bobby didn’t think it sounded lonely. He thought it sounded great. He was very happy when his parents said he didn’t have to go to camp.

One hot day in July, Bobby was sitting at his desk. He was drawing a big dinosaur with lots of spikes on its back. His mother came into the room.

“It’s such a nice day,” she said. “Why don’t you go out and play?”

“I don’t want to,” Bobby said. He didn’t look up from his drawing.

His mother tried again. “Have you seen the new children who moved in across the street? They’re setting up a volleyball net. Shall we go introduce ourselves?”

Bobby just shook his head no.

“Bobby, if you don’t try to be friendly, you’ll never have any friends. Doesn’t that bother you?” Mrs. Quinn asked.

“I don’t need friends,” Bobby whispered as his mother closed the door behind her.

But when he was alone in his room, he put his pencil down and looked out the window. What he said to his mother wasn’t really true. He would like to make a friend. He just didn’t know how.

B
obby’s eighth birthday came in the middle of July. His parents invited the relatives over for a party in the backyard.

Bobby had three cousins. Ryan and Brian were twelve-year-old twins. They didn’t pay too much attention to Bobby. His cousin Jenny was only four. She paid too much attention to Bobby. She followed him wherever he went.

Jenny and her mother and father were the first to arrive for the party. Bobby went outside. Jenny was right behind him. She watched him throw a ball against the side of the garage.

“Mommy’s having a baby,” Jenny said.

“I know,” Bobby answered.

“That’s why she’s getting so fat. She’s as fat as a pig, don’t you think?”

Bobby frowned. “That’s not a very nice thing to say, Jenny.”

Jenny looked surprised. “It isn’t? But I love pigs.”

Bobby didn’t know what to say to that.

“Bobby, do you like your birthday?”

“Absolutely,” Bobby answered.

“What does that word mean?” Jenny asked.

Bobby stopped throwing the ball. He thought for a minute. “Absolutely means yes. A real big, big yes. But if you say absolutely not, that means a real big no.”

“Why do you always say it?”

Bobby shrugged.

“I like the way it feels on my tongue.”

Jenny tried to say it. “Ab-see-loot-ee.”

“No,” Bobby corrected. “Absolutely.”

She tried again. “Ab-silly-oot-ly.”

Bobby gave up. “Maybe you’ll be able to say it next year, Jenny.”

Bobby started throwing his ball against the garage again.

“Hey, Bobby,” Jenny said, “I know what your mommy and daddy are giving you for your birthday.”

Bobby caught the ball. “You do?”

Jenny nodded.

“Tell me. What am I getting?”

Jenny put her hands over her mouth. She tried to keep the surprise inside. But she was so excited, the words burst out anyway.

“An eagle!”

“An eagle?” Bobby was shocked. “I’m getting an eagle?”

Jenny nodded her head hard. “I heard Mommy telling Daddy.”

“But an eagle is a bird,” Bobby said. “A big bird.”

Jenny nodded again. “Mommy said it would be nice for you to have a pet.”

Bobby plunked himself down on the driveway. A pet? He had a pet once. A turtle. It crawled behind the washing machine. Bobby never saw it again.

He didn’t do a very good job of taking care of the turtle. How could he take care of an eagle?

Bobby had read about eagles in school. The eagle was the symbol of the United States because it was strong and proud. Maybe his parents wanted him to be strong and proud, too.

Jenny tugged at Bobby’s shirt. “What’s the matter? You don’t like eagles?”

“I like them okay.” He thought about his small room. “But they are so big.”

“It’s a baby eagle,” Jenny told him.

“How do you know that?”

“Mommy saw it. She said it was cute and small. And soft.”

Well, that sounded like a baby eagle. But baby eagles grow. Didn’t his parents know that?

Brian and Ryan arrived with their parents. They let Bobby play a game of three-way catch with them. They were being nice because it was his birthday.

“Do you know what I’m getting for my birthday?” Bobby asked.

Brian and Ryan looked at each other. “We’re not supposed to tell,” Ryan said.

“It’s a surprise,” Brian said.

“I don’t like surprises.”

“Okay, we’re giving you a book,” Brian said.

“About dinosaurs,” Ryan added.

“Have you heard anything about a bird?” Bobby asked.

“You mean, like a parakeet?” Ryan asked.

“Not exactly.”

The twins hadn’t heard anything about a bird.

The yard was set up with tables for a cookout. Bobby’s dad was grilling. Bobby decided to pretend that he didn’t know there was an eagle in his future.

Mrs. Quinn called everyone to come and eat. Bobby had one hot dog and one hamburger and lots of chips. He didn’t think he had room for cake. Then his father carried out a big square cake. It had chocolate frosting and the words Happy Birthday Bobby.

Bobby ate two pieces of cake, one with ice cream.

Finally, Bobby’s father said, “It’s time to open the presents.”

Bobby felt his stomach go up and down. Maybe it was all that food. Or maybe it was the thought of getting an eagle. He tried to practice making a surprised face. A happy, surprised face.

“Are you all right, Bobby?” his father asked. “You look so strange.”

“No, no, Dad. I’m okay.”

“Then let’s open presents,” Mr. Quinn said.

BOOK: Absolutely Lucy
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