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Main Street #4: Best Friends

Whenever Flora Northrop looked back to that spring, she thought of it, rather dramatically, as the time of endings and beginnings. It was the spring in which she ended sixth grade, which was both her first and her last year at Camden Falls Elementary. It was the spring of graduations. It was the spring in which the Fongs had their baby. It was the spring in which two Camden Falls citizens got their first jobs. It was the spring in which the town celebrated its 350th birthday, ending more than a year of preparation and anticipation. And it was the spring in which Flora and her sister, Ruby, ended their first year in Camden Falls and began the next one.

Floraís first winter in her new home had been long, cold, and very snowy. Flora had enjoyed it (school had been closed six times since December—four times for snow and twice for ice), but on a late March day when warm breezes brought signs of spring, she breathed in deeply and found herself thinking of blooming flowers and buzzing bees and Popsicles from the ice-cream truck. Unfortunately, she was so busy thinking of these things that she didnít realize that Mr. Donaldson, her techer was looking her way. Heíd been saying something, but she wasn’t sure what, and now he was waiting for some kind of response from her.

"Um," Flora said, drawing her breath in sharply. This was a very un-Flora-like moment, and she could feel herself blush.

The good thing about Mr. Donaldson, which had made him a popular teacher in the few months since he had taken over Floraís class, was that instead of becoming impatient with her, he said, "Itís hard to concentrate on a day like today, isnít it?"

Flora let out her breatht. "Yes," she agreed. Her eyes strayed to the windows again and then to the door near Mr. Donaldsonís desk, the one that led to the courtyard. Mr. Donaldson had opened it wide, and Flora knew she wasnít the only student in her class whose thoughts were on flowers and bees and Popsicles.

"That gives me an idea," said Mr. Donaldson, glancing at the clock. "Tonight’s homework is a composition. I was going to ask you to write about pets, real or imaginary, but why donít you write about summer vacation instead. Today is a good day for thinking about that. It isn’t really so far off."

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