It was a very hot summer day. But Curtis didn’t mind. He was standing in front of the ice cream freezer at the grocery store. Holding the door open he felt the fresh, cold air blow through his short, blond hair. He remembered his mom telling him to stay close, so he slammed the freezer door and turned around.
“Mommy, this feels good,” he said. Mommy wasn’t there. He froze like a vanilla popsicle. “Where’s my mommy?” he thought. Oh no!
Suddenly Curtis ran to one end of the aisle. He looked left. He looked right. No Mommy. He saw those big, gray boxes where grownups slide stuff and put their money in. No Mommy. He ran to the front door of the store and looked outside. No Mommy. He ran all the way down the aisle with the yellow bags
of potato chips he loved. He didn’t even see them. And when he got to the other end…no Mommy.
He remembered Mommy saying, “Stay close, Curtis.” He sure wished she was close right now. But she was still nowhere in sight. Then he saw a woman by the big, green watermelons with a red shirt on. Mommy was wearing a red shirt. He flew across the floor as fast as his short legs could go. As he got to her he yelled, “Mommy!” But it wasn’t her.
“Are you lost, little boy?” asked the lady in the red shirt. Curtis just shook his head and took off again. This time he ran past the shelves with that purple cough medicine he hated. He didn’t even care. Mommy wasn’t there. A man behind a glass window pointed his finger and said something. But Curtis didn’t stop. He just knew Mommy had to be here somewhere.
And he kept remembering her say… “Stay close, Curtis.”
He ran past the sweet smelling flowers in the back of the store. And he heard a crackly, voice from those black boxes in the ceiling. “Blah, blah, blah…little boy…blah, blah, blah,” said the voice. Curtis didn’t listen. He had to find Mommy.
Then he remembered something else. Mommy said she needed to buy some dog food. He knew where that was because Mommy always let him help. So he zoomed over to all the pet stuff. A man was sweeping some crunchy, brown dog food off the floor. But still…no Mommy.
The man shouted, “Here he is!” But Curtis was already running again. He plopped past the plastic bags of paper towels. He soared past the cereal. He bolted past the broccoli. No Mommy here…no Mommy there…no Mommy anywhere.
His heart was beating fast. He felt like crying. But he kept running. He turned to run down the cookie aisle, and… There she was!
“Mommy!” screamed Curtis with delight. He ran straight to her and grabbed her leg.
“Curtis, you had me so worried,” she said. “I’ve been looking all over the store for you.”
He knew he was in trouble. But he also knew everything was going to be alright.
“What do I always tell you, little man?” Mommy asked.
“I know, Mommy, I know,” Curtis answered. “Stay close.”
Remember kids…there’s a good reason why you should always stay close to mom or dad when you’re out there in the mean ol’ world. Mom and dad love you and want to protect you. Strangers probably don’t.
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