Seven-years-old, Justin Davis, dreamed of building his own tree house.
He had dreamt of it so many times, he knew exactly how
it should look.
He liked the color yellow and thought it would be the perfect color for the outside. He pictured red trim around the windows and a red door.
Some of his drawings even had a television and bean bag chair inside.
"I wish I had my own tree house," he sighed one day while tossing a baseball back and forth in his hands.
At that very moment, Justin thought of a great idea. "I know what I'll do! I'll build my own tree house! I'll ask my dad and best friend Peter to help me."
He ran from his bedroom in excitement over his brilliant idea. He didn't want to waste a minute looking for his dad.
"Dad, I would like to build my own tree house. Could you please help me build it? Please, please, please," pleaded Justin.
Justin began to bounce up and down. "Tell you what", Justin's Dad said. "Give me a few minutes to finish up here, and then the two of us will sit down and make a list of all the things we'll need to build your treehouse. We can go get our supplies first thing in the morning," he said.
Justin was thrilled and could hardly wait until morning. "I'm gonna go call Peter and ask him to come over tomorrow to help!" Justin's father grinned as he watched his son run for the phone to call his best friend.
Peter was excited about building the tree house. He told Justin that he would be happy to help him.
That night Justin had a hard time falling asleep. He couldn't stop thinking about his new tree house. He thought of all adventures he would have inside. He imagined the "Official Justin's Tree House Club" with a bright green lizard as the mascot.
"Maybe, the tree house could be an official detective agency called "Kids' On the Prowl". Any neighbor could call if they lost a pet. Or, it might be a secret launching pad for space expeditions called "Justin's Tree House in Space". He imagined himself floating through the air and playing space baseball with soaring meteors. What about a "Member's only Arcade" filled with every kind of video game in the world? I could play games all night," thought Justin with a sleepy grin, as he drifted off to sleep.
Early the next morning, he jumped out of bed, pulled on his clothes and dashed downstairs.
"Dad? Dad! are we ready to start on the treehouse?" asked Justin
as he burst into the kitchen.
"As soon as Peter gets here and after you finish eating your breakfast, we'll go over to the lumberyard and see about getting everything we're going to need today. I'm going to teach you and Peter about the treehouse project from start to finish", said Justin's Dad.
Justin was so excited he could hardly sit still as he filled his cereal bowl.
"There are a lot of things we're going to have to get. We need nails, paint, wood, safety glasses and a few tools too. I'll show you the different kinds of wood and different types of paint so you'll learn which ones will be right for your project", he said, looking at the list they made out yesterday afternoon.
Just then the doorbell rang.
"It's Peter!" yelled Justin as he ran to open the door.
Peter was dressed much like Justin. They were both wearing old jeans, old T- shirt and sneakers.
Justin's Dad looked at his watch. The lumberyard would be opening pretty soon. "OK boys", he called. "Let's go get our supplies."
At the lumberyard, they pulled out their list and the three of them marched up and down the aisles rolling a big flat cart, stacking it high with all the materials they would be using for the treehouse.
Justin picked out his red and yellow paint and he let Peter help pick out some of the boards and the nails.
Justin's Dad paid the cashier, and then they headed back home, with the delivery truck following close behind them.
Justin knew exactly which tree he wanted to build his tree house in.
It wasn't a tall tree, but rather a short fat tree. It was the first tree that Justin had ever climbed.
"Come on boys. We should get started before the day is gone," called Justin's dad.
They laid out their material and tools to make sure they had everything they were going to need.
Justin's father handed each of the boys a pair of safety glasses to protect their eyes. Then Justin's Dad set up his portable workbench. Justin and Peter held the wood while his dad measured and marked the boards.
Time went by fast. It wasn't long before the tree house had walls, a floor, windows and a roof. Next, the boys helped with the door and trim. Five pieces of wood were added up the trunk of the tree as a ladder for safe climbing. Justin couldn't wait to start painting.
"I just need to hammer this last nail and we're done building," said Justin's dad.
The boys stood back. They each looked long and hard at the
tree house. "It's the coolest tree house I've ever seen,"
said Peter. "It's just like the one I've always dreamed
about," said Justin with a smile.
"You have some great dreams. I think I'll dream of getting a new baseball glove tonight," laughed Peter.
"You boys should be proud of all your hard work. You can start painting right after lunch," said Justin's dad. Justin's mom brought the boy's sandwiches and sliced apples for lunch. She had made fresh lemonade and chocolate-chip cookies too.
After they finished lunch, they each grabbed their paintbrushes and paint buckets. Since there was only one ladder, Justin started painting the outside yellow. Peter climbed inside the tree house and began painting the trim and door red.
Then the boys switched. Justin's climbed inside the tree house and painted the walls yellow. Peter carefully took his turn on the ladder and painted the outside trim red. As they painted, they laughed and giggled. They talked of the many adventures they would share inside the tree house.
Just as the sun began to set, the boys finished painting. Justin's tree house was finally done. The boys called for Justin's dad to see their finished work.
"What a great job you boys have done painting by yourselves!", he marveled. "Alright", he said, "We'll let the paint dry overnight and then you can play in your treehouse tomorrow. Right now though, I think it's time to wash up and call it a day," said Justin's Dad.
Justin and Peter were both splattered with yellow and red paint. Justin looked funny with his brown hair speckled with yellow dots. The tip of Peter's nose was covered with red paint. He looked like a silly circus clown.
"I think I better get home. Thank you for such a fun day," said Peter. He had spent the whole day working on Justin's tree house.
Justin thanked his dad and Peter for helping him. Before Peter went home, Justin quickly made him promise to come over again tomorrow. He wanted Peter to be his first member of the now official "Justin's Tree house Club". The kind of club where a kid could be anything they wanted... If they just imagined.
|Late that night, when everyone else was asleep, Justin
crawled out of bed and tiptoed over to his bedroom window. He rested his
elbows on the window sill and looked out across the moonlit yard towards
the sturdy little tree. Justin let his eyes travel up to the starry night
sky and then he took a deep breath. The scent of fresh paint still hung
in the air.
Justin gave the treehouse one last, lingering look, then he turned and climbed back into bed. Seven year old Justin snuggled down into the covers and closed his eyes. There was a tired little smile on his face as he drifted off to sleep. Wishes really can come true, he thought.
Tabatha-Jean D'Agata lives in the charming and picturesque
town of Salem, New Hampshire with her husband Joseph and their two young children
. Tabatha's children's stories include "The Best Birthday Ever" and "I'd Rather
Fly". She has authored articles on ChildCare and Eating Disorders, and her romantic
tale, "At The Edge of Hearth River" is scheduled for publication towards the
latter part of 1998.
Tabatha's inspiration for this tale came from a local newspaper article which spoke of a young boy who had recently lost his battle with cancer. The Make A Wish Foundation granted his special wish for a yellow and red tree house. This story is not intended to portray that incident, nor is the name or age in this tale that of the child in the article. Write to Tabatha at TABADOO@aol.com
About the Illustrator:
|Doreen Diorio’s children’s illustration has been featured in Crow Toes Quarterly and on Guardian Angel Kids online ezine. Her art lessons have been published in Pack-O-Fun’s Art Smarts feature, and on Hot Chalks Lesson Page, Schooldays Magazine, K12 Academics, Kinderarts.com, and Artsonia. An art teacher and professional artist, D. Diorio is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Children’s Literature Connection, and education society Kappa Delta Pi. Visit her website at: http://ddiorio.itgo.com|