The Sound of Summer Running, by Ray Bradbury
Late that night, going home from the show with his mother and father and his brother Tom, Douglas saw the tennis shoes in the bright store window. He glanced quickly away, but his ankles were seized, his feet suspended, then rushed. The earth spun; the shop awnings slammed their canvas wings overhead with the thrust of his body running. His mother and father and brother walked quietly on both sides of him. Douglas walked backward, watching the tennis shoes in the midnight window left behind.
“It was a nice movie,” said Mother.
Douglas murmured, “It was …”
It was June and long past time for buying the special shoes that were quiet as a summer rain falling on the walks. June and the earth full of raw power and everything everywhere in motion. The grass was still pouring in from the country, surrounding the sidewalks, stranding the houses. Any moment the town would capsize, go down and leave not a stir in the clover and weeds. And here Douglas stood, trapped on the dead cement and the red-brick streets, hardly able to move.
“Dad!” He blurted it out. “Back there in that window, those Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Shoes--”
His father didn’t even turn. “Suppose you tell me why you need a new pair of sneakers. Can you do that?”
“Well . . .”
It was because they felt the way it feels every summer when you take off your shoes for the first time and run in the grass. They felt like it feels sticking your feet out of the hot covers in wintertime to let the cold wind from the open window blow on them suddenly and you let them stay out a long time until you pull them back in under the covers again to feel them, like packed snow. The tennis shoes felt like it always feels the first time every year wading in the slow waters of the creek and seeing your feet below, half an inch further downstream, with refraction, than the real part of you above water.
“Dad,” said Douglas, “it’s hard to explain.”
Somehow the people who made tennis shoes knew what boys needed and wanted. They put marshmallows and coiled springs in the soles and they wove the rest out of grasses bleached and fired in the wilderness. Somewhere deep in the soft loam of the shoes the thin hard sinews of the buck deer were hidden. The people that made the shoes must have watched a lot of winds blow the trees and a lot of rivers going down to the lakes. Whatever it was, it was in the shoes, and it was summer. Douglas tried to get all this in words.
“Yes,” said Father, “but what’s wrong with last year’s sneakers? Why can’t you dig them out of the closet?”
What happens next?
You may finish the story your way.
You may change the story so it is about something other than shoes.
You may use the artwork as a starting point to share summer memories or summer plans.
You may share your thoughts on the rich sensory language and voice of Ray Bradbury as a writer.
Ray Bradbury's ending is here
To the Revolution!
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The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
What "road" have you not taken?
What roads have you taken? Did your pants break?
Which of the 6 Cs would you take with you if you did decide to take the "one less traveled by?"
The first time I write my full name
Jacqueline Amanda Woodson
without anybody's help
on a clean white page in my composition notebook,
if I wanted to
I could write anything.
Letters becoming words, words gathering meaning,
thoughts outside my head
Jacqueline Amanda Woodson
When we can't find my sister, we know
she is under the kitchen table, a book in her hand,
a glass of milk and a small bowl of peanuts beside her.
We know we can call Odella's name out loud,
slap the table hard with our hands,
dance around it singing
'She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain'
so many times the song makes us sick
and the circling makes us dizzy
my sister will do nothing more
than slowly turn the page.
“A writer needs three things:
experience, observation, and imagination,
any two of which can supply the lack of the third.”
--William Faulkner, Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer, 1949.
Select either the imagery from the poem or a selection from the artwork and photos to create a short-short story or poem with a satisfying beginning, middle, and ending.
Your feelings about your abilities and skills and outlook on the world around you influences your opportunities and successes. Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?
"Where You Are"
"We Know the Way"
Locus of Control: