Sunday Morning Story Time – Another romp with Barbie and Chuckie
Barbie and Chuckie – A Little League Summer
Copyright 2013 Barbara Celeste McCloskey
Second grade was finally over, and both Chuckie and Barbie were looking forward to a long, fun summer with no school and no homework before they had to face third grade in the fall. They made plans for climbing trees, riding bikes, swimming, and baseball.
Today, Barbie and Chuckie rode their bikes down to the park to get the permission slip for Little League baseball. They each reached for a form and Chuckie was the only one who was given the form from the head coach.
“Hey Mister, you forgot to give my friend, Barbie a slip.” Chuckie said to the adult coordinator.
“Baseball’s only for boys, kid. She can’t play.”
“But that’s not fair. She can hit, field and even slide into home as good as any boy.”
“She’s a girl, kid. Rules are rules.” The man said and then turned away from Chuckie.
Chuckie looked at Barbie and realize that she was almost crying. “Come on, Barbie. Let’s go home.” He put his arm around her.
Barbie was still stinging from her rejection. “I think that dumb ol’ coach thinks I’m just supposed to sit around and play with dumb dolls all summer.” Barbie said as she kicked the dirt with her tennis shoe.
Chuckie laughed. “Yeah, that’ll be the day.” He paused before he said, “I don’t think I feel much like playing baseball this summer.”
“Don’t be silly, Chuckie. You like baseball. You should play.”
“But it won’t be fun without you out there.”
“Sure it will be. We’re best friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up something you like to do just because I’m a dumb ol’ girl.”
“I would.” Chuckie said with pure honesty.
“I know you would, but that’s silly. After all, you’re a boy and you can’t go to Brownie Day Camp.” Barbie reminded him.
Chuckie thought about it. “I guess you’re right.”
“And I’ll come to your games and cheer for you.” Barbie smiled.
“More like you’ll yell at me to run faster, hit better, and slide lower. I can hear it now. ‘Get in there and swing, Chuckie’.” Chuckie laughed.
Barbie laughed, too. “Last one home is a rotten egg!” She jumped on her bike and pumped her legs as fast as they would go.
“Hey no fair! You’re supposed to say, ‘ready, set, go!’ before it’s a fair race!” Chuckie yelled.
“Oh, quit whining, little boy.” Barbie laughed as the wind blew her hair back. Before she knew it, Chuckie was beside her and in another moment he led the race. He always did.
A few weeks after the Little League fiasco, Barbie and Chuckie were in the park swinging on the swings.
“Next week I’m going to Brownie camp.”
“Yeah, I know. You tell me about every five minutes.” Chuckie teased.
“I do not.” Barbie defended.
“Do you get to ride a bus like we did when we went to swimming lessons last year?”
“That’s neat. What else do you think you’ll be doing?”
“I’m not sure. I know I have to bring a sack lunch.”
“Do you have to wear your uniform?”
“Nah. Just shorts and a top.”
“Hmm . . . so you don’t know anything about what you’ll be doing?”
“Well, not exactly. Mrs. “Z” our Brownie leader said we’ll learn new songs and make stuff like lariats.”
“What are lariats?”
“I don’t know. But she also said we’ll learn about plants in the woods, so we don’t step in poison ivy.” Then she said, “One cool thing we’re going to learn to do is build a fire for a cookout.”
Chuckie’s eyes were as wide as jumbo marbles. “You get to build fires? Wow! My Mom would beat me silly if I ever touched a match!”
“We have to build a fire to cook stuff like hot dogs and marshmallows on a stick, Chuckie. We’ll learn how to do it safely.”
“Yeah. you better, or ol’ Smokey the Bear will eat you if you start a forest fire.” Chuckie laughed. “I wish I could go to camp with you.”
“I know. But no boys allowed.”
“Why is that, Barbie? Why do we always have to be separated?”
“I don’t know, but it sure seems like the older we get, the more stuff we can’t do together.”
“Yeah. Getting older kinda stinks.”
“Not really. We’ll just have to teach each other all the stuff we learn when we’re apart.”
“Good idea. But so far, you know more about baseball than what I’ve learned.” Do you think you could help me hit better by pitching me some?”
“Sure. What’s the problem?”
“I whiff a lot, and then the kids laugh.”
“Are you watching the ball all the time? You’re not closing your eyes again are you?”
“Well,” Chuckie didn’t want to admit he was afraid of the ball when it was coming toward him.
“Come on, Chuckie. That little old “hard rocket” is a lot smaller than you. It won’t kill you. You’ve got a helmet on when you’re in the batter’s box.”
“I’m just afraid, Barbie. And if you tell anybody, I’ll kill you personally!”
“I’d never tell. But I’m going to help you get over your fear. Come on. Let’s go play some baseball.
The two kids got on their bikes, went home, picked up their baseball gear, and then pedaled back to the park.
“You stand there at home plate, Chuckie, and then I’m going to throw the ball so it hits you.” Barbie commanded.
“Just stop being a wienie. I’m not going to hurt you.”
Barbie did a pitcher’s wind up and let the baseball fly. It hit Chuckie in the arm.
“Hey!” Chuckie yelled. “That hurt! What are you doing?”
She threw another one that hit him in the hip. “Cut it out, Barbie!”
She threw another ball that hit him in his butt.
Chuckie ran toward her with his fists up. “You hit me again and I’m going to pound you! I swear it Barbie! Girl or no Girl!”
Barbie was laughing. “See, you got hit by a baseball –three times—and you didn’t die did you?”
Chuckie was still fuming. “What?”
“I had to show you, if you got hit, you wouldn’t die. Yeah. I hit you. And you’re still standing. Would you have believed me otherwise?”
“Well,” Chuckie paused. “You didn’t have to be mean about it.”
“I’m not mean. Now get back in the batter’s box. Watch the ball come out of my hand. Pretend you’re seeing it slow down like in the cartoons.”
Chuckie walked back to the batter’s box rubbing his butt.
Barbie was still busy giving him orders. “Hold the bat up and get ready to swing. And when the ball is right in front of you, swing—with your eyes OPEN! I know you can do it, Chuckie.”
Chuckie kicked the dirt. He pounded the wooden bat on the ground and assumed the batter’s position. Then he set his jaw tight and glared at Barbie. She let the pitch go and he watched it flying toward him. He thought about Barbie’s instructions, after all, she could hit the ball further than anybody he knew.
He watched the ball get bigger and bigger as it got closer and closer. In a split second, it looked as big as a grapefruit, and he swung the bat with all his strength. He watched with unbelieving eyes as the ball sailed out into the outfield.
“Run, Chuckie. Don’t stand there! Get to first!” Barbie was jumping up and down. That was the the furthest Chuckie had ever hit a ball.
Without thinking he took off and ran the bases all the way around.
Barbie laughed as her friend rounded the bases with his superior speed. She yelled, “And the crowd went wild!”
He jumped on home plate and pretended he was his favorite baseball hero—Eddie Mathews who played for the Milwaukee Braves. He yelled. “I did it, Barbie! I did it!”
“Yes you did. And before we go home, you’re going to do it a dozen more times.”
“Okay, coach. I’m ready!” Chuckie had confidence he could hit it out of the park every time.
“The two little friends practiced all afternoon and Chuckie felt ready for the tryouts next week. As they were leaving the park to go home for supper, Barbie said, “After I get home from Brownie camp tomorrow afternoon, let’s work on your throwing.”
“What’s wrong with my throwing?”
“We’ll you’re not the most accurate kid on the field.”
“Good point. Fielding it is.” Chuckie jumped on his bike and smiled at his best friend. “And you have to promise me you’ll teach me something you learned at Brownie camp.”
“I think you’re trying to turn me into a teacher, Chuckie.”
“Well, you gotta admit it. You’re pretty good at it.”
Barbie smiled. She was happy, even though she was a girl.