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Franklin could count by twos and tie his shoes. He could name the days of the week, the months of the year and the four seasons. He liked to play ball in summer, collect leaves in fall and build snow turtles in winter. But Franklin loved spring most of all. And this spring promised to be very special.
Franklin's parents had exciting news. They were going to have a baby in the spring.
Franklin jumped up and down. He had always wanted to be a big brother. He had even practised with Bear's little sister, Beatrice.
"I can make babies laugh, and I can burp them, too," said Franklin.
"You will be a wonderful big brother," said his mother.
Every day, Franklin asked his parents, "Is it spring yet?"
Franklin's mother would pat her tummy and say, "Not yet. But soon."
Franklin wasn't so sure. It was still cold outside, and there was snow on the ground. Spring seemed far away.
At school, Mr. Owl asked if anyone knew the signs of spring.
"The earth wakes up after a long sleep," said Badger.
"Plants start pushing through the ground," said Snail.
"Babies are born," said Franklin.
He looked out the window at the wintery sky and wished that spring would hurry up.
Franklin worried about the seed he'd planted for his spring project.
It's in a warm, safe place, and it always has water," he told Mr. Owl. "But nothing is happening."
"Your plant is growing," said Mr. Owl. "You just can't see it yet. You'll have to wait."
Franklin sighed. He didn't like waiting.
At home, Franklin helped his parents get ready for the baby.
"It sure is taking a long time for this baby to get here," said Franklin.
Franklin's mother gave him a hug. "The baby is due in spring, and spring is just around the corner," she said.
"It is?" said Franklin, brightening.
Franklin went for a walk. He looked around every corner and called, "Hello, Spring? Are you there?"
But there was no answer.
Franklin banged on pots and clanged on pans. He rang bells and clashed cymbals.
Even with all the noise, the earth didn't wake up.
Franklin looked in his garden. None of the plants had pushed through the ground.
There was no sign of spring anywhere.
And that was a problem because the baby was supposed to arrive in the spring.
Franklin felt very sad. If spring didn't come, he would never be a big brother.
Franklin moped around the yard.
His father came out to see what was wrong.
"I don't think spring will ever come," said Franklin.
"Don't worry," said his father. "April showers bring May flowers."
Franklin got excited. He knew that April and May meant spring. And they were having a shower that weekend. His mother had said so.
On Sunday, Franklin put on his rain gear and got his umbrella.
"I'm ready for the shower," he said.
"We're not having that kind of shower," laughed his mother. "It's a baby shower."
Franklin looked confused.
His father smiled. "Our friends bring gifts for the baby."
Excerpted from Franklin's Baby Sister ? Franklin's Class Trip ? Hurry Up, Franklin by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark. Copyright © 2000 Contextx Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Kids Can Press.
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Posted March 24, 2013