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Heather Lynn Jones
Helps Elmo count
Mother and Daddy
October 10, 2001
Poor Elmo! Everyone was ready for the big hike through the park but him. Heather Lynn Jones, age 3, from New Orleans, Louisiana, found Elmo sitting sadly on the steps of 123 Sesame Street.
“What's the matter, Elmo?” asked Heather, swinging a backpack.
Elmo sighed. “Elmo is supposed to bring 10 sandwiches on the hike, but Elmo isn't good at counting to 10.”
“Come on, I'll help you,” said Heather. “Tara and Kimberly always help me when I need it. That's what friends are for!”
With help from Heather, the sandwiches were soon ready and everyone set off on the hike. As they walked, they heard a loud growl.
“Yikes!” yelped Bert. “Bears!”
Ernie laughed. “Nope. That's just my tummy telling me it's time for a snack.” His tummy growled again.
“Who has the backpack?” asked Heather. “There are snacks inside.”
“Elmo has one backpack,” said Elmo, as Big Bird pulled some apples from the pack. “Yum, yum, two apples. One for Elmo and one for Ernie's hungry tummy.”
The path led to a wide stream. “Watch me!” shouted Prairie Dawn. “I won't get wet.” She jumped across the brook on some stones.
“Elmo, can you count the stones?” asked Heather.
“Yes, yes! Three stones.” Elmo hopped across. Hop, hop, hop.
Pop, pop, pop! Three heads popped out of the water. “Look, Elmo,” laughed Heather. “Those stones were really turtles!”
“Elmo can count turtles, too!” said Elmo. “One, two, three!”
In a sunny spot beside the brook, Heather spotted something else for Elmo to count. “Take a look at those bumps on the log,” Heather said.
“Oooooh. One, two, three, four lumpy bumps on a log,” counted Elmo. “Four bumps that look like...” Ribbit, ribbit, croak, croak! The four bumps jumped away.
Heather grinned. “Four lumpy frogs like bumps on a log! Tara and Kimberly would sure like to see those funny frogs.”
When they reached a bright green meadow, everyone ran and played in the long grass. “I spy five things, Elmo,” said Heather. “Can you guess what they are?”
“Where? What?” said Elmo. “Elmo sees lots of things.”
“I'll give you a hint,” said Heather. “The five things I see are little and green and squiggle a lot.”
“Okay, Elmo will look for five little green things that squiggle.”
“Hey, Heather! Elmo saw five little green, squiggly caterpillars,” shouted Elmo.
“You're getting very good at counting, Elmo,” said Heather. “Listen, can you hear the knocks?”
Tap! Tap! Tap! Elmo listened carefully. Tap! Tap! Tap! “Elmo hears six knocks.”
“Yes!” said Heather. “See, high in the tree, six birds pecking away.”
Next, Heather and her friends hiked to a small waterfall. Heather picked up a shiny pebble and tossed it into the pool beneath the falls. It landed with a mighty splash. KERPLUNK!
Elmo gathered seven stones. But before he could pitch the first pebble, some fish popped up and yelled, “Hey, cut that out!”
“Whoops! Sorry, you guys.” Heather gulped. “Uh, how many fish do you see, Elmo?”
“Eight fish,” said Elmo. “Eight ANGRY fish. Let's get out of here!”
“Do you want to play a game?” said Heather as they hiked through some tall pine trees. “Let's see who can find the most pine cones.”
Elmo looked the hardest. He found more than all the others.
“Elmo has nine! Nine pine cones.” Elmo groaned. “Help! Elmo can't carry nine pine cones, Heather.”
“Don't worry, we'll help you plant them so they'll grow into trees,” said Heather. “Nine pine trees are almost a forest.”
By now, everyone was hungry. Heather picked a picnic spot and said, “Let's eat!” Big Bird poured the lemonade. Ernie and Bert passed out cookies. Prairie Dawn unpacked grapes. “My tummy's hungry again,” said Ernie. “Where are the sandwiches, Elmo? I hope you brought a lot!”
“Elmo and Heather made ten sandwiches,” said Elmo. He counted them out slowly. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!”
“Ten sandwiches sure is a lot,” said Ernie, munching happily.
“Congratulations, Elmo,” said Heather. “Today you counted one backpack, two apples, three turtles, four frogs, five caterpillars, six birds, seven pebbles, eight fish, nine pine cones, and ten sandwiches, all by yourself.”
“Heather is right,” Elmo said. “Elmo DID count all that.”
Heather smiled. “It'll be fun telling Tara and Kimberly about the fun stuff you counted when I get home to New Orleans, Louisiana.”
“You can tell them one more funny thing Elmo counted,” giggled Elmo. “Look, Heather! One sandwich being carried away by ten ants!”