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Sara Evelyn Davis
Helps Elmo count
Sara Evelyn Davis, age 5, from Cincinnati, Ohio, was worried about her friend, Big Bird. He didn't look very happy. “What's wrong, Big Bird?” Sara asked.
“Today is Clean Sweep Day, the day we all help clean up the neighborhood,” Big Bird sighed. “It's going to be a lot of work.”
“Don't worry,” said Sara. “Carrie, Leah and Chris showed me you can make a big job easier by turning it into a game. Let's try it. We can pick up trash starting with each letter of the alphabet.”
“That'll be fun!” Big Bird smiled. So Big Bird spread the word about the great idea Sara had and the Clean-Sweep game began.
“Look, someone left a broken airplane here, right next to a stack of beat-up boxes,” Sara said. “Amazing, that's our A and B!”
“Hey, this box is full of empty cans,” called Big Bird. “C is for cans!”
“Cool, we can recycle them,” Sara said. “Wow, we have A, B, and C already! Now let's find something that starts with D.”
Just then, Rosita joined them. “How about these dishes, Sara?” she asked, holding cracked dishes from her tea set. “You can have these too,” she added, handing over a stack of old envelopes. “I took all the neat stamps off them.”
“Excellent!” said Sara. By now, everyone on Sesame Street knew about the Clean-Sweep game.
“Elmo wants to play, too,” Elmo said with a smile, carrying as many tattered gloves and bent forks as he could manage. Elmo looked so silly Sara had to laugh. “Those forks are fabulous for F and your gloves will make a great G addition to our trash collection,” she giggled.
While collecting Elmo's gloves, Sara noticed a twisted water hose lying on the sidewalk. “Watch out, Big Bird!” she called. But it was too late. Poor Big Bird tripped on the hose and fell with a THUMP. Luckily, Big Bird's feathers padded his fall so he wasn't hurt.
Sara ran to help him up. “I'm glad you're not hurt, Big Bird. At least you found something that started with the letter H. This hose has so many holes in it, it must be trash!”
“How about using this to smooth your ruffled feathers, Bird?” snickered Oscar, handing Big Bird an old iron. “Don't be silly, Oscar! But a rusty iron is ideal for our trash pile so we'll have an I!” Sara exclaimed.
“Boy, I don't know what we'll use for J,” Sara wondered. “I sure wish Carrie, Leah and Chris were here to help.”
“Me help, Sara,” Cookie Monster said. “Jars with no cookies go into trash.”
“Thanks, Cookie Monster! We'll put your jars in our recycling bin, instead of our trash pile,” Sara said.
Zoe joined the group. “I found this in the park, Sara, but I don't know what it is.”
“It's a kazoo, Zoe,” Sara said. “But it's broken. See, it's cracked on the side. Let's add it to our trash collection, okay?”
“K,” Zoe said with a smile. “Do you want these puzzle pieces I found too?”
“We're not ready for the letter P yet, Zoe. We've found A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and K, so we're looking for L now,” Sara explained. “We'll save your puzzle pieces for later.”
“You know,” Sara continued, “the park might be a good place to find more alphabet trash. Let's go!”
Sara was right. She and her friends picked up many things at the park to add to their collection. They found a half-eaten lollipop in some litter on the ground. Someone had left a milk carton on a bench. They collected a net near a nest up in a tree, and even a broken oar by the pond.
“Now that we've got L, M, N, and O, we're ready for your puzzle pieces, Zoe,” Sara said with a smile. “P is for the puzzle pieces!” shouted Zoe.
“There's Ernie and Bert,” Big Bird said. “Maybe they've come to help us clean.” “I hope so,” Sara said. “We still haven't found anything for Q.”
“We heard you were looking for trash,” Bert said. “So Ernie and I cleaned out our closet.”
“Let's see,” Ernie said, reaching into a large bag. “We have one queen from Bert's chess set. I lost the other pieces. There's my red rocket ship that broke last year. Oh, and here's an old skate.”
“And here are some train tracks. Someone left them outside and they got trampled,” Bert said. “Now you have Q, R, S, and T.”
“Hey, Sara,” a grouchy voice called. “Take this umbrella. And here, Telly dropped off this vase. It's cracked...just like some people I know.”
“Thanks, Oscar, that's great for U and V,” Sara said.
Just then Big Bird spied his wobbly wheelbarrow. “Wow, that's perfect for W. But Sara,” Big Bird groaned, “What about X? There aren't any X-rays or xylophones around.”
“X is tough. But look, Big Bird, Sara said with a smile. “Two of the umbrella's ribs are making an X. Can you see it?”
“Yes! And look, there's a tangled piece of yarn around on the wheels of my old wheelbarrow!” Big Bird cried. “Yay! That's our Y!”
“Let's see. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z,” Sara sang.
“Oh no, Sara, ” Big Bird wailed. “We haven't found anything that starts with Z.”
“Don't worry, Big Bird,” Sara said. “See, the zipper is broken on my old wallet. I had it in my pocket all the time.”
“All right! Sara found Z!” Big Bird shouted. “We went through the whole alphabet, and we made the neighborhood look cleaner than ever.”
“I sure had a lot of fun helping you with your big job, Big Bird. Now I'd better go home to Cincinnati, Ohio,” Sara said. “Besides, I can't wait to tell Carrie, Leah and Chris how much fun it is playing games with the alphabet!”