Tim and Carla sat on the low stone wall surrounding the new duplex they had moved into a few months ago. It had been a rough change for them to make. The owners didn't accept pets so their dog Scotty and cat Missy were left behind on their grandfather's farm in Iowa. Starting a new school in Connecticut was hard. Having to leave their pets made the twins feel empty inside. Tim and Carla knew that their pets were being taken care of and loved, but it didn't ease the pain of missing them. "Did you make the phone call?" asked Tim.
"Yes I did. The man at the travel agency said it would cost almost $1000 to fly to Iowa. You know we don't have that kind of money. We'll never see our pets this Summer," Carla added sadly.
"Mom and Dad said they would help us if we could earn half. So all we need is $500. There must be something a couple of hard working 11 year olds can do to earn money. We've got ten months to try. We can't give up. Maybe you could check to see if anyone needs a babysitter. I'll call the local paper and find out if they need any paperboys."
"We can also check to see if anyone needs someone to do raking or cleaning up around their house," said Carla . They both became excited over the possibility of earning the money they needed. The prospect of finding work put a new spark in their life.
They began their quest on Saturday. Tim called the newspaper office. "Windsor Journal," a gruff voice answered.
"Sir. My name is Tim Palmer and I' m calling to see if you have any paper routes open."
"How old are you kid?"
"I'm 11 and I have a twin sister who would help me on the route."
"That's great kid, really great, but I'm afraid we don't have anything at the moment. Give me your number and I'll call if anything opens up." Although the news wasn't good, Tim wouldn't let it lower his spirits.
Meanwhile, Carla had been going through the neighborhood trying to find baby-sitting jobs. She wasn't any luckier. She headed back home where they shared each other's bad news. Now it was time to feel frustrated. All their plans seemed to be going up in smoke. A week went
by and things didn't look any better. What they were finding was that they
were either too young or someone else was already doing the work.
Late Saturday afternoon after their upsetting week, the twins were sitting on their favorite stone wall. Hearing their mother call for them, they ran home where they recognized one of their neighbors, Mrs Rapaki. "Children, Mrs. Rapaki is here to ask you to do something for her."
Mrs. Rapaki smiled and said, "You would be dears if you could help me out. I have to leave for Boston tomorrow morning to visit my sister who's feeling poorly and I'll be gone for a week. I need someone to feed my pet fish every day and keep an eye on my aquarium. Do you think you could do that for me? I'd be willing to pay you."
"Pay?!" the twins chanted in unison. "You'd pay us just for feeding your fish?", Carla added.
"Why of course. It's a very important responsibility. They can't feed themselves you know."
The arrangements were made and the kids took on the job. At the same time it gave Tim and Carla an idea. They got permission from their parents to put an add on the bulletin board at the corner convenience store.
For Pet's Sake.
We'll take care of your small pet
in YOUR home.
Call Tim or Carla at 555-0657 after 5 pm
After a few days the kids started to get several calls. A few people were sick and couldn't walk their dogs, some needed their birds to be fed while they were away. They even got the chance to take care of a pet snake. They were able to bring home a family of gerbils and had them for almost two weeks.
As the business became more successful, Tim and Carla new that they would make their goal. They shared their dream where they could see themselves running up the road to the old barn with Missy and Scotty while visiting with their grandfather on the farm.