Starting new friendships

Posted June 16, 2008

Starting new friendships

One afternoon a young hobo boy named Will Shepherd comes to Kit’s yard asking to work for food. Kit is curious about all the places Will has seen while he rode the rails across the country.

Have you ever made friends with someone whose life is very different from yours? How did you become friends, and what have you learned from the friendship?

Excerpt from Kit Saves the Day, by Valerie Tripp

The next day, Kit was hanging sheets on the clothesline. A hot, sultry wind lifted the sheets so that they fluttered like moist white wings around her. Aunt Millie had set up an open-air barbershop next to the clothesline. She’d cut Stirling’s hair and now she was at work on Will.

“I appreciate this, ma’am,” he said. “I don’t meet barbers in the jungle.”

“What’s the jungle?” asked Stirling.

“That’s what we hoboes call our camps,” explained Will. “A jungle is usually close to the railroad tracks. There’s one here in Cincinnati near Union Station, right next to the river.”

“Do you cook over a campfire?” asked Kit dreamily. “And tell stories about the places you’ve been? And sing songs, and sleep out under the stars?”

“Well…” Will began as if he were starting a long explanation. Then he seemed to change his mind. He answered simply, “Yep.”

“I bet there’d be no rugs to beat or gutters to clean,” said Kit, “and you could just come and go as you pleased. It sounds fine to me.”

Aunt Millie shook her head. “A wanderer’s life is lonely and hard,” she said. “I believe most people are good-hearted, but not everyone’s kind to hoboes.” She untied the cloth she’d put around Will’s shoulders and shook the hair off it. ““You’re done, just plain Will,” she said. “And much improved, if I do say so myself.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” said Will as Aunt Millie went inside. Will stood and brushed off his pants. “I sure am glad I stopped here,” he said to Kit and Stirling.

“Why did you stop at our house?” asked Kit. “How’d you know we’d be nice?”

“I saw the sign,” said Will.

“What sign?” asked Kit and Stirling together.

“Come on,” Will said, tilting his head toward the fence. “I’ll show you.”

“Look,” said Will. On the fencepost, someone had drawn a sketch of a cat. “That sign means a kind-hearted woman lives here.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Kit, enchanted. “Are there other signs, too?”

“Yep,” said Will. “Lots of ’em. They’re a secret code that we hoboes use to tell each other what to expect in the places we go. Usually the sign is scratched on a fence or drawn on a building or a sidewalk with chalk or coal.”

“Signs aren’t the only ways hoboes help each other,” said Will. “When hoboes ride into town on the train, we go to the jungle. Then we spread out and look for chores to do for food. Maybe I sweep out a store and the storekeeper gives me a couple of onions. I bring them back to the jungle and put them together with everyone else’s food to make a hobo stew. See, onions alone aren’t so great. But add ’em to a pot of stew and there’s more food for all, and it tastes better, too.”

“Hobo stew,” said Kit, savoring the words. “I wish I could try some.”

Comments

I have a friend named emily. her life is different because she is an only child, and I have to brothers. we are very good friends. I met her when she moved in,we have learned lots from our friendship.I LOVE the new doll ruthie!!!!!

I have four siblings, and and have a friend who is an only child. She is very nice though. We met doing an opera (being in the children's chorus) and it was very helpful sitting next to her the first day, because she knew what she was doing I had absolutely no idea!! ~Calley~

Well, I have some friends that live on a farm. I'm more of a town girl than a country type. Farm work is hard but it seems like fun. I first became friends with them at church when we sang in the choir loft. One of my friends changed my life, since I kind of got a crush on him. Even though they moved far away now, we are still close buddies.

Dear Kit,
I am your #1 fan and I check your website 5 times a day!!!!!!
But anyway,this new girl came to my school in the middle of the year and she was from India,all the way on the other side of the world and she had been in Alabama for a while and then she moved here (Tennessee)So we became best friends and I learned all about her culterand it was real cool. I just have to say I love Kit and I have read her books and she is my favorite character and I have saved money to get the Kit doll and I'll probably get it soon!! I can't wait to see your movie!!!

In school I met a friend, who is just a little bit different than me, but in many more ways is like me! We are best friends today and always will be! So you see friendships can be different even best friendships! :) You can also have more than one best friend! I have another BFF too! I met her in ballet class!
P.S. I love all of Kit's books!

I have a friend who is different because she has a HUGE family and I only two siblings. It's different being with her at her house because there is always so many kids running around. But it's really fun hanging out with her. I also am friends with this family of six boys and they're awesome to play with! Being different is not bad.
P.S Can't wait for Kit's movie!

There was a girl at my school who got teased nearly every day. She was in four of my classes, and her behavior was never exactly how it should be. I started talking to her one day and realized how much she had gone through in the past. I was able to get the bullies away from her and explained to people that her behavior wasn't entirely her fault. While most people said that she was bratty and a tattletale, I discovered that she was really kind and generous, like Ruthie! Knowing that she could trust me, she began to open up more to the rest of the world, and her behavior improved. Now we're great friends!

I have made friends with a girl that lives in Australia! Her name is Erica. How we became friends was: My Grandmother (Mimi) had an e-bay buisness and a women (Ms. Wendy) bought one of the things she was selling. Mimi and Ms. Wendy became friends, and then we found out that Ms. Wendy had a neice (Erica) who had nut allergies, like me. Erica and I started e-mailing, and we became good friends. I've learned some things about Australia from being friends with her, and it's great to have friends from around the world.

I have one older brother and one Friend that I really like hanging out with. She used to be down the block till she moved away, now we sometimes only see each other once a month.

My friend, Emma is different from me for many reasons. She has a brother and I am an only child. Also, she has darker skin and hair then me. We are BFFs! I love talking to her and playing with her. Sometimes, I think it is interesting to see what it is like to have siblings.

I have a friend who is an only child, and I have 2 brothers. Sometimes it's hard dealing with an only child, but over all we have a great friendship!

I have a friend from Turkey named Leylanyna. I think it's so cool to have a friend that is from a different country and culture. I love her family(she has 9 siblings!!!!) they are so neat. Their house is like a turkish house would be, and sometimes they dress turkish. Leylayna is my best friend!

We all met at a camp when we were all 8. We are now best friends, and guess what? Even better, we all go to the same school. We are all different !

I have a friend who has a older sister and I have a younger one!!! She always complains about being picked on by her sister and I complain about my sister being annoying. Sometimes we disagree but we have a great friendship together!!! I also have a friend that has 1 sister and 2 brothers which makes it hard for her to come anywhere with me because she has to babysit!!!!! But we also have a great great great friendship!!!

I have some friends that are different then me but I will just tell you about the one that is closer to my age,

okay, she is different from me because she is a only child and I have one brother and she speaks spanish and i do not

Dear Kit i am your number 1 fan! I have a friend and we met in a mallpark when i was little we instantly got to know each other. Then we figured out our moms were already friends! Now we bump into each other all the time! She is diifferent than me becuse she has brothers and i have sisters!
P.S i LOVE the Kit books!

I used to have a friend from Missisippi and she was in Hurricane Katrina. She and her family came to Indiana to get away from the hurricane. She is very different than me, because I have never experienced anything like that. She moved away the summer after she came, to go back to her home in Missisippi. I am really glad i was friends with her. I learned a lot Hurricane katrina, and i understand what she went through.

My friends are from China! The 3 of us are all very different, but we love to have fun together and learn about the Chinese culture! Bri and Gracie are such a joy to be friends with!

I have a friend named Alex and I have known her since we were 2.I know her because my mom and her mom have been friends for forever and when I went to a differrent school I never saw her but she invites me to all her parties and sleepovers.So it least we see each other!!!!

i have a friend who is adopted from Jamaica. It isn't weird at all though! another difference is she has seven siblings and I only have three! (she also lives with her grandparents and an aunt)

i have a firend named jenifer. she is a big time tomboy.i'm one of those girls who like pink. we have things in common but not a lot of things.we met in 1rst grade, we were in line in peak at school to sign in our names and I was small and short and she was very tall. I was desperet for a buddy so out of the blue i said to her' will you be my friend'? she looked down at me and siad 'sure'. but back then no one belived her that she was a tomboy, so she was mean to me until everyone belived she was a tomboy.

I have these two friends, the cool about them is that they are twins! I get teased a lot about being friends with them because they are boys. I am very happy i have them as friends because they are really nice. I am glad 4 jon & josh!!!

I have new friend her name is Chalie I met her at my church, I met her at the play ground at my church.

I have lots of friends who are boys and I get teased alot. But their words don't hurt me because I know that they're missing out on some great friendships I get to share. Let's hear it for Josh and I!!!!! My boy BFF!!!!!!

I can't wait for Kit's movie! I love all the actors, and I'm sure they've all become great friends.
I'm fourteen, and none of my friends really liked American Girl. But a new girl moved in next to me, who's my age and loves the stories as much as I do! Thanks AG, for a reason to make a new friend!

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