by Carole Rose Livingston
1. James and the Twenty-Seven Bicycles
2. copyright, etc.
3. To G.
4. James had twenty-seven bicycles.
They were all stored in the garage.
5. Some were missing a pedal or two.
Some had flat tires.
Some were rather rusty.
Still, taken all in all, there were twenty-seven bicycles cluttering up the garage.
6. How, you may ask, had James collected twenty-seven bicycles?
At yard sales, of course.
James was always going to yard sales to look for bicycles, and also to look for spare parts for bicycles.
7. "Aha!" he would say, rummaging through boxes of old hardware, "a tire iron!"
8. And he would carry it home in triumph, and add it to the twenty-seven bicycles and all the bits and pieces of bicycles that were cluttering up the garage.
9. The family car sat outside, parked at the curb in sun and rain and snow. There was no room for it in the garage.
10. James' wife Gemma was a patient woman.
Everyone, however, has a limit.
One day, when James brought home an especially bent rear wheel, Gemma said, "Right! That's it! I've had enough. We are going to have a yard sale."
And they did.
11. But first, Gemma took all her tools and spent a whole weekend working in the garage.
Here's what she did.
12. She removed the shiniest handlebars and frame from one old bicycle.
13. She added the best front wheel from another, and the best rear wheel from another.
14. She added the best pedals and seat from another, and a good loud bell and other bits and pieces from others.
15. After she had put all the pieces together, she painted and she oiled and she polished.
16. When she was finished, she presented James with one perfectly beautiful bicycle.
17. It was a bicycle that James could actually ride. he loved it!
18. Then they had a giant yard sale. All the neighbors attended.
19. Some people found old bicycles that were just the right size for them.
Some people found the right spare parts for mending their own bicycles.
All the neighbors found just what they needed.
20. When the yard sale was over, James swept out the garage.
21. Then Gemma drove the car into it.
22. Inside the garage, there was just enough room left for James' beautiful bicycle.
23. Next week, though, James wnet to another yard sale....
24. Probably not the end....