Authors: Beverly Lewis
Beverly Lewis Books for Young Readers
In Jesse's ShoesÂ Â Â â¢Â Â Â Just Like Mama
What Is God Like?Â Â Â â¢Â Â Â What Is Heaven Like?
The Double Dabble Surprise
The Chicken Pox Panic
The Crazy Christmas Angel Mystery
No Grown-ups Allowed
The Mystery of Case D. Luc
The Stinky Sneakers Mystery
The Mudhole Mystery
The Crabby Cat Caper
Backyard Bandit Mystery
Tree House Trouble
The Creepy Sleep-Over
The Great TV Turn-Off
The Granny Game
Big Bad Beans
The Upside-Down Day
The Midnight Mystery
Katie and Jake and the Haircut Mistake
Copyright Â© 1996 byÂ Beverly Lewis
Published by Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota 55438
Bethany House Publishers is a division of
Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Ebook edition created 2012
Cover illustration by Paul Turnbaugh
Story illustrations by Janet Huntington
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansâelectronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwiseâwithout the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
my pickle-lovin' fan.
Eric Hagel was flat broke.
He sat in the dugout with his buddy Dunkum Mifflin. Eric shoved his bat into the dirt. “Only two days till Father's Day,” he said.
“Two daysâand I can't wait.” Dunkum thumped his fist into his catcher's mitt. “My dad's gonna be so surprised.”
Eric was silent.
Dunkum kept talking. “I bought a giant crossword-puzzle book. My dad has a puzzle habit, you know.”
Eric nodded. “Did you buy it with your own money?”
“I saved up for a couple weeks,” Dunkum said.
Eric wished he had money of his own. He wanted to buy a Father's Day present for his grandpa who lived with them.
There wasn't much money to go around. His mom baked special-order cakes for extra money. Grandpa repaired watches, but his eyes weren't strong anymore. He worked only three afternoons a week.
“What about you?” Dunkum asked. “Have you been saving up?”
“Not much. My paper route money goes to the family,” Eric answered. He'd had the route for a whole year. But there never seemed to be money left over. At
least not enough for a Father's Day present.
“Are you going to celebrate with your grandpa?” Dunkum asked.
Eric smiled. “He's been kinda like a father to me since my dad died. Only one thing . . .”
“What's that?” Dunkum asked.
“I'm broke. I can't buy anything.”
Dunkum stood up. “Why don't you make something?”
Jason Birchall walked up to them. “Make what? What are we talking about?”
Eric shrugged his shoulders. “It's about Father's Day. Dunkum thinks I should make something for Grandpa.”
“Sure, why not?” Jason said. “Some of the other Cul-de-sac Kids are making things.”
Dunkum nodded. “Abby Hunter always
says, âhomemade gifts are the best.' ”
Eric got up and swung his bat around. “Sounds good. But
? What can I make?”
Eric, Dunkum, and Jason made a huddle. A think-huddle.
“What does your grandpa like?” Dunkum asked.
Eric thought a moment. “Birds. He's bird-crazy.”
Jason started laughing.
Eric frowned. “What's so funny?”
“I saw him spying on a bird's nest yesterday,” Jason replied. “He was up on his step stoolâwearing those weird field glasses.”
weird,” Eric said. “They come in handy sometimes.” He was thinking about last Christmas. Grandpa's field glasses had helped solve a mystery. “Remember those crazy Christmas
angels next door?” Eric asked. “At Mr. Tressler's house?”
“Hey, you're right!” Jason said, laughing. “Remember those Christmas cookies Dee Dee and Carly made?”
Dunkum's eyes lit up. “And Stacy made a card with gold glitter. Remember that?”
“Hey! I have an idea,” Jason said. “Why don't you ask Stacy about her art class?”
Eric's mouth pinched up. “Why should I?”
“Because Stacy's a good artist,” Dunkum stated. “Maybe she'll give you some ideas for Father's Day.”
“Or maybe she'll take you to art class with her,” Jason said. He danced around like it was a big deal.
Eric shook his head. “How can I get her to invite me?”
Jason laughed. “Just ask her, silly. She doesn't bite.”
Eric's face got red. “I know that.”
“Then ask her,” Jason teased.
Eric scratched his head. “I'll think about it.”
Eric ate supper fast.
It was still light out when he finished. He dashed across the street to Stacy Henry's house.
She opened the door. “Hi,” Stacy said.