Even though Jimmy Pizza shot me dead yesterday in our rubber band hand pistol war game, I had a ball trying to outsmart him. I like to play this war game because playing hide and seek without a rubber band pistol is so boring. I plan to challenge Jimmy to a rematch and I will get a second chance to kick his ass. It’s Friday and I have all weekend to plan my revenge. When I came home from school I cracked the books and I pushed myself to finish my homework. This way my weekend will be free of worry of getting my homework done in time before I go back to school on Monday. As I was putting my books away my sister came home from work. She called out to me and said “Hey Pepino, you know that I always help Mom clean the house on Saturday. I asked Mom if I could skip working with her this Saturday because I wanted to take you to Prospect Park tomorrow. She told me that she was Okay with the idea. So don’t sleep late tomorrow.
I think we should leave for the Park around 8AM. This way it will still be cool enough for us to walk around the park. There are a lot of things I would like you to see.” She caught me by surprise. I just stood there without saying anything for a minute or two. Then I started to dance and said “Wow! That’s great. Is anyone else coming with us?” “Yes, I asked my girlfriend Frances if she wanted to take her little sister with us. She loved the idea, so it will only be the four of us going on this day trip to the park.” Oh well, Frances little sister. Mary Jane, is only seven years old and she is always talking and asking questions. I hope that she doesn’t drive me crazy. I didn’t say another word to my sister about Mary Jane coming with us because I am just so happy that I am going to Prospect Park for the first time.
The next day we got up early and I found our mother at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee. She smiled and gave us the good news that our father started his new job yesterday and that he will be working all weekend. I could see a calm feeling come over her face. We are so happy that she gave us the good news before we left for our day trip to Prospect Park.
When we came outside of our building we found Frances and Mary Jane waiting for us. Mary Jane is a skinny little girl with a big mouth. She is kind of pretty with her bright red hair in a braid running down her back and her sky blue eyes looking at you. You would never think that Mary Jane has Italian parents. We all walked together to catch a bus on Hamilton Avenue. As soon as we got on the bus it Mary Jane started to ask how long it will take for us to get to Prospect Park. My sister told her that it will take about forty five minutes to get there. Mary Jane continue to talk on and on about anything and everything that popped into her head. I stopped listening to her all together. I just looked out of the bus window and started day dreaming. It didn’t seem to take that long when my sister pulled at my shirt and said. “Okay guys, we’re here.” We got off the bus and sat on a bench close to the entrance of the park. It’s a beautiful day, it’s not too hot and it’s just cool enough for us to walk around the park. Prospect Park is a big place so we all sat there while my sister started making a list of what we should see.
As my sister was talking to Frances about what we should see first I was looking at the park entrance. I could not believe how big this place looked. Everything is so green, the trees, the grass and the all the colors of the flowers that are blooming everywhere I looked. I could help thinking how lucky we are living in such a beautiful place. Frances said, “Isabella; why don’t we go to the zoo first. After we see the zoo we can walk around and find a place we can sit where we can have lunch.” My sister said “great idea, the kids will love to see the animals.” So we started walking to the zoo. The park is so big that it took us a half hour to get there. As we were walking I was looking at all the people in the park. It’s Saturday and there are so many people here. When we got to the entrance of the zoo, it started. Mary Jane asked how big is this park? My sister told her “I looked it up in the Encyclopedia. Prospect Park is about six hundred acres and the manmade lake is about sixty acres”. Mary Jane then asked “What’s an acre?” “Well I’m not sure, but I think it’s about the size of one city block.” Wow, that’s huge. If it’s that big we will need to spend days here to see everything.
We walked through the entrance of the zoo and we walked to see the Monkeys first. The Monkey cage is indoors and as we walked into that area the smell of the urine and Monkey shit started getting to me. The smell took me back to that smell in Blackie Parisi firer trap basement on President Street. Only the Monkey cage is ten times worse. All the Monkeys in the big cage are screaming, swinging and jumping all over the place. When we got close to the cage, a black and white Monkey spit at me. All of a sudden Mary Jane started crying and sobbing out of control. Frances grabs her and pulls her out of the Monkey cage area and we followed her. The rest of the zoo is mainly outdoors so the animal smell of their crap and piss is not so bad. The animals are beautiful to look at. There are Lions, Chita, water Buffalo, Elephants, Zebras, Gazelles and my favorite, Sea Lions. It’s much better to see all the animals alive instead of looking at pictures of them in books or magazines. The Sea Lions are a lot of fun to see them jumping in and out of the water, playing with each other and juggling a big ball on their nose. I am so happy my sister took me to see the animals at the zoo.
We walked out of the zoo and passed people on horseback, at the boathouse and people in paddle boats on the lake. Everyone is out just enjoying a day in the park. We found a bench to sit on close to the food stand and my sister bought me a ham sandwich, potato chips and a Coke for lunch. Like the people around us we sat on the bench eating our lunch and enjoying the view. When I finished eating my sister took a paper bag she was carrying and gave it to me and said. “Here is a little something you can play with in the meadow.” I opened the bag and I found a Balsa wood airplane kit with a rubber band propeller. “Wow! Thanks, this plane is perfect to fly here.” I assembled the plane with the propeller rubber band engine. I then turned the propeller with the rubber band attached to it as tight as I could. I turned to Mary Jane and said. “Okay, let’s go fly this thing.” She smiled and jumped off the bench to follow me into the meadow. I said to her are you ready?” She looked up towards the sky as I released the airplane. That sucker flew faster than I thought it could. Mary Jane ran after it when it came down about thirty feet away.
It was great to watch Mary Jane so happy, laughing and having fun with me. We launched the plane time and time again and watched it come down for a soft landing in the rich green grass of the meadow. We could never fly this Balsa wood plane on the streets where we live. Because when it can down it would hit the concrete pavement so hard it would be damaged or destroyed. The only place we could fly this plane would be in the soft grass of Coffey Park. My sister called us over and said that we will walk over to the Botanical Garden to see all the beautiful flowers in bloom. I wasn’t to thrilled to go see a bunch of flowers but how can I give my sister a hard time about it, after all she went out of her way to take me on this day trip to Prospect Park.