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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Jamie Gets Lost

Jamie went with his mum to the fair. They went every  year.  "Mum, can I go and play the balloon game while you take your marmalade to be judged? I don't like being around all that girly stuff."

His mum stroked his head. "Go on then, Jamie, but come and find me in an hour or so. I won't be any longer than that. Here's some pocket money for you."

Jamie ran off, anxious to play some games. He stopped at the balloon game. He gave the man some money and got six darts in return. "I hope I pop a balloon. I'd love to win a stuffed teddy bear for Mum." Jamie threw the darts and didn't pop any of the balloons.

"Would you like to try again, Jamie?" The man gathered the darts up.

"No. I think I'll go and try another game." Jamie ran off.  He stopped at the rolling ball game. He gave the girl some money and she handed him five balls. "I've got to roll at least three of these balls into the highest number slot." Jamie rolled the balls, but all five of them went into the lower slots.

"Would you like to have another go, Jamie?" The girl picked up the balls.

"No. I'm going to see what else there is." Jamie moved to the next game. He didn't win at that one either. He went to the next and lost again. After trying a dozen different games, Jamie was out of money. "I need to go and find Mum. It's been an hour." He started walking back the way he came.  "Which way should I go? I can't remember. Did she go that way, or this way?" Jamie shrugged his shoulder and went the wrong way. After a few minutes he stopped. "I don't recognize anything here." He saw the haunted house and the other scary rides. A big skull and crossbones sat atop the pirate ride. Its eyes blinked off and on. "That's scary. Where's my mum?"

Jamie ran all over the park. He couldn't find his mum anywhere. He sat on a bench and started to cry.

"Jamie? Is that you?"

Jamie looked up. "Hello, Mrs. Crawford."

"Are you crying? What's wrong?"

"I'm lost," he whimpered.

"Where's your mum?"

"She went to the jam place to enter her marmalade." Jamie wiped his tears away.

"Come with me, Jamie. I'll take you to her. I know exactly where it is." Mrs. Crawford took Jamie's hand and led him to his mum.

"Mum!" Jamie ran to her and hugged her. "I got lost, Mum. Mrs. Crawford brought me here."

"Thank you, Mrs. Crawford," Jamie's mum said. "I won first place for my marmalade." She showed her ribbon to them both.

"That's wonderful. I must be off though. Cheerio." Mrs. Crawford rushed off.

"Jamie, to celebrate my blue ribbon, I'm going to take you on any ride you want. Which one shall it be?"

"I want to go on the pirate ride, Mum. It looks scary," Jamie said.

They went on the ride and Jamie had a lot of fun. He laughed and laughed. When they finished, he stood outside looking up at the skull and crossbones. "You're not so scary now."

That night they had toast and marmalade for supper. Jamie smiled, thinking about being lost at the fair and glad Mrs. Crawford had found him.

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