Tommy climbed onto the window seat in front of the bay window. He peaked out through a crack in the green drapes at the black and purple clouds as thunder rumbled in the distance. He jumped when a streak of lightening lit up the sky.
He turned to see what Grandpa was doing. He hopped down and walked across the hardwood floor to the white oval wooden table for a closer look.
“What are you doing Grandpa?”
“I am trying to answer some letters but the pen does not work,” Grandpa said, in his deep voice.
“Try this one,” Tommy climbed on the wooden chair beside Grandpa.
“Okay. I will give it a try,” Grandpa picked up the blue pen.
Tommy dumped all the pens on the table. “I can check the pens for you.”
“That would be a big help. I threw three away this morning,” Grandpa said. “Here’s a piece of paper.
Tommy made squiggly lines on the unlined paper with each pen. He sat on his knees so he could reach all of them. He finished the blue pens and put them back into the jar.
“All the blue pens work,” Tommy said. “Now what are you doing?”
“I have to pay these bills, next,” Grandpa answered. “Do you have a good pen for me?”
“What color?” Tommy looked at the pens scattered across the table.
“Well, let me see. How about a black one,” Grandpa took out his cheque book?
Tommy concentrated as he made little circles with a black pen. “This one works.”
“Good.” Grandpa took the offered pen. “Keep inspecting the pens. You are doing a good job.”
Tommy drew a few squiggly lines, squares and circles and soon put black pens in the jar. He had a small pile of pens separated and ready for retesting.
“What are you doing Grandpa?” Tommy tested the red and green pens.
“I thought I’d read the paper.” Grandpa opened the newspaper and started to read.
“Don’t you need another pen?” Tommy put red and green pens in the jar.
“Well, how about a pencil. I can do the crossword for a bit,” Grandpa answered.
“Here is a sharp one. The others need to be sharpened,” Tommy handed Grandpa a pencil.
“Do you want to sharpen them for me?” Grandpa handed Tommy the black pencil sharpener.
“Sure,” Tommy said. “I like helping. All the other pens are retested and there are five that don’t work.”
“Good job, my lad,” Grandpa said. “Look the suns out.”
“What are you going to do?” Tommy asked.
“Chores,” Grandpa put his black framed glasses in their blue case.
“Can I help?” Tommy followed Grandpa to the door.
“You bet,” Grandpa answered. “You are a good helper.”