The Space Ship in the Park
Author: Louis Slobodkin
Copyright Date: 1972
Pagination: 116 p.
T H R E E S T R A N G E C A L L S
This was the summer that Eddie Blow was not going to spend his vacation at his grandmother’s
apple farm on a mountainside up above Albany, New York. Right after school finished Eddie was going to get a job!
He was going to work in the playground near his school. He was going to help keep things in order and help the man who had
charge of the playground.
But somehow that is not what happened. School ended and Eddie did not get the job. An old man was hired to do the work in
the playground that Eddie and five other boys were going to do. And since Eddie was not going to spend his vacation on his grandmother’s farm, she went
to visit her cousin Matilda who lived on the other side of the mountain in a tiny house too small for more than two people.
Eddie had no place to go for his vacation. So he hung around the streets and the small apartment in New York City where he
lived with his mother. Or he went to the library or the Natural History Museum (Eddie was always interested in science and nature study). Sometimes he
went to Central Park with his Boy Scout troop.
He often thought about how pleasant and cool it was on his grandmother’s farm during the summer. He thought of the creek
where he fished and swam ... the barn ... the places where he hiked.
Yes, Eddie expected this was going to be a very dull summer in the city until the day he received a very strange telephone call!
In fact, it was a day when there were three strange telephone calls. His mother answered the first call when the telephone
rang. She told Eddie later that just as the telephone rang the electric light in the kitchen (which was always litit was a dark kitchen) flashed on and
off in the strangest way. Eddie was down on the street hanging around the stoop and talking to some boys at the time.
His mother told Eddie later, “It was the strangest thing, Eddie. After that telephone rang and the lights flashed on and off
I answered it and all I could hear was a crackling like radio static or maybe like a forest fire. Then a roaring, swish-swish sound like something going at
tremendous speedbut no one said anything so I hung up.”
After a while the phone rang again. Eddie’s mother answered it again and at first heard the strange crackling, roaring,
swishing sounds. Then they cleared away. And she heard someone at the other end say:
It was a sharp, high-pitched voice with a foreign accent, it seemed to her. She thought perhaps it might be Russian or Hungarian.
“Oh, you want Eddie?” she said into the mouthpiece. “One moment, please, I’ll call him.”
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