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The Space Ship under the Apple Tree

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Author:  Louis Slobodkin
Copyright Date:  1952
Publisher:  Macmillan
Pagination:  116 p.
F A L L I N G   S T A R S

     One night in mid-August just before he went to bed, Eddie Blow

stood on his grandmother’s porch looking up at the star-filled sky.
     “There’s a lot of shooting stars out tonight, Grandma,” he said. “Come on out and look ... There’s lots of them.”
     “Make a wish, Eddie,” called his grandmother from the kitchen.
     “What’s that, Grandma?”
     “Make a wish, Eddie,” she repeated. “That’s what you should do when you see a falling star.”
     “Aw, Grandma,” said Eddie. “That’s superstit ... superstition. I mean ... wishing on falling stars. Falling stars are meteors. Chunks of matter that are flung off—off into space and things...”
     “Wait a minute, Eddie. I can’t hear a thing,” called his grandmother. She had turned on a water tap in the kitchen. “Wait just a minute, son, I’ll be with you in a minute and then you can tell me.”
     In a little while she came out the door, wiping her hands on her apron. “Now what were you saying, Eddie?”
     “I was just saying, Grandma. Wishing on falling stars is—Well, falling stars are great meteors or something. They shoot off like that burning all the time. Sometimes they don’t burn out altogether and they fall to earth ... and make big holes ... Look, there’s one! There’s a beauty! ... It just went over the ridge back of the apple orchard!”
     “My! My!” said his grandmother. “That was a beauty. But I surely wish that it did not go over the ridge and did not come down to earth. It would have come down just about on top of Grandfather’s apple tree. If I were to make a wish on that star, I’d just wish it didn’t come down on Grandfather’s apple tree and break it up.”
     Grandfather’s apple tree was the oldest tree in the orchard. It was called Grandfather’s apple tree because it was said to be the first tree planted by Eddie’s grandmother’s grandfather. All all the trees in the orchard were said to be the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Grandfather’s apple tree.
     “I guess it didn’t. But I wish one of them would come down around here somewhere,” said Eddie, and he hastily added, “Just a little one, Grandma, one that wouldn’t hurt anything.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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