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It was a hot afternoon at the end of August. The whole Midwest town of Hilton looked wilted. Even this tree-shaded block, and the Ameses’ big, gray frame house and lawn, wore a dusty, tail-end-of summer look. Cherry, sitting forlorn on the porch steps, debated whether the long summer ever would be over.
“Of course, summer is my favorite season,” she argued to herself. “But I’ve had enough of doing nothing. What I want is a new fall hat and new, exciting things to do!” She wrinkled her nose as if trying to detect any first autumn briskness in the air.
The hot breeze carried to her only the scent of over-ripe greenery. Cherry sighed and pushed her black curls off her forehead, off the back of her too-warm neck. She fanned her red cheeks, muttering, “Where, on, where is that mailman?”