Children's Stories

Los Angeles Times - One More Sleep

The Kids' Reading Room; Reading by 9; One More Sleep
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Date: Feb 17, 2002
Start Page: E.6
Section: Southern California Living; Features Desk
Text Word Count: 342

Mark and his dad shot hoops. They played shark chase. Then they built a house from blocks of wood. "This is the house I want to build for you when I grow up!" said Mark proudly.

Mark's dad thought they should nail it together. But he hammered his finger by mistake, and it really hurt. They laughed because it was so funny!

"Tomorrow, I have to go away for two weeks, son."

"What's two weeks?" Mark asked.

So Mark's father lifted him up with only one arm and counted to 14. "Each number is a day," Dad explained.

"Hmmmm," Mark said. "That didn't take long."

Dad frowned. He counted out seven blocks of wood. "Let's pretend each block is one day. Then multiply by two. That's how many days I'll be gone."

Now Mark was frowning.

"Each block is like a piece of the year. The year has 12 months, and there are usually four weeks in a month."

"I know that there are 24 hours in a day, and sometimes I try to count the hours, but then I lose track. Dad, when will I see you again?"

Dad thought hard. "OK. Let's say you hear one story every night before going to bed."

"But sometimes I hear two or three stories before I fall asleep!" Mark said.

Dad thought hard again. "All right. What if you count how many sleeps until I get back?"

"Did you say sheeps or sleeps?" Mark asked. "Mom always tells me to count sheep when I can't fall asleep."


"So if I count 14 sleeps, that means it will be time for you to come home?"

"That's right!" Dad said.

"Wow! I can't wait until it's just one more sheep--I mean sleep! Now can we play bucking bronco?"

Patricia Rust is author of "The King of Skittledeedoo," a children's picture book that promotes literacy. She also founded and directs the Rust Foundation for Literacy. You can visit her at

© 2012 Patricia Rust all rights apply
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