Changes for Kit

Even though this is the 6th of Kit’s books it is not the final installment for the Kit posts. There will be one more to come in the spring. Here is Valerie Tripp’s Changes for Kit reenacted by my dolls.

When Kit and her friends, Ruthie and Stirling walked into the kitchen from school, Kit had a feeling something wonderful was going to happen.

Mother was impatiently waiting for them, “Here you are at last,” she said cheerfully, “come join me.”

“I wonder what’s up,” whispered Kit to Ruthie and Stirling.

Ruthie shrugged and Stirling said, “Who knows?” But Kit saw them smile slyly to each other. Everyone looked happy but no one looked happier than Mother as she came toward Kit.

“This is for you, dear,” Mother said as she held up a winter coat.

It was made of dark gray wool tweed, flecked with blue. It had pockets and cuffs, and four big buttons.

“Wow,” breathed Kit.

“Try it on!” said Ruthie, “see how it fits.”

Kit hesitated, “It’s a beautiful coat. And I really like it. But…”

Kit knew her family didn’t have a penny to spare. Her father had lost his business and they’d had to struggle to pay the mortgage on their house every month. Kit asked, “Isn’t a new coat like this awfully expensive?”

Much to Kit’s surprise, everyone laughed.

“This coat isn’t new, “said Mother, “it belonged to Dad.”

Mrs.Howard piped up, “Your mother and I took his old coat apart, washed the material, cut it to size and made a new coat for you using the material inside out,” she said proudly, “wasn’t that clever of us?”

 “It sure was,” agreed Kit grinning, “I like the coat even more knowing that it’s not exactly new.”

“Good! Then you’ll like another surprise too,” said Ruthie.

“Ta da!” Ruthie and Mother presented Kit with a knitted red hat and blue and red mittens.

“These aren’t exactly new either,” Ruthie said, “the red yarn came from an old sweater of Stirling’s that we unraveled, and the blue yarn came from a cap of Charlie’s that Grace chewed.”

Grace thumped her tail, seemingly pleased with herself for her part in the creation of the mittens.

“Go on, Kit,” Ruthie said, “we’re dying to see how everything looks.”

Kit buttoned the coat and pulled on the mittens and hat.

“The hat goes like this,” said Mother, tilting the hat just so.

“There. Perfect. Now, turn around so we can see the whole effect.”

 Kit spun to oohs, aahs and applause. She blushed, feeling bashful being the center of attention  but she knew everyone was happy to have an excuse to make a fuss. Before the Depression, a new coat would have been nothing, but now it was something to celebrate.

 “Oh look, everything fits like a dream,” said Mrs. Howard.

“It’s so stylish,” Ruthie added, “the whole outfit is very grown up. It makes you look really tall, Kit.”

“I love it,” said Kit, “thank you. Every one of you. It’s wonderful.”

Kit held the collar up to her nose and took a deep breath. She felt so warm and cozy and all the more so because everything had been made by her family and friends. It was as if affection had been sewn into the seams of the stout wool coat and knitted into the hat and mittens to cover Kit with warmth from head to toe.

“You desperately needed a new coat,” said Mother, “your old coat has been too small for two years now.”

Kit had a sudden thought, “Mother, do we need my old coat? Can I give it away to the poor children we saw last summer? Could Stirling and Ruthie come with me? Maybe there’s a girl there who could use my old coat.”

“I think that’s a very good idea,” said Mother and Mrs. Howard agreed.

“We’ll be home in time to do our chores before dinner,” Kit promised.

Kit folded her old coat over her arms as Ruthie and Stirling put their winter things back on and headed out the door again.

Kit was surprised to see no one at the hobo jungle since it had been so crowded last summer but she was told to head to the soup kitchen where everyone was now that it had gotten so cold.

When the three of them entered the soup kitchen, their eyes widened to see so many people in the room. An endless line formed where people waited to get soup and bread. Every seat at the tables was taken and many were sitting on the floor. Groups of people, grim and gray huddled in corners, and families huddled together speaking in  low murmurs. So many people, thought Kit, young and old, and all so hungry and poor.

 Kit knew that her family came very close to ending up like this when they couldn’t get the money to pay the mortgage on the house. Thankfully, Aunt Millie and Ruthie stepped in to help but she had learned that nothing was certain in the Depression and things could change, and she could suddenly find herself standing in line with these people.

It made Kit’s heart hurt to see them. One child was wearing a filthy, worn-out, threadbare coat that was much too small. Another wore a ragged overcoat that dragged on the ground. One even wore a blanket tied around his waist with rope. Their shoes were even worse. Some of the children had nothing but rags to wear, others wore broken down boots with no laces or too-small shoes with the front part cut out so that their toes poked out.

Ruthie tugged on Kit’s sleeve, “There’s someone who needs your coat.”

At first all Kit could see was what looked like a pile of dirty rags. But then she saw a little girl’s thin, pinched face above the rags and she realized that the rags were the little girl’s skimpy coat – or what was left of it. It was badly stained and torn. The pockets had been ripped off and used to patch the elbows, and all the buttons were gone. The little girl sat on the floor near her mother. Her hair was tangled, her eyes were dull, and she seemed as lifeless and colorless as a shadow.

Kit, Ruthie, and Stirling went over and quietly stood in front of the girl and her mother. Kit held out her old coat, “Ma’am, may I give this coat to your little girl?”

The woman didn’t answer. She looked at Kit as if she didn’t quite believe what she had heard.

 But the little girl looked up. Shyly, she stood up and eagerly took the coat from Kit and put it on over her ragged one.

 She smoothed the front of the coat with both hands, and then she raised her face to Kit.

In that moment, something wonderful happened. The little girl was transformed from a ghost to a real girl. She hugged herself, and her pale cheeks glowed, “Thank you,” she said to Kit, smiling a smile that lit her whole face.

Kit smiled back, “You’re very welcome,” she said. She could tell the little girl felt the same way she had felt about her new coat. It warmed her both inside and out.

As they walked out of the soup kitchen Ruthie said, “Kit, you were like the fairy godmother who turned Cinderella’s rags into a ball gown. You gave that girl your old coat and whoosh! You changed her.”

 “Maybe,” said Kit, “but that was just one coat and just one kid. Every kid there needed a coat, and shoes.”

“Those poor kids,” said Ruthie, “having to sleep on the floor! It’s terrible that there’s no better place for them to stay. Isn’t there anywhere their parents could look for help?”

 “It think,” said Stirling, “they are looking for help. That’s why they’re on the road. Maybe they’re looking for jobs in other states or searching for family. They can’t pay for a hotel so they eat and sleep in soup kitchens and then they’re on their way again.”

“In the freezing cold,” added Kit, “In their ragged coats and worn-out shoes.” She sighed, wishing she had a hundred coats to give away and a hundred pairs of shoes. That would be wonderful.

After Ruthie and Stirling left, Kit thought about how lucky she was to have a house and good-hearted people who cared for one another.

Dinner was jolly that night.

Mrs. Howard and Mother started singing as they washed the dishes and Kit and Dad started to dance. Even Grace joined in.

They were making so much noise they didn’t hear the knock at the front door.

It was Mr. Smithens telling them that Uncle Hendrick had fallen and broken his ankle and hurt his wrist. He wanted to be picked up immediately from the hospital and be brought to Kit’s house so Mother could take care of him. Oh no, thought Kit, her heart sinking lower and lower as the news sank in. Cranky, crabby, cantankerous Uncle Hendrick is coming to stay in our house. It’ll be terrible.

It was Saturday morning and Kit, Ruthie, and Stirling were up in Kit’s attic room helping to write a newspaper. Kit made newspapers so that everyone in the household knew what was going on. When new boarders arrived, Kit always made a special newspaper to welcome them and to introduce them to the other boarders.

Usually, Kit’s head was so full of things to write about her fingers couldn’t move fast enough on the typewriter keys to keep up. In this case, however, the new boarders were Uncle Hendrick and his stinky dog, Inky. They’d been living with the Kittredges for more than a week and so far they had not endeared themselves to anyone. Kit couldn’t think of anything to write about them that was both enthusiastic and honest.

“You could take a photograph of Uncle Hendrick,” Stirling suggested, “a picture tells more about a person than words ever could.”

Kit was eager to use an old camera of Charlie’s that he’d fixed for her but she said, “Maybe, but it costs money for the film to get developed, so I was hoping to take pictures of things I really liked.”

“How about a drawing?” Ruthie said, “you’re a good artist, Stirling. You could draw a picture of Uncle Hendrick.”

“All right,” said Stirling, “under my drawing I’ll write, ‘His bark is worse than his bite.'”

“Whose?” asked Ruthie looking impish, “Inky’s or Uncle Hendrick’s?”

Kit smiled weakly at Ruthie’s joke. Personally, she thought Uncle Hendrick’s biting remarks were just as bad as the orders he barked at her.

Caring for Uncle Hendrick had turned out to be Kit’s job. Mother was much too busy and Dad had a part time job at the airport. Uncle Hendrick said he couldn’t go up and down the stairs because of his ankle. She had to bring him breakfast on a tray and when she came home from school, Uncle Hendrick was fully rested from his nap and full of pepper and vinegar to demand and command. He always made a big To Do list for Kit. Then he made a big speech about how to do everything on the list, and then he made a bit to-do about how she had done everything wrong on yesterday’s To Do list.

And the tasks and errands were not all. Uncle Hendrick grew bored sitting in bed all day so he expected Kit to entertain him. He liked to badger Kit by asking, “What’s the capital of Maine?” or “How much is seven percent of three hundred ninety-two?” Having Uncle Hendrick in the house was every bit as terrible as Kit had thought it would be.

“Let’s just write in our newspaper that we’re sorry Uncle Hendrick hurt his ankle and his wrist, and we hope he is better soon,” said Stirling.

“That’s good,” said Kit beginning to type away on her old black typewriter, “and that’s true because the sooner he’s better, the sooner he and Inky can go home!”

“The headline could be, ‘The Sooner, The Better!'” joked Ruthie.

Suddenly, bang, bang, bang! A thunderous thumping shook the floor under the children’s feet. It was accompanied by ferocious barking.

“Yikes!” said Ruthie, “what’s that?”

Kit jumped up, “That’s Uncle Hendrick calling me. He whacks the ceiling with his cane and then Inky barks. I’d better go see what they want.”

“Go!” said Ruthie, “Stirling and I will finish up the newspaper.”

Kit gave up her chair to Ruthie and then pelted down the stairs and poked her head into Uncle Hendrick’s room, “Do you need me, Uncle Hendrick?”

“What on earth was that infernal racket coming from upstairs?” he said crossly.

Privately Kit thought Uncle Hendrick and Inky were the ones who’d made the racket, but she answered politely, “I was typing. Ruthie and Stirling and I are making a newspaper.”

“What a waste of time,” Uncle Hendrick snorted, “Haven’t you outgrown such silly childishness?”

Kit lifted her chin. She was rather proud of her newspapers and she never wrote nonsense. She loved writing, respected words, and tried hard to find the perfect ones to use.

But Uncle Hendrick didn’t care, he was just concerned about what he wanted, “Sit down! I’ll give you something worthwhile to write. Take a letter!”

Uncle Hendrick had sprained his wrist on his right hand so he had to dictate anything he wanted written to Kit. Kit had to write letters for him almost everyday and it was usually about how awfully the president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was running the country.

“To the Editor,” Uncle Hendrick began as soon as Kit was seated, “The NRA is a waste of taxpayers money. It creates useless, make-work jobs so the government can hand out money to lazy idlers. FDR is drowning the USA in his alphabet soup of NRA programs such as the CCC and the CWA.”

Kit shifted in her chair.  Uncle Hendrick knew perfectly well that Charlie had worked for the CCC last summer and had made money his family greatly depended on. Kit pressed her lips together as Uncle Hendrick went on saying critical things about the very programs that were helping her family. “In short,” Uncle Hendrick wound up, “when I say ‘that man in the White House’ is going to be the ruination of our fine country, all must agree.”

I don’t, thought Kit, but she kept her opinion to herself. She had learned that it was useless to argue with Uncle Hendrick. It was best to concentrate on keeping up with him and writing exactly what he said without misspelling any words. If the letter was not perfect, Uncle Hendrick pounced on the mistakes and ordered Kit to copy the whole thing over again. He was a stickler.

Kit handed him the letter.

He read it, gave a curt nod of approval, then took the pen and signed it as well as he could and said, “Now, deliver this to Mr. Gibson at the newspaper offices immediately. No lollygagging!”

“Yes, sir,” said Kit. Uncle Hendrick always acted as if the newspaper editor was waiting breathlessly for his letter and couldn’t send the newspaper to press without it. Oftentimes, Uncle Hendrick’s letters were printed in the newspaper. Kit thought it was because he was rich and important. But she had to admit that Uncle Hendrick expressed his opinions forcefully and never wasted a word. He said precisely what he meant, with lots of vim and vigor and Kit admired him for that.

Ruthie had left and Stirling was busy drawing for the newspaper so Kit left to deliver the letter herself. Kit smiled as she went inside the big brick building that housed the newspaper offices. She pushed open the door to the newsroom and was greeted with the clamor of telephones ringing, typewriters clacking and people chatting. The noisy newsroom seemed like heaven to Kit. This is where the newspaper is created, she thought, stories that thousands of people will read are being written right here, right now.

As she walked through she was greeted by many of the workers because she had come here so many times. Most of the workers were friendly to her but the editor was usually grumpy.

He sat frowning behind his messy, cluttered desk. When Kit came near, he said without enthusiasm, “Put it in the box.” He never even looked up.

Kit wished she could linger in the newsroom. How she’d love to talk to the reporters! But she knew she had to hurry home to do her chores.

On the last Sunday in February, Kit was trotting past the door to Uncle Hendrick’s room with the laundry basket propped on her hip when she heard Uncle Hendrick call her.

“Yes, sir?”

“Take a letter!” shouted Uncle Hendrick.

Not now! thought Kit. She’d been rushing through her chores because she hoped to visit Charlie and Dad at the airport and take pictures. Reluctantly Kit lowered the laundry basket, entered Uncle Hendrick’s room and picked up the pen and paper. She hoped the letter would be short.

“To the Editor,” Uncle Hendrick dictated, “This morning I read on page 25 that an empty hospital in Covington may be used as a home for transients and unemployed persons.”

Kit looked up, “Really? What a great idea.”

“Quiet!” growled Uncle Hendrick as he went on dictating, “This is an outrage! Such a home will attract tramps and drifters from all over the country. They’ll flock here to be housed, fed, and clothed at our expense. We’ll be pampering worthless riffraff. All of these hobos are men who have chosen to wander rather than work.”

Kit didn’t usually interrupt but this time she had to, “Excuse me, that’s not true.”

“I beg your pardon?” Uncle Hendrick said icily.

“It’s not true that all the hobos are men who have chosen to wander instead of work. Lots of them are on the road because they lost their jobs and their homes and they’re trying to find work. And not all of the hobos are men either. Some are teenagers, women and even whole families with children.”

“Not another word from you, Miss Impertinence!” said Uncle Hendrick, “write what I say and keep your comments to yourself.”

“Yes, sir,” Kit did keep silent but she disagreed with every word.

“There!” said Uncle Hendrick when he was finished, “now go and deliver this letter.”

“But I was going to the airport to see Dad and Charlie.”

“You’re not going in this weather.”

And sure enough the gray sky that had threatened all day was finally letting loose with snow.

“Do as I say and forget about that nonsense you were blathering about earlier.”

“It isn’t nonsense,” Kit insisted hotly, “it’s true. Hobos are just poor people who are down on their luck.”

“That,” said Uncle Hendrick in a superior tone, “is just the kind of poppycock I’d expect your soft-headed parents to tell you.”

“No one told me that,” said Kit,”I learned it myself going to the soup kitchen.”

“They are thieves and beggars! Why go near them?”

“I want to help. Especially the children.”

“Ha!” scoffed Uncle Hendrick, “you’re nothing but a child yourself, still caught up in babyish play, like making newspapers! What help could you be? I suppose you’re planning to end the Depression single-handedly, is that it?”

“No, of course not,” Kit hated how Uncle Hendrick made her feel foolish, flushed, and flustered, “I don’t mean that. I know I can’t change much by myself. Not me alone. I just think that if people knew about the hobo children, if they saw how terrible the children’s coats and shoes are, I’m sure they’d help. And then the children would know that people cared about them and that would give them hope.”

“Hope! An empty word. Comfort for fools. Hope is not going to end the Depression. Neither is pouring money into useless programs, or handing out coats or shoes to hobo children!” Uncle Hendrick dismissed her, “Off with you. I, just like everyone else in the world, have better things to do than to listen to the jibber-jabber of a silly child like you. Go.”

Kit left. She put the letter in the laundry basket and wearily hoisted the basket onto her hip and slowly trudged upstairs to her attic. Once there, she didn’t even have the energy to put her clothes away. She plunked down at her desk, discouraged.

Trying hard not to cry, she put one elbow on either side of her typewriter and took a deep shaky breath. Somehow, the dark inky smell of the typewriter ribbon just under her nose comforted her, and so did the solid, clunky black bulk of the typewriter itself. Idly, Kit touched the s key. She remembered how Dad had fixed it when the typewriter was broken. He had repaired it because he knew how much writing meant to her. Kit sat bolt upright. Suddenly, she knew what she must do: write!

If Uncle Hendrick could write letters to the newspaper, she could too. She’d deliver the letter right along with Uncle Hendrick’s. It might not appear in the newspaper but writing it would change her hopeless feeling. Now how should I begin? she thought. Then she grinned, ‘To the Editor’ of course! Wasn’t that what Uncle Hendrick had taught her? Hadn’t he, in fact, taught her exactly how to write a letter to the newspaper? How many times had he said that a letter must have one point to make and to make it in simple, direct language? Without intending to, Uncle Hendrick had been a very helpful teacher because of all his hectoring and fusspot business. As she wrote, she thought about Dad’s dignity, Mother’s industriousness, the cheerful good nature of the boarders. She thought about all Charlie had sacrificed by not going to college and working at the CCC. She thought about steadfast Stirling, funny Ruthie, and how kind and neighborly Ruthie’s family had been to hers. And Aunt Millie, who saved their house with her generosity. Thinking about the way each one battled the Depression, its losses and fears, gave strength to what Kit wrote.

Kit worked on her letter for a long time. She chose her words carefully. She formed sentences in her head, then wrote and rewrote until they sounded right.

To the Editor:

I think it is a good idea to use the hospital in Covington as a home to house, feed, and clothe hobos. I have met some hobos, and they are not all the same. Every hobo has his or her own story. Some hobos chose a wandering life. Some people are hobos because they lost their jobs and their homes and have nowhere to go. Though they all have different reasons for being on the road, I think all hobos hope the road they’re on will lead them to better times. But it is a long, hard trip, and they have nowhere to stay on the way. I think they deserve our help, sympathy, and compassion.

Hobo life is especially hard on children. They are often hungry and cold. Their coats and shoes are worn-out and outgrown. It would be a big help if people donated coats and shoes for children to soup kitchens and missions. It would show the children that we care about them, and that would give them hope. It would give all of us hope, too, because it would be a change for the better. Sometimes hope is all any of us, hobos or not, have to go on.

Magaret Mildred Kitteredge

Cincinnati, Ohio

She was just folding up the letter when Ruthie and Stirling came up the stairs.

“Hey, Kit, want to come with Stirling and me? I’ve got some shoes to bring to the soup kitchen,” Ruthie invited.

“Sure. Then, after, I have some letters to deliver to the newspaper office.”

“Letters with an ‘s’?” asked Stirling, “you mean Uncle Hendrick dictated two today?”

Kit smiled, “No, one is mine.”

As they walked to the soup kitchen Kit told them about her decision to write her own.

“Oh, my,” whispered Kit in dismay once they had arrived at the soup kitchen. It was even more crowded then before. It seemed to be awash in a sea of gray, filled as it was with people wearing their snow-soaked winter coats and hats.

“We’d better give these shoes to someone in charge,” said Ruthie, “I don’t see how we’d choose who needs them most.”

When they finally reached someone in charge, Ruthie said, “Excuse me, ma’am. We brought these shoes. We were hoping you’d give them to some children who need them.”

“Thank you,” said one of the directors, “Not many people think of the children. We have more and more of them and all are in desperate need.”

After the director spoke, Kit remembered her own voice saying to Uncle Hendrick, “If people knew about the hobo children…” Kit slid her hand into her bag to make sure the letter was there and it also hit something hard, her camera. Again, she heard her own voice. This time it was saying, “If they saw how terrible the children’s coats and shoes are, I’m sure they’d help.”

Kit had an idea.

“Would it be all right if we took some photographs of the children?” she asked the director.

“You must ask the children’s and parent’s permission but if they say yes it’s all right with me.”

“Thanks!” She and Ruthie and Stirling shared a quick grin. Kit did not even have to explain her brainstorm to her friends. They figured it out right away.

“We’ll put the film in with your letter,” said Ruthie.

“As I always say, a picture tells more about a person than words ever could,” said Stirling.

Then they went into action. It was quite remarkable, Kit thought, how well they worked as a team. Without even talking about it, each one took a separate job. Ruthie asked the permission from the parents and children and explained what they were doing and Stirling arranged how he wanted them to look.

 Kit worked the camera.

 She didn’t have a flash so she used the light from the window.

 First she took pictures that showed the children from head to toe.

 Then she took pictures of the children’s feet and makeshift shoes.

 Too soon, Kit had used up all her film, “That’s it,” she said to Ruthie and Stirling, “Let’s go.”

 Kit packed up her camera and they headed out into the cold storm.

Compared to the blustery cold outside, it was very warm and inviting inside the news room.

 Kit took a deep breath as she slid her letter under Uncle Hendrick’s with the Kodak film on top.

“Do you suppose they’ll use the photos we took?” asked Stirling as the children walked out.

“I don’t know,” said Kit.

“I wonder if they’ll print your letter,” mused Ruthie, “and if they do print it, do you think it’ll change anything?”

“I don’t know, either,” said Kit as she grinned crookedly, “don’t tell Uncle Hendrick, but I hope so.”

The next morning, Kit went out to walk Inky and buy Uncle Hendrick’s newspaper. As much as she wanted to open it and see if her letter had been printed, she knew she couldn’t because Uncle Hendrick would pitch a fit if his newspaper had been unfolded and read before he got it. She had pretty much convinced herself that the editor had tossed her letters and photos in the trash as she went to help Mother serve breakfast to the boarders. They were all seated at the table when they sullenly heard Uncle Hendrick bellow and Inky yowl.

 Uncle Hendrick exploded out of his room and came clomping down the stairs with Inky yipping close behind him.

 “What’s the meaning of this?” Uncle Hendrick shouted waving the newspaper over his head.

Could it be? she wondered.

“Hello, Uncle Hendrick,” said Mother, trying to calm him, “we are so pleased to see you back on your feet again.”

“Never mind,” growled Uncle Hendrick. He slapped the newspaper onto the table and glared at Kit, ignoring everyone else, “What have you done, young lady?”

Kit and Stirling looked at each other trying to hide their smiles.

“I might have known you were in on it too, young whippersnapper!” Uncle Hendrick said to Stirling.

“What is going on?” asked Dad. He picked up the newspaper and exclaimed, “Well, for heaven’s sakes! There’s a letter to the editor here from Kit. And there are photos with it too!”

Pandemonium broke loose. Everyone jumped up from the table, all talking at once and crowded around Dad to get a look at the newspaper, paying no attention to Uncle Hendrick who was standing in the background making an angry speech to no one, punctuated by Inky’s barks.

“Settle Down!” Dad called out. When everyone was quiet Dad said, “I’m going to read Kit’s letter aloud and I want everyone to listen.”

Kit felt a warm blush begin at her toes and climb all the way up to the top of her head as Dad read her letter. Mother came and stood behind Kit’s chair and put her arms around her when Dad finished, “Kit, I’m proud of you!” She leaned forward to kiss Kit’s cheek.

This was too much for Uncle Hendrick, “Proud?” he said, aghast, “Proud of that impudent girl?” He pointed an angry finger at Kit, “and you, a mere child, writing a letter to the newspaper! Where did you get such an idea?”

“Why, from you, of course, Uncle Hendrick,” Kit answered politely.

Uncle Hendrick was speechless. A strange expression crossed his face. It seemed to be a mixture of annoyance and something that could have been respect. It lasted only a moment. Then Uncle Hendrick turned away and stalked off, Inky trailing behind him.

After that, everyone congratulated Kit and Stirling too but Kit barely heard them. She held the newspaper in her two hands and looked at her letter and photographs. Thousands of people would read the words she had written. Kit shivered with delight. She could hardly believe it was true.

A week later, Kit, Ruthie and Stirling were walking to the soup kitchen again, staggering under a very heavy load of coats and shoes donated by their classmates who had all read Kit’s letter and wanted to help.

The director smiled as they walked in the door.

 “I’m so glad to see the three of you!” she said, “You’re the children who took the photos, aren’t you?”

Kit, Ruthie and Stirling nodded.

The director asked Kit, “And are you the one who wrote the letter?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“We’ve had many more donations for the children since your letter and those photos appeared in the newspaper. You drew attention to real need. You three have truly made a difference. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” all three of them said together, beaming.

As it happened, Kit had another letter of Uncle Hendrick’s to deliver to the newspaper office. The newsroom was just as noisy and busy as ever and the editor, Gibb, was as distracted as always when the children came to his desk. Kit started to put Uncle Hendrick’s letter in Gibb’s in-box.

“Hold on,” said Gibb.

 Kit stopped.

Gibb tilted his head toward the letter, “Is that one of his or one of yours?”

“His,” Kit answered.

“Put it in the box,” said Gibb in a brusque way, but then his voice changed, “But anytime you’ve got something else you want to write, bring it here. You’ve got the makings of a good reporter, kid.”

Kit was so happy she could hardly speak, “Thanks.” Out of the corner of her eye she saw Ruthie and Stirling nudge each other and grin.

As the three of them walked home together, Kit breathed in a softness in the air that seemed to carry the scent of spring. It was just a hint, just a whiff, but it was full of promise.

That’s it, thought Kit, that’s the perfect word. I feel full of promise.


Kit and Ruthie played themselves

Uncle Hendrick……………Penny Tonner


Jack (Kit’s dad)…………Katelynne Claire

Margaret (Kit’s mother)…………..Katie Gotz

Stirling…………………………..Jacob Hartmann

Jack (Kit’s dad)…………Katelynne Claire

Mrs. Howard…………………Carlie Cullen

Gibb…………………………….Tess Gotz

Soup Kitchen directors…….Nellie O’Malley and Lanie Holland

I just had to chuckle out loud when I found myself taking a picture of a doll who was taking a picture of a doll! It was so fun to play with Kit’s camera.

Changes for Kit by Valerie Tripp. Copyright American Girl 2001.



About jackylina

Hi, I'm Heather (the human) and Jacky (the doll) wanted us to start a blog together about all the dolls in my room. I collect 18"dolls such as American Girl, Carpatina, Magic Attic, and Kidz n Cats. I love dressing them up and creating photo stories for you to enjoy! I'm a Christian and you will see a Christian influence in this blog because I can't help glorifying the Lord!
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1 Response to Changes for Kit

  1. Jen says:

    Love it! Miss Impertinence is is adorable in her flannel and overalls. I love this book.. So many good lessons. Instead of expending energy thinking about how much she dislikes her Uncle, she turns from her dislike and does something positive to change the lives of people in need. You go, girl!

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