Ruby Jane and Brianne were talking as they jumped on the trampoline in Ruby Jane's back yard.
"What are you doing on the 4th of July?" Ruby Jane yelled as she attempted a cart wheel. Laughing, she crashed beside Brianne.
"Have a barbecue, I guess."
"We gotta' do something patriotic. I just did a report for school on Betsy Ross. Did you know she made the first flag for our country?"
Brianne nodded. "My class learned about her, too. She was the 8th of 17 children."
"She was taught to sew really well. George Washington heard about her talent and visited her."
"True, and he asked her to make a flag. The flag committee wanted 13 stripes on the flag for the 13 original colonies," Ruby Jane said as she jumped down from the trampoline.
Maggie, Brianne's dog, who was lying beside the trampoline, thumped her tail and lazily sauntered over to see if Ruby Jane's dog, Charlie, would share his bone.
"Let's go get a Popsicle and figure this out. Mom got those neat red and blue ones especially for the 4th. They are strawberry and blueberry flavors."
The girls settled down by the big oak table and munched on the icy treats while the dogs moved in closer, hoping for a lick.
"Did you learn about the stars on the flag? Betsy Ross wanted stars to represent the states, but George Washington thought that stars were too hard to make," Brianne said as her Popsicle dribbled down the stick and Maggie looked hopeful.
"She sure fooled him. She grabbed her scissors, and before anyone had time to even blink, she made a perfect five-point star by folding paper, just so, and cutting it."
"That was so cool. Wonder if she knew how to do origami, too?" Brianne looked thoughtful.
Ruby Jane laughed. "She probably invented it."
"I heard another neat story about Shipmaster William Driver. He loved the flag so much that he named his flag 'Old Glory.' It was during the Civil War, and some rebels who had left the Union wanted to steal his flag and destroy it."
"Oh, yes. They looked everywhere—really tore up the place, but never could find it. Then, after the war, Captain Driver ripped apart the seams of his bedcover and the flag was sewn beneath the cover."
"That was WAY cool," Ruby Jane said as she twirled across the floor.
Mom came in carrying her gardening tools. "I heard you two talking. You know a lot about the flag. Why don't you design a float and pull it around the block on the 4th of July? It will remind everyone how great our country and our flag are."
Popsicles were forgotten as the girls raced to the garage and dragged out the faithful red wagon. Charlie and Maggie tagged along.
Mom rummaged around and found some crepe and construction paper. Before long, the girls had designed two signs that were the length of the wagon. Using tape, they attached the signs to the sides. One sign read: 'We Love Our Country'. The other said: 'Honor Our Flag and Our Troops.'
Charlie and Maggie wanted to join in the parade, so Mom made a harness so the dogs could pull the wagon.
"But," Ruby Jane said with a scowl, "we need something to put in the wagon."
"I know," Brianne shouted, "cupcakes with red, white, and blue frosting. We can sell them and send the money to our troops."
"Bingo! Let's make LOTS, so we can sample them to make sure they are good!"
Charlie and Maggie started wagging their tails, hoping there would be enough cupcakes for "dog testers," too.