Jenny found her old bicycle at the back of the garage. It was a lot smaller than she remembered. When she sat on it and put her feet on the pedals, her knees nearly touched her chin. She put it back sadly and went inside the house. Her dad was working on his computer in the study.
‘Dad, can I get a new bicycle?’ asked Jenny.
‘Sure,’ said Jenny’s dad. ‘Cycling is good for you. You can get one for your birthday.’
‘But my birthday isn’t for months!’ cried Jenny. ‘Everyone at school has a bike. They all go to the park after school together. I want to go too!’
‘Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t afford a bicycle now,’ said dad. ‘Why don’t you work and earn some money? You can save up for a bicycle yourself.’
Jenny was thoughtful.
‘I’m very busy now,’ dad went on. ‘I don’t have time to cut the grass. If you do that, I’ll give you five dollars.’
‘Okay,’ said Jenny. She went to the garage and got the lawnmower. She hadn’t used it before. It was quite heavy and difficult to push, but soon the grass was cut. She was putting the lawnmower away when her neighbor, Mrs. Watkins, looked over the wall.
‘You did a good job there! Can you mow my lawn too?’ said Mrs Watkins. ‘I’ll give you ten dollars!’
‘Sure!’ said Jenny. ‘I’ll come right away!’
That night Jenny went on the computer. She wrote ‘Gardening and Housework – Ten dollars an hour. Call Jenny at 23 Roseville Lane.’ She decorated the page with pictures of cleaning and gardening equipment. She printed it fifty times. Then she posted the pages through all the doors on her street.
That week, Jenny was very busy! Lots of people had jobs to do, but they didn’t have time to do them. So they called Jenny. Every day, Jenny rushed home from school. She did her homework quickly, and then she went out to work.
At the end of the week, she had $65! She told her father.
‘That’s enough for a second hand bicycle,’ he said.
‘Yes, but if I work for one more week, I might have enough money for a new bike,’ said Jenny. ‘In two more weeks, I could buy a really good bicycle! I think that’s what I’ll do. I want to have the best bicycle in the class, because I earned it!’
Jenny’s dad hugged her. ‘I think you learned something important. We appreciate things a lot more when we earn them. When we get something without earning it, we do not realize its true value.’