An Except from Tusky’s Big Decision by Kenneth R. Greenberg, Ph.D.

          Now that Tusky had decided to run away from home, he began to make plans for leaving. Because Ellie had taken her alarm clock back to her room and Tusky was afraid he would not wake up at five-thirty, he decided to leave his house right away and sleep by the gate to the fairgrounds.
“The first thing I must do is decide what things I should take with me,” he thought to himself.
      He opened his dresser drawer and took out two shirts and a pair of pajamas. Then he went into the bathroom and got his toothbrush, toothpaste, and comb. He went to his little bank and took all of his money so that he would be able to buy tickets for the rides and the food. He had two dollars and ten cents. Then he put every thing in a little white sack and went to his desk.
      “Well, I’m all packed,” he said. “ Now I’ll write a good-bye note and leave it on my bed.” He got a pencil and some paper and wrote:

          Good-bye Forever. I will never see you again.
          Don’t try to find me. I’ve gone away for good.
          I’m looking for a family who will love me and be fair to me.
          Don’t forget to feed Aristotle, Hercules, and George, and give George a pat for me.

          Signed: Tusky
          P.S. Ellie can’t have my beach ball!

     “I just hope my parents will be upset when they discover that I’ve run away from home. I want them to worry about me and be sorry they didn’t love me. I also hope Ellie will miss me and feel bad for having been so mean to me,” he thought.
      “This is my plan,” he thought to himself. “As soon as everyone is asleep, I’ll tiptoe downstairs and go into the kitchen to get some food for breakfast. Then I’ll open the front door and be on my way. I’ll walk to the fairgrounds, sleep until Packy wakes me up, share my breakfast with Packy, and spend the day at the carnival. When it’s time for Packy to go home, I ‘ll walk to a different jungle and start a new life for myself.”
      Tusky was pleased with his plan. He still heard his Mother and Father talking, so he sat on his bed and waited.
      He waited and waited. Finally, he heard Mother say. “I’m going upstairs and get ready for bed.”
      Soon Tusky would make his move.
      But then he heard his Father say, “ I think I’ll stay downstairs and watch the news.”
      “Oh, no,” thought Tusky. “Sometimes Dad falls asleep while he’s watching television. I hope tonight he’ll just watch the news and go to bed.”
      As he sat in bed waiting for the television set to be turned off, Tusky yawned. He was tired. He yawned again. Finally, he said to himself, “I’m going to count to one hundred very slowly. When I reach one hundred, I’ll open my door very quietly, and, if I don’t hear television...or snoring, I’ll make my getaway.”
      He began to count. “” but by the time he reached eight, Tusky’s eyes were closed and he was sound asleep.
      Several hours later, Tusky woke up. He didn’t know what time it was but he could see that it was still dark outside. “Whew,” he said to himself, “I almost slept until morning. That would have ruined my plan.”
      Everything was quiet downstairs. He opened his bedroom door and tiptoed down the stairs. He started to go into the kitchen to get food for his breakfast, but then he stopped. “ I just remembered that the door to the refrigerator makes a loud squeaky sound when it’s opened, and even a louder sound when it’s closed. I don’t want to wake anybody up, so I’d better not go into the kitchen,” he thought to himself.
      Quietly, he walked to the front door, realizing that part of his plan was ruined; he wouldn’t be taking food with him. He opened the front door and took one last look at his bedroom at the top of the stairs.
      Then he closed the front door and walked to the outside gate. Opening the gate,he took one last look at his house. With tears in his eyes, Tusky said, “Good-bye house, I’ll never see you again. Good-bye bedroom...good-bye kitchen...good-bye living room...good-bye television...good-bye toys.” And slowly, Tusky walked away from his home.

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