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Written by Sarah Roberts, illustrated by Joe Mathieu

Today was going to be a big day for him. He was going to visit Granny Bird. It was his first trip away from home. His friends took him to the bus stop. "Goodbye, Big Bird! Have fun!" they said. "I will miss you", Big Bird said. Big Bird thought the bus would never get there. It went over hills, under bridges, and through tunnels. "Gee", Big Bird said to himself. "I hope Granny is waiting for me." At last the bus stopped. Granny Bird waved to him. "My little Big Bird! I am so happy to see you!" Granny said. "Me too, Granny!" Big Bird said. After lunch they went to the beach. "What a nice grandson", Granny's friends said. But Big Bird did not want to talk to them. He wanted to go into the water. "Go on, Dear. I can watch you from here", said Granny. Big Bird ran to the water. It was the first time he had ever seen the sea. "Wow! It sure is big!" Big Bird said. Big Bird had fun all afternoon. He raced the waves. He played in the sand. Granny and Big Bird had supper on the porch. They watched the sunset. "Time for bed", Granny said. Granny tucked him in, kissed him good night, and turned on the night light. "Sleep tight", she said. But Big Bird did not sleep tight. Big Bird thought about home. And the more Big Bird thought, the sadder he felt. "I miss Sesame Street", he thought. "And I miss my nest." A tear rolled down his beak. "I miss my friends. I want to go home!" Big Bird cried himself to sleep. Big Bird was not hungry at breakfast. Big Bird just looked at his birdseed pancakes. "What is wrong, dear?" Granny asked. "I think I want to go home", Big Bird said sadly. "I know what is wrong. You are homesick!" Granny said. "Will I have to go to a doctor?" he asked. "No, Big Bird", she said. "You will get better all by yourself." Then Granny gave Big Bird some picture postcards. "You can send them to friends back home." "Yes!" he said happily. "You write what I say. I will write my name myself." They mailed the postcards on their way to the beach. Then Big Bird said, "I am going to build a sandcastle. I will make it look just like Sesame Street." He got his pail and his shovel and started to dig. He worked and worked. At last it was built. "Look, Granny", Big Bird said. "I live here, and Ernie and Bert live there, and..." Just then a big wave crashed onto the beach. It rolled right over his wonderful sandcastle. "Oh, what a shame!" Granny said. "But don't cry, Big Bird. Why don't you look for some pretty sea shells. They would make nice gifts for your friends." Big Bird walked down the beach. He found a big shell for Ernie, a little spotted shell for Bert, and a round shell that looked like a cookie. "This one is for Cookie Monster", Big Bird said. Thinking of Big Bird's friends made him feel homesick. Then he saw something on the beach. It was a soggy old boot. He picked it up. He heard someone laugh. Big Bird looked around and saw a boy. "What are you going to do with that boot?" he asked. "Give it to Oscar!" Big Bird said. Then Big Bird told the boy about his friend Oscar. "He is a grouch. He likes yucky things." The boy told him his name was Wally. He lived in town. "Come on!" he said. "I want to show you my secret cave." Then he told Wally about his friend Snuffy. "He lives in a cave", Big Bird said. "I wish I had a friend like that!" Wally said. That night he ate two bowls of birdseed. He told Granny all about his new friend Wally. Granny said, "I am happy that you feel better." Later, in bed, Big Bird missed his nest a little bit. But he thought about his new friend Wally. He could not wait to see him again. Soon Big Bird was sound asleep. Every day Wally and Big Bird played together. They played ball in the water. They played follow the leader. They made sand forts and tunnels. And every day they shared an ice pop. Then it was Big Bird's last day at Granny's house. It was a cold, rainy day. Wally came to say goodbye. Big Bird felt sad. It felt almost like being homesick. "I will write to you", Wally said. "I will write to you, too", Big Bird said. Then the rain stopped. The sun came out. A rainbow lit up the sky. Wally and Big Bird ran outside. They played in the puddles. Then Granny said, "Time to go, Big Bird. But you can come back to visit next summer." "You bet I will!" Big Bird said.

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