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©2014 Sesame Workshop

               Poor Elmo!  Everyone was ready for the big hike through the park but him.  Aidan
Grant Kessler
, age 2, from Albany, New York, found Elmo sitting sadly on the steps of
123 Sesame Street.
"What's the matter, Elmo?" asked Aidan, swinging a backpack.
Elmo sighed.  "Elmo is supposed to bring 10 sandwiches on the hike, but Elmo isn't good
at counting to 10."
"Come on, I'll help you," said Aidan.  "Louis, Don, and Pete always help me when I
need it.  That's what friends are for!"

With help from Aidan, the sandwiches were soon ready and everyone set off on the hike.
 As they walked, they heard a loud growl.  
"Yikes!" yelped Bert.  "Bears!"
Ernie laughed.  "Nope.  That's just my tummy telling me it's time for a snack."  His tummy
growled again.
"Who has the backpack?" asked Aidan.  "There are snacks inside."
"Elmo has one backpack," said Elmo, as Big Bird pulled some apples from the pack.  
"Yum, yum, two apples.  One for Elmo and one for Ernie's hungry tummy."

The path led to a wide stream.
"Watch me!" shouted Prairie Dawn.  "I won't get wet."  She jumped across the brook on
some stones.
"Elmo, can you count the stones?" asked Aidan.
"Yes, yes!  Three stones."  Elmo hopped across.  Hop, hop, hop.
"Pop, pop, pop!  Three heads popped out of the water.
"Look, Elmo," laughed Aidan.  "Those stones were really turtles!"
"Elmo can count turtles, too!" said Elmo.  "One, two, three!"

In a sunny spot beside the brook, Aidan spotted something else for Elmo to count.  "Take
a look at those bumps on the log," Aidan said.
"Ooooh.  One, two, three, four lumpy bumps on a log," counted Elmo.  "Four bumps that
look like..."
Ribbit, ribbit, croak, croak!  The four bumps jumped away.
Aidan grinned.  "Four lumpy frogs like bumps on a log!  Louis, Don, and Pete would
sure like to see those funny frogs."

When they reached a bright green meadow, everyone ran and played in the long grass.
"I spy five things, Elmo," said Aidan.  "Can you guess what they are?"
"Where?  What?" said Elmo.  "Elmo sees lots of things."
"I'll give you a hint," said Aidan.  "The five things I see are little and green and squiggle a
"Okay, Elmo will look for five little green things that squiggle."

"Hey Aidan!  Elmo saw five little green, squiggly caterpillars," shouted Elmo.
"You're getting very good at counting, Elmo," said Aidan.  "Listen, can you hear the
Tap! Tap! Tap!  Elmo listened carefully.  Tap! Tap! Tap!  "Elmo hears six knocks."
"Yes!" said Aidan.  "See, high in the tree, six birds pecking away."

Next, Aidan and his friends hiked to a small waterfall.  Aidan picked up a shiny pebble
and tossed it into the pool beneath the falls.  It landed with a mighty splash.  KERPLUNK!
Elmo gathered seven stones.  But before he could pitch the first pebble, some fish
popped up and yelled, "Hey, cut that out!"
"Whoops!  Sorry, you guys."  Aidan gulped.  "Uh, how many fish do you see, Elmo?"
"Eight fish," said Elmo.  "Eight ANGRY fish.  Let's get out of here!"

"Do you want to play a game?" said Aidan as they hiked through some tall pine trees.  
"Let's see who can find the most pine cones."
Elmo looked the hardest.  He found more than all the others.
"Elmo has nine!  Nine pine cones." Elmo groaned.  "Help!  Elmo can't carry nine pine
cones, Aidan."
"Don't worry, we'll help you plant them so they'll grow into trees," said Aidan.  "Nine pine
trees are almost a forest."

By now, everyone was hungry.  Aidan picked a picnic spot and said, "Let's eat!"
Big Bird poured the lemonade.  Ernie and Bert passed out cookies.  Prairie Dawn
unpacked grapes.
"My tummy's hungry again," said Ernie.  "Where are the sandwiches, Elmo?  I hope you
brought a lot!"
"Elmo and Aidan made ten sandwiches," said Elmo.  He counted them out slowly.  "One,
two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!"
"Ten sandwiches sure is a lot," said Ernie, munching happily.

"Congratulations, Elmo," said Aidan.  "Today you counted one packpack, two apples,
three turtles, four frogs, five caterpillars, six birds, seven pebbles, eight fish, nine pine
cones, and ten sandwiches, all by yourself."
"Aidan is right," Elmo said.  "Elmo DID count all that."
Aidan smiled.  "It'll be fun telling Louis, Don, and Pete about the fun stuff you counted
when I get home to Albany, New York."
"You can tell them one more funny thing Elmo counted," giggled Elmo.  "Look, Aidan!  
One sandwhich being carried away by ten ants!"
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