Battery Park

As the sun went down, Mrs. Gunter, Kim, and Kurt had a picnic in Battery Park.

Kim was all set to relax. She was tired after her long day of job hunting.

After the picnic, Kurt went to the railing and pointed at the Statue of Liberty.

“Why is the Statue of Liberty holding up an ice cream cone?” he asked.

Kim smiled. “Kurt! That's not an ice cream cone! It’s a torch”

“What's a torch?”
“A torch is a stick with fire on one end,” said Kim.
“Fire is cool!” said Kurt.

“A torch is what they used in the old days when there were no lights,” Mrs, Gunter explained.

“I'll bet Dwight, the Man of Light sells torches!” said Kurt.

Kim smiled. “And since it’s Dwight,” she said, “I'll bet the price is right!”

Mrs. Gunter explained, “The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by France.”

“You mean it was a gift?” Kurt asked.
Mrs. Gunter nodded.

“Man,” he said, “that’s one big present! They must have needed a big box to gift wrap it.

“I think they sent it over here in parts and then welded the parts back together to make the statue.”

“Welding is cool!” said Kurt.
“There are cooler things in life than welding,” said Mrs. Gunter.
“Like what?” said Kurt.

“Like being free,” said Mrs. Gunter. “People here in the United States are free. Mr. Fremont is free to hire Kim or not hire her. And Kim is free to take the job he offers her or not. Later on, if Kim decides to try to find a different job, she is free to do it. If we decide to pack up our stuff and leave Brooklyn, we are free to do it. Also, we are free to say what we feel like saying. That's what liberty means. It means being free to do what you wish, say what you wish, and think what you wish. Do you understand?”

Kurt nodded.
Mrs. Gunter went on, “The Statue of Liberty reminds us that we are free. It reminds us that liberty is a priceless thing.”

Kurt looked back at the Statue of Liberty. He was thinking of all the things he was free to be when he got bigger: a baseball player, a shop owner, a banker, a baker, a race car driver, a spaceship driver.

“I see what you mean,” he said. “Liberty is even cooler than welding.”

Kurt helped Kim and his mom clean up the picnic. They tossed their trash into a trash can. Then they went to the subway stop to catch a train back to Brooklyn.