This is a story by the writer Toni Cade Bambara who describes the events that take place in the life of a skinny girl named Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker, a little African-American girl with a squeaky voice that has passion to run. However the tale begins describing the members of her family, the author writes more about Hazel and her brother Raymond. Raymond is not quite right; apparently he suffers a metal disease. He’s bigger and older than Hazel, but a lot of people call him Hazel’s little brother because he needs to be looking after.
“Squeaky” often takes strolls down Broadway so she can practice her breathing exercises while she keeps an eye on her brother all the time. She makes Raymond walk on the inside because he always makes fantasies so he starts thinking he’s a circus performer and that the curb is a tightrope strung high in the air. Hazel is known as Mercury because she is the swiftest thing in the neighborhood, only her father can beat her to Amsterdam Avenue with Hazel having a two hydrant head start and him running with his hands in his pockets and whistling.
Hazel is loyal to her brother, always ready to protect him. She’s a person, who doesn’t tolerate standing and listening talks from somebody else, she likes to get right over things quickly. She doesn’t like much a girl named Gretchen and her friends Mary Louise Williams from Baltimore and Rosie because Gretchen’s a potential rival for the fifty-yard dash. She believes she’s tough, not a strawberry or someone who enjoys dancing on her toes, she likes to run and this passion had made her to win many trophies, ribbons and it’s because of her velocity.
Every time just before she takes off in a race, she feels like she is in a dream, the kind you have when you’ve fever and feel hot and weightless. She usually dreams she flies over a sandy beach in the early morning sun, touching the leaves of the trees. She also perceives the smell of apples just like in the country when she used to think she was a choo-choo train. Near the end Hazel competes against Gretchen P. Lewis at the May Day races, she wins and Gretchen comes in second.
This result makes her realize that she is not the only working person who tries hard to get things done, so she started to look her rival in a very different way with a big smile of respect between them. So there she was, thinking about all the prices she’s have got and that she could retire by the time, it occurred to her that she could train her brother to become a champion as the tradition of the family is. Other characters: