Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)
TITLE: Dancing In The Sky
By Deborah Engle
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<I>The sun is out!</I>
Kicking away his covers, he hurried to the window and pulled open the curtains. <I>It’s perfect. No more rain, and no school today.</I> Scrambling to get dressed, he knew this was the day…the day he’d been waiting for all spring.
Saturday chores kept him busy all morning, and by the time Bobby grabbed his kite and headed for the field several kids already had theirs up. The cool spring breeze brushed the hair off his forehead as he gazed at the bright spots of color dancing in the sky. He watched in awe as a teenaged boy launched a large box kite with ease. After rising high into the sky, it seemed to settle there, as if looking over everything back on the ground. The sight made him smile while he searched for an open spot in the field.
<I>I know who that kid is…he’s our paperboy. Mom calls him Chet, and he’s already in high school. He must have been flying kites forever.</I>
Soon Bobby was ready to put his own kite into the air. He could already see it in his mind, soaring in the clouds. <I>I’m ready now. Here goes!</I>
To his surprise, his first attempts to launch his kite failed. He could make it bounce and slide along the ground, but he couldn’t make it fly. His poor kite took some terrible tumbles, but Bobby wasn’t about to give up. Once again he took off. As he ran, this time the kite began to rise, but then took a sudden nosedive back to the ground. Excited over even that little bit of success, he picked up his kite and started out again, looking back over his shoulder. The brisk wind filled the kite, lifting it into the air. Suddenly, Bobby’s feet hit a slick patch of mud and before he knew it, he was laying flat on his back, staring up at his kite as it raced away.
Stunned, he slowly stood to his feet and brushed the mud from his jeans, his excitement and anticipation now transformed to discouragement and dismay.
“Are you all right?”
Surprised, Bobby turned around and saw Chet. “I guess so,” he muttered.
“Umm, look here-I caught your kite. Actually, it kinda caught me. The string wrapped around my leg while it was bouncing away.”
“Wow! I thought it was gone for sure.” His face lit up at the sight of his rescued kite. “Thanks.”
Bobby watched Chet tuck his hands into his jacket pockets, then asked, “Did you lose your kite, too?”
“What? Oh, no. My brother’s havin’ a turn with it. By the way, I’m Chet.”
Bobby tipped his head sideways, glancing up at his face. “I know. I’m Bobby.”
“Yeah, I know.” After a short pause, he continued. ”Have you ever flown a kite before?”
Bobby thought back to last year. His dad thought eight-year-olds weren’t big enough to fly kites, so Bobby didn’t have his own until he found an old battered one dangling from a tree branch.
“Well, I tried…but I have a new kite this year. I know it’ll fly.”
“If ya want, I could show ya a few things.”
It took a while, but when they were finished, Bobby had not only learned how to get his kite aloft, he had also learned a little bit about aerodynamics. The sight of his kite high in the sky, and the tug on the string in his hand captivated him.
He flashed a quick smile at Chet. “You‘re really good. You know everything about kites.”
Chet smiled too. “Well, I don’t know everything, but I do know this. Some Asian countries have a national holiday for kite flying.”
“Really? Everybody stays home and flies kites all day?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
The wind picked up, and Bobby gripped his reel tighter. He looked back to the sky for a moment. “I know something, too.”
“What do you know?”
Bobby turned his face toward Jason. “I know that if you don’t help me reel this kite back in, we’re gonna get soaked. It’s startin’ to rain!”
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