Scott and his dad drove through the woods on Folly Mountain road. He had been worried there wouldn't be enough snow for his first snowshoe hike.
"I promised you lots son," his father said with a smile.
Scott's eyes were huge. Everywhere he looked, the snow looked really deep. Just 30 miles away in his hometown of Truro, there was hardly any.
After parking the car and putting on their snowshoes, father and son headed down the trail. Scott had a hard time keeping up. His father's stride was much longer than his own.
"Want me to slow down, son?" dad asked.
"No!" Scott was stubborn. He was also still upset from school yesterday. His friends kept calling him "Shorty," because he was the shortest boy in his class.
Now he rested on a fallen tree along with his dad, as they looked down into a deep valley. Scott wished he could be as tall as that hill in the distance.
"Come on son," his dad said. Scott stood up and watched as his father kept going down the trail. The boy walked to the edge of the hill.
It must have been his toes hanging over too far. Maybe it was the extra sausages he'd had for breakfast. In any case his weight was too heavy for the ledge of snow.
Down he went, doing a little somersault. Scott was so surprised he could barely call out, "Yipe!" He was like a large snowball rolling and tumbling down. And down.
He roared past small twigs poking out of the snow. He tumbled past a surprised mouse, watching from an old log. Scott even scared a squirrel that scampered up a tree.
Then Scott skidded past three rabbits that fled in all directions. He even tumbled past a surprised fox.
It was a good thing the hill came to an end. Scott had snow down his neck, inside his sleeves and down his pant legs. Somehow his hat and gloves managed to remain in place.
Finally he landed in a snowy heap beside a tall tree.
Scott was almost afraid to check and see if he had broken anything. No broken toes. No broken legs or arms, only bruises and sores. His face was scratched all over from rolling through saplings.
He stood up, feeling quite small at the bottom of the hill. He could barely see where he had begun his fall. It was way up there.
"Wow!" if I could only be as tall as that hill, he thought.
He yelled for his dad. Again and again his voice bounced back as echoes. "Helppp! Daddd!" wasn't being heard. Now Scott was really upset. This is just the way it is in school, he thought, feeling so short and lonely.
He shouted out, "If only I was tall." He looked up, "Like that tree! I want to be tall like that tree!" And then he shouted boldly. "No, I want to be taller! Right up to the sky!!"
Suddenly, a strange thing happened. His bones began to creak. And stretch. His knees creaked and groaned. Then his legs began to grow. And grow.
At first he could see only the bottom of the tree. Then as he rose higher on his stretching legs, bird's nests came into view. A partridge on a limb flew away in terror.
Soon Scott was above the tree. His eyes felt nervous as he rose higher and higher. He could not even see his feet.
He was so high he could almost touch the clouds. Sea gulls flew around him. Scott became really afraid. Where was his father? The sky was getting dark. No more blue, only the sun setting.
Scott was cold as he watched the pink sky change to black. Now he felt really alone. He wished to be tall. Now he was taller than the tallest tree in the forest. But did it do him any good? Not really.
Once again he made a wish. This time it was to be his normal self. Being the shortest boy in his class was no longer a problem. He closed his eyes and wished really hard.
"I want to be small again." And then he felt himself falling. His legs were no longer stretched really long. They were normal again.
An eagle swooped under him and caught Scott. The boy landed in soft feathers and held on to the eagle's neck.
"Please take me home," Scott pleaded. And the eagle did as he was asked. He flew the boy swiftly home before Scott's parents worried too much.
As they approached the house, they saw house lights were still on. Coming nearer they saw a crowd of people in their living room. There was mom and dad, even Boots, his cat.
Scott saw the class bully and other friends all sitting around.
The eagle flew through the open window. Scott's father caught him as the eagle did a back flip. Scott liked his father's firm hug. Then his mother gave him another one.
Everyone began yelling and clapping.
Now Scott was laughing too. It didn't seem to matter how tall or short he was. Scott was just glad to be home.
* * *
Richard & Esther Provencher 2008
My wife, Esther and I really enjoy writing. It is an excellent salve, in addition to prayers, a great wife and family during my continuing recovery from a stroke/aneurysm. You can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org re comments on our work. We live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Pray for others.