The red spool held in the boys' hands twirled rapidly as the kite tugged.
"Let the line out slowly," dad said. "You don't want to use it all at once."
"But dad," Colin answered, "I want it to go higher and faster." His face was sunburned as the sandy Red Rock on which they were standing.
Two sparrows shared a branch above the pebbly ocean shore. "Up, up and goodbye," they chirped.
"Careful Colin, don't slip on the moss," said Mom. She stepped carefully across the huge rock, almost the size of their car garage.
"Mom, I am being careful. LOOK! It must be a mile high."
"Not really, son," said mom. "You only have five hundred feet of string."
"It's really neat having our family picnic on top of Red Rock," Colin said.
It was such a pleasant place on this finger of land poking into Cobequid Bay, Nova Scotia. The day was sunny and clouds white as ocean whitecaps danced against the shore.
Colin's waxed string held tightly to the climbing kite. A happy face on its plastic shape jiggled around, up and down. At times it teased the boy, plunging downwards.
Colin pushed the spool forward, then pulled it back to his chest. This quick movement, made the kite climb with new energy.
"We must leave soon. Before the tide comes in," Dad said.
Colin wasn't listening; eyes were fixed on the kite's shimmer of red and white. Also busily munching on his turkey and mayo sandwich.
"We can finish our picnic on the shore," suggested Mom.
She was first to step down from the sandstone rock. Colin's dad also crossed the sandy beach and up wooden steps onto higher land.
They didn't notice Colin had not followed.
From their scenic view, the open water stretched to Maitland, fifteen miles on the other side of Cobequid Bay. Sea gulls flew in twists and turns.
ERK! ERK! Calls were more like warning cries from their long beaks.
So what if the tide came in? Colin thought. "Then I'll have to spend all night here on this rock," he chuckled.
Before long he realized his new problem was huge as Red Rock itself. It would take a while to retrieve his line, and began winding furiously. It seemed as if it touched those Cirrus clouds.
Oh-mi-gosh it was getting dark. Was that the moon behind his kite?
Now he realized Mom and dad were gone. He couldn't hear their voices calling from shore.
Tidewater began lapping at the base of Red Rock. But Colin was still determined to reel in his kite. It had been a birthday gift from uncle Lawrence.
"Mom! Dad!" he called, seeing them wave from shore. They couldn't hear him either. Only shadows in the forest heard their frantic calls. The kite soared and dipped. And circled and climbed reluctant to leave its freedom in the sky.
Trees rustled from the approaching wind. Stars came out. Colin held firmly onto his kite string, arms too tired to wind any further.
Tidewater rose higher.
The Milky Way seemed so close. Planes flew by. Colin heard water sloshing in the darkness. Some water even splashed against his sneakers.
Tired legs hoped the boy would sit down and rest. However, Colin waited for some kind of miracle. And, IT DID!
A super gust of wind blew in from the ocean.
With a mighty "WHOOSH!" his kite lifted high, dragging him along. Thankfully Colin didn't eat his extra sandwich. He might have been too heavy.
The powerful wind blew the kite dragging Colin towards the shore. He held firmly onto his red spool.
Stars blinked at the scene before them. Several planes flew high above.
Before long, Colin was directly overhead his parents.
Dad's strong arms reached up grabbed Colin's legs and pulled him down. Mom wrapped warm arms around her little man.
In all the excitement, Colin forgot about his kite that carried him here. In fact, he still held tightly to the spool of string.
High above, the plastic kite with its smiling face continued to make circles.
Suddenly there was a snap. Colin was not disappointed as he watched a trail of string follow his kite. He was also happy to be back on land with his parents.
Besides, his kite was free to travel anywhere it wished.
Now when you look up at night, you'll notice a few clouds, stars and planes, perhaps a few seagulls. if you're lucky, you may even see an eagle.
But if you look closely; you may see something quite different. It's Colin's red and white kite.
And its smiling yellow face is looking for another friend.
* * *
Richard & Esther Provencher 2007
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.