It was a beautiful sunny day, and as soon as the children got home from school they ran outside to play.
Zibby wanted to climb the hawthorne tree.
That was not the Pirate's idea of fun. He liked to keep his feet close to the ground.
But Zibby loved to climb trees. She loved, loved, loved to climb trees, the higher the better.
So she climbed,
She loved it up high. She could see everything going on in the neighborhood.
"Hurry up, Slowpoke," she called down to the Pirate.
The Pirate was not in a hurry. He wanted to be careful and watch his step, so he took his time.
Suddenly, Zibby slipped and lost her footing.
She screamed and wrapped her arms around a thick branch.
Mugwort stuck his head out of a flower plant to see what was happening.
"Zibby!" called out the Pirate. "Are you okay?"
"No," whimpered Zibby. "I'm scared I'm going to fall." Zibby was hiding her face on the branch and hanging on for dear life.
The Pirate looked up at Zibby. She was very high in the tree, higher than the Pirate had ever climbed. But Zibby was his best friend and she needed his help.
"Hang on, Zibby!" he called out. "I'm coming!"
The Pirate slowly climbed and climbed. Zibby was crying.
"It's okay, Zibby!" said the Pirate. "I'm almost there!"
The Pirate's heart was pounding.
"Zibby," said the Pirate. "Look, I made it." But Zibby wouldn't look. She was too scared. She was shaking and still hiding her face in the branch.
"It's nice up here, Zibby!" said the Pirate, nervously looking around. "I can see everything!"
They could see Little Theo giving the Sea Captain a little ride.
They could see Mama Oaktree hanging clothes on the line while her baby watched from his walnut chair.
They could see Truffles and Nibbles setting up a picnic.
They could see some animal ears sticking out of the flower garden.
They could see Punkin and her little sister Pinny building a fort out of sticks.
They could see Grandpa Bear taking a beautiful golden pie out of the oven. They didn't see the Monkey Twins until they noticed that some of the children were playing Duck, Duck, Goose.
Zibby and the Pirate loved to play Duck, Duck, Goose.
Zibby smiled and lifted her head.
"Let's climb down," she said.
So they climbed down. The Pirate helped Zibby find good places to put her feet until she started to feel normal again. Then she began to climb down in a hurry.
Soon they were down and they ran to join the game. The Pirate had been brave. He had climbed higher than he ever had before to help his friend. His feet were on solid ground now. He was going to play Duck, Duck, Goose with Zibby and his other friends. He had many reasons to be happy and proud.
Copyright 2009 Elizabeth F. Curtin
Mama Oaktree and her baby were made from a kit by Sally Mavor, author of "Felt Wee Folk," one of my favorite books. Sally Mavor's studio website is: http://www.weefolkstudio.com/home.htm