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The Flying Lesson

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Flying Lesson

"Grandma?", Amanda Gray wandered into the kitchen with a thoughtful look on her face.

"What is it, Dear?"
"Do you know how to fly?"

Amanda's grandmother, who was a rather young looking grandmother, as grandmothers go, raised her eyebrows ever so slightly, and continued spooning chocolate chip cookie dough onto the cookie sheet.
"I've been wondering when you'd ask, Dear", she said with a smile. "Would you like me to teach you how?".
"Would you!!?!", Amanda squealed with delight.
"Well, of course Dear", smiled her grandmother. "When your Mommy was a little girl I taught her how to fly too, but I expect she's forgotten how by now".
"You taught Mommy how to fly?", Amanda marveled.
"Why yes, Dear". The last bit of dough dropped from Grandma's wooden spoon. "I learned how to fly myself when I was just about your age".
"Neat!", said Amanda, her eyes sparkling. She reached up to brush a smudge of flour from Grandma's cheek.
"When?", Amanda demanded.
  "When what, Dear?", Grandma bent down to open the oven door and slide the cookie sheet onto the rack.
"Oh, Graaannnndma!", Amanda huffed impatiently. "When will you teach me how to fly?".
"Oh....that". Grandma set the oven timer and glanced at her watch.
Amanda rolled her eyes.
"Well, let's see", her grandma mused. "We've still got a bit of daylight left, and the cookies will be in the oven for oh...about twelve minutes or so...hmmmm. Oh well, how about a quick lesson right now?"
Bewildered, Amanda asked, "Now?"
"No time like the present", announced Grandma, untying her apron. "But first...where's Mr. Sam Cat?".
"Uhhh...he's curled up in the rocking chair on the front porch, taking a nap", replied Amanda, a tinge of confusion coloring her tone.
"Well run get him, Dear, tell him we're going flying. He'll never forgive us if we leave him home".

Amanda giggled and did as she was told. A moment later Amanda reappeared with a sleepy Sam Cat draped casually over her shoulder. Sam Cat had one eye open.
"Somebody had best have a good reason for waking me up", Sam grumbled as he was unceremoniously plunked down on a kitchen chair.

He promptly slid off the chair, yawned and stretched out on the rug.
"Wake up you lazy kitten", warned Grandma. "Or, we'll leave you home while we go flying".

Sam's eyes popped open.

Amanda's Grandma opened the door leading to the flower-filled yard. Sam Cat trotted obediently out the door after Amanda and her grandma.
Grandma paused for a moment by a lush green bush covered with saucer-sized pink roses. Her yard was almost always ablaze with wonderfully fragrant flowers."Amanda Dear", said Grandma, "I forgot to ask you where you wanted to go".
"Oh!", said Amanda. "Ummm, I don't know exactly".

Sam Cat peered intently at a small green lizard who was cautiously making his way under a hedge laden with delicately scented lavender blossoms.
"Sam!", scolded Grandma. "Don't you go wandering off now!".

She turned to Amanda.
"Amanda, take hold of Sam Cat's tail so he doesn't bother that poor lizard".

The tiniest spark of static electricity jolted Amanda as she grabbed hold of Sam's tail. He turned and gave her a withering look.

"Spoilsport", he muttered to himself.

"Think, Dear", said Grandma. "Where would you like to go?".

"Close your eyes, you'll think more clearly", she suggested.
Amanda closed her eyes and thought for a moment.

"I'd like to fly over to the other side of the lake to see where Mrs. Duck spends her days when she's not paddling around in her duck pond", said Amanda decidedly.

"....Oh, and then I'd like to see what your house looks like from the air....and then I'd like to fly over the strawberry patch, and then......"
"Well, we don't want the cookies to burn, and we do want to get back before it gets too dark", Grandma interrupted, "so you may as well open your eyes and we'll decide where we want to go first".
Amanda, still tightly clutching Sam Cat's tail, opened her eyes and promptly yelped with delight.

"We're floating!, we're floating, Grandma!", Amanda shrieked.
"Mind you hold tight to Sam Cat's tail until you get the hang of flying, Dear", Grandma said calmly.
  And off they flew, the three of them, to go find Mrs. Duck on the other side of the big blue lake.

About ten minutes later, Amanda and her grandma and Sam Cat landed gently in the back yard, next to the big stone bird bath.

"That was sooooo cool!", breathed Amanda.

The air was thick with the scent of chocolate chip cookies and Grandma hurried inside to pull them from the oven.

Sam Cat glanced hopefully under the hedge, on the off chance that the lizard had waited around to play tag.
A short while later, Amanda sat at the kitchen table, happily working her way through a still-warm cookie and a cold glass of milk.

Across from her sat Sam Cat with a napkin tied under his chin. He had a saucer of milk and his own cookie.

Amanda's grandma stood at the sink, washing the cookie bowl.

"Amazing", thought Amanda to herself. "Totally amazing".
"Grandma?", she said.
"Yes, Dear?."
"You know a little while ago, when I asked you if you knew how to fly?" Amanda began hesitantly.
"Yes, Dear."
Amanda giggled. "I meant, did you know how to fly an airplane".
Amanda's grandma looked the tiniest bit startled.
And Sam Cat began to laugh.

The Flying Lesson - by Cynthia Loomis Gurin - Copyright 1996 - All Rights Reserved


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