The Kite and the String

     There once was a kite who loved to fly. All day long he would fly through the air, soaring higher and higher until, eventually, he would run out of string.  When this happened, the kite would become very upset.  “I’m tired of this string!” he would say to himself.  “It’s always holding me back!  Why, if it wasn’t for this string, I could fly as high as I want!  Nothing would be impossible!”  And he despised the string very much.

     So one day his owner took him out to the field, and when the wind kicked up just right, he ran and threw the kite into the air.  The kite soared through the sky, climbing higher and higher until it was almost out of string.  “Now’s my chance,” thought the kite.  And with that, he began to wiggle and tug with all of his might, doing anything he could to make the little boy lose his grip of the string.  Finally, after an especially hard tug, the boy lost his grip and the kite broke free.

     “This is great!” thought the kite after realizing what had happened.  “I’m free!  I can fly as high as I want to … even up to the clouds!”

     So the kite flew higher and higher, and soon he was almost to the clouds.  When he looked down to find out what the boy was doing, he could barely see him.  He was nothing but a tiny speck in the field below.  “I’ve never flown this high before!” thought the kite as he looked around.  “I’ll be to the clouds in no time!”

     But just then, the wind died down and the kite began to lose his balance.  He twisted through the air, dropping to the earth at a fantastic speed.

     “What am I going to do?” thought the kite as the ground came closer and closer.  “If I hit the ground at this speed, I’ll surely break apart!”

     The kite tried with all his might to regain control, but there was nothing he could do.  Finally, he gave up hope and closed his eyes; he didn’t want to see what was about to happen to him.

     But just as he was going to hit the ground, the kite felt a tug from behind him and he came to an abrupt stop.  When he opened his eyes to see what had happened, he couldn’t believe it.  There he was, hanging in mid-air, just inches from the ground.

     When he looked above him to see what was holding him up, he noticed his string, tangled in the branches of a large oak tree.

     The kite smiled and realized how foolish he had been.  “All this time I was mad at the string.  Yet here I am, hanging from a tree branch, saved only by the string that holds me.”  And he was very thankful that the string had saved his life.

     Just then the boy came running up to the tree and shouted with joy at having found his kite undamaged.  He untangled the kite and the string and went back to the field to fly again.  But the kite never forgot that day when the string saved his life.  And no more did he long to fly to the clouds.

     “It’s not the height of the flight that matters,” the kite would sometimes say to himself, “but enjoying every moment in the sky that makes all the difference.”

     From that day forward, all was well with the boy and his kite, and they grew happier and happier with every flight.

Excerpted from Shine Like the Sun: A Collection of Children’s Stories by Adam Soto