He wasn’t far from home

He wasn’t far from home when his phone buzzed in his coat pocket. He pulled it out, admired its shininess, swooshed his finger across the screen to answer the call and held it up to his ear. It was his mum. She’d forgotten to buy beans to go with the potato waffles for his tea. He’d have to go back to the shop. There should be enough change from the ice cream, she said. There was, but only just – he’d bought some penny sweets too.

He wasn’t far from home when a blackbird swooped down in front of him and landed on a nearby branch, making him jump. It cocked its head to one side and snatched a berry from the tree, all the while its beady eyes fixed on him. He imagined it was a monster and hopped, skipped and jumped past it as quickly as his feet would carry him. He heard it squawk and fly off. He wondered what it would be like to be a bird. But he could never be a bird.

He wasn’t far from home when he heard a whirring sound getting closer and closer. He looked up at the sky just as an aeroplane flew directly overhead, like a GIANT bird – now that really COULD be a monster, he thought. It was so close it felt like he could reach out and touch it. He tried to do just that. But it wasn’t close really, Silly. How could it have been? He wondered what it would be like to be an aeroplane soaring through the sky. But he could never be an aeroplane.

He wasn’t far from home when he stopped in the middle of the street. He looked about him, then down at the puddle in front of him. Then Splosh! He jumped in right up to his ankles, even though he was wearing his best shoes and not his welly boots like his mum had told him to in case he got wet.

He wasn’t far from home when he saw Mrs Metcalfe from Number Fifty Seven on the other side of the road and waved. She shouted over to him that she had some spare coins in her purse and would he like them to buy penny sweets? He thought that yes, he rather would like that, and so he ran across the road to get them.

He wasn’t far from home when he heard the screeching of tyres on the road and the sound of an old lady screaming. He turned too late to get out of the way, but as he flew through the air he thought to himself that maybe he could be a bird or a plane after all.

He wasn’t far from home.

Image

Writing this story made me think of these two cutie pies, who were delighted to pose for me when I came across them on a walk around Luang Prabang, in Laos. God forbid anything as horrible befalls them as the poor little boy in my story. I bet they’ll grow into handsome young men and break lots of girls’ hearts 🙂

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