For ages 1 - 4
Mandy poured sand into her bucket as a little bird flew past. She looked up and wondered what it would be like to fly. Her sister, Kayla, who was swinging nearby, smiled and slowed herself down. "Come on, Mandy," she said. "Do you want to go on the swing?"
Clutching her shovel, Mandy shook her head.
"There's nothing to be scared of," Kayla said. She hopped off and walked over to a small swing. "Look, this swing is made for little kids just like you."
Mandy looked at the swing. What if she fell? She shook her head again and buried her toes in the cool sand.
A little bird landed on the small swing and puffed out its chest. Mandy's eyes widened. She got to her feet. As she moved toward it, the bird stretched its neck, chirped and then fluttered away.
She watched the little bird as it soared to the sky.
"Do you want to try the swing now?" Kayla asked again.
Mandy looked at the swing and scrunched up her nose.
Kayla knelt beside her. "I won't push you too high. I promise."
Mandy clenched her fists and stared at the swing. In the trees above, the birds chirped her on. Mandy bit her bottom lip and nodded slowly.
"Great!" Kayla said. She picked Mandy up and seated her in the swing. "Are you ready?"
Mandy took a deep breath and nodded.
"Hold on tight," Kayla said.
Mandy leaned into the back of the swing seat, grabbed the ropes and closed her eyes. As the swing began to move back and forth, Mandy smiled.
"Do you want to go higher?" Kayla asked.
Mandy opened her eyes and nodded.
Back and forth she went, higher and higher, until she thought she could touch the sky.
A little bird flew by and Mandy laughed. Now she knew what it was like to fly, too!
Originally published in Stories For Children, August 2009.
Photo by carol_anne through Fotolia.com