Thursday, June 9, 2011


He shot through the gym doors as quickly as he was allowed. Once his shoes touched the hard brown earth and he was freed of the constraints of indoor school rules, he took off as fast as his legs could take him. He ran across the hopscotch boards and four square boxes to the sidewalk. Following it past the playground, the soccer field, and the preschool park, he turned to his right. The grass jumped up to tickle his ankles and the wind rustled his hair.

He ran on. The field met with the dirt path that aggressively cut across it and his feet turned kicking up gritty sand. Through the woods he ran, emerging only to leave the dirt path for the concrete one. Slowly, he gained ground. Step by step, he drew nearer his goal. He rounded another corner and could see the finish line. The orange cones marked the end of the race and the joy of claiming his prize.

I looked into his happy eyes as he approached. A smile spread across my face and I pounded my hands together. He didn't smile in return. Instead, his focus seemed to fall to to the ground only to be trampled by dozens of other runners. He stumbled to a stop, turned and took two steps back. Bending over, he picked up his  escaped shoe and tried to put it back on quickly.

Two steps later, he stopped again to retrieve his shoe. I gestured for him to come over. Carrying his shoe, he hobbled over as quickly as he could. Looking at it, I wondered if there was anything I could do. The metal buckle and velcro extension had snapped off. The shoe was irreparable, but somehow it needed to be salvaged if I wanted to restore his hope of finishing the race.

Thinking quickly, I pulled the clip out of my hair. It fell in my face obscuring my view. Helping him put his foot in the shoe, I pulled the loose strap tight and fastened it to the tongue before securely tucking the other end of the clip between the wall of his shoe and his foot. Even though it wasn't as great as Macgyver could have done --no duct tape-- I was confident it would hold long enough for him to cross the finish line.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

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