The wind whistled and tumbled the dry, rustling leaves over and over. The sky was bright and blue and the weather perfect to try out Andy’s new kite. He had built it almost by himself. Dad helped with gluing the wood strips together into a diamond shape. Andy cut and painted the paper. He had chosen orange, as bright as the sun. Then he drew a happy face: blue eyes, a red nose and a big smiling mouth. Carefully, he stretched the paper over the wooden diamond and stapled it securely. For the first time, Dad allowed Andy to use the stapler. It took him an hour to cut paper for the tail. Yesterday, he had gone to the store and had bought a big role of string with his own money. This kite was ready to fly!
On the field, Andy saw some friends. Their kites were already way up over the tree tops. “Let’s show them. You’re just as good a kite as theirs are.”
He waited for a good gust of wind and threw the kite into the air. Then he ran as fast as he could and unrolled the string. Nothing happened. The kite dragged along the grass.
Andy stopped. “What’s the matter? Did I do something wrong? Let’s try it again.”
But no matter how many times he tried, the kite wouldn’t get off the ground. Andy sat down. He couldn’t figure it out. Then he heard a small voice.
“I don’t want to fly, I’m scared!”
Andy looked up. Where did that voice come from? He heard it again.
“Did you talk to me?” he asked the kite. He saw that its smiling mouth had turned upside down. “A talking kite? What are you afraid of?”
“Too high up there. If I fall I break,” the voice answered.
“The wind will carry you. I’ll make sure you don’t fall,” Andy said.
“But birds might peck at me. A tree branch could hurt me.” The kite’s mouth drooped even more.
“I built you for flying. You’re just a great big chicken!”
“I’m not a chicken, I’m a kite.”
“Okay, show me. Show all the others up there that you can fly, too.”
“Maybe not quite so high?” The little voice quivered a bit.
"I'll only use half the length of the string," Andy promised. “You’ll see, once you get used to flying, it will be fun.”
On the next try, the kite rose about five feet off the ground. Andy made sure it had a soft landing.
“Whew, that wasn’t too bad,” the kite admitted.
Little by little Andy let out more string. Finally, on a big gust of wind, the kite sailed higher and higher.
“See, you can do it!” Andy yelled. “You’re the best!”
The kite stayed up for quite a while. When it landed its mouth had turned the right way up. “It was exciting up there. I could see far away.”
Andy’s friends had stopped by. “Did you build the kite?” they asked.
Andy nodded. “Yes, but my dad helped.”
“I bought my kite. It was easier,” one of his friends said.
Andy didn’t know what to tell them. They would never believe that his kite could talk and that he wouldn’t trade it with any others. He simply said, “It was more fun to make one.”