A young boy heard about a competition
for flying kites
Each person was required
to make his own kite and fly it.
He talked about this with his friends at school,
and they laughed.
They said, you can't do this, you'd never win.
You know nothing about making kites.
You can't run with a kite.
You don't know how to fly a kite.
You know nothing about it.
The boy was saddened, and thought perhaps they were right.
Still, as he thought about it, he knew that he wanted to win.
He went to the library
and read books on kite making.
He went to the store and bought blue china silk,
and the other materials he needed for the kite.
He made a pattern
and cut the silk for the kite and the tail.
He created the frame out of the bamboo sticks
and glued it together.
Finally he fastened the tail and the string.
He sat and stared at the finished kite
but was afraid to test it on the wind.
When it was time for the competition,
the boy took the kite to the field.
Other children looked at his kite with disdain.
His kite was just plain blue, while their kites were garishly painted
to be easily seen in the sky.
The boy was inwardly hurt that the others laughed,
but still, he moved to the starting place.
Some of the others looked at his kite, so plain and ordinary
Many boys said their kites were best,
and that the others could forget it right now.
But the boy stood quietly, unspeaking,
waiting for his time.
When the time came, he held up his kite
and began to move.
The faint breeze caught the silk,
and he let it go and played out some of the string.
The kite began to rise.
He moved further back, pulling on the string,
but the kite began to dip and fall.
He quickly tugged on the string again, and the kite
once again caught the wind and began to rise.
Over and over, this pattern repeated,
falling and rising again.
But each time, the kite moved a little higher in the sky.
Slowly, the line of string played out.
There were brightly colored kites all about.
Some with dragons, some with airplanes, many other designs and colors.
His, by far, was the plainest.
Yet, there was simplicity in his kite.
He saw two of the kites crash into each other, and he quickly
moved his line to avoid getting entangled as they fell to earth.
As he continued to fly his kite,
he saw that it was moving higher and higher.
And he began to feel a quiet excitement.
Again and again, kites fell to earth, but his rose higher.
Finally, at last, his kite rose to the end of his string,
higher than any other kite, and caught the high wind and stayed there.
A cloud moved from in front of the sun,
and the sunlight illuminated the kite
which shone like a brilliant sapphire in the sky.
When the contest ended, officials awarded his kite the champion title,
and he smiled.