View Full Version : The Magic Dust and Her Father's Wise Words

11-27-03, 02:12 AM
The Magic Dust and Her Father's Wise Words
(~by Sandy)

On a tall tall mountain in a tall tall tower lived a young girl named Elizabeth and her father, Benjamin. Living at the top of the mountain, Elizabeth could see the entire countryside and every home for twenty miles in every direction. But Elizabeth could not see the sky above because it was covered by a cloud and it filled the sky as far as the human eye could see. She had heard about the blue sky at school. She had been told about the stars that sparkled and the moon that glowed at night. She had felt the sun and its warm rays, but she had never seen any of the like.

Because the tower was so very tall, Elizabeth had been too frightened to climb higher than the second story, (which is where she slept at night). On her eighth birthday, she asked her father if she could climb higher. High enough that she might see the blue sky about which she had so often heard. The sky that others had seen before the cloud had come. Benjamin, in his wisdom, could see that his daughter was now old enough to climb the tower even above the cloud. He cautioned Elizabeth, "Look before you leap," but Elizabeth was so filled with excitement that in her haste she did not heed her father's warning.

Elizabeth counted the steps. One hundred! Two hundred! Three hundred! She was so delighted that she almost lost count. Finally, when she reached step three hundred and eleven, she saw a window. A small round window. A magic window. Magic because anyone who touched the dust on the window, the dust that had gathered from the cloud that covered the mountain, could leap off the edge and land into the cloud. As she climbed up into the window, the dust (as dust always does) sprinkled on her and caused her to sneeze. When she sneezed, however, a glow appeared on her face and Elizabeth knew at that very moment that she would be safe to leap into the cloud. A cloud that she could now see was filled with magic and enchantment.

Elizabeth stood at the window for only a moment. She bent her knees and jumped. She jumped as if she was diving but there was no fear of water below. Just the cloud. A very soft cloud. A cloud that felt like the blue feather pillows she would cuddle at night during the cold evenings that often visited the mountain. While laying on the cloud, as the sun shone on her right cheek, Elizabeth looked up and saw the rich blue sky of which others, (older than herself, of course), so often spoke. She wished to stay but even more she wanted to leave and tell her father where she had been and what she had seen.

As she reached up and climbed back into the round window with the magic dust, she could hear her father slowly climbing the three hundred and eleven stairs which lead to the window. Benjamin was worried because his daughter had been gone for such a long time. When she told her father about the window, the dust and the cloud, he showed no surprise on his face but simply smiled and reminded his daughter, "Look before you leap."

Each day, after Elizabeth returned from school and finished her chores, she would climb the stairs to the round window with the magic dust, the magic dust that would some day take her sailing into the cloud. And as she climbed the tower, she could hear her father's faint voice echoing throughout the castle-- "Look before you leap."

Yet still, she payed no mind to his warnings. Months passed and on the day before Elizabeth's ninth birthday, a strong wind came into the valley and raced up and over the mountain. Just as soon as the gust came, it left. The wind left no damage. No houses were blown down. No trees had fallen. But no cloud was left to be seen.

Excited, as she always was at the end of the school day, Elizabeth hurried home, finished her chores, and raced up the three hundred and eleven stairs to the round window from which she had jumped many times before. Ignoring her father's warning she leaped out the window without taking time to notice that the cloud was no longer below to catch her. Falling into the trees that surrounded the tower, she remembered the words which her father so often said: "look before you leap."

For seven days, Elizabeth laid in bed with her broken left leg set on top of her blue feather pillows. The same pillows that she would cuddle on a cold night. For five more weeks Elizabeth would only be able to walk by using the crutches Benjamin kept in the cellar. The crutches her grandmother had used many years before. It would be even longer, much much longer, before she would be able to once again climb up the three hundred and eleven stairs and look out the round window which had once gathered dust. Magic dust. The magic dust from the enchanted cloud that might some day return. And if it ever did return, Elizabeth knew she would remember her father's wise words.