The Story Of A Kite
A Fable Talk to Children About the Ambitious Flier Which Broke the String.
THE LESSON—That sometimes the things which seem to be hindering us and holding us down are the very things which we need to hold us up and build us up.
In the days of our grandfathers and grandmothers, the children were taught from the beginning to perform many household duties which the children of today know nothing of. Whether it be a cause or an effect, the truth of the matter is that the modern tendency is to get away from the home influence and home responsibilities at a very early age—to break loose from "mother's apron strings." The talk deals with this phase of modern life.
(By Chas. D. Meigs.)
"I am going to draw you a picture this morning, and I am wondering which one of you will be able to tell me first what it is a picture of. I will go a little slow, so you can all follow every line and think real hard what it is going to be! [Begin drawing Fig. 126, at the lines indicating the distant foliage; then draw the tail, and finally the kite frame and string.]
"No, no, no! It's not a wood pile! It's not a gridiron! No, it is not a trap! Where's the boy who said 'kite?' He's the smartie, for he got it right. Yes—it's a kite, and it was John's kite.
"One day the wind came up just right for the kite, so John got it out, called to his chum, Harry, across the street, and said, 'Say, Harry, come on—let's go out and fly the kite; the wind is just dandy today.'
"So, away the boys went, and before they reached the open lot three or four other kids had fallen in line, and they went along to help have the fun. 'Now, Harry, you take the kite and run out there towards that old stump,' said John, 'and when I pull the string, you stop and hold the kite up over your head as high as you can and when I say 'ready' you let her go.' Away went Harry, and he held up the kite. [Let speaker hold up a song book, high.] 'Are you ready?' 'Yes.' 'Well, then, let her go.' And with that, along came a gust of wind which laid hold of that kite and began to climb right up towards the sky with it. Higher and higher it went till the kite which was really as tall as the boy who owned it, didn't look much bigger than his hat But Harry kept on letting out the string, till the hat looked like a bird with a great long tail.' [Let speaker here shade his eyes with his hand and peer and point steadily up towards the sky and occasionally take a peep at the audience and see the boys and girls also looking up through the roof at the kite. The writer has so caught them at it many a time.] Then John looked down to see how much string he had left, and he let out more and more, and when he looked up at the kite again he didn't look at it at all—because he could not see it. It was out of sight! But he knew it was up there all right for he felt it pull!
"Now, I guess this kite story is a fable, because in fables kites can talk as well as the boys who fly them. So when the kite got up so high, the story says that it began to want to talk, and as there was nobody up there to talk to, it began to talk to itself, and here is what it said:
"'My! but ain't I high today? Never got so high in all my life before. How beautiful the world looks below me! How beautiful the sky looks above me! Dear me, I can't be so very far from the man in the moon! I have often heard of him, but have never met him. Gee! I wish that boy would let go of that string; if he would, I'd go up and shake hands with the man in the moon and ask him how he is. I just hate to be held down all the time. I heard Harry say, the other day, that he didn't went to be tied to his mother's apron string, and that he'd like to be his own man.' Yes, and I'd like to be my own kite, too, and then I'd show these boys where I'd go.' And the more the kite thought of being 'held down,' the madder it got and finally it said, 'If that boy don't let go of that string, I'll break it—that's what I'll do, and I'll go on up to the moon, now see if I don't!' And with that, the kite gave a sudden jerk—and—snap went the string!
"And what do you think, children—did the kite reach the man in the moon? Not much it didn't!' It began to act crazy and silly and drunk all at the same time! And it wobbled, and wobbled and stumbled and tumbled and finally it fell in the dirt, battered and broken like that! [Detach your drawing, reverse it and reattach it to the drawing board; add the lines to complete Fig. 127.]
"Now boys, why did the kite fall, when the string broke? Because the very same string which had held it down was the very same thing which held it up! And now listen—don't you boys and girls get as silly as the kite was. Don't you jerk, and pull and tug at your mother's apron string and try to break it, so you can be 'your own man' while you are nothing but a boy or a girl? If you break that string too soon, you are liable to tumble in the dirt as the kite did, and go all to pieces as it did; for—don't forget this—the things which hold you down to Sunday School, to Church, to Young People's Meeting, to School and to work, are the things which hold you up and lift you up, and keep you up and build you up into strong, hopeful, helpful, useful, happy men and women. Don't forget what a fool the kite was, and what happened to it! Go as high as you can in the world but don't break the string!"
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