332. The Great Kite Skite
© Bruce Goodman 7 September 2014

Slade’s school was having a fund-raising event called “The Great Kite Skite”. Mr Frederick Hargreaves of the local toy shop was sponsoring it. That meant everyone paid to enter the event, and Mr Hargreaves supplied about $75 worth of prizes.

Of course, everyone would buy their kites at Mr Hargreaves’ toy shop. Mr Hargreaves’ kites were at a “special price” that had doubled for the occasion, although he had announced it as “halved”. Arithmetic was not Mr Hargreaves’ forte. Or perhaps it was.

Everyone did in fact buy their kites at Mr Hargreaves’. Everyone except for Slade. Slade’s Dad was Slade’s hero. His father said he’d show his son how to make his own kite. They got bamboo, and bits of paper, and string. They cut and glued and painted each evening for weeks. (After Slade had done his homework, naturally).

The day of “The Great Kite Skite” arrived! The weather was perfect. The sky was blue. The breeze was gentle. And the kites! Yellow ones! Blue ones! Kites with florescent tails! Kites with ugly faces! They flew high in the sky! Way, way up! What a spectacle! Then appeared Slade with his kite. Everyone stood agog. There, unfolding before their eyes, was a gigantic dragon. It was the size of a train engine. It wobbled into the air. It darted and twisted. It scurried and whizzed, back and forth, back and forth. Slade’s Dad (and his uncles) had to help Slade hold the strings.

Strings tangled in other kites, as they stared in wonder. And then the dragon spat. It spat smoke! It spat fire with a flash of sparks! It exploded like you wouldn’t believe! Everyone cheered and clapped and shouted.

Mr Hargreaves was furious. He gave first place to a little green kite bought at his shop by the granddaughter of a friend. She’d paid $49.76 for it.

Slade and his hero Dad went home. They may not have got the prize, but they knew they had won the day.

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