Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Through the strange grass

Confidence is a strange thing.
Jonas learnt that the hard way in the strange grass near Loch Kilder.
Climbing the lower boughs with less angular friends, he sought to reach and stretch as high as they could.
See, Kelvin can shimmy so high, he’s out of sight in the thick branches. And there’s Liam, holding on to the overhanging limb with one arm, already so strong and limber. On a hot day he would allow himself to fall, plunging into the cool waters to shatter its clarity with sweat and fizzing bubbles. But today, when the temperature was niggly and the vegetation retained the water from the night before, Liam just held on as long as he could, staring down at the damp ground below as if it were the strangest thing he ever saw, before climbing back up and sitting straight upon the branch, like a bishop.
They called to Jonas, “Come higher, come and sit with us; you can do it,” and he tried to stretch and climb; and though you know what happened after that, it doesn’t make it any less sad.
The two boys, strong and able, ready for anything, looked down through the leaves and through the strange grass, to a sight they’d truly never seen before.
Little Jonas’s flickering eyes, looked away from them. He wanted to shiver but he didn’t feel he could. All he felt was ashamed and he looked away from the strong and able boys, through the long wet grass. The grass seemed like it was bigger than him and he felt so ashamed.
He felt ashamed until he felt nothing more.

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