My First Flying Experience: Hold onto the Leash!


Have you ever wished you could fly like a sparrow? If so, you may want to rethink this. I learned how to fly when I was six years old, and it was not a fun experience at all!

It happened on the beach in Oostende, Belgium. I was happily building a sandcastle with my yellow shovel and red plastic bucket (color coordination did not exist at that time!), when a lady came up and began to converse with my parents. They must have known her but I didn't. And I wished that they didn't either, because she had a monstrous, colossal dog on a leash, and that dog was slobbering all over my sandcastle! It was also pulling his mistress off of her feet, and I couldn't help but wonder why grown-ups enjoy being drug around by monsters like these. It sure didn't make sense to me! But it seemed that even she was growing impatient by her dog's antics, because to my horror, she turned to me and said, "Would you like to walk my dog?"

ME??? I was sure the monstrosity would turn on me, swallow me whole in one bite: "Great snack!" Burp! I anxiously looked at my parents to see if they would rescue me, but they seemed to be ignoring my plight. There was nothing I could do but take the offered leash.

A fraction of a second later the dog was firmly attached to my wrist and I had no choice but to follow it. It wasn't so bad at first. The "monster" took its time, sniffing here and there. It probably hadn't noticed me yet. Then all of a sudden it took off like a rocket. My arm was nearly wrenched out of its socket as I found myself being launched into the air. Luckily for me, as I literally flew over the beach, my body stayed connected to my limb!

In a matter of seconds, everyone on the beach was staring at me as if I had become some kind of local attraction. They probably were of the impression that little boys couldn't fly. I guess I changed their thinking on that one!

I tried desperately to reach the sand with my feet. I succeeded for about one second, at which time I searched for any kind of braking system. Apparently there wasn't one installed on this model, because I was soon flying through the air again. I was sure that miles had gone by and that I would never see my parents again. I knew I was way too young to travel the world, but what was I supposed to do? I doubted that even the ocean would stop this beast!

Then it stopped. Just like that. And I fell to the sand with a boom! I painfully lifted my sandy head to see what the "monster" was doing, and I was happy to observe that it had turned in its tracks and was heading back in the direction I had flown in from. The creature must have been tired, because it was now walking leisurely. Had I actually tamed the beast? Maybe! I lifted my head up high in pride as I followed it.

Big mistake! That's when I learned that pride leads to a fall.

That's also when I took my second flying lesson.

But most importantly, that's when I learned that even the prayers of 6 year-olds are honored!

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (1 John 5:14-15 KJV)

When we finally got back to where we had left my parents and the monster's mistress, I couldn't help but notice the looks of anger on their faces: "What took you so long? Little boys shouldn't wander away that far!"

And then I was disciplined.

Is it any wonder I have grown up to be a cat person?

Rob Chaffart

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