The Dragon Kite
A Zandra Belle Story
Zandra looked out the window and watched a trash can roll down the street being pushed by the force of the wind. The large trees out front were bent over; their branches swaying from side to side. It was like watching a movie about tornados from a front row seat. This was definitely a blustery day and the weather man on the television said wind gusts could reach 50 miles per hour. Playing outside wasn’t going to happen today and Zandra was trying to decide what to do. She could pick out a movie to watch or maybe read a book or there were all her iPad games to play. Zandra was spending the day at her Gramma’s house and there was always something to do. As she turned from the window she saw Uncle Troy drive up in his old truck, most of the paint had worn off but some orange patches of paint still remained. Zandra instantly perked up because when Uncle Troy was around being bored just didn’t happen. Just then Gramma called out that she was going to take a nap before starting dinner and Zandra replied that Uncle Troy was here and she would hang out with him and told Gramma not to worry.
Little did Gramma know……
Zandra watched Uncle Troy get something from the back of the truck and being curious to find out what, she opened the door and braved the wind. Hanging on to the front porch rail to not get blown away, Zandra staggered over to see what he was holding. It was long and red with black stripes. Uncle Troy looked excited and said, “I’ve been waiting a long time for enough wind to get this kite up in the air. Here, hold this end.” He handed Zandra one end of the kite and started unrolling it. Soon a large red dragon with shiny black eyes stared back at her. Zandra gulped and her eyes became large when the creature moved as the wind whipped it around. “Isn’t it great. I’ve had this kite since my birthday last month and this is the first time there has been enough wind to get it in the air.” Uncle Troy was really proud of his large red dragon kite. “I hope I have enough string. Hold on to the tail as I let out the string and let go when I say to.” Uncle Troy started down the street pulling out the string. When he was past the next house, he yelled, “Let go.” Zandra was glad to release the dragon’s tail as it was becoming hard to hold in the blowing wind.
Zandra watched Uncle Troy expertly guide the kite to catch the wind under the large wings. It seemed like the kite had come to life and the wings started moving up and down like a real flying dragon. Higher and higher climbed the dragon moving and soaring above the trees. Zandra stared in amazement noticing how life-like the kite looked flying over head. “Darn. I’m out of string. I knew I should have put that other reel on.” Uncle Troy slowly backed toward Zandra and when he reached her said, “Here, hold the handle extra tight. Use both hands. I’ll get the other reel of string out of the truck and tie it on.” Zandra had flown lots of kites with Uncle Troy and knew what to do because she was a good kite flier too. Zandra reached out and grasped the wide handle firmly with both hands and side-stepped into the street so the kite wouldn’t get caught in the tall trees.
Uncle Troy climbed into the back of the truck to get the extra string when a humongous gust of wind whished in and caught Zandra on her backside and lifted her up off the street. Then it happened. It was like the dragon had come to life and smelled freedom; its wings expanded and its large red head rose up looking ready to breathe fire any minute. With another burst of jet powered wind the dragon soared upward pulling Zandra behind like a flying super hero with arms extended forward, gripping the handle as tight as possible. Zandra tried to yell for Uncle Troy but when she opened her mouth no sound came out. She dared to look down and saw the roof tops of the houses below her feet. She shut her eyes really tight, hoping when she opened them this was all a crazy dream. She opened her eyes and flew by a tall palm tree startling the birds nesting there. She heard from far away Uncle Troy yelling, “Hold on Zandra. I’ll save you.” Just how, Zandra wondered, would he be able to save her at this height? Zandra knew she didn’t dare let go of the kite’s handle; she would fall to the ground and definitely break both legs. Tightly holding on to the handle, she continued to climb higher and higher in pursuit of the big red dragon.
Uncle Troy leaped into the old truck and sped off chasing after the soaring red dragon with Zandra flying behind. He leaned half out the window driving madly, swerving from side to side to see which way the wind was taking them. He turned down one street and then another trying not to lose them. Finally he turned and skidded down a dirt road that ran into the desert. The old truck was swaying back and forth; the tires throwing gravel into the air and dust billowing behind as he barreled down the road. Uncle Troy leaned out the window yelling as loud as he could for Zandra to hold on tight and choked on all the dust. The large gust of wind began losing speed and as the wind slowed, Zandra began to inch closer to the ground. She looked down and could see desert bushes and cactus and worried that she might get snagged on one of the large Saguaro cactus with arms that extended like a gigantic statue. Uncle Troy was now getting closer and she hoped he didn’t get bounced out of the truck’s window. The old truck hit bump after bump and everything piled in the back kept bouncing up and down like jumping beans. Up head was a small hill and Uncle Troy floored the gas pedal and the old truck bounced ahead of the kite. He slammed on the brakes at the top of the hill and the old truck made a full circle turn and stopped. Uncle Troy moved as fast a superhero, jumping out of the truck and climbing on the top of the cab. Holding his arms high above his head, he was ready to grab Zandra’s legs as she flew over. When the dragon sailed past, he leaped high into the air and clasped both of Zandra’s legs in his long arms.
With Uncle Troy’s added weight the runaway dragon could not continue its flight of escape. Zandra touched down and nothing had ever felt as good as the dirt road under her feet. The dragon thumped the ground twice, and then tumbled wing over wing, its flight to freedom ended. Zandra slowly unclasped her hands; they were frozen in place from tightly clinging to the kite’s handle. She flopped back on the ground and watched Uncle Troy wind up the kite and string. She was so happy to be back on solid ground, she felt like making a dust angel. Her blue shirt was coated in dust and she would have to change when she got back to Gramma’s house. Uncle Troy dropped the kite in the back of the truck and walked over and as he leaned to help Zandra to her feet he exclaimed, “That was great flying. You are every bit as good as Super Girl.” He slapped her back with congratulations and said, “Let’s get rolling before Gramma misses you.” Zandra agreed that was a good idea as she brushed dirt off her blue jeans and climbed into the old truck. They were back at Gramma’s house in less than 20 minutes total flight time, but it had seemed so much longer to Zandra.
Later when they were eating dinner, Gramma pointed to the TV where a late breaking news flash was on. Someone with a cell phone recorded a video of a red dragon flying across the sky and a blue suited super hero flying after it. The picture from the cell phone was sort of fuzzy. The large red dragon was easy to make out, but the blue clad superhero wasn’t that clear. Zandra looked down at her clean white shirt and was glad she had changed clothes and that Gramma was in the kitchen and didn’t see her come in. Gramma shook her head, folded her arms and said, “Some people will believe anything. That is as big of a hoax as when they filmed those spaceships over South Mountain.” Uncle Troy took a large bite of food and mumbled something like he was agreeing with Gramma. Zandra took a drink of milk, swallowed and looked at Uncle Troy. Uncle Troy grinned and winked.
Little did Gramma know…..