If there's one thing people notice about me almost as quickly as they notice my unruly curls, it's my height. Or lack, thereof. At five foot nothing, I'm pretty much the shortest person I know, aside from children (and my sister, who had the good grace to stop growing at 4'11.5" - thanks, sis!). So, this week's story is, essentially, the story of my life!
Click here for a podcast version of this week's bedtime story.
"I Want To GROW!"
Cassie was shorter than all of her friends,
Even when she stretched, on the very ends
Of her toes, they towered above.
It didn't seem fair and she'd had enough.
"I'm going to have to make myself tall,"
Cassie announced, one day, to them all.
"You can't do that," her friends started to snigger.
But Cassie was determined to make herself bigger.
That same day, she went off to the park,
Planning to stay until long after dark.
She hung from the monkey bars, until her arms ached,
Vowing to save herself from her short fate.
"I'll hang here until I stretch," she declared.
Nobody answered, but she didn't care.
Still, hanging so long was causing her pain.
Eventually, Cassie slumped back down again.
"Never mind," she groaned. "I'll find a new way!"
And she darted off, leaving her friends to play.
Back home, Cassie filled her shoes up with earth,
Ignoring her parents' obvious mirth.
"When you put a seed in the ground, it grows,"
She explained, wriggling her toes.
"So maybe I'll grow if I stand in this soil?"
Mum frowned. "Or maybe your shoes will be spoiled?!"
"You can't just make yourself taller," Dad said.
"Some people are tall, some are shorter, instead."
But Cassie sighed, still wracking her brain.
"Ooh," she cried. "It's started to rain!"
Cassie ran, muddy feet and all,
Out to the garden, straight into the squall.
"Rain makes the plants grow," she happily cried.
"It doesn't grow children," Dad snapped. "Come inside!"
Cassie grumpily did as she was told.
She was wet, she was angry and terribly cold.
But worst of all, she was still petite.
She stared down at her muddy, wet feet.
"I just want to be bigger," she said, her head sadly bowed.
"When you're short you can't see when you're stuck in a crowd.
And you can't reach anything on a high shelf.
You're like a pixie; a small little elf."
She let out a sigh, with a shake of her head.
"And all my trousers are too long," she said.
"Nobody notices you when you're small.
I hate being tiny. I want to be tall!"
Mum and Dad smiled at their daughter.
"Life's not that bad, just being shorter.
We notice you. So do all of your friends!
Your height's not where the sum of you ends."
Cassie looked her parents up and down.
"What do you mean?" She asked, with a frown.
Mum grinned. "I mean there's no need for you to be stressed,"
And she held her hand against Cassie's chest.
"So, outside you're small, but I think you'll find,
It's more important that you're helpful, loving and kind.
And if you're those things, then goodness knows,
Who cares about the distance from your head to your toes?!"
"Besides, even though you might think it strange,"
Dad added: "We actually don't want you to change.
You might not be tall, but you're our little girl.
To me, you're as big as the whole, wide world."
Cassie grinned, as pleased as could be.
"I'm short," she admitted. "But that's just me.
Besides, it's only on the outside. Because, you see...
Inside, I'm sure I'm seven foot three."