Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Bedtime Story (12/7/2017)

As the Summer holidays get ever closer, I find myself wishing I had a trip away to look forward to.  Alas, I won't be jetting off somewhere exotic this year, but with lots of little ones probably counting down the days to their own holidays abroad, I thought I'd write a little story about flying.

As always, you can also listen to this story as a podcast.

Mara And Kai In The Sky

Mara wriggled in her seat for a better look at the planes.  The airport windows were huge; walls of glass from floor to ceiling.  She was excited for her holiday to Greece, but she was nervous, too.  Mara hated flying, the last time she tried it.  She was worried that this time would be no different.

Her older brother Kai couldn't understand what the fuss was about.  He'd been on a plane three times before and he loved to fly.  

As their flight was called, Kai, Mara and their mum and dad began walking down the funny little corridor to the plane.  At the end of the walkway, they could see a smiling flight attendant, holding the door open for them.  "I like her little hat," Mara said, trying to make herself feel a bit better about the whole thing.

Once the family were all settled in their seats, Kai turned to his sister, with a puzzled look on his face.  "Why don't you like flying?"  He asked.

"I don't like the noise of the jet engines," Mara said.  "They're really loud when you take off and it hurts my ears."

"But then you're up in the sky!"  Kai exclaimed, pointing out of the window beside him.  "And you can look down and see all the buildings and trees getting smaller and smaller, until they look almost like dots!"

Mara sighed.  "But I didn't like the lunch I had on the plane last time, either," she said.  "And then, because I didn't eat it all, I was hungry and tired when we landed."  She paused and folded her arms.  "And I don't like landing, either.  It can be a bit bumpy."

Kai smiled at his sister.  "I reckon you'll enjoy it more, this time," he promised.  "I'll look after you."

The flight attendants began demonstrating what to do in an emergency.  That made Mara feel nervous; she was scared enough already, without having them talk about what to do if there was a crash!  But Kai reassured her.  "They're telling you what to do to stay safe," he reminded her.  "And think of how many planes fly all around the world every single day, without the tiniest bit of trouble."  That made Mara feel a bit better.

Before long, the time for take off had arrived.  Mara gripped hard onto the armrest of her seat.  Kai told her to look out of the window.  "And squeeze your nose to make your ears pop," he added.

Mara wanted to put her hands over her ears to drown out the sound of the noisy engines, but she did as her brother told her.  She watched the airport buildings and other planes seem to disappear in a blur as their plane travelled faster and faster down the runway.  Then, it looked almost as though the world outside had been tipped sideways, as the plane left the ground and began climbing into the sky.

"Isn't it cool?!"  Kai grinned.

Mara didn't like to admit it, but her brother was right!  The world seemed to be falling away from them, as the plane rose up into the air.  She had hardly dared to look out of the window last time, but now, she was transfixed, seeing the whole of the city spreading out beneath them as they climbed higher into the sky.  Soon, everything seemed to level out and Mara found herself getting used to being so high up.

"Was that so bad?"  Kai asked her.  Mara shook her head and smiled.

Then, Kai handed his sister a pair of headphones and pointed to a little screen built into the seat in front of her.  "You can watch some cartoons, if you like," he told her.  Mara didn't remember there being a TV to watch, last time!  She beamed, as Kai helped her to set her screen up and pick a movie to watch, before doing the same for himself.

Before long, some flight attendants began coming round with food.  Mara sank back in her seat, a little worried about what might come along.  But, to her surprise, she was offered a bowl of macaroni cheese - her favourite!  Mara wolfed down the whole lot and still had room for some chocolate biscuits, afterwards.

When the captain announced that there was some mild turbulence ahead, Kai explained that things might get a little bumpy.  Mara was nervous, but Kai told her to imagine that she was on a rollercoaster.  That made it a lot easier to deal with the bumpy up and down motions.  In fact, Mara was so brave about it, she even managed to calm her dad down, when he got a bit scared!

By the time the plane began sinking lower in the sky, Mara was almost disappointed.  This time, she hadn't hated flying at all!  She gripped onto her seat all the same, when the plane came down to land.  Yet, surprisingly, Mara wasn't scared of the bumpy landing.  She remembered what Kai had said earlier, about pretending you're on a rollercoaster.  That made it much easier!

The plane slowed down as it travelled along the runway, before finally coming to a stop.  Everyone excitedly grabbed their bags and began making their way back down the aeroplane's narrow aisle, to the door.  

Kai was beside himself with glee as he stepped out into the glorious sunshine.  "We're officially on holiday!"  He cried.  "I can't wait to play on the beach, swim in the sea and try lots of yummy new food!"  He turned to his sister.  "What are you most looking forward to, Mara?"

Mara grinned, taking one last glance over her shoulder at the plane.  "The flight back home!"

Kai giggled at his sister.  "I told you you'd like flying more, this time," he said.  "Come on, let's go and get our cases!"

And the pair jogged ahead of their parents, eager to get their holiday started.


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