(Photo credit: German painter Heiko Müller‘s piece, Swallow. http://www.heikomueller.de)
Dear parents and anyone who loves children: Please feel free to read this story to any child who does not want to wear their glasses. Remember, glasses hold super powers within their lenses . . .
“My super power is not flying,” Mr. Bird squawked as he wondered were this lady haled from. “Flying is just my thing. It’s what I do. If I had a super power it would be something that no other bird could muster. The dogs don’t refer to their barking as super, nor do the mice think themselves superior for eating cheese.”
“Mussster?” hissed Miss Snake. “That is a big word for a bird. Got any more in there? Or was that only big one you know?”
“Let’s get back to business,” said Dr. Chipmunk who had a milk mustache and probably should have used a straw. “We are gathered together today to discuss the topic of young Micah’s new glasses. You see, he cannot see . . . wait a moment. I said something funny just then. Did you hear? I said, ‘You see, he cannot see!’ Ha! I don’t usually crack hilarious jokes but . . .”
“You didn’t crack one this time either, Dr. Chipmunk,” said Mr. Bird.
“Come now. Be nice,” hissed Miss Snake. “Go on, Dr. Chipmunk.”
“I will say it in a different way so we don’t all get caught up in giggles and forget the importance of the day,” Dr. Chipmunk once again overestimated his comic genius. “Young Micah was having a hard time reading his books at school and, as I overheard his brother saying to a friend, he was even beginning to experience difficulty in seeing the games on his Xbox. So, Micah’s father had a wonderful idea, as Micah’s father is wont to do. He has decided that young Micah will get glasses.”
“Glasses?” asked Mr. Bird.
“Glasses?” asked Miss Snake.
“Yes, glasses,” answered Dr. Chipmunk.
Miss Snake rolled over on her back and looked toward the sky, “Oh my! Glasses! What a lucky boy he is! I have always wished I could wear glasses but, as you can see, my face is too small and my eyes sit too far apart. But, oh my! Glasses look so handsome on our human friends.”
Mr. Bird, reluctant to agree with Miss Snake, chimed in, “I must say, Miss Snake, you and I have something in common. Perhaps only this one thing: I, too, find the human folk look rather charming when they don glasses atop their noses: especially the little ones. Why, glasses make the young ones look debonair, charming and, dare I say, dashing.”
“Oh, please,” cried Miss Bird, “Ssstop with the big words! And for the love of all that is good, please come to your points much quicker!”
Mr. Bird lifted his beak into the air and flapped his wings twice, too quickly to actually fly, “Miss Bird! I will thank you not to critique my every word! I am simply saying that glasses are quite pleasing to the eye.”
The milky-faced Chipmunk giggled, “Glasses? Pleasing to the eye? Oh, now you’ve made a joke, Mr. Bird!” Dr. Chipmunk continued giggling while Miss Snake rolled her wide-set eyes in his general direction and Mr. Bird stood staring at the sky wondering, “Why?”
Realizing he had begun to lose control of the meeting, Dr. Chipmunk cleared his throat and began again, “The problem, friends, is this: Micah feels, well, a little embarrassed about having to wear his new glasses to school. He isn’t sure the other children will like his new glasses so he refusing to wear them.”
“Well, that is preposterous, Dr. Chipmunk!” squawked Mr. Bird. “Glasses not only look dashing but they are also quite helpful, you know. In fact, they offer super powers to all those who wear them. That is really quite amazing!”
Miss Snake raised the top half of her body, “Now I must agree with Mr. Bird for the second time in one day, which is certainly a record. Sure, glasses look great but they are also . . . “ Miss Snake’s voice trailed off and then she whispered the next word, “Powerful.”
Dr. Chipmunk shuttered at the word itself and answered, “Both of you are right. Contained within the lenses of young Micah’s glasses is a special potion, concocted by our Greek friend, Mikanos the Mouse.” Now it was Dr. Chipmunk’s turn to whisper, “Within the potion there are elements that dance together, as the Lords and Ladies used to do in the great halls of the most prestigious castles, and then the dancing elements will tiptoe into young Micah’s eyes giving him the super power of . . . seeing as far as the birds can see.”
Miss Snake rolled around on the ground while Mr. Bird flapped his wings so hard that he flew straight to the tops of the trees. “Amazing!” said Mr. Bird from his leafy perch. “So, you are telling us that young Micah will be able to see far and wide? He will be able to discern all the bright colors in the world, pinpoint every detail from miles away and he will be able to see his prey in ultraviolet hues?”
“Now, now,” Dr. Chipmunk said in an effort to calm Mr. Bird. “Young Micah not be able to see ultraviolet hues but . . .” his voice grew with excitement, “He WILL, however, be able to see far and wide! He will be able to discern all the bright colors in the world and pinpoint every detail from miles away!”
Miss Snake composed herself to say, “That IS a super power, Dr. Chipmunk! You were right! The dancing elements inside young Micah’s glasses will allow him to read all the books he’s every wanted to read and to see all the details in the world so he can draw them, or paint them, or even write about them himself!”
Mr. Bird energetically tweeted, “And what if one of our animal friends falls into trouble? Like the time Katherine the Kitten was trapped on top of the slide at the playground. Why, young Micah would be able to see that she was in need and run to help her! That IS a super power, indeed!”
“Yes,” exclaimed Dr. Chipmunk. “Now you’ve got the idea! Young Micah’s glasses will not only make him look handsome but they will also help him become a hero!”
All of the animals cheered together.
“There is only one problem,” said Dr. Chipmunk as he looked toward the ground. “Remember, young Micah doesn’t really want to wear his glasses.”
“Not wear them?” Miss Snake slithered closely to Dr. Chipmunk. “But he must! He can become a hero and the world desperately needs heroes, Dr. Chipmunk. Don’t you agree? Young Micah has a heart of gold and I know that if he could see all the details of the world he would surely help lost kittens, or help his friends at school if their expressions looked sad. He may even be able to create new things and bring more beauty to the world! What can we do to convince him?”
“I am glad you asked,” said Dr. Chipmunk before he took another drink of his milk. “I have written an itinerary for the two of you.” Then, Dr. Chipmunk burped and continued on, “Here is the plan! Miss Snake, I would like for you to retrieve the glasses from our Greek friend Mikanos the Mouse. He has prepared the potion, put it into the lenses, put the lenses into the frames and now they are ready for young Micah to wear. All you need to do is pick them up from our Greek friend. Can you do that?”
Miss Snake squinted her eyes as though a great amount of focus fell into her mind, “Yes, sir! I will retrieve the glasses at once! Right now!” Miss Snake slithered away as speedily as her slimy body could go.
Dr. Chipmunk turned to Mr. Bird, “And you, Mr. Bird. When Miss Snake returns with the glasses, I would like for you to deliver them to young Micah as swiftly as you can. The quicker he puts them atop his nose, the quicker the world will become a safer place to live.”
“I will do as you asked!” Mr. Bird felt proud of his assignment.
After he received his mission from Dr. Chipmunk, Mr. Bird flew straight to his nest, which sat in a tree overlooking a beautiful lake. He retrieved his backpack, a sleeping bag and his magical Smart Wand, which could work as a GPS to give him directions to all the places he needed to travel. The backpack was big enough to fit young Micah’s glasses and Mr. Bird figured the sleeping bag might be useful if he became weary after his flight and needed to take a nap atop some tall tree.
Right about the same time, both Mr. Bird and Miss Snake returned to Dr. Chipmunk, who was blowing bubbles in his milk.
“I got the glasses!” Miss Snake said, a little out of breath. “As you can see, I wrapped the lower half of my body around the glasses and slithered back as quickly as I could.”
Mr. Bird, who did not often compliment Miss Snake replied, “Good work, Miss Snake.”
Miss Snake blushed. But only a little bit. “Thank you, Mr. Bird.”
“Now we are ready to move forth with the mission!” Dr. Chipmunk jumped up and down, as much as a Chipmunk can jump, and he said with elation, “Mr. Bird! The mission is in your hands. Miss Snake and I know you will do your best to deliver young Micah’s glasses to him safely.” Dr. Chipmunk thought for a moment. “I do have one extra request, Mr. Bird. Now, I don’t want to burden you with too much to do but if you could take a photograph of young Micah wearing his glasses I would love to see it. I would like to know what he looks like as a super hero!”
Mr. Bird thought it a reasonable request and he thought of his Smart Wand, which could also take photos. “I will do my best,” he replied.
Mr. Bird prepared himself for flight. First, he entered young Micah’s address into his Smart Wand so he would know the way. Second, he shook his tail feathers behind him, flapped his wings up and down slowly—to stretch all of the muscles he would use. Third, he began to tweet into the air. “I am ready to go,” said Mr. Bird with confidence and determination.
Mr. Bird lifted himself into the air, following his wand. He soared high above the trees, above buildings and cars, people and trains. His focus was fierce and his wings rested on the currents of the wind, which took him higher and higher as he flew. Mr. Bird sang hello to the other birds that he passed along the way (but he had to say hello out of the corner of his beak so as not to drop his Smart Wand) and when his mouth became dry he lowered himself to the puddles and streams below but not for long! He continued and continued on until, finally, he arrived at young Micah’s house.
Mr. Bird looked for a soft spot to land and he chose a fluffy patch of grass in Micah’s backyard. Mr. Bird peeked through the windows of the house to see if he could spot young Micah. He looked through the basement windows, then on the main floor—first then kitchen, then the living room and nest, the dining room. When Mr. Bird did not see young Micah there, he flew higher, to the second floor. “There he is!” Mr. Bird squawked to himself.
Micah was sitting at the desk in his room drawing a picture with both markers and colored pencils.
Mr. Bird slowly landed on the windowsill just above young Micah’s head. He put his Smart Wand in his backpack and then lifted the glasses with his beak. He tapped on the windowsill and young Micah looked up.
“What a silly bird,” said Micah as he exchanged his red marker for a blue one. “Go away, you silly bird!”
Mr. Bird would not be deterred. He flapped his wings hard and tapped again.
Micah ignored Mr. Bird at first but as his taps became louder, he looked again. “This bird is the rudest bird I have ever met!” he said to himself. Then he spoke to Mr. Bird, “Excuse me, you rude bird. I am trying to draw a picture here and I cannot concentrate because you are making too much noise! Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?”
Mr. Bird shook his head from side to side and opened his beak. The glasses fell onto the windowsill.
“What the?” Micah noticed the glasses for the first time. He squinted his eyes and leaned in close to the window. Then, Micah opened the window. “How did you get these, you silly, rude bird? These look like human glasses. In fact, they look like the pair my father wants me to wear. But . . . how did you get them?” Micah was puzzled and a little amazed.
Mr. Bird tweeted a song to young Micah. The melody of the song was slow and calm. The song itself was encouraging and it flooded Micah’s room with a light-hearted mood.
“Hm,” thought Micah. Then he said, “Though our meeting was strange and you did distract me from my drawing, I like you little bird. You have a nice voice and your colors are pure. Black and blue, like a raven. I can see that you want me to wear these glasses, but I just . . . well, I just don’t want to.”
Mr. Bird continued to sing his song. First it was a beautiful aria, filled with melodies so graceful that Micah almost fell asleep. When Mr. Bird saw Micah’s eyes begin to close he changed the song completely. The second song he sang was a heavy metal song. It was filled with loud beats and rhythms that caused Micah’s toes to start tapping. Soon, Micah was dancing around his room and jumping on his bed. Mr. Bird began to sing more loudly.
“Okay, okay, you little bird. I can see you are not going to leave me alone until I do as you wish. I will put the glasses on my face. But I assure you, I will not like them!” Micah stepped to the windowsill, reached for the glasses and placed them atop his nose.
Suddenly, Micah’s lips turned into a broad smile. He looked around his room and saw details he had never before seen. Then, he ran back to the window and looked into the world.
Micah exclaimed, “I can see far and wide! I can discern all the bright colors in the world! I can pinpoint every detail from miles away!” Micah looked here and there, up and down, side to side. “It is all more beautiful than I had ever realized!”
Mr. Bird tweeted and hopped along the windowsill. He was proud of Micah and happy for him, too.
As Micah ran around his room looking at everything as if for the first time, Mr. Bird tweeted his good-bye and began to fly away. Micah saw that the bird was just about to leave so he stopped him.
“Wait, little bird!” Micah picked up the drawing he had been working on when Mr. Bird first interrupted him. “Please take this drawing, little Bird. I would like you to have it, as a thank you gift from me to you.” Mr. Bird was touched. He even felt one teardrop well up in the corner of his eye and fall onto the windowsill beneath his feet. Mr. Bird tweeted, “Thank you, young Micah,” and then lifted his wings and flew away with the drawing in his beak.
Micah turned to his bedroom door and ran to the kitchen where his father stood cooking. “Dad,” said Micah. “Look!”
Micah’s father turned to Micah and smiled a big, beautiful smile, “My boy! You are wearing your glasses! I am so proud of you!” Micah felt proud, too.
“May I go outside to play now, dad?”
“Of course you can, son. Have fun.”
Micah stepped through his front door and into the sunshine. He could see the edges of the clouds above and the silhouette of each blade of grass below. He giggled as he walked down the sidewalk and noticed the bricks in the houses and the spokes on the hubcaps of the cars that drove by. Micah could see the whole world and he was amazed by it, too.
Suddenly, Micah heard something crying. The cry was high and loud. “What the?” said Micah to himself.
As he ran toward the sound of the cry, the elements in the special potion concocted by Mikanos the Mouse began to hastily tiptoe from Micah’s lenses and into his eyes. He could see that a puppy was trapped under a bush near the entrance to the park. Micah ran for the puppy and saw, quite clearly, that his paw was wrapped around one of the branches. Micah lay on the ground in front of the bush, unwrapped the puppy’s paw and pulled the puppy to safety.
Mr. Bird, who had not yet flown far, stopped his journey to watch Micah’s heroism from atop a nearby chimney. He snapped a photo of Micah with his wand, as Dr. Chipmunk asked him to do. Then Mr. Bird said to himself, “Micah’s first act of heroism. The first of many, I am sure.” With that, Mr. Bird turned back toward the sky and began his flight home as Micah sat on the grass comforting the puppy and giggling as it licked his neck and cheeks.
–copyright Jill Szoo Wilson