The only way Brandon stood tall was to get on top of a chair. Or get on the highest step when getting his school picture.
“Hey…shorty,” was his nickname at school. As he scrambled away words followed him down the hallway. “Climb a ladder so we can see you,” shamed his ears.
Laughing friends was the worst part. Friends?
Each night when the moon shone brightly, he made a wish. “Somebody out there, make me tall. Please.”
Brandon wondered if anyone heard him, or even cared.
Tonight, the stars did.
Their winking was for a reason. As he slept, they threw radiant light. Like tears. Their diamonds of bright arrived on earth, and gently covered the sleeping boy.
Brandon began to dream of another place, where everyone was tall. From the side of the gravel road he could see heads coming. Jiggling ears made him laugh. Arms hung from shoulders higher than he could reach.
It was too hard to yell up to these tall people. Their legs might even break if they leaned too low. So it was much easier to reach down and place Brandon on their shoulders.
They did this, whenever he wanted to chat. Did Brandon think this was great? Well it wasn’t. Because he found out no one in this village could do anything themselves. They needed Brandon, the “little one,” to live in their Great Village.
Tall ones couldn’t eat unless someone turned on their stoves. Or bath unless someone turned on the tub taps. Or even start their cars unless Brandon helped.
It was nice having the tiniest feet and arms and legs. His tiny hands could fit the controls of anything all over town. Their own were so huge and awkward. They could easily break all the machinery.
When someone needed to get groceries, booming voices called. “Brandon!!” And he would come running. After placing the car gears on Drive he would sit on the steering wheel.
“Brandon, I want to bake a cake.” And he would come and turn the stove on. He stayed longer when the tall people needed him for other duties. Like, “Turn on the TV. Please.”
It was nice to be needed. It made him feel very important to keep hearing his name. “Brandon! Brandon!” It was as if he was the mayor or something.
But, the little helper did get tired after doing so much. In fact, it was now becoming a bother.
He decided to make up a schedule. Now he only ran down short streets to turn on taps. Then returned quickly, turning them off before tubs ran over. Once in awhile one would overflow.
For the longer streets Brandon used his 18-speed bicycle. He was a very busy little boy, from block to block, upstairs and downstairs, over the hill and across the pond.
He also became a very tired little boy.
He traveled from tubs to cars, then stoves and back again. He felt like a hamster running from tubs, to cars and stoves. Soon, the tall village people had to drive tired Brandon around. They provided him with a helicopter to travel to areas outside of town. His reputation was growing. Even if he was “little.”
A busy Brandon barely found time to play with other children. When he finally did, his little hand seemed to disappear in the fielder’s baseball glove.
And when the ball was batted, Brandon had to run for his life. It was as if a cannonball came flying in his direction. When everyone went swimming, Brandon had to be careful. Tidal waves sent his little surfboard scooting across the lake. His eyes grew weary watching out for huge feet chasing each other in the sand.
He had good times, though. Tall friends placed him on their shoulders as they walked through the forest trails. He simply had to reach out and touch the tallest limbs.
Brandon pretended he was as tall as they were.
From his perch he could see hills far away. And being closer to the sun made his skin burn with heat.
And clouds were close enough to trail his fingers through their wispy movements. He began to realize tall ones didn’t have much fun. He could do things tall ones couldn’t. Brandon enjoyed running through their huge garden like a little rabbit. His favorite time was sitting in the middle of a pizza and eating as much as he wanted.
And he used their bathtub like a private swimming pool.
No matter how much he helped around the village, he was still lonesome. There was no one small enough to play with. He always had to worry about being stepped on or squished when the boys wrestled.
No matter where Brandon walked, feet kept coming from all directions. He was tired of always having to be careful.
Brandon was also afraid of having a cat for a pet. They could easily eat him if he stood too close to their food.
One day he convinced a tall boy to lift him over his head. He wanted to see what it was like to be a tall one.
The boy picked him up by his waist. Then placed Brandon in the palm of a huge hand. The arm moved upwards until he was higher than the tall one.
Brandon now knew he was the tallest of them all.
Then Brandon asked to be placed on top of the tall boy’s head. It was not easy to stand still on the slippery hair. Especially when the tall boy began to shuffle along. Brandon slipped and began to fall.
His pipsqueak voice could not be heard over the sounds of heavy feet striking the road.
Down, down and down Brandon fell. He tried to grab onto hair, then an ear, next the tall boy’s shirttail. He missed the silver belt buckle.
It was a long way down from being the tallest boy in the village…
Brandon opened his eyes and looked around. He lay on the floor of his bedroom. Everything looked normal except for what looked like little diamonds circling his head.
He thought a bumped head was supposed to bring stars or birds tweeting. But it was just beams of sunlight reflecting from the wall.
Jumping to his feet he looked out. It was daylight and the land was alive with movement. He could actually see normal cars moving on the road. He heard water running into a tub.
Suddenly he realized something. There was no need for a little boy to do everything anymore. Others could turn on their own TV’s and start their own cars. And get tap water.
He felt good. He felt tall, even if he was still little. Brandon pinched himself just to make sure he was really awake.
“Good morning, me!” he shouted.
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© Richard & Esther Provencher 2006