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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
How High Can you go

“I've never heard of a crow that is afraid to fly,” the mouse said.

“He's not afraid to fly. Shay is afraid of heights,” the butterfly added.

The animals in the valley gathered around the brook, sipping water from its depths. Shay sat on top of a hill watching them. He sighed and stood, walking down to join them for a drink.

The mouse twitched its nose. “Shay, why are you afraid of heights? Why don't you fly like all the other crows?”

Shay hung his head. His long yellow beak dragged on the ground. “I don't want to talk about it,” he whispered and walked away.

“We've gt to help Shay get over his fear of heights,” the bumblebee said. “It's just not normal.”

“I have an idea,” said the raccoon. “I'll climb to the top of the sycamore tree and pretend that I'm stuck. You all ignore my calls and Shay will have no choice but to rescue me.” The raccoon climbed as high as he could. He waited for Shay to walk past. “Help me! Help me! I'm stuck in the tree!”

Shay looked up and saw the raccoon. “Oh no! The raccoon is stuck. Help him somebody.” None of the other animals came.

“Help me, Shay. Fly up here and rescue me.” The raccoon shouted down to him.

Shay shook his head back and forth. “I can't help you. I'm afraid of heights. Sorry.” He walked away. His yellow beak dragged on the ground.

The raccoon climbed down and the other animals came running. “That didn't work. Any other ideas?”

“I know,” the squirrel said. “I'll go to the top of the waterfall and dangle by my tail from a branch. Shay will have to fly up and get me.”

The animals watched the squirrel run up the rocks and climb the tree. It wrapped its tail around a branch. They ran off to hide and wait for Shay.

“Help me! Help! Someone please rescue me!” the squirrel shouted down to the crow.

Shay walked by and saw the squirrel. “Oh no! Someone help the squirrel!”

“Help me, Shay. Fly up here and rescue me. If I fall, I'll drown.”

The crow called for the others again, but none of them came. “I can't help you, squirrel. I'm afraid of heights. I'm sorry.” He walked on, his beak dragged on the ground.

All week long the animals tried different things to get Shay's attention, but he wouldn't fly anywhere or try to rescue any of them.

The mouse called all the animals of the valley together. “Shay doesn't like heights and he doesn't want to fly, so why don't we just let him be who he is.”

“He's a crow that walks,” the rabbit said.

“Yes, he is a crow that walks,” said the mouse, “but that's who Shay is.”

Never again did they play tricks on Shay. They accepted him for who he was. Shay was much happier too.

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