Old Trephir witnessed an incredible sight. With ancient memory he had never seen anything like this before. In front of his tall eyes hovered a shaggy bear and a curly-headed little girl. The girl flew with joy. The bear on the other hand flailed around disoriented. Below the inhabitants of the Enchanted Lands waived and cheered. The ceremony had been an almost perfect success.
Leah had always yearned to fly; it seemed easy for her. She just make this funny feeling in her stomach, and up she went. Now she had a wonderful view of the Enchanted Lands.
Bear fumbled. He had never in his life pictured himself floating. He thought: Bear's cannot fly, and as soon as he produced that thought he found himself sinking with increasing speed until he plunked back down where he started--on a boulder in the grove.
Shianna was shocked at Bear's crash landing. "What happened, Bear? That was my best spell!"
Bear tried to snag his spinning thoughts. "Gosh, Pretty Lady, your spell scared the wits out of me. I thought I was really flying!"
"But you were flying. What for goodness sake brought you back down?"
Bear puzzled. "I thought flying was impossible."
"But look up there," she pointed, "yes, way up there. See that tiny little speck soaring around just as good as can be?"
Bear shaded his eyes and squinted.
"Guess who that is, Bear," remarked the Queen.
"Well, I. . . I dunno," stuttered Bear. "I guess it's some kind of bird."
Shianna exhaled. "Bear, you funny old doubter. That's Leah!"
The realization came slamming in. Bear blurted, "then it's not impossible?"
The crowd gaped, stunned at the fall. Shianna turned toward them. She spoke in her most queenly tone,"let us all help Bear. What is the First Law of our world?" She waved her hand directing the choir.
"NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!"
With that Bear floated up a little--just a few inches. "Here I go again!" He croaked, rising slowly and steadily.
Shianna shouted up towards him, "Bear! Wait! Leah forgot this. . ." She tossed the wicker basket.
Swinging to catch, he snagged the container but threw himself off balance. So he found himself not only rising faster but upside-down as well.
Leah was bouncing around on a mushy white cloud when Bear floated by bottoms-up. "Hey, Bear," Leah jeered, "it's about time you got here. Why are you flying so goofy?"
Bear wheezed, "please don't ask, and I don't think this is so funny." He went for a one-point landing. His nose stuck into the cloud.
As Leah rolled around laughing Bear popped himself out like a cork. Wrestling him into a sitting position, Leah dusted cloud droplets from his head and shoulders. "Whew," puffed Bear, "am I glad to be seeing things in their right position again, even if I am only sitting on a cloud."
As soon as Bear said, "only," the cloud gave way to the weight of his doubt.
He sank again. Leah reached under his arms to pull him free one more time. "See, Bear, you have it too."
"What," growled disgusted Bear.
"Low self-extinct, and you don't have to be such a grouch."
Bear corrected, "low self-esteem," but Leah paid no attention. She busily fashioned a snow cone from a cloud puff.
As evening fell Leah and Bear perched side-by-side on the rim of a drifting cloud, legs dangling over the edge. A wonderful view of forests, lakes and meadows sprawled below.
"You know, Bear, you should really try reading."
"Why," Bear asked, "I mean what has that got to do with this?"
"It makes you feel better about yourself when you get good at reading."
Bear gazed around at the beautiful setting. "I'll say this for sure I've never read about anything so spectacular.
"You should write about it sometime, Bear." The first star twinkled in the sky. The blue darkened. Leah yawned and stretched. More stars appeared. The sinking sun sent radiant strands into the atmosphere. "Look down," said Bear, "at all the lights starting to glow in the forest." She peeked over. The evening campfires sparkled in the deep basins. She mused again aloud. "I wonder what they're all doing now?"
Bear scratched his head. "Probably getting ready for bed."
Plopping down on a soft swell, Leah sighed. "I'm sleepy too." She rolled over pulling another puff of cloud for cover. "This has been a pretty fun day, huh, Bear?"
"It sure was interesting, I'll tell you that. You are right about sleepy; I'm all tuckered-out." Bear laid down to snuggle against the little girl. He pulled a cloud-cover over himself too. "You know, Leah, "he yawned, "about what you said, that is, I should learn to write someday. It would really be something if I could describe all this."
Leah was already asleep.
Bear looked up. The stars shone brightly now. There was only a faint glow of purple where the sun cradled. He whispered to himself, "look at all those numberless worlds out there, so many. It makes me feel really small. Maybe I'm so small that I don't exist, like something is just making me up."
Yawning again, he continued blubbering to himself, "on the other hand, maybe it's me that is making up all this. . ."
"Or maybe, it's a two-way deal." Bear confused himself to sleep.
The cloud glided gently over the many villages of the Enchanted Lands; it climbed the slopes of the foothills, blown by night winds toward the mountains. A snowy peak loomed ahead. The lofty spire glowed strangely with a halo of blue-green light.