This children’s story first appeared in the January 2010 issue of  The Story Teller Tymes.

She was the smallest seagull in the flock, smaller than all the other seagulls her age. Still, Maria could fly as well as any of them, better than most. She could soar high above the beaches, and swoop down so fast when spotting food that she’d beat most of the other gulls to the treat.

One evening as the flock was settling down for the evening’s rest, Maria watched some of the other gulls standing on the beach facing the wind, as usual, but only on one foot, the other tucked against their bodies. She giggled to herself since this looked funny to her, but so many of them were doing it she finally had to ask.

“Hey,” she said to Blake, the gull nearest her, “why are they standing on one leg?”

“Don’t you know anything?” Blake replied, “That way you get to rest your other leg while still keeping off the wet sand.”

“Oh,” said Maria. Thinking that made sense, she decided to try it herself. But as she lifted her leg off the sand the wind knocked her little body on its side. The other gulls cackled their laughter as they watched her struggle to her feet.

“You’re too little,” they shouted, continuing to laugh as each lifted a leg, their bodies big enough to resist the strong wind. “See, nothing to it,” one of them shouted to Maria as she flew away to be by herself.

The next day Maria was still too embarrassed to be with the rest of the flock, and was soaring high above the beach looking for any food people may have left behind. Suddenly, she noticed Blake working on a bag of French Fries, trying to get at its contents. He was working so hard on it he didn’t notice the dog crouching behind a sand dune.

Maria saw him though, and just as the dog was about to pounce on Blake, Maria swooped down from behind and with her feet, hit the dog on the head. As the dog barked in response and jumped trying to catch Maria, Blake heard the activity and flew off, away from the danger. As he flew next to Maria he said, “Gee, I didn’t even see that dog, you saved me.”

“Well,” Maria said, “that’s what friends are for.”

That evening as the flock started to take their resting positions, including some with the one legged stance, Blake called Maria over to him.

“C’mon,” he said to her, “try it again.”

“I don’t know,” she said, afraid the wind would knock her over once more and the others would laugh at her.

“Don’t worry,” Blake said, “we know you can do it this time.”

“Yes,” the others said, “a brave gull like you can do anything she wants.”

Maria looked at Blake, realizing he told the others how she saved him from the dog. The flock gathered around her on all sides. This time when she lifted her leg up she tucked it in with no problem, and stood proudly as the gulls around her blocked the wind so it could not tip her over.

“Yes,” she said, “this feels good.”

The other gulls nodded in agreement as they settled in to rest, enjoying the warmth of the setting sun and the safety of each other’s company.

The End


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