JOEL the SLEEPWALKER:
Margaret Sutton, RSM
(To enjoy this story more it is necessary to read
Sleepwalker: At the Circus
“Whee! This is fun! I’m
sure glad, Mom, that you made me this clown suit”, said Joel as he bounced
up and down on shoes-with-springs. I wonder how high I can bounce,
he thought as he began bouncing in earnest.
“Better bounce outside,” said his
mother, never dreaming of the results to come.
Out on the driveway
Joel bounced and bounced. He pretended to be brave and tried hard to bounce
higher and faster. Noticing that every bounce was higher than the one
before, he took one long, high bounce, trying to beat his record. He did.
To his surprise he went
so high that nothing but light air pushed against him. He opened the
umbrella on his hat by pulling a string and the breeze helped him to go even
higher. His umbrella was keeping him afloat. But more than that, a young
eagle flew near and offered help.
“I notice you
are just learning to fly,” he said.
“Well, I am
only playing. I can’t fly,” Joel responded.
play, too. Want to try it?” the eagle asked as he flew under Joel to catch
him if he started to go down.
great!” Joel said with zeal.
“Just sit on my
back and we will fly together, but close together. Close your umbrella or it
will slow us down.”
So he sat on
the eagle’s back being careful to keep his springs away from the eagle’s
wings which flapped up and down.
“Don’t land in
a tree, please. I may get tangled up in branches. And, don’t go
too far,” Joel added. “I may lose my way.”
“You won’t lose
your way,” answered the eagle. “I never get lost. We birds have a built-in
know your directions all right. Maybe I better go back now,” Joel
suggested, wondering if mother had missed him.
this exciting before you go,” the eagle said. “Lean forward over my head
and hold on tight.”
screamed as the eagle pretended he was putting on an air show. Flip flop,
over and under, back and forth, up and down. Joel had to hang on with all
his might, but he was not afraid. He trusted that the eagle would help if
there was a problem.
“That was fun,”
Joel said as the eagle began to slow down. “I got this clown suit to make others
happy and I am having all the fun.”
“Having a heart
that thinks of others is always repaid,” answered the eagle. “And sometimes
with surprises. Let’s twirl a bit.”
Round and round
like a spinning top the eagle twirled. Joel laughed so hard he could not
speak. Then saying that it was really time to stop, the eagle slowed down,
wobbling like a top does. He came to a halt, and landed right on Joel’s
garage roof. Leaning over, the eagle gave a quick jerk. Joel did a
flip-flop and landed on his springs.
“Now you can
bounce up and down—whatever you choose from here on. Just be careful not to
risk more than you can handle. When I first saw you with an opened
umbrella, I knew you were in deep trouble in case you didn’t know it.”
“I was?” asked
Joel. “But I was having fun.”
“Well, it’s one
thing to play safely and it’s another to risk and get hurt. Better bounce
lightly. Have fun, but don’t overdo it next time.”
“Thanks for the
advice 'cause I thought clowns could do anything.”
The eagle had
said enough. “Bye,” was his reply as he flapped his wings as though
waving. “I’m going south so you won’t have me around. Take care.”
“You bet I
will. You’ve been a life saver. Thanks a lot,” Joel called as he waved to
his friend, feeling sorry that he was leaving.
bounce where Mom can see me, Joel thought.
So he quickly took one
leap and landed safely on the driveway.
dog Sparky, mother glanced out of the window. Sparky was running and
turning, back and forth, getting up on his hind legs and trying to catch
Joel with his front paws. He was so excited to be in on the fun, as Joel
bounced to tease him.
me happy, too, mother thought. Joel said that a clown would bring
joy to others. He is soooo right!