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The Adventure of

a Kite

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Now you are all to recollect that this Kite was very large. In the story I told you in summer, where the making of this Kite was described, you remember that it was said to be as tall as James White himself, and of course very much broader. The consequence was, that this Kite was extremely strong. So we all sat down on the grass to hold the string, which James White said was necessary, as the Kite struggled and pulled so hard. It was now up quite as high as the string would allow it to go. But the wind seemed to be increasing, and James White said he began to be rather afraid that he must draw the Kite downwards, for fear it should have a quarrel with the wind up in the clouds, and then some accident might happen. We accordingly began to draw down the Kite slowly, winding the string upon the stick as it gradually descended. But notwithstanding all this care, an accident did happen after all.

Before the Kite was half-way down, a strong wind suddenly caught it sideways, and the Kite made a long sweep downwards, like a swallow, rising up again at some distance, swinging its tail about in a most alarming manner. "Bless my heart!" said James White. Up we all jumped from the grass. "Help me to hold her!" cried James White; "how she struggles!" Again came the wind, again the Kite made a sweep down and rose up again, as if indignant-then shook her tail and wings as if threatening to do some mischief-then made a quick motion to the right and a dance to the left-then made a very graceful courtesy deep down, as though she was very politely saluting the wind, but suddenly rose up with a sharp jerk, as though she had spitefully altered her mind-and the next moment made a dart first to the right and then to the left, and continued to do this till James White said he was sure something must happen.

We all held the string as fast as we could, and tried to pull down the Kite; but it was impossible, for instead of bringing her down, we were all three dragged along down the meadow slope, crying out, "Somebody come and help us! somebody come and help us!" But nobody else was near. In this manner the Kite was pulling us along, the string cutting our hands, and running through our fingers like fire, till at last I was obliged to let go, and being unable to get out of the way, was knocked down, and being also unable to roll myself out of the way, my brother fell over me. James White was thus left alone with the Kite, and was dragged struggling and hallooing down the meadow slope.

He was determined, however, not to let go; nothing could make him loose the string; he was determined not to be conquered; but before he had got to the bottom of the slope, the string of the Kite broke about half-way down, and up sprang the Kite again towards the sky, taking its course over the meadow towards the great field beyond. We all three followed of course, as fast as we could, staring up, and panting, and not knowing what to do. The Kite continued to fly in rather an irregular manner over the first great field. It then made a pitch downwards, and several tosses upwards, and flew straight over the second great field, in the direction of the high trees. "O, those trees!" cried James White, "it is flying towards the trees!" He was right, the Kite did fly directly towards the trees, as James White said it would.


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