On Top of the World

By Ellen Feely, age 11

As I looked up to the giant tree, all I could picture was death.  I could hear the continuous call of my name around me.  I glanced at the ones who were forcing me to do this horrible thing.  Within their smiles, I could see revenge.
I looked back at this massive tree and gulped.  It was so tall, even its lowest branches seemed to touch the clouds.  I took a deep breath and stepped up to the tree.  Putting my hands and feet in position, I heaved myself up.  The rough bark scratched the palms of my hands.  I carefully planted my feet and hands in every possible hole.  I stopped so I could have a short rest.  I looked up; the tree looked almost the same as from down the bottom.  I looked down; I seemed to be 100 meters from the ground.  I could still hear the endless cry of my name.  I knew that this would take a long time.  I caught my breath and continued on my trek to the sky.  As I climbed higher, all I could think of was the faces of Matt, Tom, James and Nick, the reasons for me being up here.  As I climbed higher, the song from below faded away.  I must have been fairly high up!  Or had they stopped?  This didn’t worry me, as I expected them to start up again soon.  Higher and higher I climbed.  I could see a branch not too far above me.  I scrambled up to it.  I sat myself on the branch and took another rest.  The branch wasn’t too strong, but it didn’t matter, as I was just lighter than the weight of the branch.  I smiled to myself thinking positively.  I knew I could make it to the top.  Still smiling, I looked down and waved to the crowd.  But now, my crowd was only a young magpie scavenging for food.  My beaming smile turned to a drooping frown.  I knew where they had gone as recess had obviously ended.  But I was climbing the tree, with my mind wondering off in all directions.  I’d been too busy to hear the piecing school bell.  I hunched my back and cuddled my knees, with my hand on the tree to keep me steady.  I sat on there feeling sorry for myself.  What a failure I was.  I broke a stick of the branch and threw it down at the magpie, as if everything was its fault.  The magpie got a huge fright.  It jumped up and down and started to look everywhere to see what had thrown the stick.  Its eyes were looking straight at me, and the expression on its face appeared to show anger, if it had any feelings at all.  I quickly looked away.  I began to think of a way that I could get down.  Could I fly down like a magpie?  Or could I use the tree trunk as a fire pool and slide down?  Many thoughts began to fill my head.  I turned back to the youthful magpie, as if it held the answer.  But the magpie just flew away.  I wondered why.
“Mark?” said a matured voice.
I jumped suddenly, causing me to fall.  I landed right on a native bush.  A figure spied me.  I immediately realized who it was.  It was my teacher, Miss Hamill.
“Are you alright Mark?” said my teacher in a concerned voice.  “Thank goodness you had the bush to break your fall, and luckily it was a short tree.  I think we’ll take you over to sick bay to get you checked out.  But you know as well as I do that you should not be climbing trees.  The big kids aren’t allowed to either,” said Miss Hamill sternly.
“But I am a big kid!” I protested.  “I’m 5!”

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