|Joyce Carol Thomas|
|a novel for young adults|
Meggie jogged while the just-risen sun lay sleepy in the sky. A morning haze floated like white autumn smoke through a canopy of moss-covered Douglas fir.
Eucalyptus Forest, two miles away from her house and farther up in the hills, filled a brand-new world with towering spruce and western red cedar.
Meggie's legs pumped, stretching to meet the earth trail, again and again.
Here birds twittered, winging through the pine-studded canyons, flitting through the sycamore stands and swooping down on honey locusts.
Below on the forest floor rough-scaled lizards scurried, rustling though the dead leaves and dry twigs, scampering out of the way of her flying feet.
Disturbed, even the rocks moved.
A girl squirrel hugged an oak tree branch then scrambled over to chatter on a limb as she watched Meggie race through the forest.
A spider scooted beneath a pinecone.
Meggie ran on, her lungs expanding, almost to a delicious bursting.
While the singing birds welcomed morning, Redwood watched the grown spiders dancing in Meggie's October yard.
In the corner of the lawn near the lowest cedar branch a mama spider instructed her children in the fine art of parachuting.
Lined them up one by one.
Each tiny spider climbed up to the dizzy edge of a cedar branch, faced the blue aqua sky and launched forth, looping the loop, looping the silk ribbons that the air played back and forth until the parachute took each and every baby spider on a balloon ride.
Each spider giggled when it looped the loop and flew away.
Redwood wanted Meggie to come out and play.
He wanted to fly away, like a circus of spiders.
He stood up on his hind legs and barked below her bedroom window.
"All right, all right," she said, sticking her uncombed head out of the window. Some mornings Redwood was better than a clock or her mother's voice or the choir of birds in the fig tree.
She pulled on her jeans and ran out to meet him.
|Text © 1988 Joyce Carol Thomas. Jacket © 1987 Paul Davis. Cover © 1988 Scholastic Inc.|
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