Caleb and the Time Traveling Tree Swing - A Short Story
Caleb was excited. His family was moving to a new house in the city. He had lived in the country for all of his life, and now exciting things were happening to him. He was moving. He was starting school in a new school. And he hoped he would have some friends who lived near him to play with. Because his family had lived in the country there were never kids close by to play with, so he always had to play alone. Oh, his mommy and daddy played with him, but it wasn’t the same. He wanted someone his own age to run and jump and throw a ball around with.
The big moving truck pulled into his driveway and men began to scurry about, grabbing this and that and packing the truck faster than he could have imagined. By the time lunch was over, it was filled and ready to go. Caleb’s mommy and daddy put him in their car, and away they went!
Caleb watched the trees fly by as they drove to the city. “Are we there yet, Daddy?” he asked time and again. Each time, his daddy would say, “Not quite, little britches! But we’re getting closer!”
Finally, he asked one more time. “Daddy, are we there yet?” This time, his daddy said “Yes, we are!”. Caleb looked and saw a beautiful house. It was yellow and had a white fence in the front and had two stories and it was the most beautiful house he had ever seen! “Wow! Is that our house?!” he said, hoping he was right.
His mommy laughed and said, “Yes, Caleb; this is our new house. What do you think?”
Caleb couldn’t think of anything to say. It was perfect. Quick as he could he got out of the car and ran into the yard, looking at anything and everything around him. He saw the fence and a little building out back but everywhere he looked, he saw no kids. “Daddy, where are the kids? You said there would be kids for me to play with!”
Caleb’s Daddy smiled and said, “Oh, they are around. I’ll bet they will come over soon enough. You just look around and we will get this big ol’ truck emptied as soon as we can. Then, we’ll get your bedroom set up and your toys out to play with. How does that sound to you?”
It sounded good, but Caleb still wanted someone to play with. He went into the yard and walked around back to see what was there. When he turned the corner he saw a swing hanging from a tall, tall tree. It had a rope and the seat was made from a round piece of wood. He walked over to it and pushed it a little. It swung very easily, and a thrill went through him. At his old house, he had a little swing and it was fun; but this one was huge! He bent his head back and looked up in the tree. The sun was shining and really bright, but he could not see the end of the rope. It was that big!
He ran around to the front yard and got his Mommy and Daddy. “Mommy, Daddy! Come see the swing! It’s big! I mean it’s huge! Come push me on it, please!”
They laughed and said just a minute. He sat down to wait, but he couldn’t sit still. He fidgeted and squirmed and stood up and sat back down and tried to be a good boy, but the swing kept calling to him.
“Caleb! Oh, Caleb! Come swing on me! I’ll take you high up in the clouds.”
Caleb got up and ran to his parents. “Did you hear that? The swing! It’s telling me to come and swing on it! Hurry, Daddy! Hurry, Mommy!”
Finally, Daddy said, “Ok, let’s go see that swing, shall we?” His Mommy laughed and said, “Yes, let’s.” So Caleb grabbed them by their hands and pulled them around to the back yard. There was the swing.
“Look Mommy and Daddy! Isn’t it big? Push me on it, Daddy! Please? Push me!”
His parents laughed and his Daddy said “Oh, ok! Let’s get you on that swing! You know, this is a special swing, don’t you?”
Caleb’s eyes got big and round and he looked at his Daddy. “What? A special swing? What’s special about it, Daddy? C’mon tell me! Please!”
Daddy smiled and looked at his Mommy. “Should we tell him, Mommy? Is he big enough to know about it?”
Mommy smiled back, and said “Oh, I don’t know. It’s a really big swing, and very special. Only a few people know about it. Is he big enough to know?”
Caleb almost yelled out “I’m big enough! I’m almost 6 years old! That’s big enough, isn’t it? Please, please, please!”
Daddy winked at Mommy and bent down close to his ear and whispered. “Ok, but you must keep the sacred secret. Promise me?”
Caleb got real quiet and said “I promise.”
“Well, this is a very special swing. It is a time traveling swing. The higher you swing, the farther back in time you can go. So, we better start out low and easy and work into the high swinging, alright?”
A thrill ran up and down Caleb’s spine and goosebumps stood up on his arms as he nodded his head yes. He grabbed the rope and pulled as his Daddy picked him up and set him on the swing. Then, a gentle push. Forward, then backward. Again and again.
“Daddy, I don’t think it’s working. I’m still here. What’s wrong?”
“You have to use your imagination, Caleb. Think of something, of somewhere you might like to go. Maybe to a time when the cowboys rode their horses? When they rode across the wide open prairie, and had Indians chasing them. Try harder, son.”
Caleb nodded as his daddy pushed him again. This time, he thought really hard and looked around as he swung. Then, just as he reached the highest point, he thought he saw a cowboy riding on a pony. “I see him! I see him! Daddy, I see the cowboy right there! Can you see him?”
Daddy laughed, and said “Of course I can. I’m right beside you, Caleb. What else can you see?”
Caleb looked around and saw cows and horses and more cowboys all around him. “Daddy, they’re everywhere! Cows and horses and cowboys are all around me! This is great!”
Caleb continued to swing back and forth, back and forth for a while, until Mommy gently reminded them that the day was ending and they needed to get inside and start getting their house in order. Caleb was sad, but managed to get a promise from Daddy to push him on the swing again tomorrow.
Bright and early the next day, Caleb was running out of the house hollering for his Daddy to follow him as fast as he could. Jumping onto the swing he squealed with happiness as he Daddy pushed him up high into the air. “What are we going to see today, Daddy?” Caleb asked as he pointed his toes toward the sky.
Is this story worth publishing?
Daddy laughed and said “Caleb, this swing is not only good for taking you back in time, it can also take you to any place on Earth, too.”
Caleb almost fell off the swing as he swiveled his head around to look at this Daddy. “You mean, I can go back in time AND anywhere on Earth, both at the same time?”
“You bet, son. So, where will we go today? Where is your imagination going to take us to? Africa? England? Will we go to see the Egyptians build the Pyramids, or maybe watch some Dinosaurs wander around in Africa? Your choice; you lead.”
Caleb almost couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You mean we could go see the Dinosaurs? How do I do that, Daddy? How?”
His Daddy smiled and said, “Well, you need to swing really high to go back that far, Caleb. A lot higher than you did yesterday.”
Caleb nodded his head and swung his feet back and forth, back and forth; kicking higher and higher and reaching for the sky. Then, just as he was so high, he was higher even than his Daddy’s head, he looked down and saw a Dinosaur! It was a Tyrannosaurus Rex, roaring and stomping around far below him. “Daddy! I see a T-Rex! He’s right there! Look out! Here he comes!”
Daddy told Caleb “You better slow down a little so he can’t get us! Don’t swing quite so high, he might get you!”
Caleb slowed down just a bit, and sure enough, he saw the T-Rex look around in confusion, and turn and stomp away. “It worked, Daddy! You were right! It worked!”
Daddy just laughed, and asked Caleb to describe all that he could see from his perch on the swing. He saw big Dinosaurs and little Dinosaurs and meat eaters and plant eaters; it was the best day of his life!
As Caleb was going to bed that night, he asked his Daddy a question. “Daddy, if we can go to places in the past and places all over the world in the daytime, what happens at night?”
Caleb’s Daddy looked at him and said “You ask the best questions, you know that?” Here, Daddy sat down on the edge of the bed and looked at his son in the glow of the full moon outside as it fell through the window and onto Caleb’s bed. “Caleb, at night, you can go anywhere in outer space.”
Caleb’s eyes got huge. “You mean I can go to space? Daddy, can we go right now? Please, Daddy, Please!”
Daddy looked at Caleb and thought aloud “Well Caleb, it is bed time, you know. But maybe just for a little bit.”
Caleb jumped out of bed and ran past his Mommy, yelling “I’m going to outer space, Mommy! But I won’t be gone long!”
Caleb and his Daddy went outside to the Time Traveling Swing and Caleb jumped on the swing. The night was cool and clear and the stars were out and the moon was bright. “Push me, Daddy! Push me!”
Daddy gave Caleb a good push and away he went. As he looked at the stars and the moon, he suddenly saw a shooting star. “Daddy, a shooting star! Did you see it?”
“Yes, I did, Caleb. Wasn’t it beautiful?”
“Yes, Daddy; it was beautiful.” Then Caleb took another look around and saw even more wonderful things. He saw a space ship and a space station like he had seen in his movies and even a little space ship going around the moon.” “Daddy, there are all kinds of things here in space! Oh, Daddy! I am so glad we moved to the city! I love this house and I love this swing and I love you and Mommy most of all!”
Caleb continued to swing back and forth with his Daddy. Then, after a bit his Mommy came outside and he told her all about the wonderful things he had seen while swinging in the night. They swung for a long time on this night, and when he finally went to bed, he had all manner of things flying around inside his head. He couldn’t wait to share this wonderful swing with the friends he made when he finally went to school!
Well, Hubbers what do you think? My dream, my goal is to get this published as a child's picture book. Maybe something around twenty to thirty pages with a picture on each page, a few sentences per page. Sound okay to you? Well if l you like it let me know and share it.
I am setting up a Kickstart program for it and once completed will include the address below. If you like it, and think it is worthy of being published check out the page and help out if you can. If you share it and those you share it with help out, I would be humbled beyond words.
If not, oh well. I wrote this for my little buddy and it will always be his. Thank you and may God bless and keep you.