My brother and his kite

My younger brother has always been my chum. I’m not from England, so I really don’t know why that word came to mind, but it fits our relationship perfectly. I don’t recall us ever fighting as children. Sincerely, I mean ever! We are less than 16 months apart in age, but never felt in competition. He did, however, make my life quite interesting.

My brother has a brilliant mind. He has a photographic memory. When he took the aptitude tests trying to discern what work suited him best, the tester basically said, “Pick anything you like, you can do it all.” If you think I am bragging on him, you are wrong. This is a huge burden for anyone, especially a Christian: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Yikes! All of this to set you up for the story of his kite.

One day, another brother of mine told me to come up to the third floor of our home. We lived in a large, old house with three stories, two staircases, and many bedrooms. A family of 13 requires some space! Anyway, when I came upstairs, I see my brilliant brother hanging out the third floor window. “What are you doing?” I ask. He smiles and shows me the largest spool of kite string I have seen in my life, “Flying my kite.” “What?” I say as I see that the spool is unwinding. My eye follows the  string out the window. I cannot see the kite. It is so far away that it just looks like a string going up into the air. I ask my brother, “How long is your kite string?” He smiles and says, “At least one mile.”

I decide to get on my bike along with two of my other younger brothers and follow the string. It’s hard going because the kite flies as the crow flies, not as the streets go. We figure out a system, and between the three of us, we finally spy the kite flying like a dot way up in the sky about 9 blocks from our house. Right as we all see it, the string breaks and the kite starts flying away. We get on our bikes and chase it as it falls from the sky into a giant pine tree many more blocks away. There’s no getting the kite out of that tree whose lowest branch is a couple of stories high. We ride home to tell my brother about where we found his kite and laugh a long time at the thought of flying a kite out of the third-story window with string a mile long. Like I said, life was never dull growing up with my brother.

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