Beach School

The man and boy moved through the sea grass that edged the beach headed toward the cabins in front of them.  The boy held on to a black kite shaped like a swallow.   

They were a companionable couple. Shoulder to shoulder in animated conversation; they were, no doubt, recounting how the kite had performed well beyond their expectations or perhaps, how clever and skilled kite masters they, themselves, had turned out to be.   

The path narrowed and the elder of the two took the lead. By the looks of it, he was the father to the father of the boy. He turned slightly — enough to see the boy joyously fling the contents of his pocket up into the air, white paper of some sort that quickly sunk out of view in the thick grass.  

The older man stopped right then, turned and faced the boy, his head moved in quick bursts as he gestured out toward the beach with his arms.  

In an instance, the boy’s exuberance vanished. His head tilted to his chin, his shoulders fell and his black swallow kite dipped sadly toward the ground. He stood totally still and looked straight ahead.   

The man, then turned, and continued purposefully up the path.

The boy threw back his shoulders and then waded out into the grass. He made several small circles, peering through the grass as he flattened it with his feet. All of a sudden he stopped, bent over and in one gesture scooped up the paper and stuffed it in his pocket.

He lifted up his kite, pointed it straight in front of him and ran with it as fast as he could to catch up.

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