What? Are you looking for your imagination? Did someone ask you to use it and you have looked everywhere and cannot find it? I know how you feel. It happened to me once. It is very frustrating looking for something when you don’t even know what it looks like. Let me tell you about the time I searched for and found my imagination. But first, let me tell you a little about myself.
My name is Sid and I am in the first grade at Treetop Elementary. I love going to school because you never know what you are going to learn about. However, there was one day that the teacher asked me to use my imagination for an assignment. I had no idea if I even had one, or where it was if I did. Good thing it was a Friday and I had all weekend to find one. I take a lot of pride in my work so I wanted to make sure it was done right. So here goes, this is my story.
It was the end of the school day and my teacher, Ms. Feathers, had just got done reading us this exciting story about a kid whose parents were eaten by the blanket that was given to them by a stranger. They just thought that the stranger was being nice, since she was just a sweet looking grandma. The whole class was so into it that we were disappointed to find that it was over. I don’t like it when stories just kind of leave you hanging. Ms. Feathers told us it was an open ended story so that we could decide the ending for ourselves. Then she gave us the assignment to do over the weekend. She told us to continue the story by coming up with our own ending. I was really excited about this because I already had ideas on how I would continue the story. That was, until we were being dismissed to go home and she shouted, “And don’t forget to use your imagination when writing, children.”
I froze in terror. I had no idea what an imagination was. I have heard the word used many times but never really took the time to understand what it meant. I looked around at everyone else but no one seemed concerned about this imagination we were supposed to use. I decided not to ask anyone about it. I didn’t want anyone to laugh at me for not knowing what an imagination was. So, I decided I would figure this one out on my own a little later.
On the bus ride home I decided to check my backpack. “Maybe Ms. Feathers put our imaginations in here for us to use over the weekend,” I thought to myself. “That’s got to be it.” I began to feel a little better.
As I dug into my backpack I found two pencils, an eraser, a Twinkie wrapper from yesterday’s lunch, a library book, and three stickers, but no imagination. I was beginning to feel rotten again.
As soon as I got off the bus I saw the mailman at the neighbor’s house. “Maybe Ms. Feathers mailed our imaginations home to us. I’ll just wait for him to get here.”
“Hello, Sid. How was school?” said the mailman as he walked up.
“Hi, Mr. Stanley. It was fine but I’m waiting to see if my teacher mailed my imagination to me.”
“Oh really? How about that,” laughed Mr. Stanley. “Well, I don’t believe I have it today. Maybe it’ll come tomorrow.”
Mr. Stanley handed me the mail and continued on to the next house. I had no idea why he thought this was funny. I still had no imagination to use for my story. At least I had all weekend to figure it out.
When I got to the house I walked inside and said hello to my mom and dad. Wait, I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I just ask them? But one thing you need to understand is that I lose a lot of things. For Christmas last year I got this really cool dinosaur that walks around and roars as it lights up. Anyway, we went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house the next day for lunch, then to my grandma’s for dinner, and then to a movie after that. Somewhere in between those events I lost my dinosaur. I was upset about it but Dad was really mad. And I sure didn’t want them to know that I couldn’t find my imagination. So, after eating a quick snack I ran to my room.
The first thing I did was look under my bed but the craziest thing happened. As I began to crawl under, it seemed to suck me in and it magically opened up into a really dark cave.
“Whoa,” I said out loud hearing the echo off the wall. “It’s a good thing I have my flashlight in my pocket.”
I quickly turned it on and began turning in a circle shining the light all around. There were hundreds of bats on the wall and lizards with big eyes scurrying in all directions. The cave had a really damp smell to it like it had been filled with water and then dried up over and over again. I guess if I had lost my imagination under the bed then it probably ended up somewhere in here.
I quickly made my way deeper into the tunnel. The air got cooler the farther I went. I began to hear sounds that made me a little nervous. At first it sounded like my tummy was growling but I remembered that I had just had my afternoon snack. So it couldn’t have been that. It grew louder and louder as I walked on. Then it didn’t sound like my tummy growling at all. It sounded more like a dragon that had missed his afternoon snack. “Oh boy, I hope he doesn’t have my imagination,” I managed to squeak out.
You’re probably thinking I should have just gotten out of there. But you see I’m very adventurous and I just really wanted to find my imagination. So I kept going even though my legs tried to stop me. I wasn’t too afraid because I happened to have my sword. I usually keep this with me in case something like this ever came up.
It’s a good thing I did because after taking about two more steps I was faced with a giant spider leaping at me. At first he landed on me and wound me up with his silky web but I was able to cut my way out of it. He must not have liked the light reflecting off the sword once I got out because he took off running. He was really fast too. It must have been the eight legs.
I figured this would not be the worse part of the cave so I tried to prepare myself. And when I told you the noise I heard sounded like a dragon that missed his snack, I think I was right. As soon as I rounded the corner I was almost turned into a roasted kid. But luckily I was wearing my high jumping boots that let me leap at least twenty feet into the air. I jumped over the flame that shot out of the dragon’s nose and mouth and flipped onto his back. Big mistake! He wacked me with his tail and I flew across the room. It didn’t hurt me too bad but it did send me back out from under my bed.
I don’t guess my imagination was in there because I looked around as fast as I could. It was pretty empty in the tiny room that the dragon stayed. I’m not sure what a dragon would want with one anyways. So I moved on to my closet.
I felt pretty safe when I opened the door but I didn’t get very far as I was lifted off my feet by two giant claws. I had my eyes squeezed shut but could feel a breeze on my face. I finally managed to open one of them just barely. I looked down to see that I was being carried high above the treetops. The cool thing about these treetops though was that they were shaking like someone was swinging on all of the branches. All of a sudden I saw what was causing this. I couldn’t believe it. There were dinosaurs all around. I was afraid to look up but I didn’t have to, to know what I was being carried by. I heard the screech of the Pterodactyl as we reached its nest on a cliff ledge. I had read in books before that the mother’s usually go find food and bring it back to the babies. I had a terrible feeling that I knew what was coming.
Once again I was right. The mother dropped me from about eight feet above the nest but it wasn’t so bad. The nests Pterodactyls make are actually kind of soft. But as I was getting up I found that I was about a foot shorter than the baby Pterodactyl. And there were three of them! They looked pretty shocked. They probably were not used to seeing a human so I took advantage of the situation. I immediately dropped to the floor of the nest and began digging through the sticks and leaves so that I could burrow as far down into the nest as I could. But these babies must not have eaten in a really long time because they began tearing away at the nest trying to get to me. I made my way around inside the nest as fast as I could go but I wasn’t fast enough. One of the babies grabbed a hold of my foot and pulled me out. I became a quick game of tug-of-war between two of the babies before one yanked me from the other. The force was so great that I flew right out of the mouth of that baby Pterodactyl and right over the edge of the nest. It took me a minute to realize what had just happened and that I was falling toward those treetops fast. Good thing is that I landed right on the pile of dirty clothes that were lying on the floor of my closet. Thank goodness I had not taken those to the laundry yesterday when mom told me to. For now, I was safe back in my room but still had no imagination.
It was getting pretty old by this time and I was getting nowhere. I wasn’t exactly sure what an imagination even looked like. Then, I got an idea. I’ll ask my sister if she knows where it is. I ran to her room and went in without knocking. Boy, was that a mistake. She doesn’t like it when I don’t knock. She says that I am invading her privacy. I wasn’t surprised to see that she was on the phone so I hardly got any answers from her.
“What do you want?”
“Do you know where my imagination is?” I asked. She looked at me in disbelief.
“Silly little kid,” she laughed. “Try outside.”
“Ok, but if I can’t find it, can I use yours?”
She ignored me and went back to talking on the phone. So, I decided to take her advice and went outside.
I looked all around the house. I checked in the flowers and bushes, in my tree house, and inside Jack’s doghouse where I found my baseball that I lost about a month ago, but still no imagination. Just as I was about to give up for a while and go inside to lie on the couch I was swarmed with giant bugs. There were honeybees and butterflies, caterpillars and crickets, beetles and grasshoppers. I just knew that I was doomed. I took off running as fast as I could and found a nice big hole in the ground. It was big compared to me but too big for the giant bugs.
I kept my eye on the opening of the tunnel as I slowly backed my way further into the hole. Just then, I bumped into something. Thinking it was just a wall I turned around only to stare into the face of an ant. Ants usually seem pretty harmless, until they are three times the size you are. He immediately snatched me up in his jaws and carried me deeper into the tunnel. Soon I was surrounded by thousands of them. Then I was dropped off at the feet of the Queen. I mean, I guess she was the queen. She was surrounded by worker ants that were dropping off food to her. They must have thought I was food.
The queen saw me moving around and must enjoy live food because out of all the food available she came after me. As I was scrambling around trying to avoid becoming dinner there was a loud rumble and the walls started to crumble. Bits and pieces of the wall and ceiling were breaking apart and flying around. Then the light from outside began to peak through. Someone or something was destroying the ant hill. Then I heard a familiar sound. It was my dog, Jack, digging up the mound of dirt. I’m so glad he loves to bury his toys. I was able to grab hold of his tail as he turned back for the house. Next thing I knew I was lying on the grass with Jack right there licking my face. This whole search for my imagination was very tiring.
Finally, mom said it was time for dinner. It’s a good thing mom made my favorite meal because I was beginning to feel a little sad. At dinner I received great news! Dad told us that grandma was coming to visit tomorrow. This made me really happy because grandma always plays with me. We like to pretend a lot when we play. Also, I knew that grandma would help me look for my imagination. Grandmas really should be considered superheroes. I decided to relax a little and that for the rest of the night I would stop thinking about it and just enjoy my Friday night. I had it all planned out. First, I would start with my video games, then watch my favorite movie, and last but not least, eat a lot of popcorn, my favorite snack!
The next day, I got up and couldn’t wait for grandma to get there. I hurried and did my chores so that I could get all the things I needed for when grandma and I began our adventures. Grandma lives in the next town over so she doesn’t get to come over as much as she used to so I have to take advantage of the time that I get to spend with her.
Grandma got to our house about noon and we all sat down and had lunch together. When we were finished and before she could even set her glass of lemonade down, I asked grandma if she could take a walk with me.
“Of course we can. Let me grab my hat.” Grandma always wore the big floppy hats to keep the sun off her face.
As grandma and I walked I began to tell her about my problem.
“Ms. Feathers wants us to continue the story that she read to us yesterday but she said to use our imaginations. I have checked everywhere and gone through a lot, grandma, but I can’t find it. I’m afraid to tell mom and dad that I lost it.”
Grandma stopped and looked at me with a big smile on her face. Then she just started laughing.
“I don’t understand why everyone laughs when I ask them about my imagination,” I said with tears starting to swell up in my eyes. “Now don’t worry, Sid. I think I can help you find it. Let’s go back and have some ice cream and we will come up with a plan.” Once we got back Grandma and I got a bowl of ice cream and went outside to the picnic table.
“I have looked everywhere grandma. What do we do now?”
“Let me ask you something, Sid. When we go on our little adventures here at the house, what do we do?”
“Lots of things, grandma! Anything!”
“What did we do last time Sid?”
“Well, we started off by saving the earth from aliens, then we climbed some really big icicles like they were mountains, and finally we rode on dolphins deep into the ocean. Oh, and don’t forget, we used our wings to fly up above the clouds to see where the rainbow began.”
“Exactly. And do we really do those things?”
“No, we just pretend that we do. It’s one of my favorite things to do” “Right. See, you never lost your imagination. We use it every time we go on one of our adventures. An imagination is not an object that you can see or touch. An imagination is where you get to pretend and use your mind to come up with creative adventures. You use your imagination all the time, Sid. And I would have to say that I am impressed with the adventures you come up with. You have quite a gift.”
“I guess I do have a pretty good one. I can’t believe my imagination was with me this whole time! I didn’t even know it. My imagination allows me to go anywhere and do anything I want. Thanks grandma! You’re the best!”
“You’re welcome. Now, where will your imagination take us today?” So, grandma and I went on our adventure that day and I was able to finish my story that I was supposed to write for Ms. Feathers.
I went to school on Monday and turned in my work with a big smile on my face. “I used my imagination Ms. Feathers! I hope you like it!” “That’s great Sid. I’m sure I will love it. I always look forward to your stories,” Ms. Feathers replied.
A couple of days later, Ms. Feathers had graded our stories and returned them to us. I saw that she had a little note next to my grade.
“Great story! Where did you get that imagination of yours?”
I smiled and wrote back, “I have always had it with me.”
Well, I hope you have learned what an imagination is. And now that you have found yours, go ahead and try it out!”
Copyright Matthew Cline 2010 All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without written consent from the author.
The author lives in Texas, USA.
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