Stepping Stones
By: Ann Christine Tabaka

Sally always loved to play outside in the little stream that ran behind her house. You could find her there on most warm sunny days. She particularly loved it right after the rain, when the water was running fast and high. She would splash in the rushing water as she turned over each stone looking for crayfish and other fascinating creatures, especially the creepy-crawly ones. Sally liked to pretend that she was a great explorer, and the stream was a mighty river. She would make a game of carefully stepping from stone to stone, trying not to fall off into the treacherous current that she imagined. As long as she could remember, Sally wondered how all the large rocks got into the stream. There were so many, and they almost seemed to have personalities, as if they were more than just stone. Some had features that Sally found curious. They had expressions on them, as if they had faces. She was fascinated by them, and felt as if they were her friends.

One late summer day, Sally decided to go out to play in her stream after dinner. Her parents did not like her being outside alone when it was getting close to dark, so she snuck out without telling them that she was going. She was full of excitement and wonder at the thought of her new adventure. She felt free and all grown up being out in her stream at dusk. She could not wait to wade in and play among her rocks.

She was just getting ready to step on a silvery flat-surfaced stone when suddenly one of the largest rocks vibrated, rolled over and stood up straight and very tall. It became a foreboding creature right before her frightened eyes. Sally screamed and tried to run, but it was too late. The rock monster looked at her with an evil glare, then extended an algae covered hand and grabbed her. Before she knew what was happening, she began to curl up tight and become rigid. Then, within moments, she became just another rock, among so many other rocks in the little stream, forever keeping their secret hidden from the outside world.


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