There’s a story by Oliver Jeffers about a boy who initially gets a kite stuck up in a tree. So to try and get it unstuck he throws a pair of shoes, a cat to get the shoes, a ladder to get the cat, a bucket of paint to get the ladder, a chair to get the paint…you get the picture…but everything gets stuck up in the tree. Until he hurls a saw up in the tree and that finally knocks down the kite. If you have kids, I highly recommend any Oliver Jeffers books, but this one is particularly fun.
Now that you understand this story, you can understand mine, or ours. About a month ago, August went to a birthday party and got a cute little blue parachute man. It’s basically a blue man attached to a small plastic parachute. It’s quite fun to play with – you throw it up in the air as the wind is blowing just right, and off it goes. One night August and I decided to take it out in the backyard to play with while waiting for Brent to get home from work. Then just as Brent and August are starting to play with it, a huge gust of wind comes up, August lets go of it at just the right time, and off it goes over our fence and out towards the street. We all chase after it, but by the time we get to our fence we have lost sight of it. The three of us look everywhere and we don’t see it. Brent and I are of course laughing, however, August isn’t finding it so funny. We convince him that it’s okay because the man has decided to take a trip across the county, and phew, August buys it and we all go inside believing the little blue guy is lost forever.
Two weeks later, I’m sitting at the dinner table across from August gazing out the window when I notice what looks like a small white plastic bag stuck to the very top of a tree that is taller than our house. I look a little longer at it while August is talking to me about who knows what. And I start to wonder “What could that thing be? It’s strange that some piece of trash would get stuck so high in the tree…oh, wait, no it can’t be, is that our parachute man? It looks like it could be, but I don’t see the little blue man. Well, maybe he fell off and it’s just the parachute. I’m going to get the camera, zoom in, take a picture and get a closer look – I just can’t be for certain. Hey, August, I think our parachute man is stuck in that tree.”
I get out our camera, zoom in, and take a picture but the tree is so far away and the small white plastic thing is so small I still can’t really tell. We go to a different window to get closer to the tree, but we’re still not sure. When Brent gets home, we have him take a closer look, and sure enough, he agrees, it’s our parachute man. Now, how do we get it down. August comes up with various ideas: call the police (“um, yes, hello can you come over and get down our little blue man from the tree?”, call the fire department (“You rescue cats, why not parachute men?”), get a ladder (too short, but not a bad idea), throw something at it….this sparks an idea from Brent. We’ll spray water at it from our hose.
A few days go by and we finally we find the time to try spraying water at our man. Surprisingly he was still there stuck up in our tree. Only problem was that we couldn’t find our sprayer. No problem, we’ll just use the hose as is and use our fingers to spray the water. Nope, didn’t even come close to reaching the top of that tree. August wants to try – he firmly believes he can do it. We give him the hose, and I think he merely got the sidewalk wet. Meanwhile, several people, including our neighbors have either walked or driven by witnessing our shenanigans. Next, Brent gets our tent poles, and attaches them all together in the hopes of poking our blue man out. But the pole only reaches midway up the tree. Then he gets a rope and attaches some sort of metal hook on the end. He flings the rope and the hook up into the train, and the hook comes off the rope and gets stuck. August and I are literally laughing our asses off at this point. Of course, now we begin to make reference to the Oliver Jeffers story “Stuck!”.
Brent takes the rope and throws it at the hook, and the rope gets stuck. Luckily he and August were holding on to the other end and they were able to yank the rope out – but no metal hook. Then he brings the tent poles back out of reject pile in hope of now poking the hook out of the tree. After several tries, it works. But still no little blue man. It’s now bedtime for August, so we all go in saying “Back to the drawing board.”
Another week has gone by, and the little blue man is still stuck in our tree. We ending up buying a sprayer for our hose the other day, immediately went home to try it out, but it did not even get close to our man. Every day at dinner time, I sit gazing out our window wondering what will happen first. Will the man finally get blown out of our tree, or will we come up with a way to get it out?
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