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Up The Ladder

Up The Ladder by Peter Doern Chris found a ladder leaning against the tree in his backyard. It was Saturday, and his friend was away, so Chris decided to climb the ladder. He stepped up and climbed into the tree. There he met a blue bird, which was sitting on its nest. “Good day,” said the bird.

“Good day,” Chris replied. “Are you climbing to the top of the ladder?” asked the bird. Chris looked up at the ladder. He couldn’t see the top. “How high is the ladder?” he asked the bird.

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The bird hopped closer to Chris and said, “I’m not sure. I flew as high as birds can fly, and I still couldn’t reach the end of the ladder.” Chris sat and thought for a moment. He scratched his head and thought some more. Then he turned to the blue bird. “I can help you,” he said.

“I’ll climb to the top of the ladder and see what’s there. Then I’ll come back down and tell you what I saw.” Chris’s suggestion pleased the bird. “I’ll fly with you for a little ways,” it said, “but I must return soon, to protect my nest.” So Chris started climbing the ladder again, and the blue bird flew up beside him. Together they climbed past the top of the tree and into the sky. They had been climbing for a little while when the blue bird turned back to its nest. “Goodbye, Chris,” the blue bird said.

“Don’t forget to tell me what’s at the end of the ladder.” Chris climbed higher. Soon he met a woman dressed in coveralls. She held a hammer in her hand and two nails in her mouth. She was pounding nails into a board. “Good day,” said Chris.

“Good day,” said the woman, taking the nails out of her mouth. “What are you doing?” asked Chris. “I’m a carpenter,” said the woman. “I’m building a home to live in.” “On a ladder?” asked Chris, astonished. “Sure,” replied the carpenter.

“See? I’m nearly finished.” Chris looked, and sure enough there was a house hanging from the ladder. “Are you climbing to the top of the ladder?” asked the carpenter. “Yes,” Chris replied. “Would you like to join me?” “Thank you, but no,” said the carpenter. “I’m much too busy building my house.” “I’m going to see what’s at the top of the ladder,” said Chris. “And then I’m coming back down to tell my friend, the blue bird, what’s there.

Would you like me to tell you, too?” “That would be nice,” said the carpenter. “I always enjoy visitors. Come any time. See you soon.” “Good bye,” said Chris. He began to climb the ladder again.

Chris was climbing up the ladder when suddenly someone stepped on his head. “Ouch!” said Chris. “Oh, sorry,” said a man. He was climbing down. “What are you doing?” asked Chris. “I’m going around to the other side of the ladder so that I can pass you,” said the man.

“I mean, what are you doing on the ladder?” asked Chris again. “I’m going down,” said the man bluntly. “Excuse me.” “Have you been to the top of the ladder?” Chris asked. “Yes,” the man said. He was getting further and further below Chris. “What’s there?” yelled Chris.

But the man was too far away to hear. Chris kept climbing the ladder. He was climbing the ladder when he hit his head on something. “Ouch!” said a voice. It was an old woman.

“Excuse me,” said Chris. “Good day young man,” said the old woman. “Are you going to the top of the ladder?” asked Chris. “Yes,” said the old woman. “If I ever make it.” “I’m going, too,” said Chris.

“Would you like to join me?” “Thank you, but no,” said the old woman. “I’m old and slower than you are. Go on ahead.” “I’m going to see what’s at the top of the ladder,” said Chris. “Then I’m going back down to tell my friends the blue bird and the carpenter what I saw. If you like, I can tell you what’s at the top of the ladder also.” “That would be very kind of you,” said the old woman. “I don’t think I’ll ever reach the top of the ladder.” “Keep trying,” said Chris. “Good luck.” “Good bye,” said the old woman.

Chris moved around to the other side of the ladder and started to climb again. Chris was climbing up the ladder when he met another man. The man was hanging upside down from a rung. “Are you going to the top of the ladder?” asked Chris. “I don’t know which way is up anymore,” said the man.

“Why, I’m going up,” said Chris. “You look like you’re going down to me,” said the man. “That’s because you’re upside-down,” said Chris. The man said nothing after that. Chris kept climbing the ladder.

Soon, Chris ran out of rungs to hold on to. He had reached the end of the ladder. A girl was doing a handstand on the end of the ladder. “Good day,” said the girl. “Good day,” said Chris.

“Welcome to the end of the ladder,” said the girl. “Make yourself at home.” “Thank you,” Chris replied. Chris sat on the top rung and looked at the girl. The girl balanced on one hand and looked at Chris. Neither said a word. Finally, Chris spoke. “What’s your name?” he said. “Mary,” said the girl.

“I’m Chris,” said Chris. Chris and Mary remained silent. Finally Chris spoke again. “Is that it?” he asked. “Is that what?” Mary replied.

“Is that all that’s at the top of the ladder?” Chris asked again. “No,” said Mary. “Look down.” Chris looked down. There, spread below him like a large quilt, was the WORLD.

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