King for a Day
In the sleepy town of Spartansburg, South Carolina, lived a very special twelve-year-old boy named George Skinner. He was an intelligent and intriguing boy. His tall, slender body made it easy for George to be the all-star player on his basketball team. This was George's favorite pastime.
Being the eldest, George babysat his brother and sister many times for his parents. He was a mature and responsible boy, who took great care of his six-year-old brother Tommy, and his sister Mary, a petite third grader just turning eight years old.
One day, George was devastated to hear that his grandparents had died in a car accident. He was very close to them, and had bonded strongly with his wise grandfather. George and his grandparents had gotten along very well. He really didn't know what he was going to do without them.
Shortly after the funeral, his grandparents' Will was read. In the Will, George was informed that his grandparents had left him a large wall mirror. He knew right away which mirror it was. When he would go to their attic to play, he would see it there. He had admired its beauty many times. George had always gone to the attic when he needed to reflect on daily issues. The mirror had delicately-cut flowers of pastel colors around the frame. It was an antique mirror that was always kept in the attic. George thought it was worth a fortune.
George asked his parents to bring it down from the attic, and if he could put it in his bedroom as soon as possible. George didn't know it wasn't just any old mirror; that it was actually a very unique mirror. George discovered this quite by mistake one day.
His discovery came on a beautiful September morning, the first day of school. George got up extra early to get ready for school, much earlier than the rest of his family. He was anxious to meet his new sixth grade teachers and some friends he hadn't seen since June.
After getting completely ready for school, George looked at his mirror, and said, "I'm bored. It's way too early to go to school."
Suddenly he looked up and saw the most amazing thing. The frame of his new mirror was glowing. It glowed a bright, fluorescent green.
"Wow," George said in a whisper. He couldn't believe his eyes. Rubbing them, he thought that maybe he was just seeing things. But, when he opened his eyes again, he realized it was really happening.
George, the boy with many questions, was known throughout the small town for having a hunger to learn new things. So, he couldn't help cautiously approaching the glowing mirror. What's happening? How can this be? I wonder if grandma and grandpa knew about this? He was just full of questions.
George reached one hand out to touch his image, and with just a touch from his finger, he was gone. George could feel a tickling feeling rushing throughout his entire body. "This is cool," George said aloud in a giggling voice.
George found himself lying in the middle of a field of sleeping sheep. The sun was just starting to come up. George sat up to get a better look. The sheep started coming over to him, laughing. One sheep said, "What kind of sheep are you?"
George stood up and started feeling his arms, legs, and body. He was thankful that he was not a sheep. George told the sheep his name, and that he was a twelve-year-old boy on an adventure.
One of the sheep seemed to be the leader. It had a different type of fluffy blue hair on top, and did most of the talking.
"I'm Sam.I've never seen a creature like you before. Are you here to play?"
George, still amazed, didn't answer Sam's question, but instead asked, "What part of the world is this?"
"It's England, and a very special day! Do you see those train tracks over there?" Sam pointed with his foot. He continued, "The Queen of England is going to be passing through the country. There's a dinner planned in her honor, and we are pleased that it's not only in our part of the country, but near our home. Isn't that great?"
George could see that this meant a lot to the sheep, so he answered, "Why yes, I think that's wonderful!"
The sheep were pleased with George's answer, and start making happy sheep sounds.
"Oh, but I'm still in my school clothes. Is this appropriate clothing to meet the Queen?"
"Look over there behind that big rock on top of the hill."
George wasn't sure what Sam had in mind, so he walked over there to see. To George's amazement, there lay a blue suit, dress shoes and socks. Everything was in his size. It's as if they were expecting me, he thought. George hid behind the rock and quickly changed into the new clothes.
When George was finished changing, he looked at Sam.
"Now that's more suitable for meeting the Queen. Get it? Your suit is suitable", laughed Sam. All the sheep started laughing, "Baa, Baa." George rolled his eyes and laughed with them.
George looked over the top of the hill, and noticed how beautiful the countryside was. He could hear the birds singing loudly.Then he could hear the distant sound of a train's whistle. The sheep heard it, too, and quickly became excited, saying, "The Queen is coming! The Queen is coming!"
"Hurry, get closer to the train station," replied Sam, as he led the sheep to the bottom of the hill. George ran down the hill, and the sheep joined him in the fun.
When they reached the bottom of the hill, the sheep told George how excited they were to see the Queen. George couldn't help feeling the rush of excitement with them. The sheep looked up at George, admiring him in his suit.
"You sure look handsome in your new clothes."
"Yeah", said a couple of the other sheep. George thought the sheep looked at him like their son, and it almost appeared as if they were smiling at him. George was glad that he could be there with the sheep. Everything seemed like a dream. George pinched himself a couple of times, just to make sure he wasn't sleeping. Each pinch hurt, so he knew that he was awake.
The train finally reached the station, and the Queen stepped off the train. Sam asked George a most confusing question, "Isn't she the most beautiful Swan Queen you've ever seen?"
George was surprised to see that the Queen was a Swan, but then he thought, "I shouldn't be surprised! After all, the sheep are speaking to me just like humans." George admitted to the sheep that she was, in fact, the most beautiful Swan Queen he had ever seen. He didn't tell them that she was the only Swan Queen he'd ever seen. He didn't think that would be a good thing to say.
The sheep and George were standing just a few feet away from the Swan Queen.George could see her beautiful white feathers, golden bill, and emerald stoned crown.
The Swan Queen spoke to George graciously, asking, "How long have you been waiting for the train? I hope your trip has been pleasant so far."
"Well, I was just getting ready for school, and the next thing I knew, I had landed here."
The Swan Queen told him that he was chosen today because she thought he was the perfect boy. George was curious as he looked at Sam, "What does she mean by the perfect boy? The perfect boy for what?"
A beautiful gold coach pulled by two white horses drove up next to the Queen. The Queen reached out one of her feathered wings."Come with me, George, please."
George reached his hand out, and touched her wing to assist her into the coach.
"You are such a gentleman, George, you're just perfect."
George got on the coach, and sat facing the Swan Queen in the seat across from her. He couldn't help but admire the beautiful, satin-lined coach.
"This is beautiful," then he added, "You're very beautiful, too."George was sincere in his compliment to the Swan Queen. He truly thought that she was one of the most beautiful Swans he had ever seen.
George was amazed when the coachman opened the door to let them out. They had just entered the coach, and it was already time for them to get out. They were on the drawbridge in front of the Queen's castle.
George thought, How could this be? Then he thought that there was no reason to question how things could happen, since everything seemed to be different from home. George decided he was going to see all kinds of strange things he had never seen before, but that was what was making this whole trip so exciting.
The huge wooden door opened by itself as they approached the castle. Once they entered the castle, George could see a long hallway with several doors. The Queen immediately asked George to go to the door that was marked "Honor."
George walked down the hallway, and when he found the door marked just as she said, he entered. Inside the closet-sized room there was a full-length mirror and a shelf with a king's crown sitting on it. George looked at the Swan Queen in surprise. The Queen asked George to be King for the day. She explained that she would be honored to have him serve as King for just one day.
George looked into the mirror at his own reflection, thinking, I know I have to go back home, but I'm not ready to go just yet.
George looked at the Queen, and said, "I'm the one that would be honored. I have never been asked to serve as King for the day.
The Swan Queen took the crown, and placed it on George's head. George looked in the mirror thinking that he couldn't believe this was happening to him.
All of a sudden, there was a bolt of lightning, then a loud thunder roaring from the sky. Everyone ran inside the castle for cover.
As George was admiring his crown, he heard a cry coming from outside. "Come quick, someone please help me. My son is caught in the tree and I'm afraid the lightning will hurt him." There inside the door stood a mama bear dressed with her hat and raincoat.
George ran out and pulled the bear down to safety. As everyone crowded into the back of the castle, the little bear came forward with his mother. The little bear ran to George to hug him, saying, "Thank you for saving my life."
George hugged him back, saying, "You're welcome! Remember to stay close to your mother next time when there is a bad storm. The lightning could have killed you."
"I will, King George."
George was proud to be King, and to have saved someone's life.
George heard someone calling his name. He followed the sound, which lead him to the mirror in the room of "Honor."George recognized the voice; it was his mother calling for him. This had been an exciting day, but it was time to go home. George looked around for the Swan Queen, but couldn't find her anywhere. George left a note for the Queen, saying, "Thank you for everything. I hope you are not upset with me, but I must return home. Enjoy your special dinner. Love, George."
When no one was looking, George took off the King's crown, then touched the mirror.George was instantly back in his room. He looked at his clock, and it was still 7:30 am. George said to himself, Wow! Time stood still while I was in the mirror, and now I'm back in my school clothes.This is incredible!
"George," his mom called him for the second time. She was a tall, slender woman with long, black hair. Some of George's friends said that she should have been a model. George had a great relationship with his mom; she was pleasant and also funny.
Moments later, his mom walked into his room. She looked at him out of the corner of her eye, smiling. "Come get some breakfast."
"OK, mom, I'm hungry anyway." He couldn't wait to go to school to see all of his friends. George was meeting his buddies at the bus stop after breakfast."Boy, have I got some catching up to do", George muttered almost in one breath, he was so full of energy.
"Well, you sure are ready today," his Mom said.
"You have no idea", George said under his breath. George knew that if this mirror wasn't just a one-time adventure, he was going to learn a lot about the world, and probably more than he would learn from his history books. George couldn't wait to see if another adventure awaited his return to the mirror.