One last shinny and Logan grasped the gray, smooth Maple branch. He’d shinnied more than 25 feet up the slippery bark of a great old Red Maple. His arms and legs were scratched up and his navy blue polar shirt had a long tear down the sleeve. Looking down below him, Logan could see the vast fields of autumn crops ready for harvesting and the nearby White Oaks stretching their massive arms out. All the trees, far and wide, had arrayed themselves in purple, blazing orange, bright red, golden brown, every color in the whole wide world or so it seemed. Logan sat contented for what seemed to be a whole hour drinking in all the shining landscaping. Nothing could be more serene, more perfect. A slight wind ruffled Logan’s chestnut hair. His curly locks were swept from his face.
Finally, eager to climb higher, Logan pulled his short, stocky body up and found the nearest branch with his hand. He rested his hand a bit on the flaky, dead wood of the next highest branch. And then pulled with all his strength. Crack! Slam! The branch stubbornly refused to hold his weight and snapped with one pull. The branch threw Logan off balance. His glasses were snatched from his face. He had no time to see their fate. Branch after branch scratched him rudely, and his face knocked into many another limb. Only sharp thinking saved him. He grabbed anything he could. First only a clump of red leaves, then- yes, a solid branch, the branch he had, only moments before, perched in ecstasy. He gripped it tightly. His strong arms held on for dear life. Down below he saw his bent and shattered glasses and the disastrous limb that had started this downward spiral. He managed to shinny all the way down, picked his glasses up, and trotted home. Only then did he lick his lips and taste the warm wetness of blood. He arrived home bruised, bloody-nosed, and disheveled. In all his 9 years of life he’d had plenty of close-calls. This was just one more.