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My Shoe: Fifty Feet Above Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The three of us, Maryellen, Kathy, and I, were waiting for the bus. To pass the time we were having a contest to see who could kick their shoes the highest into the sky. After each attempt we rushed to catch them before any boys stole them. Maryellen's sneakers were tied tightly, and they were a pain to get on and off so she borrowed one of my loosely-fitting moccasins.

If a prize had been awarded to the person who kicked her shoe the highest, Maryellen would have won. She sent my moccasin soaring through the air. This time when it landed, we didn't have to worry about any boys stealing it. The oak tree was the thief. We looked up and saw my white-beaded moccasin perched 50 feet above our heads, resting on two fairly large, sturdy branches.

We tried in vain to get the shoe out of the tree, throwing rocks and balls and anything else we could find at it. Suddenly, we heard the bus groan as it climbed the hill of my winding street. Frantically, the three of us tried once more to free my shoe from the tree but with no success. We could see the bus coming around the bend so we reluctantly cleared the road.

The bus stopped, and the driver opened the door, inviting us to come in. He had no idea that instead, we would be inviting him to come out. The three of us mumbled our problem, but the chubby, elderly bus driver couldn't understand our mumbling, so someone in back of us shouted it out. The plump man waddled out of the bus to see where my beloved shoe was. He then climbed back into the bus in silence and emerged with a broom. He clambered onto the hood and from there stepped up onto the roof. We couldn't believe what our eyes were seeing. Our bus driver, in his orthopedic shoes, who was probably older than my grandmother, was standing on the roof of the bus.

My mother was probably more in awe. About this time every morning she looked out at the bus stop to make sure everything was okay. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw her, mouth wide open, staring out the window. A moment later she came outside in her flowered bathrobe and worn, blue slippers. I explained to her what had happened. She didn't reply, because her mouth was shut tight to contain her laughter.

The bus driver poked aimlessly at the tree, trying to loosen its grasp upon its new-found treasure. Finally the shoe plummeted onto the roof of the yellow school bus. The bus driver tossed it to me, and I returned it to my stocking foot. I thanked the bus driver gratefully with a red face.

That day when I explained to my friends why the bus was late, they laughed as I turned red. Now I can tell the story and laugh with them.n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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