Books by Laura Chester

Excerpt from HIDING GLORY


Hiding GloryWhen I first looked up and saw Glory standing on my bedside table, I was astonished, for he was such a tiny fellow, as blue as the color of the morning glories that opened by my window each morning. I thought if I blinked he might disappear, but he didn’t go anywhere. He just stood there pulsing.

When Glory had very strong feelings, his blueness seemed to shine with that heavenly sky-lit, unearthly blue, but in the evening, the color was even more remarkable, because it was as if he were lit up from inside. He had a long silver mane and silvery tail, the most beautiful horse I’d ever laid eyes on.

Glory spoke in his own horse language, whinnying softly, but I could understand. The first thing he said was, “I’m sorry you are sad.”

He didn’t say—I’ll give you something to cry about—as if I would cry over nothing. I usually only cry when my brother gives me a snake bite, twisting the skin both ways on my arm. I would never tell my brother about Glory, because he would rip up my flower box trying to figure it out.

To tell you the truth, I’m not quite sure how Glory came into existence, though I do not doubt that he was real, a very real part of a fantastic world.

When I asked him, “Who are you? Where did you come from?” he turned his head and lifted one tiny, silver hoof. It looked like a shiny, brand new coin, glittering in the moonlight. He was pointing to my window box, though I thought he meant that he had come from the starry night, and in a sense, that was where he did come from and where he would someday return.

He explained that he was the guardian of the morning glory vine, and that only at night, when the flowers puckered, didhe let himself out for a run. He had just leapt out, when he heard me crying, and he was coming to investigate the source of my misery.

I told him that school was starting soon, and I was upset, because I wanted a new pair of Adidas Sambas, but my mother thought they were way too expensive.

Glory snorted and shook his silver mane,“Adios Adidas!” He seemed to be teasing, but it didn’t hurt my feelings. “Maybe all you need is an open mind!” As he said this, air went streaming through his silvery mane—it had the look of freedom, just riding along in the moment.

But wouldn’t things fall out of an open mind? I pictured an open lunch box, with all the contents spilling out.

Glory did not seem concerned with possessions, edible or otherwise, and he wondered about my school. “There’s no use wasting your brain. People on earth do that all day long, and make their children do it too, to keep them busy and out of trouble. But trouble is exactly what children like, because that is where all the fun is!”

He believed that kids were forced to do the exact opposite of what was best for them—“Children should be seen and not heard?” he snorted. “Have you ever heard of such rubbish? Children should sit perfectly still!”

And the way we were taught-- he thought it was a crime, cramming dates and facts into perfectly spacious minds.

“But children have to learn things,” I told him, as if he was the ignorant one. “Here in the modern world,” I explained, “children have to go to school and learn to read. It’s the law.”

“That’s not a real law,” he nickered. “Why don’t you get on, and I’ll show you?”

“You’re not exactly my size,” I retorted. I didn’t mean to make him feel small, but he wasn’t offended by my belittling remark.

“Why don’t you try me? Just close your eyes and hold on.”