The second rabbit-shaped cloud overtook the first and the two kids laughed in the long grass.
“How is that possible?”
“My rabbit’s just faster, that’s all.”
“But how? I mean, how does one get the faster wind than the other? They’re both in the sky.”
Jessica thought for a moment. Her mouth got small and moved to one side of her face. Her eyes looked up. She clicked her tongue. Ellie turned to look at her, trying to figure out whether Jessica was working up a lie or remembering something from school. If Jessica was at school, she’d know these kinds of things, but that’d have to wait until next year.
“Maybe one is higher than the other, and maybe the wind is stronger?”
Jessica nodded. That didn’t sound like a lie. She didn’t understand quite how it would work, but it sounded right.
“Girls! Lunch!” Both jumped up at the sound of Ellie’s mother’s voice. Jessica ran down the middle of the garden whilst Ellie ran over to the sleepers that held the ornamental garden away from the lawn. Jessica turned to tell Ellie something, then realised how far away Ellie was.
“What are you doing over there?”
“If I am higher, maybe I’ll get the faster wind and beat you for once!” Ellie giggled as she stumbled on the sleeper.
“Don’t be silly! I’m almost there!” Jessica ran up to the back door, touched the frame, and ran back to Ellie. Ellie had suddenly realised that the lawn was on quite a slant, and she three sleepers high, much too high to jump.
“Come on! Jump down! It’s ok!”
Ellie shook her head and tried to turn around. But the fuchsia hung over the sleeper here and she had hardly any room. She looked ahead, but it only got higher. She looked back to the safety of the start of the sleepers, where one sleeper met the lawn, and wished she hadn’t climbed up.
“It’s not that far, honest! You can do it, come on! Jump, jump, jump, jump!” Ellie’s tears started as Jessica’s chant got louder and louder.
“What is that racquet! Jessica, keep it down. Ellie, you jump down and come into lunch now.”
“I can’t!” Ellie wailed, screaming and sobbing. Ellie’s mother looked shocked, and then she ran out to her tiny daughter.
“Shhh, shhh, it’s ok.” She hugged her to her chest, and Ellie started to calm down. Jessica lay back on the ground and stared at the sky. “Look, Ellie! My rabbit’s disappeared altogether! You’re rabbit’s still there.”
Ellie and her mother looked at the sky. Her mother kissed the top of her head. “You don’t need to come first, sweetie.”
Ellie looked at her mother and grinned.