Books for Kids and Teens
" Even ten years after she disappeared from his life, Ben cannot forget the
When I was nine, I had an experience on which I still reflect.
magic of the girl named Saskia. What will he do now that he has the
opportunity to see her once more?"
My father owned about a hundred acres of land, much of it fields that were mowed for hay. For a tractor Dad used an old chopped-up Chevy with no exhaust, which pulled a dark green metal arm with a long blade that cut the grass. I had an overwhelming need to be on that tractor.
One year Dad took on a hired hand, Frank Zabiskie, to cut trees for firewood and clear more land of rocks. New England topsoil, Dad called the rocky land. Zabiskie had a daughter who pitched in to help, mostly around the house. The girl was in her early teens. Her name was Saskia.
She had blonde hair, a nice smile, a great laugh, and I thought she was pretty. She was also easy to talk to, and I found myself telling her about my plight.
Stepping into the woods was like stepping into a cave. Cool air enveloped us. Speckles of sunlight ricocheted through the trees and reflected off Saskia’s yellow hair.
We came upon a fallen tree.
“Let’s sit and look around,” said Saskia, “and see what we can find here.”
We sat on the tree. It was moist and spongy, with moss and tiny tree seedlings sprouting from it’s decaying core. The sound of quiet filled my ears. Nothing stirred, not even a leaf.
The trees created a canopy for a rich carpet of ferns and dark, moist leaves. I searched the ground for signs of movement--a mouse, a chipmunk, a vole.
“There,” Saskia whispered. She pointed. I followed the direction of her finger and saw a pink lady slipper. It seemed to be made of blown glass. A slender shaft of sunlight shined right through the translucent flower.
After that, whenever Saskia and I went for a walk--and we went for many that summer--we stopped to see the pink lady slipper. We never told anyone else about it. Sometimes I felt guilty about not sharing such a wonderful treasure. But I cherished the secret of our special jewel in the woods. Now, on the rare occasion that I see one, I think of the magic of that summer.