17th June 2005 at 01:00
Flight of Fancy By Lauren Pigott, 12, Oxford high school

All young children have a desire to fly. Many may play "pretend games" that they are flying beings. Some may even believe it to a certain extent. I, on the other hand, was born equipped with a completely genuine conviction that I possessed the power of flight. No amount of persuasion could convince me otherwise, and no blow too heavy could deter me. Well, practically no blow.

I was three or four. Mum and I had embarked on our weekly excursion to Tesco's. I must have been a very good girl, or perhaps she was treating me, because while she was idly packing our shopping into plastic bags she presented me with a shimmering kaleidoscopic pack of crayons. Not any normal crayons, no, the unbelievable had occurred: Crayola had invented the glitter crayon! I immediately knew they were the key to my flight.

I set about the next few days cutting, sticking, and most of all crayoning.

Time after time I produced a pair of glittering paper wings. I then proceeded to propel myself with great force off the living room furniture.

To no avail: each time I became a crumpled, blonde heap on the mottled blue carpet. Always undeterred, I continued my attempts. This was my mission, and I would do anything to achieve my goal.

Then came that fateful day. The inspiration came to me in a flash. I realised I needed a source of power; how could I be so ignorant! Of course, most of the magic came from inside me, but it needed a form of channelling.

Or so I told my deluded mind. And thus I created the magic spot. I scribbled erratically on a piece of A4 until it was dense with shining wax.

I then cut a circle from it. The last and most crucial step was to attach it to my forehead. With Pritt Stick.

The day was beautiful, and I remember that it was a particularly sunny summer. The trees on the green were laden with cherries, an extremely exciting discovery and something that had not happened before. Mum said I must stop my creation and go outside. "It's a beautiful day. Maybe Sarah from the close will play with you."

Sarah did not want to play with me, and I was stuck outside with nothing to do... then the thought hit me. Large dark eyes focused on the wall between my garden and the green. I had recently learnt to climb on to the wall via the gate, a feat of which I was very proud. No results from the low-to-the-ground furniture, so perhaps the wall would give a bigger boost! The more I contemplated, the more I convinced myself, until I came to the conclusion that this was the only way I would fly, and unleash the power that was, obviously, within me. It was now or never.

Next second I knew I was on top of the wall, overlooking the small square of grass and cherry trees. Surrounding the square was a path of harsh grey concrete, on which I liked to ride my bike so much. I was so convinced that I would succeed; there was not a chance in my three-year-old mind that I would fail. I recoiled, and thrust myself off the wall. I swear, for a split second, a tiny blip of time, I did soar - but only before I fell to the ground with a sickening crunch. Nursing a swollen ankle, sitting there in the summer sunshine, I realised the truth: I was never going to fly.

Lauren says there are photographs of her jumping off things as a small child as it was a favourite pastime, but the day she describes was the last time: "I learnt then." Her teacher, Mari Girling, had asked her class of Year 8s to write about learning a particular life-lesson. Lauren enjoys creative writing: "I'm better at prose than poems. I like doing speeches and persuasive writing." She reads widely, including Philip Pullman, "of course". Mari Girling, making her third trip to the Globe as a Write Away teacher, keeps the resource materials and uses them for other subjects, such as PSHE, as well as a stimulus for creative writing. HN

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