Noortje looks curious to the new swing that daddy has installed in the garden. Mother is hanging the laundry to dry on a line and the dog lies like a prince in the shadow and bites on his bone.
Occasionally he looks at Noor. He doesn’t understand what she intends to do with that strange thing that his boss installed in the garden.
‘Mom, the swing does not work!’
‘Darling keep on trying, soon you will surely succeed.’
Noor climbs sluggishly back on the swing and hold her hands firmly at both sides of the swing on the rope.
She wiggles back and forth but doesn’t succeed in what she wants. She bravely continues to try.
“Pull harder,” a crow calls from a branch in the tree. Pulling harder and move your body with it. Just pull the ropes, your back backwards and your legs forward,’ encouraged the crow her.
Noortje follows his advice and after a while she reaches her goal. At first carefully, but gradually going higher and higher.
‘I can do it mom, I can do it. Look mam, I go higher and higher,’ she yells happy.
Darling be careful. Don’t fall, otherwise you might hurt yourself. Hold tight,’ answers her mom and tenderly she looks at Noor. Then she takes the empty laundry basket and goes back into the house.
‘Hey Noortje, you’re doing well. Will I also teach you how to fly,’ the crow asks.
Noortje stops the swing and looks at the crow, which flies up and land on the swing.
‘Can you really teach me how to fly,” Noortje stutters.
‘Of course, I can. I have also taught you how to rock. Climb in that tree over there.’
‘Do you mean that tree,’ and Noortje points to the tallest tree in the garden.
‘Yes,’ replies the Crow. ‘Climb in. I’ll guide you.’
Noortje carefully climbs into the tree and follows cautiously the orders of the crow.
‘I think it’s a bit scary, but I want to learn how to fly like the birds.’
But when she looks down and gets a bit dizzy in her head.
‘I don’t dare to go any further, I want to go back,’ she begs the crow.
‘You can’t go back Noor. You really must climb further now. It’s not so far anymore, a few more branches.’ the crow replies.
Noortje is so afraid of falling and she starts to cry. ‘I don’t want to go any further, I’m so afraid that I fall,’ she shouts to the crow.
‘Don’t be afraid Noor. It’s not that far anymore. Just keep climbing, otherwise you will never learn to fly.’
Noortje collects all her courage and on the instructions from the crow she climbs further.
‘My arms are getting so tired. Is it still far? When am I high enough to learn how to fly?’
‘A few more branches and then you are there. Well, get along, because I’m getting hungry.
I have an appointment for lunch, so hurry up, otherwise you are on you own. Come on, you can do it,’ the crow calls impatiently.
Noortje feels the pain in her arms and hands, but bravely she climbs further. Suddenly she remembers that people cannot fly. Dad had explained that to her, how could she be so foolish to forget that. ‘But dear crow, I don’t think I can fly. People cannot learn that,’ she says to the crow.
‘Yes, they can. I’m going to teach you how to fly, really,’ the crow replies.
‘I cannot go on anymore,’ she calls.
Her hands are red, and they hurt terribly. The tears jump into her eyes and she is crying for her mom.
‘Please Noor, one more branch. You are almost there. Take my wing, then I can help you with the last branch.’
She tries to take his wing, but that doesn’t work and so she must take the last obstacle herself. She pulls herself up and then she looks up, surprised. There is a huge green area.
She sees a sea of flowers with the most beautiful colors she has ever seen.
She cautiously takes a step on the huge grass carpet. For a moment she thinks she will drop through the grass, but that doesn’t happen. She peers down, where big white clouds slowly glide past her.
‘I’ll come back later to teach you how to fly,’ the crow calls out. ‘First I have to go to my lunch meeting,’ and he disappears into the clouds.
Noortje doesn’t understand what is happening and looks in astonishment around. For a moment she pinches her arm, ‘au,’ she shouts.
‘Will you dance with us?’ she hears softly behind her.
Carefully she turns around and sees a man who is as tall as herself. On his head he wears a blue hat and he has a big red nose. Before she can answer him, he takes her hand and leads her to a circle with, yeah, what are they? She recognizes them from her fairytale books. She recognizes Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and her dwarfs. She also sees Sleeping Beauty with her spinning wheel and the seven goats with their mother. Suddenly she feels that a little creature is climbing up on her dress. That is Tom Thumb. “That’s crazy,” she says happily. ‘This is more fun than learning to fly,’ and she dances all day with her fairytale friends.
Unexpectedly the party is disturbed by a lot of noise. The ground trembles under her feet, it looks like an earthquake. All her new friends scare and search for a safe haven. Noortje also wants to hide but has no idea where she could go. Suddenly she sees the head of a giant just over the edge of the clouds. He lifts his arms up and grabs her.
‘Well well. That is an unexpectedly tasty meal that crosses my path.’
He looks at her attentively and wonders how he can best prepare her.
‘Maybe I should roast you and eat you with a spicy sauce,’ he suggests.
Noortje looks at him with horror. She should never have listened to the crow. Oh, how stupid I was. The giant is still playing with her. He can not decide how he is going to prepare this meal.
He touches her chin with his thumb and opens his mouth wide. Noortje smells a smell that is very familiar to her.
‘Honey, breakfast is ready. Wake up,’ she hears the voice of her father in the distance.
She opens her eyes and sees that he is tickling her under her chin.
Noortje is so happy to see her dad and she wraps her arms around his neck.
“Good morning, Dad,” she cheerfully shouts.
‘Good morning darling. Did you sleep well?’
Noortje nods. Oh, how happy she was that everything turns out to be a dream.
One thing she knows for sure. She would never, never ever climb into a tree again to learn to fly.