“Mommy!” screamed five year old Jessie. “Something is chasing me.”
“Jessie,” Mommy said, looking up from her sewing. “There’s nobody here but you and I.”
“Well there is!” stated Jessie, matter-of-factly. “Look behind me.”
Mommy took a look and sure enough, there was something chasing Jessie. Mommy started to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Jessie asked angrily, her pride hurt more than anything else.
“Oh Jessie,” said Mommy, laying down her sewing. “That thing that is chasing you is called your shadow.”
Jessie crawled up onto Mommy’s lap and looked at her for the longest time.
“What is a shadow?” Jessie finally asked.
“Let me tell you a story,” said Mommy.
“Once upon a time, when I was a little girl of about your age, I had a shadow, as a matter-of-fact, I still have a shadow. My shadow used to follow me around everywhere. It followed me into the kitchen when I was hungry. It followed me outside when I went out to play. It followed me upstairs to my bedroom when it was time for me to go to sleep. I was getting pretty annoyed with it.
“One day, while I didn’t have anything else to do, I started to play with my shadow and, you want to know something, my shadow became my best friend, too.”
Jessie got down off her Mommy’s lap and noticed that her shadow no longer frightened her. As a matter of fact, the more Jessie looked at it, the friendlier it got. Jessie jumped up high into the air, and her shadow followed. She crouched down low and her shadow followed. She hopped on one foot and her shadow followed.
Jessie discovered something else about her shadow, too. Depending on which way she held her fingers up to the light, she could make her shadow appear on the wall or the ceiling, as an animal.
Because she was having such a good time with her Jessie was no longer afraid of it and they became the best of friends.