The Shadow Maker (195 Words)
The Shadow Maker was thin and tall. You could tell he enjoyed his work from the way he smiled. His smile could be wide, but it wasn’t a sly smile like other long smiles can be. It was the smile of someone suited to his work.
But today, he wasn’t smiling.
“Put this on, duckling,” he said. “Hold out your arms.”
The child folded his arms. “Hmm-mm!”
The Shadow Maker held the sweater open. “You know you won’t go anywhere if you don’t put it on.”
“I don’t want to go!”
“But why?” the Shadow Maker asked. “Don’t you want them? Parents who will love you? No one is born without a shadow.”
The child scuffed the ground. “The shadow’s too small.”
The Shadow Maker knelt.
“I cut this shadow myself,” he said. “There is no other like it. But it is not your shadow they will love, little one. There is no shadow at all without you.”
The child hesitated and looked into the Shadow-Maker’s strange, soft eyes. “Can I go without a shadow?”
“You could.” The Shadow Maker smoothed the sweater on the child’s shoulder. “But believe me. It just wouldn’t feel right.”