Due to his small stature, the Lightning Kid was sometimes mistaken for a much younger child. The way people realized their error was usually seeing him run (though his climbing or socializing might occasionally tip them off too). He could really move, one foot steadily in front of the other, no flailing.
The King and Queen were very proud, especially because research and conventional wisdom could tell them that less than 8 percent of children with his condition would run at his age. Of course, royal pride carries a price. When the little prince decided to head in his own direction away from his parents, it took a long, hard effort to catch him and bring him back into the fold - and quick reflexes were needed to minimize his head start.
Still this new development helped him play with his brother Shark Boy, though the Lightning Kid didn't seem to realize that he would be unable to catch up to his brother - when the latter was riding an iron steed. He was also able to run around and chase with other children.
The best use of his new-found speed however, was to run races. The King had been participating in runs through various forests, and the race organizers were always very kind in giving the youngest children a small race of their own to do too.
The Royal family had been to two races this season and one the season before. In the year before, the Lightning Kid had been easily the youngest and though he gave a valiant effort, he needed to be carried for a good deal of the race by the Queen. On the same course this year, he not only completed it by himself, but also didn't finish last!
The King had run that race with Shark Boy, who also did very well. The success of that event gave the King the confidence and curiosity to trade roles with the Queen... at the next race she would run with Shark Boy, while the King would run with the Lightning Kid.
The Lightning Kid's arrival at the race site was heralded by a very important Princess. The young prince was very interested in greeting anyone he could before the race.
It turned out he was also interested in greeting people during the race, and he found himself getting frustrated at seeing the rest of the racing children (including his brother) disappear into the distance. This frustration culminated in a tantrum (or two) that only made him lag further behind. Still, while other tantrums took other children right out of the running, a simple reminder of "Go, go, go!" was enough to keep the little prince moving. The King took a wrong turn or two in leading him since they were unable to follow the crowd anymore, and there was also a fair bit of carrying going on, but the race was completed and one bystander remarked that the Lightning Kid had won the prestigious title of "cutest racer".
And of course, his many fans were not to be ignored.
|Courtesy of robynbaldwin.com|