Fraidy Kat

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

The Grays are a new family on my mail route. I’m already friends with their daughter, Katherine. She’s smart. She’s funny. And she’s excellent at yard darts. We play every day when I deliver the mail. (So far, we’ve only poked holes in a few packages.)

This morning, I found Katherine moping on the front steps.

“What’s the matter, Kit-Kat?” I asked.

She groaned and held up the back-to-school catalog I’d delivered yesterday.

“I don’t know any of the kids at school. What if they don’t like me?”

“Are you kidding me?” I said. “You’re the undefeated regional yard-darts champion! The kids at Odyssey Elementary will think you’re super cool.”

“Yard darts is easy, Wooton,” she said. “But making new friends is . . . scary.”

We sat there in silence for a minute. I wished I had brought my harmonica.

“What would you say if I told you that I used to be scared of people, too?” I asked.

“No way,” Katherine shook her head. “You’re one of the most peopliest people I know.”

“Well, sure, I am now, but it wasn’t always that way. The thought of talking to people used to scare me so much that I stayed indoors and drew comic books all day.”

“Is that why you lived in Alaska?”

“No. Dad was nuts about salmon.”

“So how did you get over your fear?” Katherine asked.

“I decided that I was going to take God at His Word and place my faith in Him. Joshua 1:9 says, ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.’ Well, I realized I needed to do what God said. So the next day, I went out and got a job as a mailman. Now I meet people every day and I’m not scared at all. I’ve got hundreds of friends and a dog and a cat and even a barn!”

“Strong and courageous,” Katherine said. “I’ll have to remember that.”

“By the way,” I whispered, “I used to be afraid of yard darts, too. A bunch of sharp objects flying across the grass? It’s a mailman’s worst nightmare!”

Katherine laughed. “Do you have time for a game?”

“Not this morning,” I said in a hurry. “One of the kids down the street is getting the training wheels taken off his bike. I promised to join the cheering section. See you tomorrow, Kit-Kat. You’d better keep practicing, or I just might win a game.”

“Oh, Wooton.” Katherine flipped a dart behind her back, hitting a bull’s-eye. “I’m not exactly scared.”

This article first appeared in the September 2012 issue of Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.