“I’m here!” Isaac said.
“Come sit down over here.” A guard standing on the other side of the jury waved him over to a chair. Isaac hurried across the room and sat down.
“Are you Isaac?” the queen asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“I object,” the grasshopper said. “He is obviously lying. All the Isaacs I know have big black wings and twelve legs and purple spots.”
“Do you have any proof that your name is Isaac?” the queen asked.
Isaac shrugged. “My mom picked out my name. I think it’s on my birth certificate.”
The queen turned to the grasshopper. “Do you have any proof his name isn’t Isaac? Please tell us where you met these other Isaacs.”
The grasshopper tapped his foot. “I can’t quite recall. But I know I never met this young man before.”
“I met him,” the ladybug called from the jury box. “He ate my grandmother.”
“I’m fine, dear,” her grandmother said.
“He shared his food,” the mouse said.
“He told me about families,” the baby bird said.
The bat stopped snoring and opened an eye. “That’s the one that interrupted our song. Send him away.” He closed his eye and started to snore again.
The queen hit the little table with her hammer. “That’s enough. We don’t need any more character witnesses. We will proceed with the testimony.”
“Well, the grasshopper said…” Isaac began.
“I object,” the grasshopper said.
“Stop objecting,” one of the guards said. “This is taking forever.”
“That’s not fair,” the grasshopper said. “In fact, I think this whole trial is unfair. I’m leaving.” With that, he spread his wings and leapt into the air.
The guards rushed forward just as the grasshopper landed on the head of the sleeping bat. The guards jumped at the bat and the grasshopper flew away. The bat startled awake, spread his wings, and launched into the crowd of ants along the opposite wall.
The room was soon a mess of ants and jury members. The queen shouted and hit her little table until her wooden hammer cracked. No one listened.
Isaac hid behind his chair, but he didn’t really feel safe. Maybe he’d be safer if he grew just a little bigger. He took his feathers out of his pocket and flapped his arms. That was good, but maybe if he were a little taller it would be even better.
He kept flapping his arms while looking up. He’d decided to stop once he was just shorter than the ceiling, but it stayed just as far away as it had always been. He paused and looked down. The ants looked so small. Had the ceiling always been this high?
He was almost back to his normal size. Isaac flapped his arms a few more times. Everything around him was suddenly very, very bright. He blinked and his eyes watered. What happened? Where was he?
He put the feathers in his back pocket and looked around. He was standing at the edge of the forest. Jimmy was standing nearby, waving. Isaac looked around again and jogged over.
“Did you find it?” Jimmy asked.
Isaac patted his pocket. It was still there. He took out the baseball and handed it to Jimmy. “Here it is.”
“Thanks. Let’s go call and see what’s taking everyone so long.” Jimmy turned and started to run towards his house.
Had any of that really happened? Where were the cave and the hotel lobby with all the elevator doors? What happened to the ants and the courtroom?
Isaac took out the feathers again and held one in each hand. He tried pushing up on the air. Nothing happened. He tried pushing down on the air. Nothing happened. He flapped his arms wildly, and finally gave up. He put he feathers back in his pocket and followed Jimmy into the house.