Short Stories by Texas Folks

At twelve, Elsie Wright pilots her first airplane

Elsie Wright, seventh grader at Park Crest Middle School in Pflugerville, Texas, stands beside a Cessna 172 she just flew. It was her first time piloting an airplane, prompting her to write about the experience.

   My courage skyrocketed that day I was to fly an airplane for the first time.

   It was like I was in a space shuttle being sent to the end of the universe. The rockets roaring as I climb into my seat. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” counting off in my head. Then lift off! I feel the shuttle going faster and faster as it lifts off the ground towards outer space. My mind racing as it climbs higher and higher into the sky towards my goal. Then I feel the crisp winter air that always hangs into the spring wrap around my body clearing my mind as I walk towards the plane I am going to fly.

   My stomach does somersaults as I get closer and closer to my dream I’ve been waiting for so long. I never want to wake up if it is a dream, but no, it is real, all real. But I still feel something nagging at the back of my head. What is it? What does it want? But then I realize that the voice in the back of my head is every child’s worse nightmare. Fear.

   My Grandpa and I stand in front of the plane as the flight instructor tells me what areas to check to make sure we are safe for flying.

   “Now, you’re going to want to flip these three switches and turn the key in order for the engine to turn on. Got it?” asked the instructor.

   “Yep.” I replied.

    With that we climb inside and put on our head phones, which were to mute out some of the engines roar though it would still be very loud. I look out of the window and see my Mom and Grandma watching and waving to us from the car. I turn the key and the propellers start to turn faster and faster.

   “Clear!” yells the flight instructor out the window.

   With that we start to move forward. The instructor guides the plane from the Co-Pilot’s seat towards the runway, where we lift into the air. He flies us around Georgetown, which from this perspective looks like a quilt, all the while giving me instructions. He tells me how to go left, right, up, down and then finally hands me the controls. Flying is amazing; it feels just like what I think it would be to drive a car. I am really nervous that we are going to crash, but I keep cool and make sure to keep the plane leveled.

   Finally I am able to find the runway again and with the help of the instructor we are able to land and return the plane to its spot. After we completely stop, I turn off all controls and get out to help tie down the plane. My Mom and Grandma come up and give me hugs telling me how good I had flown. After all of the pictures are taken, we go inside the building where the Pilot signs my first Pilot Flight Log. Success!

   I will never forget the way I felt that day I flew my first airplane! I learned an important lesson, that if you put your mind to it you can do anything.

A Texas Rattlesnake Tale By Fred Hudson Fred Hudson

A Texas Rattlesnake Tale

By Fred Hudson, Austin, Texas


No creature in the South Texas brush country is more terrifying than the Western Diamondback rattler. It shares this semi-desert place with javelinas, deer, pumas, coyotes, wild razorbacks, a few jackasses, and any number of scary insects, like scorpions and spiders. A half century later those gray/white/black scales patterned like some Native American wampum still haunt my dreams....more

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