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A violent thunderstorm shakes Leanne to her core

Crack! Boom! Lightning and thunder raged throughout the storm. Leanne clutched onto her teddy bear as tightly as possible and looked out of the window from the couch in the living room, a blanket wrapped around her entire body, watching as the rain poured down so hard it made the pond splash into endless waves. The large trees (the ones which Leanne’s mother had joked about, saying they were so tall they could reach the heavens) swayed to the movement of the rain. The garden of daisies (still wilting and gray) that Leanne’s mother had planted a while back were drowning in the endless flow of the rainfall.

“Now now, dear. Don’t be in such a hurry to hide,” Mother said while lighting a candle. The power had gone out not too long ago, and probably wouldn’t be coming back on anytime soon.

“It’s scary, Mother,” Leanne whispered. “Will the storm pass soon?”

Mother got up from the kitchen stool and closed the curtains instead of answering the question. The hills and the pond hid behind the curtains along with the thunder and rain.

“How about a story, Leanne,” Mother said. “One about snakes and flamingos and elephants!”

“No. Snakes are scary, and flamingos don’t do anything exciting—all they do is stand on one leg,” Leanne huffed. “And elephants remind me of the thunder.”

Mother sighed. She was obviously displeased by her daughter’s stubbornness. “Why don’t we play a game?” Mother suggested just as another crack of thunder burst into Leanne’s ears, making her shake from head to toe.

“What about bingo? Or checkers?” Mother continued.

Leanne shook her head. Nothing could distract her from the terrible storm outside. Mother sighed. “Oh, darling. There really is nothing to be afraid of,” she insisted.

Leanne continued to sit still on the couch, the blanket covering her head, but not her face. Mother frowned and sat on the couch with Leanne.

“How about this?” Mother reasoned. “We confess to everything that scares us and why. Would that make you feel better?”

Pondering what her mother had said, Leanne sat silently for a few moments. She nodded her head.

“Alright,” Mother said. “I am afraid of dogs.”

Leanne couldn’t help but laugh. “Dogs? Why?”

“Because they have large teeth and can bite people!” Mother replied anxiously. “Now, what are you afraid of?”

Light from Behind

Outside, Leanne heard another booming noise. The thunder was getting louder. She sighed. “I’m afraid of thunder,” Leanne spilled, “because it’s loud and frightening. And it usually comes with lightning, which can kill you. Also, it’s really quite loud. Did I say that already?”

Mother burst into laughter. “I used to be afraid of thunder as well at your age,” she admitted.

Leanne was shocked. She didn’t think that her own mother would be afraid of thunder. Or dogs, for that matter.

“Just remember this—as long as there is thunder, there is rain. The rain helps the flowers grow. Once the flowers grow nice and tall, they become beautiful. And besides, as long as you’re safe and sound inside, you can’t be hit by lightning.”

Leanne started fiddling with her thumbs. The thunder was getting softer.

“The fireworks that we watch every Fourth of July are much louder than the thunder you hear,” Mother said. “You enjoy the fireworks. However, you don’t seem to enjoy the thunder.”

Leanne turned red. And the more she thought about it, the more it made sense. The rain grew softer as Leanne felt growing courage spread throughout her body. “I guess maybe it isn’t that bad after all.”

Mother smiled. “Let’s open the curtains and see.”

Mother took Leanne’s hand, and together they got up from the couch and trotted over to the window. With her other hand, Mother opened the curtains to reveal the world outside. The storm was dying down. It was surprisingly soothing. The thunder now sounded like a stampede of elephants running off into the distance. Leanne smiled a bit. The elephants were soon long gone. Leanne looked down at the garden below. Beautiful flowers were beginning to sprout.

Perhaps thunder isn’t as bad as I thought, Leanne pondered. Together, she and her mother stared in awe out the window. Birds were flying through the air, singing their song. The trees, which had been moving to the wind of the storm, were now at a steady resting position. The sun peeked out of the clouds, though it was still raining outside. A rainbow was beginning to form, as the sound of thunder had completely disappeared, leaving Leanne nothing but her new, full courage.