Talented Kid

Ever since the holidays, I’ve noticed the same boy riding a unicycle to the Main Street Middle School as I drive through Montpelier on my way to work in the mornings. The cycle is fat-wheeled, sensibly built for Vermont’s rugged terrain. I can see concentration tight on the boy’s face, as he cycles down the steep hill, wearing a helmet and a winter coat, pack on his back.

The boy is maybe eleven or twelve.

Although I don’t know this boy at all, I find myself looking for him on the sidewalk, admiring his tenacity as – at five degrees fahrenheit the other morning! – he pedals down that uneven, icy incline. I imagine him arriving at school, triumphantly cherry-cheeked, hoisting his one-wheeled steed over his shoulder. As I go into my own day, I wonder what kind of man he will become, this hearty, focused, child unicyclist.

The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. 

– William Saroyan

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

1 comment

  1. As someone who grew up with a deep affection for pedal power, this post made me feel really good. I don’t ride bikes much anymore. I might need to start again.

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