The Floating Statue
by David Lubar
As corny as this sounds, I found the statue in the back of my uncle's attic. I
know that seems like some weird twist on Narnia, but at least it wasn't in a
wardrobe or some kind of closet. I discovered it in a box of junk. It was a statue
of a man laughing, and it was so ugly it was wonderful. The guy had his mouth
wide open and he had these huge buck teeth. His smile was so big that his eyes
were squished into nothing much more than slits. He had one hand raised like he
was about to slap his knee. And he had wings. They were tiny wings, folded flat
against his back, so small I didn't notice them at first.
He stood on a base that had three words engraved in it: "Rise with laughter."
At the time, I had no idea what that meant. I almost put the statue right back
into the box where I found it, but instead I brought it downstairs with me.
"What's this?" I asked Uncle Dalton.
He peered over the edge of his newspaper. "No idea. It's ugly. That's all I
can say. My father -- your grandpa -- collected all kinds of junk. Someday, I'm
going to clean out that attic."
"Can I have it."
"Sure," he said, this time without even looking over the top of his paper.
"Thanks." I took the statue with me when I left. Uncle Dalton lives just a
couple blocks away from me.
It was on the way back that I found out what was special about the statue. I
was less than a half a block from home, and looking at the ugly thing, when I said,
"If you were any uglier, I'd get arrested for carrying a deadly weapon."
It wasn't a great joke. Actually, as I figured out a bit later, it was a good
thing the joke wasn't that funny. At the moment, all I knew was that my feet
weren't touching the ground.