TEN-YEAR-OLD Luke never saw himself as a hero. He was quite the opposite. Shy, quiet, but had been blessed with an over imagination and liked to be alone. It was on this fact that his father had helped him build a monster of a tree house. They woke early one Saturday morning and with a large shopping list, both Luke and his father drove to the timber yard to purchase all the materials.
The giant gum tree that grew over the river was at least one hundred and fifty years old.
“That is the perfect place for a tree house,” said Luke’s father, staring at the tree.
Three storey’s above the ground the tree had split into four massive snake-like branches. The massive branches grew outwards from the trunk at right angles. Three of the branches stretched out towards the river and the fourth grew out from the trunk towards the back yard of Luke’s house.
In two days the tree house had jumped off the rough drawing and was ready to be lived in. Perched high in the old tree, the house was a mansion compared to the weak cubby houses all of Luke’s class mates had. Not one of his friends ever came to visit. They took it upon themselves to shun Luke’s cubby-house. They would laugh and taunt Luke for having a cubby house that was too well made. Tom was the ring leader of the group. He was the biggest in the class and liked to throw his weight around. Whatever he said everyone else did.
Everyone except Luke.
That was the problem. He was the outsider. He didn’t like the way Tom told everyone to exclude him, but in a small way Luke didn’t mind. He had lots to think about. Luke would shrug his shoulders at them and plan the next sleep over in his tree house. He loved the peace and quiet. Laying in a small bed listening to the tree creak and groan in the wind and looking up at the stars was perfect for Luke. He could easily catch up on his homework or read a good book, or just enjoy the cool breeze that came from the river that flowed lazily past his house.