Written by Diana Cooper, illustrated by Maggie Waters.
Tara woke up one morning with a sick feeling in her stomach. Because she was very sensitive to atmosphere and energies, she knew something was very wrong. She had a funny feeling that there was danger about but she had no idea what it was.
Ash-ting her magical kitten who was snuggling against her, stirred when she woke. She stroked his soft, grey fur and he purred. She whispered because she did not want to wake anyone up. ‘‘Ash-ting, I feel sick as if something’s going to happen today. What’s the matter?’
Ash-ting cocked an ear and seemed to be listening. At last he said, ‘You are right Tara. I don’t know what is about to happen but I do know you must ask Archangel Michael to protect you with his blue cloak and ask him to keep you safe.’
Tara nodded. She knew Archangel Michael was the angel who looked after people and she trusted him. She would be safe if he was with her. ‘And what about the family? Do I need to ask for special protection for them too?’
Ash-ting listened again before he responded. ‘It is always good to ask Archangel Michael every morning and evening to look after your family. But they don’t need anything special today. I sense something wrong at school so ask Archangel Michael to put his deep blue protection round all the children in your class.’
‘What all of them… even Popeye Pauly and yukky Ben?’ Tara said with a grimace even though she knew the answer.
Ash-ting sighed, opened his green eyes wide and stared at her without responding. ‘Okay, okay’, she grinned cheekily. ‘And my teacher?’ Tara liked Mrs. Bright her form teacher.
‘Yes, and your teacher. Ask Archangel Michael to be very close to her today.’
‘Right-o!’ responded the little girl.
‘And there’s no point in worrying about what might happen. Just focus on what you can do.’
Tara sighed. She knew she worried too much. So she concentrated on writing down the names of all the children in her class as well as Mrs. Bright in a long column. The only thing was she knew she had missed the name of one girl but she could not think who it was. That concerned her a lot but she decided she’d better get on with the job of asking Archangel Michael to put his cloak round the ones she could remember.
It took a little time. First she said, ‘Archangel Michael please put your deep blue cloak of protection round me.’ She pictured a lovely deep blue velvet cloak all round her and imagined it had a hood which she pulled up over her head. After that she zipped it up from her feet to her chin. Then she felt much better. Next she picked up the list of classmates she had written.
If only she could remember whose name she had forgotten. She frowned as she tried to remember but she could not. So she tried to imagine Archangel Michael dressed in blue, then read out her list of names and asked him to send one of his angels to each of them.
The feeling that something was wrong was still there but the sick feeling had gone. She was just wondering what it could possibly be and who she had left off the list when she heard her Mum’s alarm clock ringing. It was the loud sort of clanging that meant you just had to get up.
On their way to school Tara and her sister Mel and brother Jack ran through the autumn leaves kicking them in the air. ‘It’s a glorious morning,’ smiled Mum. ‘Look at that lovely blue sky. Isn’t it a perfect day?’
Tara felt her stomach lurch. She knew something was going wrong today. But what could it be? She lagged behind looking at all the cars humming along. They seemed quite normal. So did the trees and the houses and well…..everything. Her Mum called. ‘Hurry up Tara. Don’t dawdle.’ And she ran to catch up with the others.
She was very watchful all morning for that tension stayed in her stomach. After lunch their class had an outdoor lesson. Her mind was not on what they were doing for she felt very uptight and Mrs. Bright called twice, ‘Tara please concentrate.’
‘Yes Mrs. Bright,’ she replied each time and tried to focus on the lesson.
Then she sensed something happening in the sky. At the same moment she could hear Ash-ting’s voice in her head, ‘Run Tara. Run inside.’
Then she heard it – a small plane. Its engine was making a strange sound and then it was plunging down out of control. She started to run towards the classroom shouting loudly, ‘Run. Everyone. Run into the classroom. Quickly. Hurry.’
She screamed with such passion that everyone followed; even Mrs. Bright found herself rushing the children indoors. When she was almost there Tara remembered who she’d forgotten to put in Archangel Michael’s protection. It was Rosy! How could she have forgotten her? Rosy was her friend. Desperately Tara looked round. There! She spotted Rosy – the only child who had not run when Tara shouted. The little girl was standing in the middle of the playground staring up at the little airplane that was falling fast, with a plume of grey smoke oozing out of it. She was watching the pilot who had baled out and started to float to earth under his parachute. ‘Rosy! Rosy!’ Tara yelled. ‘Come on.’ But her friend did not move. She seemed rooted to the ground.
Tara knew she must act. ‘Archangel Michael,’ she prayed in her head. ‘Help Rosy.’ And she turned back and ran as fast as she could towards her friend. The sound of the plane as it fell was getting louder and nearer as she reached Rosy and grabbed her hand. She tugged so hard that Rosy nearly fell over. And then Mrs. Bright was with them pulling Rosy by her other hand and the three of them almost flew across the playground into the safety of the building.
The instant the door slammed behind them the plane crashed into the middle of the playground with a horrible smashing, grating noise. All the children in the school were staring out of the windows even though their teachers were calling them to come away. They all screamed when the wreck burst into hot, orange flames and Tara’s eyes nearly popped out of her head when she saw it. ‘Thank you Archangel Michael!’ she murmured. Then in the distance she clearly saw a bright blue light shimmer for a moment round the pilot as he floated slowly down under his parachute and landed on the ground. She knew he was going to be alright. Archangel Michael was with him.
It was when they all clapped her on the back and said, ‘Tara you saved us!’ ‘How did you know what was going to happen?’ ‘Thank you Tara!’ that her legs felt quite wobbly.
Ash-ting who was watching psychically from a distance murmured to her, ‘Well done Tara. You were so brave.’
But later when she went to bed she had a wonderful surprise. She and Ash-ting saw a blue light in the corner of the room and they both sat up and stared. The light got bigger and brighter until it filled the room. Then they saw the strong, handsome face of Archangel Michael emerge. He smiled at Tara and said, ‘Thank you for your faith, Tara. That was what gave you the courage to save all the children, especially Rosy.’
And she felt the most fabulous warm glow inside her as she cuddled Ash-ting and they fell asleep together.