Back in 1818 Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbrunn called his fabulous invention a “Lauf Maschine” (Running Machine), although later it was named after him, “Draisine”. This contraption was entirely built of wood with two wheels - one behind the other - a saddle over the back wheel to sit on, and a handlebar to steer with attached to the front wheel. This “Running Machine” was propelled forward by pushing off the ground with alternate feet. I have seen a bike like that in the bicycle museum in Bremen, Germany. Baron von Sauerbrunn achieved the remarkable speed of ten kilometres per hour on level ground! It was not until 1848 that a French father-and-son team, Pierre and Ernest Michaux, refined the Draisine by means of cranks and pedals. Knowing this it should not come as a surprise that my green, one-speed, coaster brake trusty old bike came to be called by everyone, including myself “The Green Machine”.
Volume 17, Number 98, August/September 2014 WINNER OF THE YOUNG WRITERS’ CATEGORY (AGES 10-19): THE SUSANNA VOTH WIEBE PRIZE
(JUDGED BY NORMA LINDER) A Glimpse From Above by Olivia Paul
The lights in the hospital room are dimmed and I can barely make out the objects around me. I feel the presence of my parents and the surgeons, whispering anxiously amongst themselves whilst busying themselves for the procedure. I lay my head back on the pillow and squeeze my eyes shut. This time, they’re going to remove my spleen. Such a funny word, spleen. I have no idea what it’s used for, and whether or not I need it, but it doesn’t seem to matter as they’re taking it out of me. I will be minus one spleen when I wake up and I hope I’ll still feel like me. Even though a piece of me will be gone. Another piece.
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