A Bedtime Story for Those Who Dare to Dream

Sisi and the ladder.

John Gorman
Human Parts
Published in
11 min readAug 11, 2021


“I want to see them,” Sisi said to her mother. “Now.”

She was seven, a young Venezuelan long before the time of Bolivar, and, as children often are, she was unafraid to dream.

“Well, Sisi,” said her mother as she ushered the young lass outside, “The stars are right here for you to see. See?”

Mother was right. The stars bespectacled the night sky, flickering and shining bright as a young girl’s eye.

“No, mother,” Sisi insisted, “I don’t just want to see the stars — I want to see them up there. I want to go to the stars. I want to touch them.”

“Well,” said Sisi’s mother, curious, confused, and not about to dash her daughter’s dream, “you’ll need a way up. The only way to climb that high is with a ladder.”

“Well, mother,” Sisi asked, “Where may I find a ladder?”

“Sisi,” her mother said, “Ladders are everywhere, yet none will not reach such heights.”

“Well,” Sisi said, “Where may I find one that does?”

Her mother sighed a great sigh, and gave a sorrowful look. “Sisi, there isn’t a ladder in this great big world high enough for you to touch the stars.”

Sisi was only momentarily deterred, and, as children often do, she didn’t believe in no. “Well, mother,” she pronounced, as matter-of-factly as she could, “Then I shall build a ladder, and it shall take me there.”

Her mother dared not speak ill of her daughter’s will, so she made her a promise, “If this is what you wish, then I will bring you wood.”

Sisi smiled, stared up at the stars, and drifted off to dreamland.

The next day, Sisi got to work, and — as promised — her mother brought her wood. Sisi was young and inexperienced with tools, but the local craftsmen saw her with her mallet as they wandered by. They stopped to teach her how to hammer nails and brought her more to keep her busy.

With wood and a mallet and unending enthusiasm, Sisi completed her first step on her way to the stars.



John Gorman
Human Parts

Yarn Spinner + Brand Builder + Renegade. Award-winning storyteller with several million served. For inquiries: