I read a story years ago about someone finding a remote valley where everyone shuffled. When they eventually walked normally the people in the valley were able to fly. I'd love to find it again.


3 Answers 3


I think it's from one of Zenna Henderson's "People" stories, about a lost/stranded colony of nearly-magical aliens trying to keep a low profile living on Earth

From "Pottage":

...But we didn't sing "Up, Up in the Sky" or "How Do You Like to Go Up in a Swing?" My solos of such songs were received with embarrassed blushes and lowered eyes!

There had been one dust-up between us, though—this matter of shuf­fling everywhere they walked. "Pick up your feet, for good­ness' sake," I said irritably one morning when the shoosh, shoosh, shoosh of their com­ing and going fi­nally got my skin off. "Surely they're not so heavy you can't lift them."

Timmy, who happened to be the trigger this time, nibbled unhappily at one finger. "I can't," he whispered. "Not supposed to."

"Not supposed to?" I forgot momentarily how warily I'd been going with these >frightened mice of children. "Why not? Surely there's no reason in the world why you can't walk quietly."

Matt looked unhappily over at Miriam, the sophomore who was our entire high school. She looked aside, biting her lower lip, troubled. Then she turned back and said, "It is customary in Bendo."


The "shuffled" reminds me of one of Zenna Henderson's "The People" story where a substitute teacher finds a group of the aliens with talent hiding their gifts.


About 60 years ago I was ten years old and read a wonderful story About a school teacher that went to a small town called “Bendo” To teach, She noticed that everybody in the town always shuffled as if they did not to break contact from the ground. One day she accidentally walked in and saw some of the children at play doing impossible things. One was apparently swinging on an invisible swing. Turned out all of the children had gifts such as mental levitation. They were descendents of a group of people from the stars. Most of their ancestors had been killed. People thought they were witches. Therefore, the people had suppressed their gifts and taught their children to do likewise.

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