The Balloons

It was a lazy Saturday, with a cold rain falling and grey skies, and the whole day might have been spent in books and with cartoons, except that around 1 o’clock Maeby had an idea.

“I have an idea,” she said by way of announcement. But Lexi was engrossed in her book, and paid no attention.

“I have an idea,” Maeby said again, this time in her most regal and unignorable voice.

“What?” asked Lexi.

“What if we could rescue all the balloons that had ever been lost?” said Maeby.

“What if we could?” said Lexi.

“We could do whatever we wanted with them, we could tie them to ourselves and fly to the moon, we could return them to the people who had lost them, we could even give them to a museum.”

Lexi considered these possibilities, and decided she was on board. So the two of them constructed a net out of knit socks and hats, duck-taped wings to a cardboard box, outfitted themselves with snacks and telescopes, and took off for the stratosphere. They left a note for their mother so she wouldn’t worry.

When they returned, wiser and braver than ever, it was balloon-less. Their net was empty, the losers of lost balloons would not shed their category, there would be no new museum.

“What happened?” asked their mother, “where are all the balloons?”

“We had all sorts of plans for what to do with them when we left,” Lexi said, “but we never once thought to consider what the balloons wanted.”

“And now we know,” said Maeby, “They’re happy up there.”

Written 12/2/16 at Nox Craft Cocktail for the children of a talented artist.