Continuing where we left off in last week’s family literacy feature, here is part two of a bedtime story by a local author.
With school about to begin Father Cloud and Mr. Wind decided to give Puddy and Wispy a head start on their learning.
“Puddy before you were a cloud you were a puddle on the Andersons lawn. Your mother heard Mr. Robin muttering about David splashing in you and she asked me to ask Mr. Sun to bring you up here. Wispy, you were air before you became a wind. So now you know where we all came from,” Father Cloud said.
“First of all you will learn the names of our family of clouds and winds. For instance, you Puddy are a cumulus cloud, soft and fluffy. People look up and wish they could just cuddle up, sink deep into your fluff, and go to sleep. You Wispy are a little breeze. You send the leaves dancing and the grasses swaying. The little birds love it when you ruffle their feathers,” he continued.
“But all of that can change. You Puddy could become a cumulonimbus cloud and soon there could be a thunderstorm. Wispy you could change into a hundred mile an hour gale,” Mr. Wind told them.
Then the two fathers began telling them the names of all different winds and clouds. Names of the animals, birds, and plants. Names of places and peoples. So many names that the youngsters minds were boggled. They repeated names over and over until they finally began to remember. Owl, oceans, hurricane, flood, girl, pine tree, cyclone, lightning, car, train. Cloud names like stratus, cirrostratus, and cirrus. On and on the names went.
But Puddy and Wispy didn’t spend all their time in school. They went on field trips. Wispy would blow Puddy all over the sky and as they traveled they saw all sorts of things going on below them. Things like people working and playing. Children at school. They saw some brave people climbing high mountains and some hurtling down rivers in tiny rafts. There were waves roaring in from the oceans, trees waving in the wind and oh, the traffic! Ocean liners that sent huge swells out behind, jet planes speeding across the sky. Cars, trucks and trains. Mice, lions and whales. Everything there was to see, they saw.
All the winds and clouds would be called together and everyone would pretend to be storm clouds and ferocious winds. Wispy would blow Puddy into his brothers and sisters and sometimes right through his mother and father and then everyone would laugh when Puddy got lost.
Another learning game they liked to play was with the birds when Wispy would get under their wings and lift them soaring into the sky right through Puddy.
“One day you’ll be big enough to rip out trees, turn houses over and sink ships and cause floods like the rest of us,” Crash, one of Wispy’s brothers told them.
“We will?” puddy asked. Crash always played too rough with the birds and animals and sometimes they got hurt.
“Sure. We’ll take you along next time we go on a three or four day downpour,” Crash told them.
“Wow. I can hardly wait to go roaring around like a lion Maybe if I do a good job I’ll change my name to Lion Wind,” said Wispy.
“Oh my gosh,” muttered Puddy.
They didn’t have long to wait. The snows in the mountains started to melt and pour down into the valleys. The ice in the rivers broke up into big pieces that piled up holding the water back until, when they finally broke away, the water gushed down on to the farm lands and into houses. The winds blew gale forces and the clouds bumped together and poured rain.
The sky was full of lightning and thunder. Puddy saw his nice fun loving family turn into dark storm clouds that curled up into grotesque shapes. It was so noisy that Puddy shuddered and tried to hide. But Crash pushed him along from behind so fast that he didn’t know where he was and he yelled, “stop it Crash!”
“What’s the matter Puds. You a sissy or something?” Crash asked.
Wispy laughed, and called out, “lets go, this is a blast!”
Puddy saw trees toppled and blown down. Ships at sea tossed by huge waves. Highways flooded and animals and people searching for safety.
When it was all over Wispy, once again a little breeze, found Puddy, the cuddly white cumulus cloud, high in the sky all by himself. Seeing his friend’s face so serious and grey, Wispy knew that there was something wrong.
“Hi old buddy, what are you looking so gloomy about?” he asked.
Puddy just turned his back on Wispy.
“Awe come on. You’re not mad because Crash teased you are you?”
“No. I’m not mad because your dumb brother teased me or because you blew a tree over onto a house that had people inside and thought it was a ‘blast’” Puddy scorned.
“Hey that’s what we do in a storm. Happens someplace in the world every day. Anyway no one was hurt. Come on the guys want to play ball.”
“Yeah I suppose they want to play ball with some poor little bird. No thanks, I’ll stay here,” said Puddy.
To find out what happens next to Puddy and Wispy look for the final installment of the story in next week’s Calendar. If you missed part one, back copies are available at the Calendar office.