The Red Balloon

red balloonOnce upon a time there was a little girl who lived with her head in the clouds.

At least that’s what the grown-ups all told her.

All of them except for her grandma.

Her grandma said it was just that the little girl knew how to dream and to see. She saw the glittering of the world and she dreamt of magical things she believed could be real.

Her grandma did those things too. She whispered so to the little girl. And often she’d take her hand and they’d skip off together.

They picked tomatoes from her grandpa’s garden and ate them like apples.

They walked hand in hand through the woods and ran their fingers across the cool green moss.

They lay down in the long grass and imagined that they were deer.

At bedtime, her grandma read her stories of creatures and dangers imaginary and real. Of bravery and daring and love. Of magic. And the girl believed.

One morning the girl’s mother was crying. She could no longer go visit her grandma and as she understood why, she felt her heart shatter and her body become heavy.

She cried and cried and cried until she thought she had no tears left and wished with all her might that she could climb into one of her favorite stories and stay there forever.

When she stepped outside the next morning, her feet felt as if they were weighted down against the hard, cold pavement. She tried to lift her eyes and look up but all she saw was gray.

She felt that nothing would ever be the same. But still she walked along, retracing familiar steps she’d once skipped with someone she loved. Her cheeks were wet by the time she saw it. Floating in the grayness was a red balloon.

The little girl walked forward and grabbed ahold of it. Its string felt just like the fabric of her grandma’s favorite red sweater. As her fingers closed, she felt herself lifted off the ground, away from the cold, hard pavement.

She closed her eyes and when she opened them again, she could see the world glittering. The pavement was still there and the change in altitude may have been perceptible to no one but the little girl, but she understood.

She walked towards the path where the cool green moss grew and she thought about magic. And she knew, no matter what happened, she would always believe.


These books are not yet published. Interested in publishing or illustrating? Email!

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