And so, standing beneath the apple trees in their backyard, they said the secret word, “Tabooka,” and ZAP, they arrived in the fantasyland, where the little man wearing a blue shirt, white pants and red shoes was waiting for them.
“I saw you looking up at the clouds in the sky,” he told Susie and Sam. “Would you like to visit some of the clouds and take a good peek at them?”
“Oh, yes!” they both said, at the same time.
“Climb into my helicopter, and away we will go!” said the little man.
Up in the sky, the travelers met a cloud named Stratus, who welcomed their visit. “Hi, kids,” Stratus said. “You probably have looked up at me many times, as I am easy to spot, because I am one of the lowest clouds.
“Sometimes, I shape myself like a loaf of bread,” Stratus told the travelers. Or I spread out like a gray blanket.
“The only time my shape is hard to make out is when I become a fog. Then, depending on how I feel, I can be thin or thick. When I’m thick, people sometimes kid around, and say, ‘The fog is thick as pea soup.
“And, by the way,” said Stratus, “pea soup is one of my favorite foods.”
Next, the travelers visited the cloud, Cumulus, who likes to brag a lot, puffing himself up to look like giant like cotton balls. Sometimes, he shows off even more, making himself look like an animal, perhaps a dog, or a rabbit with long ears, or even like the face of a man or woman.
Usually, Cumulus, who likes to puff himself up to look like the face of Abraham Lincoln, appears in fair weather.
The travelers’ helicopter went back into the clouds, now visiting Cirrus, who likes to stay way up high in the sky, sometimes as high as 18,000 feet, which is very, very high. Cirrus can make himself look like a feather, and sometimes, for fun, he looks like a horsetail. Cirrus has a wonderful sense of humor.
Suddenly, there was a low rumble in the sky, and the weather changed. The little helicopter stopped to visit Nimbus, the cloud.
But Nimbus told them, “It’s a bad time to visit. I feel a little down in the mouth, as you can see by my gray color. In fact, I think I will become a little darker, and bring on some rain.”
So the little man, who was piloting the helicopter, said, “I think we’ll go on our way before you can create a rainstorm,” and the helicopter flew away. But the tail end of the rainstorm did catch up with the travelers, and the flight became very bumpy.
But the rainstorm, thank goodness, did not last very long.
When the storm was over, the three travelers – Susie, Sam and the little man – had a very nice surprise. A beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. A half circle with stripes of many of colors, it was easy to spot.
The little man said, “Susie and Sam, did you know that the rainbow is basically made up of the following seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet?
“And,” he continued, “what makes the rainbow so pretty is the millions of raindrops that are dancing around, all through the rainbow.
“Well, kids,” he said, pointing the helicopter back to land, “it’s time for us to get back to the airfield so you two can head home.”
At the airfield, Susie and Sam said “Tabooka!” and ZAP, in a flash they were back under the apple trees in their backyard.
Their mother, who was looking out the kitchen, shouted to them, “Susie and Sam, you had better come in. Those dark clouds make it look like it is going to rain.”
Susie said to Sam, “Nimbus is sure being himself,” and Sam said, “Yes, and he is definitely going to bring some rain.”
©2006 Gust Cougias