A tethered red balloon bounced on the back of a Pennsylvania porch. Tied to the porch, it could not fly freely, soaring to the sky. It watched the airplanes and the birds zooming through the heavens, wondering what it felt like to reach new heights. Even umbrellas soared higher than the balloon.
A few days later, Carolina, the little girl in the home, had her seventh birthday. When it came time for chocolate cake on the back porch, all her friends gathered round and sang "Happy Birthday to you . . ."
Surrounded by the tethered red balloon and dozens of colorful birthday balloons, she blew out the candles on the cake, making good wishes.
"Oh, I think I'll pop your red balloon," her nasty cross-eyed cousin said, picking his nose and rolling his eyes back-and-forth.
"Don't you dare! It's the balloon my mom bought me from the county fair," Carolina said, untying the balloon and letting it fly to the heavens.
Her cousin jumped up and down, trying to reach the end of the string on the balloon, but he was too short and small-minded to catch it. "I wanted to burst your balloon!" her nitwit cousin said, whining. "Now I can't even reach it!"
Carolina jumped from the picnic table and grabbed the string attached to the balloon. She ascended into the sky with her red balloon, climbing to the clouds and beyond with the butterflies. "Bye-bye!" she called to her friends and family. "Grab a balloon and come with me. It's everybody's birthday!"
As her cousin dove to pop the other balloons, her friends and family took off before he could sabotage their flights.They grabbed the balloon strings and set off into the sky.
"My feet will never touch the ground again!" Carolina said, staring at her cousin, who was still picking his nose. She wiggled her toes and kicked off her dark blue Mary Jane shoes.
“Ouch!” her nitwit cousin yelled as the shoes landed on his head. Of course, her cousin never left the earth, and she never gave him her birthday cake again. All she could see was blue sky and fields of flowers.
Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters