Balloons with personalities help a boy move his house. A PersonITfication challenge
|The red balloon looked around and saw hundreds of other balloons. Below him drifted a small house. “This is insane,” he chuckled. “I can’t believe we’re doing this.”
A yellow balloon twisted to respond, making a screechy noise as it rubbed against several adjacent balloons. “This is pretty intense,” he said. “I’ve helped carry kids’ toys, little girls’ love notes, and even a lawn chair with a man in it. But this is my first house move.”
“How did you find out about this job?”
“I didn’t exactly find out about it. A boy brought me here and tied me on with all the others.”
“I wonder how he got involved in moving a house.”
“I heard from the orange balloon above me that the pink balloon above her heard that the boy wanted to move, but his parents couldn’t afford it.”
The red balloon laughed. “So he was the one who tied that orange balloon next to that pink balloon. That’s one gaudy combination.”
A white balloon joined the conversation. “Do you suppose the boy and his family are in the house right now?”
“I know the boy is,” said the red balloon. “I saw him stick his head out the window as we lifted off.”
“How can he see where we’re going?" asked the yellow balloon. “It’s so cloudy, I can’t even see the ground.”
Suddenly the balloons heard the sound of honking, as a large flock geese burst from a cloud and plowed into the mass of latex and helium. One by one, balloons started popping. And with each pop, the house drifted a little lower.
“We’re going down,” yelled the white balloon.
“We’re not dropping fast,” said the red balloon. “I think we’ll land safely.”
They sank, slowly, toward a small clearing. “We’re going to hit the trees,” cried the white balloon. But as soon as he’d spoken, the house began to sway and turn.
“Hang on,” shouted the red balloon. “We’re out of control.”
As they approached the ground, the house turned just enough to miss the trees, and settled gently at the edge of the clearing. “How was that?” said the house.
The balloons were astonished. “How do you know our language?” asked a purple balloon.
“I’ve been listening to you bags of hot air jabber for at least an hour.”
“Hot air?” The red balloon was indignant. “I’ll have you know we’re filled with helium, not hot air.”
“Whatever,” huffed the house. “But just remember, I’m the one who controlled our landing. So don’t go getting an inflated ego.”
“And you’d still be sitting in your crummy old yard if we hadn’t carried you here,” chided the red balloon.
A truce was declared, and the balloons hovered peacefully above the house, waiting for their next assignment. “What a trip this has been,” said the yellow balloon. “But how can we tell anybody about it?”
“What do you mean?” said the red balloon.
“Well, for starters, who’s going to believe a house can talk?”