WhiteCloud

7:43 minutes

The Imaginary Misadventures of Jelly Belly Bear

—Chapter 1—

“Geronimo Jelly Belly and White Cloud.”

“A WHITE Dragon!” oohed Jelly Belly, pointing his finger, “and a Fat Clown! Look – a Fairy Castle!”

Floating marshmallow clouds were wandering across a Spring sky.

“Whew! My imagination is weary.” Plopping back and closing his eyes, Jelly Belly rested. Fantasy clouds filled his plump head, and Jelly Belly began naming again.

“There goes one. Looks like Giant Cotton Candy,” he said with moist lips.

Jelly Belly fluttered open his eyes. He squinted and rubbed. A cloud floated inches above Jelly Belly’s nose.

“It looks like a White Lamb,” said Jelly Belly without any help from his imagination. The Lamb Cloud blinked. Rubbing his eyes again. He squinted his best squint. With care, Jelly Belly examined the fluffy little cloud. Yes. Yes. The cloud was twitching its nose, a bit. More mysterious, the other clouds were still crossing the sky. Yet, this cloud was staring Jelly Belly square in his fuzzy face, without moving.

“Baah!” bleated the cloud. Jelly Belly sprung to his feet. The cloud, a little startled, took two steps backward.

“I’m swizzled!” exclaimed Jelly Belly, “A fluffy cloud … fallen from the sky.” Jelly Belly rubbed his chin. How could he get a fallen cloud back in the sky?

“Baah!” said the cloud.

“Yes, fluffy fellow.” grinned Jelly Belly, “Your floating is off course.” Speaking Cloud Talk was a rewarding new experience for Jelly Belly.

“Now,” said Jelly Belly. “Back in the sky is where you belong.”

“I’ll build a Pine Tree Catapult. You’ll be home as fast as a hummingbird.”

“Baah?” asked the cloud. Jelly Belly pulled out a dainty but frail rope from his bulging knapsack. A treasure for such an emergency.

“Mister Cloud, I am Jelly Belly Bear.” Jelly Belly said, standing as tall as he could. “Inside, I knew today was a “Rope Day”. I have a good rope, as you can see.” Jelly Belly held out the skinny frayed rope. The cloud sniffed it in a most unimpressed manner and bluntly said,

“BAAH!”

“Yes, well,” replied the embarrassed Jelly Belly, “I had a superior rope once, but it was very short. This one is … longer.” The unamused cloud yawned and ate some dandelions and grass blades. An odd diet for a cloud. But, not knowing what clouds ate, Jelly Belly didn’t criticize the cloud food.

Jelly Belly slung the flimsy rope over his puny shoulder. He shouted with glee, “I will rescue you, Little Cloud. Never fear.” Up he climbed. Limb by limb. Soon, Jelly Belly was up very high. He could almost feel the blue sky rubbing his bulbous head.

“Let’s see, wrap the rope tight,” said Jelly Belly, tying his best champion knot to the treetop.

“Little Cloud! Little Cloud!” Jelly Belly’s polite hollering rang, “Please cushion my arrival with your fluffiness!” The Cloud glanced up. But, the swooshing breeze garbled Jelly Belly’s newly-learned Cloud Talk.

“Here I go! Geronimo!” squeaked Jelly Belly, gallantly grabbing the rope end. Down he came. Eyes closed. Down like a plunging furry yo-yo.

“YA-HOO!” bellowed the yo-yo Jelly Belly. The rope jerked tight. “Whoa! Oh, oh. The ground is too far and my rope too short.” Jelly Belly opened one eye at the dizzying height. Jelly Belly dangled like a furry sack spinning back and forth. Time passed. Jelly Belly, swaying in the breeze, watched the beautiful sky start to redden and go purple.

The curious little cloud wandered aimlessly over the round hill.

“I guess there’s no one to rescue me, but me.” sighed Jelly Belly, “I’ll either hang here forever … or, fall and crash.” Jelly Belly’s stomach growled. “Oh, dear, what if I starve up here?”

“I’ll have to bolster my courage.” Jelly Belly’s imagination began to work again.

“I am a doom-defying daredevil, shot from the barrel of a circus cannon. I have landed hanging from a rope in a giant tree.”

This sounded good. Jelly Belly was feeling better already knowing he was a potential hero.

“I can see my picture in the paper tomorrow.” Extra, extra. Daredevil Jelly Belly escapes starvation and certain doom. What a headline. Jelly Belly imagined the crowd applauding. People were asking for his autograph. Some wanted him to kiss babies and be President. People asked, “Ooh, how did you escape?” *

And Jelly Belly yelled again, “Here I go! Geronimo!”

Whooshing through the tree’s protective boughs, Jelly Belly landed with a soft thump.

“Where did everybody go?” asked Jelly Belly in a daze. “You all missed it. I defied doom. I, Jelly Belly, the Magnificent.”

Jelly Belly gazed at the end of his flapping rope and smiled. The Cloud was right. It wasn’t any daredevil-circus rope.

Lighthearted, Jelly Belly laughed at himself and waved, “Good-bye, silly rope. To dinner, I go.” Hop. Hop. Over the hill, he bounced waggishly. Just like a cloud.

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