by Kathy Sattem Rygg -
Sam spotted a red balloon floating in the sky. It bobbed and weaved higher and higher. He watched until it became a tiny red dot. Then he wondered, what happens to things when they go too high?
What happens to a balloon when it floats away? Or to a plastic bag when it's windy out? How high can a bubble go before it pops? If you accidentally let go of the string on your kite, where does it sail off to? What about a bird’s feather? And how far can a butterfly--fly?
Sam decided he just had to know, so he thought up a plan. He climbed onto the trampoline in his backyard and started to bounce. Then he jumped harder. The more he jumped, the higher he went. Pretty soon he was high as the trees! But he wasn’t quite high enough yet.
Sam really bent his knees and jumped as hard as he could. He sprang right over the house next door! He didn’t stop there, he kept going higher. He zoomed straight up into the sky and had to dodge a hawk! He finally slowed down where the edge of the sky meets outer space. He hovered mid-air and glanced around at this strange land.
Rainbow-colored houses lined the street. Towering trees reached higher than the clouds. Bright flowers bloomed before his eyes. Sam took a step forward with his foot. The air felt like solid ground. Where was he? It must be the place where floating things go!
Suddenly, a black kite in the shape of a shark swooped in. A long, white string hung off the end of it. Sam grinned. He loved kites! He grabbed the string and before he had a chance to wrap it around his hand, the kite soared straight up into the air!
“Whoaaaaa!” The kite lunged and dove with Sam trailing behind. It skimmed the tops of the houses then took Sam swirling up. He closed his eyes just as they were about to plunge into a fluffy, white cloud. Sam thought he had gone head first into a pile of pillows. He opened his eyes as millions of silky, white feathers fell around him like confetti. Oh! The clouds were made of feathers! Sam laughed and threw a handful into the air.
He barely had a chance to brush himself off before the kite lurched up again. This time it circled around and around. Sam’s head started to get dizzy, and he noticed a huge tree directly ahead. Sam closed his eyes again. He was afraid they would crash into the tree!