The red balloon

red balloon

A man with yellow suit pants fills a red heart-shaped balloon for the little girl.

She holds her heart-shaped balloon by its string. Her daddy tells her if she lets go, it will fly away. So she holds the string tight.

Something in the play park catches her attention, and she unknowingly lets go of the string.

The red balloon floats into the maple tree and clings to its branches.

The little girl fills with emotion, then explodes. Tears melt down her cheeks.

“But I want my balloon!” she cries.

The balloon is visible but unreachable, taunting her. She cries harder, but the balloon doesn’t hear her.

It’s like the balloon hovers between its freedom and its loyalty to the girl.

At last, on a gust of wind, it chooses freedom, and leaves the golden maple and the crying girl behind.

The little girl sits on her mummy’s lap, her shoulders heaving. Her mummy whispers in her ear to imagine some of the adventures the balloon will have, and thanks the little girl for letting the balloon go free.

The little girl’s shoulders stop heaving, and her face brightens. She imagines the balloon travelling across paddocks and mountains and valleys and the snow, and at last finds its home. Her home.

She tells the man in the yellow suit pants that she let her balloon go free. He unties another from his stand, and gives it to her. She promises she will look after it for him.