Today had been such a good day. The big English breakfast with sausages, bacon, eggs and beans followed by a walk amongst the gigantic looming pine trees. A trip to the park – the one with the slide that almost reaches the sky – and ice cream with sweet, sticky strawberry sauce and sprinkles all colours of the rainbow.

But as the slippery string slipped through my fingers I watched in disbelief as my yellow balloon rose into the sky and all that went before it began to fade away.

No matter how slowly it seemed to float upwards I just couldn’t stop it. My eyes followed the winding tail as it whizzed up past black handbags, and whooshed by dangling gold earrings. My heart began to melt into a puddle of tears as I looked away, not wanting to watch it disappear for good and not wanting the others to see my chin begin to wrinkle.

I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. “Mum..” her name not even leaving my lips, “mum!” I tried again and this time it managed to wobble from my mouth. Mum’s face appeared through the crowd and as she leaned down towards mine. Her eyes looked angry at my interruption, she didn’t like it when I stopped her from talking to her friends but as she saw the tears splashing down my cheeks her look began to change. “Darling, what’s up?” she asked. All I could manage in reply was “mum…”

Mum knelt down beside me in the grass, an arm around my back as she tried to wipe away the tears with her other hand. “My ballo…” I began to explain, before stopping short as an arm pushed its way between mum and me; a fist clenched around a single slippery string held tightly right in front of my eyes.

I looked up at the blue sky to see a bright yellow sun being held tightly by a man with a scratchy looking beard. “My balloon!” I shouted. I grabbed the string and ran through the forest of legs yelling “Thank you thank you thank you!” over my shoulder as my balloon chased me away from mum.

Today has been such a good day.


Slippery tail

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