Peter and the Cloud People
written & illustrated by grandad


It was a hot summer day in August, little Peter and his best friend, Betty, were sitting in his garden. Little Peter loved when she came around to play. Their parents left them alone to play in the garden, they enjoyed playing at the far end of the garden, which backed onto the woods. Both of them believed that the woods were magical and full of mysteries.



They would often sit on a fallen tree stump and tell each other about colourful snails and houses in trees. Today they were finally going to find out. There was another thing they both loved, clouds, every time they were in the garden, they laid on their backs and looked up at the sky and the clouds. For them they were not just clouds, it was the place they escaped, with their imaginations. Often, they imagined skipping from one cloud to the next. They saw funny ones, sad ones, angry ones and so many more. They were forever pointing and giggling together.



So often they had talked about the woods, wondering what they will find in it. This went from dancing birds, to animals doing silly things. Little Peter said he would love to find some stairs to the clouds. But for now, the talk, was about the dancing birds and crazy animals. "Let's go and have a look," said little Peter. "Oh yes," she replied. They walked up to the back gate and opened it. As they entered the woods, they noticed, how beautifully the birds were singing and how more colourful the butterflies were.



As they walked through the woods, they came across a sign which said "The place of sad trees." "What a beautiful place this is, I wonder why they call it the land of sad trees," said little Peter. "We can tell you why" said a voice. "Who said that." said Betty. "We did" said the two trees. "We are so sad, because we are all alone here and we are not together. Look how far apart we are." Said the trees. "That is sad, "said little Peter. "We have grown up like this," said the tree. "Look around, the plants, the mushrooms are all together, but we are apart, "said the other tree. "Can you help us? "said the trees.



"We would like to, but we are going to find the stairs to the clouds and we have a long way to go." Said little Peter. "That's ok, we understand, you want to be with the clouds, just like we want to be together," said the trees. Little Peter and Betty, felt very sad for the trees. They wanted to continue their journey, but they wanted to help the trees. They sat under one of the trees and begun to think about how they could help the trees.



They sat under the tree trying to think what to do, suddenly little Peter jumped up and said "I know what we must do." "Listen carefully." "You must stretch further then you ever have before and grab each others branches."



The trees stretched and stretched, until they were together. Finally, after all these years, the trees were together. The trees were so happy. "Thank you and look behind you." said the trees. And there were the stairs to the clouds.



They thanked the trees, now the adventure could truly begin. As they walked up the stairs to the clouds, they stopped, turned around to wave and saw that the trees, were now completely entwined and blended into the wood.



Little Peter said "Look at my watch, it has stopped." They both giggled not only had the watch stopped but it was a funny shape too. They could just see the church clock through the trees and it had stopped at the same time. What they didn't know, was that time had stopped when they entered the woods.



At the top of the stairs, they climbed into the clouds and then above them. As they continued along the stairway, they came across a house in the sky. "Oh my, there are cloud people, look Peter." Said Betty all excited. Little Peter had always believed that there were cloud people and now he was looking at them, both Betty and him waved at them as they passed their house. Everyone was so happy and that made them both smile.




They passed a town in the sky, little Peter wondered how the cloud people got from one place to another. Both little Peter and Betty, suddenly realised how quiet and peaceful it was, they could not help smiling and giggling. Finally, they came across one of the cloud people standing on a wooden bridge. "Hello little Peter and Betty, we have been waiting for you." "How do you know our names?" Asked Betty. "We know everything." They replied.



He told them to continue walking to the next house, where the elders of the cloud people were waiting to greet them. When they arrived, there were two cloud people elders waiting. "Hello come and have a glass of orange, it's been a long walk for you."



Little Peter looked to his left and saw two other children sitting on a cloud, with the word "taxi" on it, little Peter knew them, as they lived in the same village. Before he could ask, the cloud person said "yes that's how our visitors get about, it's our taxi, we will use it later." Little Peter was very excited.



Suddenly Betty shouted "look Peter there is my house, there in the clouds." Peter looked and there was Betty's house. "Here in the clouds, whatever we can imagine, we can achieve" Said the cloud people.



"If you look to the right, you can see our swimming area."Little Peter and Betty looked and then waved and the cloud people waved back. They could hear the cloud people laughing and splashing about, they were very happy people.



As they drank their orange, the cloud person pointed over the way and they could see the air taxi coming their way. "Yes, he is coming to take you on a tour of our cloud kingdom."



They boarded the airboat taxi with such excitement and started their tour. Everywhere they went, cloud people waved and said "Betty said to little Peter, "it's so nice here." After an hour of touring, they arrived at the place where the elders of the cloud people lived. There was a fire burning outside, it was the fire of life and never went out. They both noticed how even more peaceful it was at this house.



Inside the elder's house, they were greeted by the oldest elder of the cloud people. The house was so beautiful, full of wood and was very magical. He sat in a chair and began to tell the story of the cloud people and what their life was like.



Suddenly, they felt very tired and went to rest on a resting and dream cloud. It looked a very comfortable cloud. As they rested on the resting and dream cloud, they felt very peaceful and very happy. They were enjoying their visit to the cloud people. "Oh, Peter look down, can you see my mum, brother and sister looking up?" As little Peter looked down, he smiled as he saw them looking up into the clouds.



"This dream cloud really works Peter." Said Betty, just as a big cloud appears, with her favourite animals on it, giraffes. Betty was so excited and jumped onto the cloud with them. "Peter your turn." As he dreamed another cloud arrived.



Betty knew what would be on Peter's cloud, he loved old steam engines, she was pleased that also his cloud had arrived. They both heard the whistle and then the train arrived. Little Peter's smile was so big, it was so wonderful to see.



After all this excitement, they were very hungry and the cloud people took them to one of the many food clouds. They sat at one of the tree trunk tables and began to eat, the food tasted so amazing, so fresh and so so tasty.



As they were finishing their lunch, they heard singing and music from a cloud close by. One of the cloud people told them, it was a music cloud, where the cows gathered daily to sing and today they were singing special for them.



Little Peter loved to build things with his bricks at home. So, he was so excited, when he went to visit a building cloud, where the building beavers were building the next house in the clouds and the boss beaver showed him all around.



Betty said "we should go home soon, otherwise my mum will worry about us." Little Peter agreed and told the cloud people they had to go. The cloud people said they must come back often. The cloud people told them they did not have to walk back down the stairs, they could use the magical slide, which would take them right back to their garden gate. They both loved slides, so they were very excited to go on a long slide. At the top of the slide, the cloud people gathered to say goodbye to Little Peter and Betty. As they sat on the top of the slide, they looked around one time and then pushed off. The slide went through the clouds, twisting and turning.



As the cloud people said the slide bought them outside the garden gate. They just stood for a moment, looking up at the clouds, it had been an amazing afternoon, or had it been longer, they didn't really know. As they entered the garden through the gate, little Peter looked at his watch and he saw that it was moving again. "Betty look we have only been away for 5 minutes." Betty was amazed, time had really stopped still in the clouds.



Betty's mum came into the garden, "hello you two, have you had a nice time in the garden?" They both nodded. "Well tea is ready." Said Betty's mum. Before they went in, they looked up at the clouds and waved, whispering "see you soon."