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"How the sky turned warm and orange" is a story about loneliness, friendship, culturally differing perspectives, misunderstanding, patience, happiness, love, fun and much more. As you read this story let your imagination float along with the story and let it take you to the unknown, yet familiar places in your heart and mind.

How the sky turned warm and orange.

In a land far, far away where the sky could choose what colour it would be at any given time, depending on the way it felt, there lived a million little people. The people were so small in that land, that ants looked to them like giants and grass looked like the tallest trees. Real trees looked like they were touching heaven and the sky looked so big that even a rocket couldn't get to the end of it.

But the sky knew better than that. The sky knew that outside itself, there was the universe with the stars and the planets and the sun and the moon in it. The sky called the universe, 'the big sky' and it called itself 'the little sky'. The little people couldn't imagine that there could be anything bigger than the sky they could see. But the sky didn't think it was so big at all. When the sky started talking about the big sky and that there were many other skies, on other planets, the little people would laugh and shake their heads and tell the sky that it was just imagining things.

The sky sometimes got angry and frustrated, that the little people didn't understand and didn't seem to care. Whenever the sky got angry it would change to a greenish black colour and it would make a big thunderstorm. The little people were afraid of thunderstorms, especially because the sky was so incredibly big. So whenever the sky made thunder storms the little people would hide in their little houses.

The sky often called out into the big sky to see if any of the other skies would answer, but not once had it had a reply and so the sky was lonely. Whenever the little people hid because of thunderstorms, the sky would get even more lonely and it would start to cry. That's why often when there are thunderstorms, it also rains.

There were many other colours the sky could become as well. At night's, the sky would close its eyes to go to sleep and so everything would go dark. This would make the sky look black. On a cold winter's day, the sky would be freezing and look blue in the face. Sometimes the sky would start thinking about all the birthdays it had had and start feeling old. This would make the sky look grey. In the mornings the sky would every now and again think it had slept in and it would blush and turn red. In the evenings the sky would be hot, because of all the work it had done and so it would also turn red.

From time to time when the sky felt like having some fun it would make special colours, such as pink and purple and would sometimes even have some golden dots or a couple of rainbows. This usually happened in the summer, when the little people were singing and playing together in the fields and everyone was friends.

There were two little people who were really close friends and the sky would often watch them. The sky would start feeling all warm and fuzzy inside when it saw how much the two little people loved each other. What colour do you think the sky would turn when that happened? Well, a warm fuzzy colour of course!

The sky would watch the two little people from the morning till the night. In the mornings they would visit each other, after they had brushed their teeth. They would go to each other's houses and ring the bell. Then when they saw each other, they would say 'Hello' and then they would play all kinds of games together and talk about all kinds of things and do things together and go and see exciting places together and go for picnics, and sometimes they would even go canoeing on a gum leaf that had fallen into the water.

The sky liked the word 'Hello' very much. To the sky the word 'Hello' meant friendship and that you wanted to talk with someone, or that you liked them very much. The sky had often called out 'Hello' into the big sky but not once had it had a reply and so the sky was lonely.

But then the sky got an idea. It had seen the two little people use a trick one day when they couldn't visit each other. They had been too busy because of the harvest. One of the two friends had taken a daisy petal and written the word 'Hello' on it and then thrown it high into the sky. The sky had made a wind to blow in such a way that it carried the petal to the other friend. The sky had seen how happy it had made the other friend and that the other friend then had done the same. The sky again had helped, this time by making the wind go the other way, so that the second petal flew back to the first friend. It made them all have a big belly laugh.

The sky thought, 'If only I could throw something high into the big sky, so that it would end up where there is another sky and then they could read my 'Hello.' All of a sudden it knew what to do. How about if it made a big snow storm, but instead of making the snow fall down on the earth, it could put the snow into big snowball with the word 'Hello' on it. The sky threw the big snowball as hard as it could into the big sky.

The little people looked up and said, ' Wow, look, a comet. Isn't it beautiful!' There were also some scientist little people who explained how comets work, and that they are big blocks of ice that travel through the universe and that they go past many planets and other stars and then one day come back again. They did many really difficult to understand calculations on it and said many things that didn't mean very much to the other little people. When the sky heard all the scientific talk, it just shook its head an thought, 'If only they knew that it is just a snowball, that I threw to say 'Hello', to try to make some friends.

A very long time later, probably about two hundred years after the sky had thrown its snowball, there was a real buzz in the science building. One of the scientists had looked through his telescope and seen the largest comet on the way to earth that had ever been seen. The sky pricked up its ears to hear what the excitement was all about and then remembered the other times when comets had come to earth. Each time the sky looked, hoping that a snowball had returned with a 'Hello' from another sky somewhere. But every time there had been the disappointment of just another block of ice that had been aimlessly flying through the big sky for thousands of years.

But this time the sky knew it must be different. The sky waited impatiently for a couple of weeks, watching the comet come closer and closer, until finally the most amazing thing came into sight. The comet was actually made of hundreds of snowballs all clumped together and on each of them was a different 'Hello' message from a different sky of a different planet.

From that moment on, the sky knew that it was no longer alone. The sky felt so really really happy that it got the biggest fuzzy feeling that anyone has ever felt. And because of that it turned all warm and orange. It was of a colour that was so bright that all the other skies could see from a long long distance that the sky had received their message and they all had the biggest belly laugh together.

©2007 Ralph Holwerda


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