Tiny stood in the grass behind Willow Tree Cottage, and gazed across the emerald ocean. Dozens of mysterious feathery powder-puffs had appeared overnight, and now swayed on thin stalks in the breeze. As she pulled one from the ground—holding it aloft for a closer inspection—the mischievous spring wind whipped beneath them, carrying them up into the bright morning sky.
“Oh my!” Tiny cried, “we’re taking off!” and held onto the stalk with two firm hands.
Up, up, up she flew, over the Misty Ripple Meadow where hundreds of gold dandelion coins lay sprinkled, across the pond where the wild geese bathed, and through the orchards bursting with creamy scented blossoms. She stared at the world in wonder, which looked so different from this new direction.
Tiny floated higher and higher, until the village of Treetops lay below her. Looking down, she noticed Old Man Guthrie. He was usually so grumpy and sour-faced, but now he smiled and clutched a photo frame, dancing around his pea-patch to an old song on the radio.
Tiny drifted across the street. Madam Orly sat on her patio, holding her head in her hands. Tiny always saw the famed opera singer as fierce and independent, but now she pulled a crocheted baby blanket from a chest, held it to her heart, and wept. Tiny willed the miniature airship to descend, but it continued on its journey—sailing past Penny-dog’s house—where her dear friend waited by the garden-gate, whimpering and alone.
Her heart felt hollow. There was so much she didn’t know about the people she saw each day, and the pain they kept hidden deep inside. The wind died down, and she began to descend, back to the spot where she started.
Tiny sat on a rock beneath the birdbath, still clutching the dandelion clock in her hand. What could she do? She couldn’t turn back time, or change the past. But she could be a kinder, gentler, more caring friend. And so she made a promise to herself, closed her eyes, and blew. . .