The room seemed so large and empty and her bed was just not as comfortable as usual. She took the covers off and then put them back on. She moved her pillows up and then down. She could just not get comfortable! She grabbed her blankie and walked out to the living room hoping to get her parents to come help her fall asleep.
“No, sweetpea, go on back to bed. You need to find a way to put yourself to sleep. Something will come to you,” her mother said.
Gabrielle dragged back to her room and whined and felt sorry for herself. She lay back down in her bed. Even though the bed did not feel any more comfortable, it did seem to pull her down where she could not raise her head from the pillow. She closed her eyes, hoping she was getting sleepy, but all her thoughts and worries kept going through her mind.
However, when she opened her eyes, her room was gone. She was lying on a warm, soft cloud that was resting on a large deep green lawn. She looked all around and everything was beautiful. The sky was the perfect mixture of colors that it becomes as sunset; a color her father called “sky-blue-pink”. The grass smelled sweet and the cloud was made her feel safe and comfortable.
She looked up into the fading light of the sky and saw something getting bigger and coming towards her. After a moment, she recognized it as a very colorful hot air balloon. It landed next to her. It had a sign on it that said “Leave your problems here!”
She was confused at first but almost unbidden her problem with dinner came to mind. Brussel sprouts appeared in the bottom of the basket. She giggled. She tried it again. She thought about her homework and lots of textbooks appeared in the basket.
Gabrielle was not sure how this was happening or what it meant but it was fun. She put her school problems, simple problems with her parents, fighting sometimes with friends and all her other simple and harder problems into the basket. When she was completely out of ideas, she closed the basket door and that seemed to signal the balloon to take off.
Suddenly she was sleepy. She lay back down on the cloud and puffed up a part to be her pillow. Then she pulled up a part to wrap around her as a blanket. She watched the balloon float away into the darkening night sky. The sun was now completely down and the stars were out.
Once the balloon was completely out of sight, the cloud began to life up into the sky. Gabrielle was not scared but just sank deeper into the softness of her cloud-bed. She looked up at the stars. Her eyes were falling closed and she could not help but to finally allow herself to fall asleep.
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