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Jake and Malachi's Balloon Ride

Jake woke abruptly, sat up and rubbed his eyes. His mind wasn't quite awake, It was still filled with a groggy haze. He thought about just laying back down and go back to sleep. Then he slowly realized what day it was. Then the excitement hit him. It was Saturday, the day he and Malachi were going on a wonderful adventure. He sprung from his bed, wide awake now. They had been planning this for weeks. And now it was about to come into fruition. He yelled at Malachi to wake up but to no avail. so Jake stumbled across and started shaking the big roll of blankets that hid him. Finally Malachi's head appeared. "Go away", he yelled. "No", said Jake, "Don't you know what day it is?" "I don't care, just go away. I'm tired." "No way sleepyhead", replied Jake, "Get up, we've got to get an early start. Don't you remember?" "Remember what?" Jake was getting frustrated. "It's already near daylight and we have to get all the stuff out of the shed and over to the park before mom and dad get up." Suddenly Malachi remembered, leaped up and immediately started slipping on his clothes.

A few minutes later they were trudging through the dew covered grass to the shed, their wagon bouncing along behind them. They swung open the doors and immediately started loading the large boxes onto the wagon. The boxes weren't heavy but needed Malachi to balance the load. It took twelve loads but finally all the boxes were shuttled to the middle of the baseball diamond on the edge of the park. A few more trips to haul the lawn chairs, twine, ropes, BB gun, and the small backpack that held their lunch.

Everything now assembled, they first used the ropes to tie the two lawn chairs together and then tied the rope to the four corners of the lawn chair assembly. The sun was starting to come up now as they opened the first box. They'd have to work quickly before someone spotted them. Each box had eight helium balloons which they quickly tied to the top of the rope that lay on the ground behind the lawn chairs. Next box, then another, and another. Suddenly the lawn chair started to rise so they anchored it to the buried anchor that held the second base bag in place. Then more balloons, and more. It was getting more difficult o hold the balloons down so they threw the dragline from the chairs and pulled it down for to attach the next set of balloons. Finally all were attached and they pulled the dragline off and watched as they sprang high into the air. Then they tied the backpack to one of the lawn chairs. As they tied themselves into the chairs, suddenly they heard, "Hey, what are you kids doing". It was the grounds keeper. Jake quickly slipped the rope from the anchor. In a second they were airborne, drift ling lazily across the park; five foot, ten foot, fifteen foot they rose. The grounds keeper was chasing them now, leaping, trying to grab the dragline. But he was too late and gave up, watching them sail upwards to the East. "You kids are crazy, get down here before you get hurt."

But they paid him no mind as they climbed higher and higher. About fifteen minutes later they were about a mile from the park. Gosh it was beautiful. Their adventure had begun. A few minutes later they heard sirens and looked sown to see two police cars trying to chase them. Within ten minutes the chase was over as they crossed into the wooded foothills where there were no roads.

They watched the scenery roll by below them. After a bit, they decided to have something to eat. Jake reached into the backpack and pulled out some jerky and candy bars. Nothing like breakfast in the heavens. Before long they saw they were approaching an open meadow. "We'd Better set it down there before we get into the mountains", said Jake as he reached into the backpack for the BB gun. That was how they were going to control their altitude, shooting the balloons one at a time. But, "Oh No", said Jake. The gun was gone. He ruffled through the backpack but to no avail. It simply wasn't there. "It must have fallen out when I was getting our meal.', said Jake. "What are we going to do now?", asked Malachi. Jake had no idea what to do. They'd just have to wait until it came down. "I'm scared", said Malachi. "Me too" Jake replied, "but don't worry. Lets just pray." So they started praying and all of a sudden this bird landed on Malachi's lap. It was a dove. He kept jerking his head back and forth looking at both them. "Did God send you?", Jake asked. The dove bobbled his head as if he were saying, "yes". Then suddenly he leaped into the air and flew away. So, once again they shut their eyes started praying, once again.

Suddenly they heard a loud fluttering sound and looked up to see at least a hundred doves heading straight for them. They landed everywhere they could get a foothold , on the chairs, on the balloons, even on their heads. "I think we're going down", said Jake. And sure enough they were. Ahead was another open meadow and they quietly descended into it. When they ere just a few feet above the ground ,both of them untied the seat belt ropes and leaped off. Their balloon shot skyward, and the doves all flew away.

They saw a farmhouse a short distance away and ran towards it. A lady greeted them and let them use the phone to call home. Things didn't go quite as planned. But, none the less, it had been a Great Adventure.