The Vine: December 28, 2012
I could use some help on this, please. It's a short children's story (I think I found it in an English/Literature textbook when in 7th grade) about this fairy/elf-type being whose job it is to design the sky (or at least his assigned portion of it) every day — colors, clouds and the choreography therein. He loves the work, but it's a job and so has rules. The biggest one is that he can't write messages in the clouds.
After a time, he grows used to (though slightly disgruntled by) his work going unnoticed and unappreciated by humans (who just sits and watches the sky all day?). But then there's a girl who starts noticing. Daily, she walks to a park and climbs the tallest hill to lie down and watch the sky. She delights in it, for hours on end (she's either still pretty young or just quirky). Finally the artist has an audience. The elf is happy for once.
Now things get fuzzy for me. I think she had a brother who went with her to the park; maybe something happens to him or maybe the family decides to move, either way a countdown starts to her final day of sky-watching at the park. This majorly bums out the elf. As sad as he is, he wants to do something big for her. On her last visit to the park, she's shocked to look up and see writing in the clouds that somehow seems meant for her (no recall of what it said). The elf gets demoted or transferred or otherwise punished, but he's fine with it.
Other points that might help:
– Fairy/elf is the feeling I have about what this cloud painter is, but I'm not certain those beings were identified as anything magical.
– The sky-creating business was like an architecture firm — there was some type of hierarchy and the sky designs were plotted out on plans that had to be turned in to a supervisor (for final approval) the night before they would be used.
Any help would be much appreciated!! I really connected to this story as a kid and would love to read it again. Thanks!
I need help tracking down a sci-fi short story. It's an older one, I probably read it in an anthology, probably a "Best of," and my love of those centers on the older stuff, '70s and back.
From what I remember, there was a dude on a spaceship, and they had a cat. And they were under attack by, as I recall, evolved rats. The dude puts the ship's cat in an escape pod and hurls it at a wormhole or black hole or something. The something is some sort of wibbly wobbly time thing, and the cat evolves and a whole squadron of evolved space kitties show up in their own ships to fight off the rats just in time.
Science fiction's love of cats being what it is, Google has been less than fruitful. It's not "Spacetime for Springer," although I always think it is and then I read it again and it's not.
Bonus round: I'm also looking for a short story about a house in love with the woman who lives there. The floors are happy when she walks on them. The bathtub gets all excited about her taking a bath instead of a shower. Everything is jealous of her husband. I have no clue when I read this or where, but it stuck with me. It's not like a house with artificial intelligence, it's the actual house.
I hope everyone loves a challenge!
Tags: Ask The Readers popcult