The kidoodles were all pressed back in their seats as the bus roared skyward. They were looking outside now. Most were scared, but a few looked like they were actually having fun!
“Bus driver, did my mom put you up to this?” hollered Clarissa, holding on to her little teddy bear. She had a wry grin on her face.
“It’s got nothing to do with me, sweetheart!” cried Clive, gripping hard to the motionless steering wheel. “This is all Connie.”
“Why’s she doing this then?” bellowed Michael. He did not sound amused.
“I think, if you look very honestly at yourselves,” said Clive, “you’ll figure out exactly why this is happening.”
“I know,” said Nathan, who seemed to think he knew everything. “Hey, I can see my house!”
“The sky up here is really blue!” cried Jessica, excitedly looking out.
“It sure is,” agreed Gabby. “And it’s getting darker,” and a chorus of kidoodles agreed that they had noticed this too.
“It’s pretty,” said Lexie.
“We’re pretty high,” added little Jace, looking around.
“There’s an airplane!” hollered Sophia, pointing,
All the kidoodles craned their necks up to try to see.
“I don’t see one,” grumped little Marcos, but he was looking up, and Sophia was pointing the other way.
“It’s down there – behind us,” she said, rolling her eyes.
“It’s really getting dark now!” said Ryleigh.
“I’m floating!” yelped Emily!
“Hey, I’m floating too!” cried Leah.
“We’re all floating now!”
As they all started lifting gently off their seats and floating into the air, all their little voices rose up too, and still Connie the magic bus just flew and flew and flew. Way up high, she flew, through and past the earthbound blue, into the wider reach of space – the silent reach of space, for just at that moment Connie’s engine cut out and as all the little kidoodles floated toward the roof of the bus, everything suddenly turned quiet.
“I’ve never been up this high before,” said Anna, in the big, quiet bus. She was upside-down, clinging to her seat with all the strength in her little fingers, the rest of her floating up into the air.
“I don’t think any of us has,” said Pedro, gripping the back of his seat and kneeling down, looking out of the window.”
“Look at the stars!” breathed Anthony. “So beautiful.”
“Look at the Earth!” cried Chelvy, and everyone did, pasting their little faces to the windows to look at the Earth, far below.
“Wow, it’s big,” said Miguel, slack-jawed.
Then everyone went quiet. They stayed quiet for several minutes, in absolute awe of the beauty of this enormous and quiet place. Then their silence was broken:
“Hey! Quit stepping on me,” hollered Pedro.
“Get your stupid foot out of my way!” yelled his twin brother Juan.
“I’ll put my foot wherever I want to!”
And just like that, the glorious majesty, the great serenity of the enormous planet, Earth, was forgotten. It’s funny how such things are pushed aside by life’s little problems.
“Boys, boys, try to get along now,” said Clive. “Have you forgotten where we are?”
“I don’t care! He does this all the time! He’s always putting his big, fat foot where mine is, and taking my stuff, and jumping line for the bathroom, and taking my potato and…”
“I never take your potato – I take my potato. And ask mom – it’s not your stuff, it’s our stuff! Ours! And I don’t care where we are, that will always be the same!”
“Boys, boys, boys…” Clive tried again to interject. Ordinarily, on the ground, he would park the bus for this kind of thing, get out of his seat, and mediate. But here in space, where could he park?
“Sometimes he makes me sooooo mad!” seethed Pedro.
“Well, I don’t like him, and I wish he wasn’t my brother any more!”
There was a brief moment of silence, but then Connie the bus grumbled back to life again. A deep, rumbling roar grew from her belly and in a moment she lurched forward, and was moving again.
“Uh-oh.” said Pascal, turning to try to sit in his seat.
“Now you’ve gone and done it.”