Sigmund and Beaumont: The Balloon Ride

Sigmund and Beaumont: The Balloon Ride

It was a gorgeous, sunny spring day. The air was warm, and the sky was a lovely pale blue. The air was filled with the sweet scent of the blooming spring flowers that bloomed all around Miss Sally’s house, in her garden, on the forest trees, and in the meadow. Beaumont, a wee bow tie-wearing black house cat paced by the window, occasionally stopping and looking out at the great oak that sat just outside. He would often visit his friend, Peter the white-tailed eagle up at the top of the tree. Climbing was never a problem for him. He wasn’t afraid of being up so high in a tree, especially with Peter nearby. But he was afraid of heights more than ever since he learnt that Mr. Thomas was going to take Miss Sally and Beaumont up in a hot air balloon. The spring balloon festival was being held that afternoon, and as the time for them to go drew near, Beaumont’s little heart raced faster and faster. 

What if we fall out? Or we get a hole in the balloon? Or, or… Beaumont thought to himself as he paced. Then, his best pal, Sigmund, a house spider, swung down from his web.

“What be the problem, my pal?” Sigmund asked. “You be a pacin’ quite a lot there, I sees.”

“Oh Sigmund, I’m afraid again. We’re going up in a great big hot air balloon. A part of me is excited,” said Beaumont, continuing to pace. “But the other part of me, the part that is winning, keeps worrying. I’ve never been afraid of heights before, but those big ole hot air balloons take you up so high. I’ve never been that high up before!”

“I have an idea, so I do,” Sigmund replied. “Maybe you can have a wee chat with Peter about his flyin’. He goes waaaay up there into them fluffy white things up there in the sky, so he does.”

Beaumont took in a deep breath but nodded. Beaumont climbed out the window and out onto the oak tree, Sigmund perched on his head. Up he climbed carefully. Peter once told Beaumont that if he ever needed Peter, to just climb up the tree and meow three times in a row. So Beaumont meowed once, twice, three times. He looked around and sure enough, a few minutes later, a large white-tailed eagle came swooping down and landed near Beaumont in the tree. 

“Beaumont, my dude, how’s it goin’?” Peter said. 

“Not so well, Peter,” replied Beaumont. 

“What’s the matter little dude?” asked Peter.

“I’m going up in a hot air balloon, but I’m scared,” Beaumont admitted. “How do you fly so high up and not get scared you might fall or get blown away in a strong wind or something?”

Peter wrapped a gentle wing around Beaumont to comfort him.

“You know, my dude, I’m often frightened when I’m up flying around. I have gotten caught up in the winds before or accidentally flew into a storm, but you know what I do, my little dude?” Peter asked. “I focus on the fun parts of flying. I love the wind in my feathers, and being so close to that beautiful sun, or the pearly moon. And it’s even better when I’m flying with my friends or family. I know they’re right there with me, my dude.”

“I will have Miss Sally and Mr. Thomas with me. And Sigmund is coming along too. First spider in the clouds!” Beaumont laughed. “Hot air balloons are quite exciting. Flying like you do, Peter, but without wings. And flying with my family.”

Beaumont looked down at the ground below. 

“I might be anxious and afraid, but I’m not going to let that ruin all the good parts. I think I’m just scared of the unknown, more than the actual height,” Beaumont continued. He smiled. “Like I told our friend Elliot Squirrel, I’m going to have fun and not let my fear ruin the enjoyment.”

Peter turned to face Beaumont then held his wing out. Beaumont pressed his paw against Peter’s wing.

“You my dudes will have a blast, I know it,” Peter said with a reassuring smile and twinkle in his eyes.

“Thanks, Peter,” Beaumont said. “I feel better talking to you about it.”

And that afternoon, Miss Sally held Beaumont closely to her chest as she climbed into the balloon with Mr. Thomas. Beaumont wore a rather dashing orange bow tie, and hidden within was Sigmund, who was wearing his spiffy little silk tophat he wore for special journeys. The weather was perfect, and the skies were clear and bright. Beaumont watched as the balloons went higher and higher. And then up and up they went, joining with all the other colourful balloons. It was quite a sight to see. Mr. Thomas put a gentle hand on Miss Sally’s shoulder. Beaumont climbed on the edge of the basket, carefully holding on as he looked out over the beautiful spring meadows, forests, and fields, and watched the balloons drifting lazily around them. It was peaceful. Just like Peter said, family and friends made the fears ease.