Pigeon Parade

Macy's Parade by Dan Santat

Macy's Parade by Dan Santat

I am so tired of living in this quiet, boring tiny town where nothing exciting ever happens. My mom says it is safe here. I say it is dreary and dull.

My Great-grandpa was lucky to grow up in a lively bustling city, hearing taxis HONK, feeling the subway RUMBLE, smelling the aroma of hot yeasty pretzels. He explored the nooks and crannies of every skyscraper from sidewalk to rooftop. Then one gusty day, WHOOSH! He was blown to this grassy green suburb where he met Great-grandma.

“Please tell me a city story!” I often begged Great-grandpa, “The one about the magical parade?”

“It was a cold, dry day,” he begins, “Huge crowds of people jammed the streets and music blared from shiny trumpets and tubas.”

“What about the balloons?”

“Yes, Henry, the skies were filled with giant colorful balloons. They were no ordinary balloons, but peculiar blimped creatures. They were shaped like enormous dogs, cartoon superheroes, and unusual yellow birds. People marched through the streets, clutching strong tethers that kept the bobbing, straining airborne icons from sailing up to the clouds.”

We huddled in the “O” of the neon Shop-Rite sign where the warmth eased Great-grandpa’s ancient, achy legs and wings. “Great-grandpa, will you take me to the city?” I asked one day, “I really want to see those giant balloons!”

He sighed, “That’s a long trip for an old bird like me, Henry. I don’t know.”

“I can help!” I said, “I’ll fly in front and ease the wind for you. You just need to point me in the right direction. C’mon, we can do it!”

“We’ll see, Henry, we’ll see,” said Great-grandpa. That’s when I knew he really meant NO, and I started planning my own adventure.

As Christmas preparations build to a fever pitch, I’ve been polishing a Thanksgiving-themed piece to submit for the First Page Prompt challenge at Kathy Temean’s “Writing and Illustrating” blog.  The rules are to draft the first 23 lines of a story to accompany Dan Santat’s illustration of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  Will Henry Pigeon make his solo flight to NYC in time for the big parade? Read more about the challenge at:  http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/



About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Children's book author, repped by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, alumna, autism advocate, book reviewer. Reach me via email at cmealey@post.harvard.edu or Twitter @catballoumealey
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4 Responses to Pigeon Parade

  1. Oh, the dreaded “we’ll see.” Glad to see Henry sees right through it. Good luck with this challenge.

  2. Catherine Johnson says:

    What a fun challenge,this is super. It makes me think of UP.

  3. Wish you good luck with the challenge. I like what you’ve written — it’s a cute story. But, my guess is Henry will find a way.

  4. jama says:

    Nice. Love the sensual details. I’m hooked and want to read the rest. Great challenge :).

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