Once upon a time, there lived a young girl named Aria who loved nothing more than to climb anything she could find. She climbed on to chairs and tables and steps and ladders then, later, when she finally learned to walk, she started climbing branches and small trees. Aria was extremely talented at climbing up. However, every time she would reach the peak of whatever it was she was climbing, Aria would sit and cry and demand to be brought back down.
Over time, this meant that Aria’s parents had to begin climbing as well. They had tried to teach Aria a lesson by leaving her up at the summit of whatever she had climbed on that afternoon, but she would cry and wait and, by dinner time, her parents would have to give in. At first, they were fine to climb a tree or two, but, eventually, Aria moved on from the basic items in and around the house and started attempting more difficult objects around the small town where they lived. It wasn’t uncommon for Aria to be found climbing the lampposts or the sides of buildings while her father did the shopping. This meant that, when Aria reached the top and started to cry, her parents had to start calling on the townspeople with longer ladders than they owned, making them feel increasingly worried and embarrassed.
One night, following a day where Aria had climbed to the top of a small water tower in the middle of town, Aria’s parents were up late, talking about what they could do to help stop their daughter from climbing on everything she could find. Unfortunately for them, Aria had come out of her room for a drink and heard her parents talking about her love of climbing, describing it in ways that made her very upset. She decided to give them some peace by climbing to the highest place she could think of: The clouds.
Aria had seen the peak of one of the mountains surrounding her town covered in clouds before, so putting her climbing skills to good use, she went to see if she could get to the clouds from there. Although it was dark, the light of the moon helped guide her way and, after a long walk to get to the top, she was very happy to see that she had easy access to the moonlit clouds. Aria stepped out on to one of the clouds to make sure it would hold her, and, before long, she was bouncing from one cloud to the next as if the sky was a giant jumping castle. After a while, Aria became tired and nestled into one of the clouds, falling asleep while running the white mist through her hands.
When she woke up, Aria realised she was incredibly hungry and thought about the worry she might have caused her parents. Aria decided to climb down from the clouds, but, although climbing up was very easy for her, climbing down filled her with doubt and worry. She started to cry, louder and louder and, soon, the whole town below could hear what they recognised as Aria’s cry for help. Her parents ran out of their house to try and find her. They followed the cry, with her mother and father leading the townspeople to the top of the mountain. When they got there, they could still hear Aria’s cry, but couldn’t find her. Finally, her father could hear that she was in the clouds, so he climbed up and found young Aria, sitting on the edge of a cloud, waiting to be picked up.
Her father told Aria that he loved her and wanted her to come back home. Calm now, Aria curled up in a ball on the cloud she was on and waited for her father to come and collect her. He walked over and cradled the cloud with Aria on it, carrying both her and the cloud back to the top of the mountain. Her parents were delighted that Aria was safe, and they each took one side of the cloud to take her back down the mountain and to the warmth of her own home.
From that day on, whenever Aria had the urge to climb, she would take out the cloud from under her bed, snuggle inside of it, and remember that she would always be happy and safe, staying at home.
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