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"The Balloon Artist," & "The Farmer and the Alien" by Tanya Sangpun Thamkruphat

The Balloon Artist

For many years, I was a clown traveling and performing with an infamous circus company. I enjoyed sparking smiles and laughs. However, as the years passed, the audiences became bigger and my connection with the show guests became smaller. So, I left the circus life to perform at children's birthday parties and the occasional adult birthday party. While working at birthday parties, I unexpectedly discovered my hidden talent: amusing children and adults alike with my carefully crafted balloon art. I brought to life the impossible: lush landscapes, gorgeous galaxies, and fantastical dreamscapes. The news of my balloon art masterpieces slowly drifted, like one of my lofty balloons, into the ears of people. People watched with wonder while I created my balloon art. In turn, I loved sneaking peeks at people’s smiles. I felt as ethereal as my creations. So, I stopped clowning around and became a balloon artist. I opened my balloon art gallery. From time to time, I travel around the world, showcasing my new balloon art creations and meeting other balloon art enthusiasts. To this day, many of my friends and family think I am full of hot air when I passionately talk about balloon art. They’re wrong. I am full of fiery passion.

The Farmer and the Alien

One day a farmer was struggling to sow seeds by himself. It had been a rough year for growing crops, and a rough year in general. He lost loved ones to an unexpected and awful plague. He was a lone survivor. As he was planting seeds and seeking a miracle, an alien spaceship landed on his farm. The farmer stood shell-shocked as the spaceship’s door slowly opened. An alien emerged and they were badly injured. Without hesitation, the farmer ran to the alien and helped the alien back to the farmer’s house. The farmer patched the alien’s wounds as best as he humanly could. The alien grinned with gratitude at the farmer, and then returned to their spaceship. As the alien’s spaceship departed, the farmer’s land was instantly populated with ready-to-harvest vegetables, fruits, and grains galore. The farmer uncontrollably wept. He frantically waved goodbye to the stranger-turned-savior in the sky. He believed. Oh, how he believed.


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