Chapter Three

The Sea Of the Starless Skies

The next few days passed blissfully, all blue skies and whitecapped waves, and the nights dazzles with starlight. But the , dark grey clouds appeared on the horizon and soon filled the sky with thier cold and melancholy gloom. Puff and Jackie had to huddle together for warmth.
"Where are we now, Puff?"
the dragon was grim. "We've reached the Sea of the Starless Skies, Jackie."
The clouds formed themselves into mean and ugly faces. their cheeks puffed out, and blew angry winds. Jackie felt a dark unfriendliness all about him. He turned to Puff. "I hate this old Sea of the Starless Skies," he said.
"It's not the sea's fault," said Puff. "It's the clouds. the clouds are jealous of the stars. You see, the stars can fly a thousand, thousand times higer than those clouds can even imagine. and so , like all small spirited, stupid things, they believe that they can deny beauty by hiding it."
"Puff! Look!" Jackie pointed up to the sky. A flickering glow was tumbling down through the cloud heads. it was a falling star, no bigger than a firefly. It landed with a gentle poof! on the deck. Jackie looked down at it. "Aw, the poor little thing."
The great cloud heads began to laugh.
"Listen to them," said Puff. "They're always happy when a star dies."
"But she's not dead, Puff. Listen!"
the tiny star made tiny, desperate sounds.
Jackie turned to Puff. "She wants to talk, but can't. gee, i know just how she feels. We've got to save her!"
"To do that, we'd have to hang her back onto her orbit, jackie. How would we get up there?"
"Well, we'll just make the boat fly! use your magic, Puff. Paint some wings!"
"Why don't i paint some wings?" said puff, as if he'd just thought of it. He reached into his satchel and brought out a paintbrush. he jumped off the boat and proceeded to paint two giant butterfly wings on thin air! Attaching them to the boat, he hopped back aboard and commanded the craft to fly.
The great wings began to flap gracefully, and the boat moved forward. it rose a few feet above the water, then came back down with a clumsy splat!
"Too heavy!" shouted Puff. "We shall have to unload some ballast. Me!" he dived into the water. "Take her up, Jackie!"
"Alone? i don't know how! I'm afraid!"
"Jackie! Believe in yourself. Have the courage to try. That's the second step to not being afraid. you may fail, but at least you'll have made the effort."
Jackie looked at the star on the deck, growing weaker and dimmer. He knew what he had to do. "I'll try, Puff," he said.<
the great wings began to flap. the boat lifted up and suddenly soared heavenward. With Jackie at the helm, the boat with butterfly wings made its way up through the cloud heads, who, furious now, blew angry winds and caused it to twist and toss dangerously.
Amongst the stars. But Jackie grasped the guitar rudder firmly, and suddenly the boat burst through the ceiling of clouds into a magnificent starry sky of diamonds twinkling in the darkness.
"We did it!" jackie cried. Then he reached down, picked up the tiny star, and tossed her away into her distant orbit.
As she sailed off, her light glowed more brightly. Jackie heard a small voice calling back, "Thank you-ooo..."
And she was one of the millions again.




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