How Did Dill Meet Carla the Cloud?

Dear Reader,

You know that Dill enjoyed powerful private transport aboard Carla the Cloud. Carla was her special vehicle for her uncanny adventures with Will andToucan Bill. However, you may not be aware of how she met Carla. Here’s the story.

For years and years, Carla the Cloud floated high in the sky with clouds that were just like her, although none had the striking wave of auburn curls that Carla had. She and her fellow clouds roamed the sky, when it was blue, when it was grey, when thunder and lighting storms hit. All the clouds could finesse good and bad weather as they knew to fly up closer to heavan or down closer to earth.

At one point Carla said to herself, “I think I’ve had enough of being up here in the sky. I know this sky geography all too well. I’m bored with having the same old conversation about the weather day after day. I think I’ll move a little bit closer to earth. Maybe I can find friends down there whom I can talk to and have an adventure with. One of her closest cloud friends, a slender cloud named Lilly, suggested that Carla try going to New York City. ‘It’s very big,” Lilly said, “you’re bound to meet someone interesting to talk to.”

So Carla floated down from the sky on a brilliant May day and chose to go to the Bronx Botanical Garden. She had heard of its lavish gardens of flowers and fancy bushes and special trees. She floated around there for quite a while, but she didn’t come across anything that interested her in terms of making new friends or seeing things that made her want to hover around.

She said to herself, “I’ll go over to Central Park. I hear that’s a really big park and quite different than the Bronx Botanical Garden. I think it has meadows and woods and ponds and a reservoir and statues of famous people.”

She crossed two big rivers and a highway jammed with cars and reached the park — quiet, verdant, filled with natural beauty. She floated around inspecting the park from all sides.

She took note of Dill scampering around with a lively jog close to her chestnut tree. She floated closer. Dill looked up and waved. “Hello hello, how do you do? I’m Dill, I live down here in this big chestnut tree.”

Carla was filled with curiosity . “Tell me. You live there? Do you live in the tree? What is your place like?

“Well,” said Dill, “I have a very nice apartment. It has five rooms. I have a comfy bedroom and I have a nice library where I keep my world geography book. I have a room for my comb and brush and glasses and another room for my big hamper of sandwiches. I take all these things with me when I travel. I have a guestroom as well as my relatives some times stop by for an overnight. In June my tree is ablaze with big white blossoms that passerby’s stop and admire.

“Do you know anybody else in the park?” asked Carla. “Oh yes,” said Dill. “I have a very good friend. His name is Will and he is the big statue at the beginning of the Elm Tree Walkway. If you float down there,” she said, signaling left, “you’ll see him. Don’t be put off by the funny costume he wears. He’s very nice and he is very smart. His formal name is William Shakespeare. He’s written well-known plays and poetry. He’s famous the world over, and I’m proud to say he’s a very good friend.”

Carla was very happy with this information and she showed it by puffing up her cloud . She knew she loved Dill. She said to Dill, “I would like to become your good friend and get to know Will. Do you mind if I stay around and be a regular visitor?”

“That would be grand,” said Dill. “I go out for coffee every morning and then I go talk to Will. I’ll introduce you to him.” “Oh thank you, thank you,” said Carla, and added, “maybe I can give you a ride one day. My cloud is really comfortable. You can just pretend you are in a soft cushiony bed made of cotton puffs and silk. We could float around and study the park together.”

“I would love to do that. When you think its a good day for touring let me know and I’ll be ready.”

The next day Carla came by. She called down to Dill. “It’s a beautiful day for touring so jump on and I will go around a bit and you will see how you like being on a cloud.”

Dill was beside himself herself with excitement. She had never imagined that she would see Central Park from on high — in all its jade green beauty, with its majestic trees, large ponds and lakes, gardens of roses and azuleas, numerous paths and by ways.

Dill and Carla became fast friends and Dill soon introduced her to Will. Will was very amiable as always. He admired Carla’s cottony cloud, her pale blue dress that was barely visible and her auburn curls. He liked the way she looked so intently at her weather monitor. “She looks smart,” Will commented to Dill, “and she is very very friendly. And its quite marvelous that she can float wherever she wishes in the world.”

So that’s how the three became friends and eventually became traveling companions and took their first big trip to Brazil.

Rosemary Werrett

How Dill Became Dill and Got Her World Geography Book

Dear Reader,

I know you’ve met Dill and been on her uncanny adventures with Will and Toucan Bill. You know that she went everywhere with her World Geography Book. However, you may not know how she got that treasured book, much less her name. Well, here’s the story.

Dill was scampering around her big chestnut tree on a sparkling spring morning when she spied an elderly lady coming by the nearby sidewalk in a wheelchair. The lady looked very elegant and kind. She had snow white hair and wore a deep burgundy shawl. Dill, bering sociable by nature, gave her a big wave. The lady was surprised, but she waved back.

“My you’re a pretty squirrel,” she said. “You have a simply gorgeous tail, and I think you are also very smart. Tell me, what is your name?” Dill was glad her tail looked perfect as she pondered this question. She furrowed her brow but kept her tail arched. Finally she said “I don’t know. I don’t think I have a name. My mother disappeared a long time ago and probably never gave me one.”

“Well,” said the lady, “I think you should think about what you would like me to call you. We can meet tomorrow and you can reflect and tell me what name you have chosen. My name, by the way, is Matilda and this Betty,” she said, turning her head to introduce Betty. “She drives me everywhere.”

Dill hopped slowly back to her tree. She was thrilled at the brand new idea of having a name. She sat on the thick roots at the base or her chestnut tree, which she considered her veranda. It was the perfect place to feel the sweet breezes that stirred the leaves and to think. She thought and thought and decided upon Dill. it’s a simple but assertive name, she thought. Just one syllable, but loaded with good vibrations.

The next day as soon as she saw the lady in the wheelchair she hopped to the sidewalk and gave a big wave. “Hello,” she said. “My name is Dill.” “Oh,” said the lady, “I’m glad you have given yourself such a pretty and unusual name.”

Not wanting to be a impolite but nonetheless very curious, Dill broached the question that had long lingered in her mind. “Please tell me Ms. Matilda, why are you in that wheelchair?” “Well I’m old and it’s hard for me to walk,” said Matilda. “I like to go out and Betty is very nice about pushing me around.”

Dill, with her boundless curiosity, asked Matilda what did she do when she could walk? “I was a travel writer,” she responded. “I went all over the world and wrote magazine articles of many places. I would study my world geography book for places that caught my imagination and then arrange to visit them. I still love to travel but now it’s very hard for me.”

“Oh,” said Dill, with longing in her voice. “I would love to travel but I know nothing of the world.” “Tomorrow,” said Matilda, “I will bring my world geography book and show you some of the places that I’ve visited.”

Sure enough, she came by with a big book on her lap. Dill put on her glasses and jumped on the arm of the wheelchair and looked and looked as Matilda turned the pages. She was fascinated by the brilliantly colored pictures of mountains and rivers, of desert lands, and lands of crops and fields as well as the views of cities and beaches and rocky coastlines.

“There are so many countries and cities to see and enjoy,” said Matilda. “This is Brazil,” for example. “It’s a beautiful country with an enormous jungle and the longest river in the world. I hope you’re able to go there one day.”

Each day Matilda came with her world geography book and turned more pages as Dill look on, entranced. “You must go to Rome,” she said, ”a city of history and art. Here is Turkey, where you can find ancient Christian and Islamic and Jewish sites”. Every day Dill and Matilda explored different parts of the world.

One day, Matilda did not come by. Then more days passed and she did not come by. Dill was perplexed and sad. She missed the daily conversations. Finally one cloudy afternoon Dill saw Betty walking alone. “I am so sad to tell you,” she said, “dear Matilda passed away. One of her last wishes was that you have her world geography book.”

Betty presented the marvelous book to Dill, who was overcome both by the sad news and the joy of owning such a treasured book. Dill wept in grief and gratitude. She thanked Betty and carried the book carefully to her chestnut tree. She put it a special big room in her apartment and took it out every day to study but only after a brief prayer of thanks to Matilda.

Rosemary Werrett