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Bedtime Stories: “Emilia, Who Was Not Like Other Clouds”


Emilia was not like other clouds. She neither puffed nor could she bend her body into impossible shapes like the rest of the flock — all of them great and venerated artists of the sky. Her coat was not white but an ignoble gray. All day alone she hung in the atmosphere while the others attracted wind, parading through the kingdom of the sky a majestic caravan of cumulonimbi contortionists, the gazers gathering below in awe of their elastic splendor. I am without a use, Emilia finally decided, and began to drift dangerously close to the sun. At that moment, her skin began to bristle and she began to thunder. All the other clouds and gazers trembled to behold her, but they couldn’t take their eyes off of her either. Not all clouds are meant to be artists, she then understood: some are meant to be warriors, and the sky needs both.





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