The Cloud Crook


Puffy, the cloud felt gloomy. All the other clouds in Sky Village floated here and there, making shapes for people down on Earth to enjoy. But Puffy couldn’t make anything fun.

“I’ll never be a talented cloud artist.” Puffy sighed, full of sadness and jealousy, as he watched the other colorful clouds swirl into giant elephants, rocket ships, and hoppy bunnies. If only he could create magical shapes too!

Instead, Puffy just looked like a boring mist with no definition. The other clouds laughed as they drifted by. “Nice boring blob shape once again, Puffy! Too dull and dreary to be a cloud creator!” they teased.

Puffy turned dark and stormy with anger. It wasn’t fair! “If I can’t make marvelous cloud art, then I don’t want anyone to have nice shapes either,” he grumbled. An idea that was as terrible as devilish thunder increased through his mind.

Waiting until all the other clouds had left Sky Village to spread their fluffy sculptures across the huge blue sky canvas above Earth, Puffy began slinking slyly from cottony house to wispy house.

Inside every home, he swiped all the cloud-shaping tool kits full of twisty tornado tubes, fluffy flocking bags, electric spark shockers, and more. Without these tool kits, the other clouds couldn’t reform shapes once their creations drifted apart!

laughing with mean delight like a terrifying thunderclap, Puffy gathered every last toolkit into a gigantic gray storm tower hanging over Sky Village. his own private supply! Not one cloud would fluff lovely new shapes ever again!

Soon, screams rolled in like oncoming storms. The first clouds returned from delivering masterpieces to Earth and found all sculpting supplies gone! No more bunnies or birds could be shaped without the special tools.

“We’ve been robbed by…THE CLOUD CROOK!” they cried in a loud, thunderous chorus that shook Sky Village with fright. Even the bravest, most dazzling clouds trembled, fearing never again creating such amazing misty cloud crafts to dazzle Earth viewers with unique creations.

High in his gloomy tower, secretly packed with everyone’s special tools, though, Puffy felt satisfied with revenge for seeing their sadness. They deserved boring blobbiness for mocking his lack of artistic talents, after all! With no supplies left thanks to his sneaky thieving, those fancy clouds could suffer being plain and puffy now too.

But after days of dull gray skies with no whimsical cloud compliments from appreciative earthlings, the entire village turned sad. No bouncing bunnies brought joy when folks looked up. No rocket rides to inspire adventures. Even Puffy had to admit that his revenge didn’t feel as wonderful as expected. Stealing supplies had only spread more gloom instead of glee.

One rainy afternoon, Puffy glimpsed two small children staring up at the bleak sky, looking disappointed, before going inside, shoulders slumped. “Clouds are no fun anymore,” he heard one tiny voice say with a sniffle.

Puffy felt his misty heart sink. His bitterness had ruined village happiness, dampened creativity for all clouds, and made Earth viewers feel let down too by stealing those tool kits!

Resolve rumbled within Puffy, pouring out like opening floodgates. Enough selfish storminess—time to return what was stolen so clouds could shape wonderfulness again! But he must do so secretly. Who would trust a thief even with changed intentions?

Under the cover of darkness, Puffy gathered up every toolkit from his tower. Silently crossing the village, he slipped each bag back from whence it had come. And just before dawn’s glow, the final tool kit plopped perfectly onto its porch step, right as the first hints of sunrise sparkled.

That morning, joyous laughter rang out! The clouds woke, and kits returned mysteriously. No more Crook mischief! Eagerly, they whisked up swirling sculptures across the sky. And smiles spread wide down on Earth at the wonderful cloudy shapes.

From the back of the bustling crowd, Puffy watched quietly but with deep satisfaction, seeing happiness return. Kindness felt so much cozier than cruel mischief. When two children peaked out their windows, exclaiming joy at the fresh fluffy bunnies drifting by, Puffy knew his own cold heart had melted.

“Whoever returned the stolen tool kits must have heard our sadness and wanted everyone smiling again,” murmured a wise old cirrus cloud beside Puffy. “Perhaps even the cruel Crook felt changed by wrong actions and now has decided to add beauty to our vaporous world instead of dampening dreams.”

Puffy shyly agreed. “I think you’re right, sir. In fact, I bet the Cloud Crook would love to join our cloud sculpting academy now if the class would allow a reformed ex-thief.”

The elder cloud chortled. “Of course, my boy! All clouds have silver linings inside. Let your lovely visions drift freely.”

From that day forward, Puffy created the most magnificent cloud creatures across the skies. And not one other cloud even suspected his past gloomy misdeeds. But whenever Puffy shaped a spectacular mermaid or mighty dragon, he remembered two things: creativity, kindness, and community joy far outshine cruel mischief, and even the gloomiest heart can transform to spill sunshine rays wider than any cloud artist’s grandest imaginings stretched over the bluest sky.

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