Sun, Sand and Sunlets

It was a cool windy day in November as Elsa and her family pulled into their cousins’ driveway in Campbell River.  There was fog along the coastline and heavy dark clouds overhead.  It felt like it might begin snowing at any time. They all piled out of their vehicle and went inside to visit.  Kayley’s home was warm and inviting, with a smell of freshly baked cookies and muffins coming from the kitchen. Soon all the parents were visiting in the living room, sipping coffee and sampling the freshly baked treats.  Elsa, Kayley, Hannah and Kamma retreated to the playroom where they were greeted by a mountain of toys, games and entertainment treasures.  Kayley’s Mom brought in a big dish of cookies and hot chocolate to warm them up.
After about an hour of playing, Kayley had an idea.  She suggested that all four of them go down to the beach and have a little picnic.  They could pack a small lunch, warm drinks and make a little tent between the logs to keep warm.  They all agreed that would be more fun than being cooped up in their playroom, listening to their parents talking to each other. Both Mom’s said, “Ok, as long as everyone dresses warm and stays together.  And especially be careful crossing the highway onto the beach.  Make sure to use the pedestrian signal light.”
All four girls yelled with excitement as they got into their warm clothes and put on their backpacks full of food and drinks.  They went out the door and headed down to the beach, which was only about two blocks away.  As they walked along the sidewalk, they could hear the waves crashing onto the shore and sea gulls squawking.  Wind was blowing up sand and small pieces of papers along the side of the highway.
After they safely crossed the highway they headed down to the ocean and felt the water.  It was freezing cold!  The wind continued to gust and blow sand around making it very uncomfortable.  The girls were about to head back home when suddenly the wind stopped and it got a little warmer. A misty white image approached the startled girls and said, “Hi Hannah.  It’s great to see you again!”

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Hannah looked up and said, “Winnie!  How are you?  I haven’t seen you since that night we rescued that big Chinese Airliner.” Winnie said, “Right, it has been a long time.  Who are your friends?”
Hannah said, “This is my sister Kayley, and my two cousins, Elsa and Kamma.  They are here from Nanaimo visiting us for the day.  We were going to have a picnic down here but I think it is too windy, cool and foggy.” “Hey Hannah” said Winnie, “I can make things more comfortable for you right now.” Winnie turned to the ocean, opened her mouth wide and blew all the low clouds and fog far out in the ocean.  She then signaled to her other wind buddies to take a break and move on to another area of the beach, until Hannah and her cousins leave, so they could enjoy a nice picnic.
“Thanks,” said Hannah.  “That is a lot better now, there is even a little blue sky, but it is still cool.”  The girls had now built a little shelter and all snuggled together.  They gazed out onto the ocean and watched as the birds flew around and occasionally dove into the water coming up with a little fresh lunch. Winnie laid down next to Hannah to rest.  She had been working all night and was very tired.
Kamma then said, “Hey this is great!  Too bad it just wasn’t a wee bit warmer then we could take a walk along the beach.” Just then Elsa said, “Hey look at that big flock of crow’s way up in the sky.  They’re heading for Quadra Island.  They probably have nests over there.”

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Before Elsa could say another word the lead crow broke away from the flock and headed directly to where the girls were sitting.  Elsa got a little frighten and snuggled up against Kayley. As the bird approached it called out, “Kayley!  Kayley, how are you?  I haven’t seen you since that time we had to chase that bad dog away from you up by Merecroft Shopping Centre.” Kayley immediately stuck out her arm and the big crow landed on her hand.

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“Hey girls, this is my good friend Crowley!  He is the one I looked after when he broke his wing a long time ago and then he saved me from a vicious dog a few years later.”
Crowley then said, “Who are your friends Kayley?”
“These are my cousins, Elsa and Kamma from Nanaimo.  I guess you remember my little sister Hannah?” said Kayley. “Oh I remember you Hannah. You were still a little baby the last time I saw you,” said Crowley, then he continued, “Nice to meet you girls.  What are you doing out here on a cool November afternoon?” “We are having a little picnic but it got too windy and cool and we were going to head home, but Hannah’s friend Winnie came by and stopped the wind for us so it wouldn’t be too cold” said Kayley. “What!  Is Winnie here?  I haven’t seen her since we all had a Get Together on a beach near Sayward and had to put out a forest fire a few years ago,” said Crowley.”

“She is sleeping over there right now” said Kayley. “Ok, I will let her rest,” said Crowley. Then Kamma said, “I sure wish the sun would come out to warm things up a bit.” Crowley thought a minute then said to Kamma, “I think I may be able to help you girls get warm, and maybe even make the sun come out.” “Wow!  Can you?” all four girls yelled. “Yes.  I have two good friends named Heatley and Brightley.  They are called sunlets and their Mom and Dad work together to form the real sun in the sky.  One day, when the sunlets get older, they will become the real sun in the sky and take over from their Mom and Dad.  Right now they are too small to work as the sun, so they are just learning all about heating and lighting the world.  Would you like to meet them?” asked Crowley. “Yes, yes,” shouted the girls.
“Ok.  I will see if I can find them.  I will have to fly real high up in the sky to look for them.  Be back soon” said Crowley. Then with a flutter of feathers he was gone, soaring high up in amongst the grey billowing clouds and soon out of sight. Elsa then said, “I wonder what the “sunlets will look like?” “I have no idea,” replied Kayley.
About 20 minutes later the girls all peered up in the cloudy skies, and could see two small bright yellow lights coming down quickly towards them.  They all huddled together both in fear and excitement, not knowing what to expect.

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Then the bright lights landed on the sand a few feet from the girls.  Crowley touched down first, then Heatley and Brightley. “Hey girls, these are my sunlet friends, Heatley and Brightley,” said Crowley.  The girls just stared at them and said, “Hi.”The Sunlets were about 12 inches round, had tiny arms and legs but each had a friendly face with big smiles.  They glowed with a warm sensation of light.

Then Heatley said, “Don’t be frightened, I am Heatley and this is my sister Brightley.  We are called Sunlets.  Our Mother is called Solar and our Father is called Sangster.  Our Mom gives off light, Dad gives off heat and together they make up the Big Sun.” Heatley continued, “You see the sun is a huge star, it is about four and a half billion years old and way bigger than the entire earth.  It is the closest star to the earth being about 150 million kilometres away.  The sun affects the weather and climate for the entire world.  The temperature on the surface of the sun is about 5,500 degrees Celsius.

Wouldn’t take long to roast a wiener or marshmallow there for sure!  When my sister and I grow up we will take over the job of being the sun when our Mom and Dad retire.  I give off heat and my sister provides bright light.  But right now we are learning all about things and just being kids like you.”  By the way, what are your names?” Then Crowley said, “Well this is Kayley and Hannah and their two cousins Elsa and Kamma.” Then Kamma said, “Could I stand by you Heatley as I am quite cold.”
“For sure, come here and warm up next to me,” said Heatley.  Kamma slowly moved over to her new found acquaintance.
Just then Brightley’s phone rang quietly and she began to talk to someone.  After a brief conversation she placed the phone back in her rear pocket.  She then said, “That was my parents and they were wondering if you would like them to warm up the beach for you so you could enjoy your picnic?”

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The four girls and Crowley all said together, “Right On!  Sure, Great!” Brightley told the girls there are a few strict rules everyone must follow while out in the bright sun.

The rules were:
1. Never look directly at the Sun.
2. Always use sunscreen on exposed areas of your skin.
3. Wear a hat or head protection to prevent burning.
4. Wear sunglasses to prevent squinting and eye damage.
Then Brightley handed out some hats, sunscreen and glasses to everyone.  Suddenly there was a bright light shining through the clouds.  The clouds seemed to evaporate and disappear.  Then the sun appeared and blue sky could be seen all around Campbell River. The temperature warmed up and with the slight sea breeze it was perfect conditions for a beach picnic.  Even Kamma warmed up and took her place back on the log beside Hannah.  They took down their little shelter and enjoyed the warm sunny conditions.
Kayley and the rest of the girls opened up their packsacks and set out food for themselves, Crowley, and the two sunlets.  They all ate and told stories of their own adventures. Soon more people arrived on the beach to enjoy the unusually warm weather.  After they had their picnic lunch they ran along the beach in and out of the waves that were coming onto the beach.  They built sandcastles, played frizz bee and looked for different kinds of shells and driftwood. Heatley and Brightley said they never usually get to come down to the earth to play with other kids so this was a real treat for them!
Soon it was becoming a bit darker and cooler and Elsa noticed the sun had moved behind a cloud and farther to the west.  The two sunlets noticed the temperature and light change too and told Crowley and the girls that they had better get back up in the sky with their Mom and Dad.  They politely shook hands with everyone and thanked them for the picnic. “Maybe we will see you another time for a visit.  If you ever need us to provide a little light and heat just give us a call or contact Crowley.  He usually knows where we are in the world.  Remember our sun rules!” The sunlets then handed each girl a sun card with contact information.
The girls and Crowley then watched as Heatley and Brightley slowly floated back up into the darkened sky.  Their glowing light became dimmer and dimmer until finally they were out of sight. Crowley checked his watch and noticed it was going on 4:30 pm and time for him to head home too.  He said good bye to the girls, gave Kayley a special little peck on the cheek and he too was off into the cloudy skies. Just then Winnie woke up.  Hannah said, “Oh Winnie you missed all the excitement, we had a visit from two sunlets, Heatley and Brightley but they had to leave to go home.  You also missed a visit from Crowley.” “Too bad”, said Winnie, “Guess I will email him my regards when I get home tonight.

I must get back to work now.  I hope you enjoyed your wind free picnic.” Suddenly there was a big gust of wind, sand flew across the beach and Winnie was gone.  Elsa said, “I guess we better get back as it is getting dark and cold.”  The girls packed up their stuff, carefully crossed the highway at the pedestrian stoplight and walked down the sidewalk towards Kayley’s house.

All four of them walked into the house and immediately their parents began laughing at them. “Hey, Halloween is over girls,” said Kayley’s Dad. The girls had forgotten to take off the hats and sunglasses that the sunlets had given them at the beach.  They all looked into the mirror at themselves and had a little laugh too. “How was the weather down by the beach?” asked Kamma’s Dad.  “It looked like it was cold and windy when you left.”
“Well it was cool and windy when we got there but then it got hot and sunny, perfect weather for our picnic,” said Elsa. “Almost like magic how the weather could change so fast” said Elsa’s Mom. “Yes, amazing what a few mystical friends could do,” said Kayley. “Mystical Friends?” laughed Kayley’s Mom, “You girls sure have a good imagination!  And where did you get those hats and sunglasses from?  I guess you are going to say they just dropped out of the sky, ha ha ha?”

Hannah and Kamma together said, “They really did!”  The girls all hugged each other and skipped out of the room giggling.

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