The sun shone brightly in the sky to the west of the main cloud in CloudVille. It was a beautiful day, but the residents of CloudVille didn’t seem to notice. They were much too busy tending to what mattered to them the most, themselves.

“Hello Mrs. Smith,” said six year old Sally, watching the elderly woman tend to her garden.

“Don’t you have anything better to do,” snapped Mrs. Smith. “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

Sally hung her head down and walked away.

“Mr. Brown!” exclaimed Sally, when she saw her neighbour step onto his back porch.

“Leave child,” said Mr. Brown, shooing Sally away with his hands. “I’ve got so much to do today.”

Sally stopped dead in her tracks and stood wide-eyed and speechless at Mr. Brown.

“What is going on?” Sally asked herself. “Everyone in CloudVille is so grouchy.”

Sally walked home to the cloud her parents lived on.

“Mommy!” called Sally. “I’m home.”

“Oh hello Sally,” said Mother from the kitchen. “How was school?”

“It was okay,” said Sally.

“You seem bothered by something,” said Mother.

“Well,” said Sally. “Everyone in CloudVille seems so grouchy.”

Mother went over to the kitchen window and pulled the curtains across.

“Oh dear!” exclaimed Mother, quickly closing the curtains. “No wonder everyone is so grouchy. There is a giant black cloud heading straight toward CloudVille!”

Sally knew the routine well. She quickly helped her Mother bolt the doors and shutters of their house. Then she grabbed the blankets and pillows off the beds and took them to the basement. Her Mother joined her a few minutes later.

For nearly three hours, Mother and Sally stayed in the basement, huddled together, with blankets over their shoulders.

“This is a bad storm,” said Sally.

“Yes,” said Mother. “I think this is one of the worst.”

A crack of lightning lit the corner of the basement, directly below the basement window.

“Put the pillow over your head,” said Mother, doing the same.

A few seconds later, a deafening roar of thunder could be heard.

“Are you okay?” asked Mother.

“Yes,” said Sally. “I am. Boy, that was loud.”

“Yes,” said Mother. “But listen.”

Sally listened hard for a moment, but didn’t hear a thing.

“I don’t hear anything,” said Sally.

“Yes I know,” said Mother. “I think the storm is over.”

“Really,” said Sally.

Mother and Sally went upstairs and took a look out the window. The storm was definitely over.

There was a knock at the door a few minutes later. Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brown were at the door.

“We just wanted to make sure you survived the storm,” said Mrs. Smith.

“We are both fine,” said Mother.

“We also wanted to apologize to Sally,” said Mr. Brown. “We were very rude to her.”

“Apology accepted,” said Sally, noticing the homemade apple pie Mrs. Smith was holding.

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