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A blimp nursery can seem pretty small, once you reach a certain age. Uncle Elvin was a great dad, and the Spatuloso taught us how to respect ourselves as blimps. But breaking through the outer leaves of the nursery and into the wild wide skies is something we all knew would have to happen sometime.
Soap Lotus was a rebel, a loner, and had to go his own way earlier than the rest of us. He was the oldest, and always had something to prove. He taught the rest of us a lot. We just wish we knew where he ended up.
Me, I've spent more time in the blimp barn than anybody else--tinkering, inventing, everything from simple repairs to designing whole new aerodynamic flows. Now I'm headed off to an apprenticeship, working at the mighty Blueshard Shipyards, home of the most advanced airship facilities in the hemisphere.
Sure, I'm young, but I just know I can show those crusty old Zeppelins a thing or two and truly make my mark!
I guess I’ve fallen in with a rough crowd here. Leroy, Burt, Evenander the Psychic, Scarred Lil, Jimmy the Put Up, Little Gnarls, and PJ. They do what it takes to extract a living off the streets here in Coconutville, and what they do isn’t always pretty. I thought by now I’d have a steady job, and an apartment, maybe with a view of the bay... instead we live in the abandoned warehouse district, Evenander pulling them in, Little Gnarls holding them up, PJ going in for the bag and tossing it up in the air to me on a flyby. We meet back at our latest flop and divvy it out, making a meal out of whatever Burt and Scarred Lil can scrape up and Leroy dishing it out.
It’s not the life I meant to choose, but at least I’ve got a posse.
You'd think that a young blimp in a coconut grove would have an easier time finding a job. My arms are too stubby to be a fast enough dishwasher, and I'm not big enough yet to carry a load that anybody will pay for. So I've made some friends in Coconutville and we hang out in the park a lot. They're looking for jobs too but can't find a proper one either. We play basketball and everybody wants me on their team because I get really good air.
Boy is it good to finally leave the nest and set off on my own. Our little cloud nest was built for babies, and I'm more than ready to start cruising on my own. I'd heading off to the islands where the coconuts grow--my father was a big Coconut Millionaire back in the Cocomania days, and we had a good life. But a blimp has to make it on their own, right? I figure I'll pick up some dish washing work, or something in the food industry, while I get the lay of the land.
Oh boy is it fun running with a wild pack of adolescent blimps! It wasn't so long ago, way before I had this strange medallion of mysterious origin sewn into my head, that I was a young pup myself, running wild in the streets of my home town, scrapping for a crust of stale bread, being beaten by passers-by, then having to give up the stale bread crust to Rumio, the head of the Street Urchin Union. Yes, those were the days.
But really this is way better. We swoop through the mountain valleys, chasing herds of deer and bunnies, then follow the rivers to the oceans, occasionally supping on a wild helium spring to refresh ourselves, then over the hills and far away to do it all again! And all the blimps are developing quite nicely, with shimmering sheens of opalescent pinks and purples on their bellies and fins. It's hard to believe that a time will soon come when they truly leave the nest and set off on their own.
Oh boy do blimps grow up fast! Seems like just the other day I was watching them take their first glides, cleaning up their little helium burps. But now they've grown into a small pack, with instincts as strong as any wolves or coyotes. They've got a ton of energy, so I take them out on runs in the Spatuloso to hone their skills, hurtling through the thunderheads, and finding scents in the clouds and chemtrails. I need to be sure they can control their impulses, or at least be sure that I can.
Oh boy being an airship captain is hard work! Especially when the whole crew leaves you. They weren’t happy about being baby blimp caregivers, so they all took their remaining shares of the coconuts and went to seek their fortunes.
But the magic ancient alien medallion that’s sewn into my head assures me I’ve made the right choice. And the baby blimps are becoming more manageable as we get into a routine. Also they really like it when I sing songs and read books at circle time.
Oh boy taking care of baby blimps is a big job! As soon as you get the last one down for a fluffy cloud nap the first one wakes up and it starts all over again, singing blimpy lullabies and rocking them to sleep in the moonlight. Or the sunset. Or the sunrise. Or at noon.
And the toddler blimps are their own kind of handful, tearing around the sky and bumping into each other and falling down. And don't get me started about the biters!
Turns out didn't just invest in this blimp farm, but we bought the farm! And it's months till any of them are big enough to leave the nest. The crew is feeling a bit put out, because this is lots harder than sitting under a palm tree drinking coconut milk. They're not really feeling their nurturing sides right now.
Oh boy do I love blimp nurseries! All those newborn blimps, still dripping with embryonic helium, perched on the spindly tendrils of pearly cloud spiralling out from the Mother Ship in the purple sky. This truly is one of our most precious resources, and the crew and I stand in awe of its magnificence. We really did make the right choice about sinking our tremendous coconut-currency windfall into this new investment opportunity, and are sure that we've put our money and our trust into the right hands.
Speaking of, where did those blimp caregivers go? We just transported our coconut riches to their ship, and they seem to have disappeared off into the clouds.... and these baby blimps are starting to cry. Hey you blimp caregiver people! Come back here!
Oh boy this medallion in my head is starting to ACHE! It’s been trying to tell me something ever since we started rolling in all our coconut-currency dough. And that is that true happiness doesn’t come from mere wealth accumulation, but from making the world a better place.
Which is why we’ve decided to invest our newly-found riches in Blimp Nurseries! You know—those spindly cotton cloud constructions where blimps are born, crawling along the vapor trails like a million baby spiders leaving the nest? Those!
If we can help grow the next generation of airship travel, imagine the impact on the world! The culture! The economy! A blimp in every aerodrome! Children will ask their parents “Can I borrow the keys the the blimp?” Consumer goods delivered by air as part-time jobs for the poor! All the world’s wrongs righted.
So tomorrow we meet with a blimp nursery investment firm. Time to put this hairy nut money to work!