Monday, November 16, 2015

Fabienne and the Trip to Mars

Fabienne wanted to watch Grover on TV but Mama was watching the news.  Patiently, Fabienne listened to the news because it would soon be over and time for Grover.

"And, finally," the announcer said, "this report from NASA that the Mars explorer robot, Curiosity, seems to be stuck in the sand.  Engineers say it might be the end of the road for Curiosity.  To end our news broadcast, here's a cute cat video."

Fabienne listened to the meowing cats but her thoughts were on Mars and poor old Curiosity stuck in the sand.

Later that night Fabienne was tucked into bed and looked out her window into the night sky.  There was Mars, the red planet, glowing softly in the darkness of space.

"I wish I could do something to help Curiosity," Fabienne said aloud.

"Maybe there is," said a voice in her room.

Fabienne sat up in her bed, somewhat alarmed, and whispered, "Who said that?"

"I did," said her fairy wings and they fluttered across the room and settled on Fabienne's back.  "I did," the fairy wings said again as if the first time was not enough.

"Can you take me to Mars?  Can we help Curiosity?" Fabienne asked.

"Yes and yes.  But, it's a long trip.  We'll need some cake and apple juice.  Do you think you could manage that?" the wings said.

"No problem," said Fabienne.  With that she jumped out of her bed, ran into the kitchen, put a piece of cake into a sack, then a second piece (just to be sure), grabbed some apple juice and returned to her room.

"Wonderful!" exclaimed the wings, "Let's fly!"

And with that Fabienne found herself flying up and up and up.  She looked down and her house was just a little speck.  Soon her town was a little speck.  And in no time at all the entire Earth was just a little speck.

Fabienne looked up and saw Mars looming large and red.  In an instant Fabienne was flying over the Red Planet looking down at mountains and canyons and vast dunes of red sand.

Shortly, they were on the surface and there was Curiosity.  Fabienne walked up to Curiosity and put a hand on its side.  "Hello, Curiosity, I'm Fabienne," she said.

Curiosity sighed and replied, "Hello, Fabienne.  Nice to meet you but I must say I'm not at my best.  I seem to be stuck in this sand."

Fabienne offered a suggestion.  "Would it help if I pushed?" she asked.

Curiosity giggled and said, "But you're so tiny.  I'm not sure you could help a big robot like me."

Fabienne narrowed her eyes and gave Curiosity her determined look.  "You'd be surprised what I can do," said Fabienne.  And with that Fabienne commanded, "Fairy wings, let's push!"

Push they did, fairy wings and Fabienne and to Curiosity's surprise it was soon out of the sand and on to solid ground.

"Oh, my!" exclaimed Curiosity, "You did it!  You saved me!  How can I ever repay you?"

Fabienne smiled and said, "Well, it was hard work.  Perhaps you'd like to join me with some cake and apple juice."

Curiosity said, "I'd be delighted," and extended a sensor probe.

After they had cake and apple juice Fabienne bid Curiosity farewell and set off for home.

The next day Fabienne was waiting for Grover to come on the TV but the news was on.  "Oh, news," Fabienne thought, "please be over soon."

The TV said, "And, finally, from NASA it appears that the Mars robot Curiosity has got itself unstuck from the sand and is on solid ground.  NASA was very happy at this development but reported that some of Curiosity's sensors may have to recalibrate.  A NASA spokesman said, "Everything seemed OK until we analyzed the data download.  Instead of a rock analysis it appears that Curiosity reported cake and apple juice.  We're sure there's a simple explanation."

Fabienne smiled, fairy wings fluttered, and, sure, there was a very simple explanation.

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