Little boy plane Pedro (1)
Once upon a time, in a little airport near Santiago, Chili, there lived three little airplanes.
There was a papa plane, a mama plane, and a baby plane.
The papa plane was a big, powerful mail plane. The mama plane was a middle-sized female plane. And the baby was a little boy plane named Pedro.
Pedro's great ambition in life was to grow up to be a big plane. Like his father, he wanted to carry the mail between Chili and Argentina.
So he drank his gasoline every day like a good little plane, and went to ground school to learn the ABC's of flying.
In the little airport schoolhouse he studied reading, sky writing, and arithmeticーall in Spanish, of course, because he was a little South American plane.
He also studied history and geography.
And in geography he learned the mail route between Santiago and Mendoza, over the mighty Andes, past Aconcagua, highest mountain in the western hemisphere.
This was the most fun, because Pedro could picture himself slicing through the clouds and skimming past the mountain peaks, carrying the mail over that route.
That day came sooner than he expected.
Little boy plane Pedro (2)
One morning the papa plane was laid up with a cold in his cylinder head, so he couldn't fly the mail.
He just stayed in his hanger sneezing and wiping his windshield.
The mama plane couldn't stand the altitude because she had high oil pressure, so she couldn't fly the mail.
But everyone knows the mail must go through, and there was only Pedro to take it.
The papa plane and the mama plane talked it over in row whisper, and finally they called little Pedro.
"you, my son, " mumbled the papa plane, " will have to carry the mail today. "
And he gave him a long list of instruction.
" And, " the papa plane said sternly, " whatever you do, don't you near Acon-katchoo! Acon-ca kachoo! Aconcagua. "
" Flight Two leaving for Mendoza, " chanted the signal tower.
" That's me ! " grinned Pedro,and he swung into position on the runway, with his propeller whirring briskly.
"All clear , pedro, " called the papa plane from his hanger." Let 'er go. "
Pedro waved a wing in the direction of his parents' hanger. Then, looking as stern and grown-up as he could, he took off !
Down the runway Pedro hopped.
Little boy plane Pedro (3)
Pedro took a deep breath and clear a stone wall at the end of runwayーthat is, he almost cleared it.
A few small stones clattered to the ground as he zoomed over.
" Don't lose your flying speed ! " he heard his father shout from the ground.
And up into the air flew Pedro.
The radio tower ducked as he swept past ; the school bell clanged as he flew right through the tower ; but Pedro kept on !
He had a hard time of it, struggling for altitude.
After all, this was his first big chance to carry the mail just as his father did.
Soon Pedro was in the mountains.Looking right and left, he kept a careful distance between himself and the mountain peaks.
But suddenlyーoh-h-h-h-h-h !
Down fell Pedro, slipping between the jagged peaks at such terrific speed that his muffler and cap ripped loose and floated down behind him.
Pedro was caught in a dreaded down draft !
He fought against the downward pull with all his strength.
At last he managed to push his nose up and pull out. For the moment he was safe again !
Pedro kept on flying.
Now, Pedro was heading into the range of snowy peaks.
He was doing all right !
In fact Pedro felt on top of the world whenーsuddenly he shuddered in every cylinder.
He stared ahead open-mouthed, then dashed behind a cloud. From this hiding-place he popped his head out for another look.
Sure enough, he was face to face with that towering monarch of the Andes, Aconcagua !
Little boy plane Pedro (４)
And most frightening of all, the jagged crags of the mountainside seemed to form a huge, evil, forbidding stone face which glared fiercely at little Pedro through the clouds.
Taking deep breath, Pedro shot forward, raced behind a huge cloud, Pedro shot forward, raced behind a huge cloud, and came out on the other side of the peak, safe and pleased with himself.
The worst was over now.
Now it was clear sailing to Mendoza.
Pedro came into the Mendoza airport just as he had been taught, and soon spied the mailbag on the hangar hook.
It was waiting the mail plane, and heーPedroーwas that mail plane.
Almost bursting with pride, Pedro rolled over on his back and floated down toward the dangling sack.
He hooked it nearly over one wing, and in another moment he was one wing, and in another moment he was flying off again.
Now the mountains loomed ahead once more, but Pedro was not disturbed.
He was homeward boundーand ahead of schedule !
" I'll bet mother and dad will be proud of me, " he thought.
Just for practice he did a few barrel rolls and loop-the-loops.
He sailed on his back in lazy circles.
He dove through couds. He hd a wonderful time.
But he forgot all about being a grown-up mail plane with a job to do.
He forgot all about the mountains, and his mother and father waiting beyond them.
He spied a giant condor, and chased the ugly bird all over the sky.
Before long Pedro lost track of the condor in a dense fog which shrouded mountains.
He was flying blindly through the fog, making brave little machine-gun noises to fog, making brave little machine-gun noises to keep his spirits up.
Before him loomed Aconcagua, shrouded in low clouds. The monster-face formed by its rocky, snow-filled crags frowned threateningly at poor Pedro.
The oil froze in little Pedro's cylinders; his moter knocked with fright.
All the warnings he had ever heard came back to hime nowーthe treacherous cross currents, the sudden mountain stoms.
Bravely he headed toward the peak.
Pedro 実は、DISNEY の物語だったのです。
Little boy plane Pedro (5)
Now the storm broke loose with a roar of fury and fastened itself upon Pedro.
The lightning lashed out at him, the thunder roared its treats, rain blinded him, and the wind kept shoving and buffeting him toward the mountain.
Suddenly his windshield wipers shuddered, and he spun around in midair.
The mountain's solid wall of rock loomed just aheadof him !
Pedro hurled his weight to one side in a steep bank.
One wing clipped a shower of rocks loose from the mountainside, and Pedro spun dizzily.
Before he could right himself, the mailbag dropped from his wing !
" I really need altitudeーfast !ーto get out of this," Pedro thought grimly, " But I've got to deliver the mail. "
So instead of climbing to safety, the brave little plane dove through the storm after the lost mailbag.
Straining his eyes through the blackness, he caught sight of the mailbag, being tossed by the wind below him.
Down he shot, into the heart of storm, and grabbed the bag on a wing.
" Now I've got to climb ! " he told himself, while the wind tossed and buffeted him.
Up, up into the storm Pedro climbed. Snow coated the plane, and heaped up on the mailbag.
The extra weight dragged Pedro back.
" More altitude ! " he thought.
" I need twenty-five thousand feet ! "
Pedro flashed a glance at his altimeter; it read fifteen thousand.
He tilted his nose up and flew hard.
The altimeter crawled up to twenty thousand.
Up and still up he fought his way, shaking off the snow as the air cleared around him.
Now the altimeter hand pointed to twenty-five thousand !
" Boy, I made it ! " Pedro managed a tired grin.
" Now all I have to do is level off and head for home. "
But just as he got his nose pointed safely toward the home airport, Pedro started coughing and sputtering, and he couldn't stop it.
Suddenly an awful thought flashed through Pedro's mind.
He glanced at his fuel gauge.
He was out of gas !
And still coughing and sputtering, poor Pedro began to fall toward the mountains.
Little boy plane Pedro (6) 完
Back at the home airport, Pedro's parents searched the empty skies in vain.
They saw blackness gather over the mountain peaks, and knew that it meant a storm.
The hours passed, but there was no sign of their little son, Pedro.
From the signal tower lights combed the sky.
At last they went out, and the tower slept.
The papa and mama planes strained to see through the fog, but their eyes blinked sadly.
Their brave little son was goneーanother martyr to the mail service.
Poor little fellow, and on his first flight, too !
Suddenly a distant of sound caught their ears.
They looked up hopefully.
The eyes of tower opened, and searchlights flashed into the sky.
It couldn't beーbut, yes it was Pedro!
He hit the runway headfirst, and bounced along upside down.
But he had made it！
His parents taxied out to meet him.
" Pedro ! Petey, boy, are you all right ? " the mama and papa planes cried.
As the serchlight beamed on him, Pedro opened his eyes, smiled wearily.
" Ahem ! It may not have been exactly a three-point landing, " said the proud papa plane, " but he did fulfill his mission. Pedro did the most important thing. He brought the mail through. "
Pedro wiggled one wing, and his papa unhooked the mailbag and opened it.
There was one card inside.
The papa plane looked at it.
" ESta divertiendome, " it read. " Having a wonderful time. "
" Hmmm, " said the papa plane.
" Well, it might have been important. And he did bring in the mail. "
Pedro nodded his sleepy head and smiled.
And so the papa plane, the mama plane, and little Pedro flew happily ever after.
And in time, Pedro became the most famous plane ever to fly the route from Santiago to Mendoza !