This story begins with two tiny particles. Their names were Payaos and Stander. When Payaos and Stander were little, their parents explained to the two little molecules about the water cycle and how the two friends could run it together someday.
Payaos and Stander lived in a large lake. One day, as the sun warmed the lake surface, Payaos told Stander, “Let’s go and explore the water cycle together.”
“Okay” Stander answered. They floated to the surface of the lake, and the sun’s energy allowed Payaos, Stander, and many of their friends to evaporate and slowly drift up into the sky.
“Here we go!” Payaos yelled to Stander.
“What’s happening?” asked Stander.
“We’re starting the water cycle” answered Payaos.
Surprisingly, Payaos, Stander, and all their other friends didn’t stay in the sky too long. As soon as enough of them accumulated, they became large, fluffy clouds. When even more of their friends accumulated, they began to condense into heavy droplets.
“Stander,” exclaimed Payaos, “Why don’t we visit the trees on the mountain side?”
“Well, I really don’t want to do that” replied Stander. “I would rather go and visit the river instead.”
Payaos suddenly looked shocked. The two raindrops always agreed on everything. However, now was a time when the two didn’t agree on something. Payaos looked hurt by this. Then he shouted out to Stander,
“Fine! I don’t care what you do. Just leave me.”
“Okay but- “
However, Payaos shouted: “LEAVE!” Shocked, and with a heavy heart, Stander just backed off.
Quickly, the clouds began to rumble. Payaos was in the front. That meant Payaos would fall out first.
When Payaos fell out as precipitation, all the other raindrops could hear him screaming.
After a short time of falling, Payaos landed on the mountain side. Soon he fell right in the soil. As he infiltrated into the ground, he felt himself moving down into the groundwater. Payaos felt the roots of thirsty trees suck him up into the trees. The pressure in the tree forced him up until he could leave through the tree’s needles by transpiration.
Meanwhile, after landing on the mountain side, Stander went slipping and sliding, as runoff, down the snowy mountains. A moment later, Stander found himself in a fast-moving river.
“Yes!” Stander cried, “This is exactly what I wanted to do.”
As Stander was floating in the river, he saw Payaos in a tree hanging by the tip of a leave. Stander could hear yell to him:
“Hey Stander! I’m sorry I yelled at you! I should have realized that we can’t always do things together all the time! I’m sorry!”
Stander thought for a moment. Then he replied: “I accept your apology! Thanks, Payaos!”
“I’ll meet you back up in the clouds!” Stander shouted “Then we can talk about our water cycle adventure!”
Payaos and Stander saw that some of their friends landed as snowflakes on a nearby glacier. They both saw how sublimation changed them from solid flakes, into gas, which allowed them to float back up into the clouds.