Long ago in the far reaches of space…
there was a large wandering spaceship, home to the Dwalen Robots. The Dwalens were small robots who traveled the Universe, collecting information and then sharing it on the many screens inside their ship. Inside every efficient Dwalen robot body there was a hole. The hole had no purpose, it was just the hole-without-specifications. One day, the Dwalen’s ship zoomed into the Milky Way. Near a small yellow star at the edge of the galaxy, they found a pretty blue planet called Earth. Normally the Dwalens would quietly orbit a planet, observing and sharing information with each other on their screens, but this time something new happened. One Dwalen—a robot named Pon, who was bored that day—turned his head from his screen and took a different look at planet Earth.
With his satellite-powered vision Pon tracked the activity of the Earthlings below. “They are very busy, like robots,” he thought. “And they travel, a lot!” Pon watched as Earthlings piled themselves and their things into vehicles—cars, trains, buses, planes—and crisscrossed the planet. The most energetic and interesting Earthlings seemed to be the smallest ones, known as Kids. These Kids ran, jumped, played and made things. The Dwalens didn’t make anything except replacement parts for their ship, but these Kids made all sorts of things out of clay, wood, paper and other materials.
Pon wanted to learn more about Earth and its Kids, so he got permission to visit the planet and gather further information. Leaving the Dwalen ship behind, he orbited Earth in an observation capsule. Pon flew over the Earth’s surface, visiting mountains, coasts, villages and cities.
Everywhere, he saw Kids busy making things. They called this Arts + Crafts, and they shared and traded what they made. It was fascinating.
Pon landed his capsule and gathered the courage to talk to a group of Kids who were working together, crafting things out of wood. The Kids stopped in surprise as the robot approached them and one, a little girl named Sally, was happy to explain what they were doing. Sally told Pon how they liked to make things and how they liked to travel. She said, that making arts & crafts projects, was a good way to pass the time on long trips and breaks from school. These ideas were all very new to Pon.
Then Sally explained things SO new that Pon was certain that no Dwalen had ever encountered them in any corner of space. She told Pon about IMAGINATION and CREATIVITY, powerful and limitless forces. Pon understood that every Earthling Kid possessed these very special powers of imagination and creativity but he was sure no Dwalen did. After much listening, Pon asked Sally “Why do you enjoy making arts + crafts?” “Because it’s FUN,” Sally replied.
Pon felt a funny itchy feeling in his robot chest when he heard the word FUN. He cautiously approached one of the Kid’s completed project’s —a set of colorful wooden cars. Pon delighted in the colors, in the smooth feel of the wood, and as he did, he felt something very warm in his chest. Then a strange thing happened: a red shape filled the hole in Pon’s robot chest—the previously empty hole-without-specifications—and it looked like this:
“Look, you have a heart!” Sally said, and it was true. Pon had felt the joy that comes from FUN.
Pon thought to himself and then declared, “We need Earthling Kids to help us learn to use our imaginations to make arts & crafts and have fun. Good things like fun come from crafts, and this fun fits the hole-without-specifications perfectly.” Pon felt great satisfaction in this logic. “I must return to my ship to share this information with the other Dwalens.” Pon felt the glow of his new warm heart as he thanked Sally and her friends, climbed into his capsule and sped back to the Dwalen ship.
Onboard the ship, Pon told the other Dwalens his story and showed them his new heart. They were amazed. Each robot was eager to learn about arts & crafts and FUN and to fill their own hole-without-specifications with a new heart shape.
A team was organized to travel to Earth; to learn from Kids, monitor their craft-making and to understand more about imagination. The robots onboard the Dwalen ship began to receive information transmitted from Kids all over Earth. As Pon scanned the transmissions from Earth he noticed something: though Kids loved arts + crafts and traveling, they sometimes had trouble creating things on the go without making a big mess.
Hmmm… Pon knew the Dwalens could help.
He thought carefully and addressed the Dwalen Robots: “Earthling Kids have taught us about imagination, creativity and FUN. Now they need our help! We must create arts & craft kits that Kids can travel with. If they can take their creativity to go, they can bring imagination everywhere!” The Dwalens agreed and all set to work building a craft kit workshop—a new Dwalen Robot many times larger than themselves to manufacture arts + crafts kits that travel well. They named it the ArtsBot. Production of travel-friendly arts + crafts kits began immediately and as the first kits poured out of the ArtsBot, Pon felt very proud.