@greenmangoes Thank you so much for commenting. My point for the story's title and using words like the "thing" was to remain ambiguous. This story can be interpreted as the reader pleases. My kids were read this story and then we discuss what the title really meant. For my 2yo, I chose to keep it as is, for my older one, terrorist and bomb were used to explain.
I wanted the story to allow parents to make up their own minds, to tell their children as they saw fit. Of course, the message in the end was the most important part and I want that to be the main take away.