Many critics compare the balloonman to Pan, the half-man, half-goat god of the satyrs. In fact, the entire collection of Chansons Inocentes out of which "in Just-" comes features repeated references to the "goat-footed" old man who dominates the scene in our poem. What difference does it make if the balloonman actually is Pan (and not just some elderly gentleman from the street)? Well, for one thing, Pan’s usually associated with sexuality and desire. That’s not really the sort of stuff you want to have around innocent little kids, is it?