Enigma 426: Time and again - From New Scientist #1576, 3rd September 1987 [link] Time and again, you’ve been asked to sort out letters-for-digits puzzles, where digits are consistently...
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Doll crafted from a peg and scraps of material.
Photo then manipulated in Painter IX
Sunday Scribblings prompt today is "Three Wishes"
Once upon a time not so very long ago, nor so very far away, but just long enough ago and far enough away to be beyond the reach of you today. Or maybe not. Once in this time there was a girl. She was the apple of her father's eye, the pearl in her mother's oyster, the darling of the whole family and yet...
And yet she had more curiosity than in that time and in that place was considered good for little girls. This being a time when the little girl who was considered good was the one who was also obedient and did not speak unless spoken to. To ask questions was to test the patience of all around her.
And to wander off exploring was a going-to-bed-without-any-supper act the first time, a being spanked on the bottom plus a week's worth of no suppers the second time. So you may be surprised to learn that there was a third time. Yet there was.
Peony, for that was the little girl's name had wandered off again, she did not mean to wander off. She was aware that wandering off might bring about the most terrible punishment if she did not return in time to have not been missed. Yet wander she had. She was a daydreamer and did not really notice that she was no longer in her own garden but had crossed the brook and was wandering in the wood beyond. A wood that all told her was full of fairies and everyone knew that if a fairy got hold of a little girl then that little girl would never be seen again.
As she dreamed herself along Peony imagined meeting the fairies and wondered what she would do if they met. And rather than seeing herself being carried away for a year and a day or even a hundred and one years she imagined instead that they offered her three wishes. And these were her wishes:
To always be able to appreciate the world in all its glory - to see it as she did now even when grown up - she knew that none of the adults in her life had this gift and this was to be her first wish.
To have the gift of being able to help whomever she met and that this help would be accepted gladly.
And the third wish was that the fairy itself could have whatever it wished - it seeming so mean to use them all up on herself.
And as she thought these wishes she heard a voice say "Granted".
She went home and she had not been missed. She became a story teller, she learnt to ask her questions in ways that people were happy to hear and to answer in their hearts and deeds. And of course she was always a friend of the fairies having given them what they most desired of all, which was of course to be able to stop offering everyone wishes and to be able to get on with their own lives.
Peony did indeed live happily ever after.