Monday, 10 July 2017

The Wish

Perhaps I will try to convince you that this story is true. Maybe I will - but then again, you are intelligent enough to make your own mind up – I can tell that about you.

To be real honest, I could say that the person in the story is me, but that would be lying. To say that I heard it from the friend of a friend of a friend, would be nearer the truth.

So, this guy, who we will call Jack, is walking through the woods minding his own business, when he hears a call from the trees.  ‘Help’, the voice calls, ‘help me’. Jack  wanders over to the source of the noise and there is a small man, almost dwarfish, with his foot caught down a rabbit hole.

“What are you doing?”, Asks Jack.
“What do you think, I am doing?” Replies the little man. “I’m stuck, my foot is caught down a rabbit hole.”
“Why did you do that?” Asks Jack, again.
“I didn’t do it on purpose, I was chasing something, and I didn’t notice the hole.”
“Fair enough,” said Jack who then attempted to pull the dwarfish man from the hole, but nearly pulled the little man’s head off.
“Careful,” shouted the small fellow, in a very strangulated tone.

After one more pull and a pop, the little man was freed.

“Well thank you very much.” Said the dwarfish person. “It is now a matter of principle that I grant you a wish, for your kindness.”

Jack looked around for the television cameras, as he was sure that someone was up to something, somewhere.
“Are you looking for TV cameras?” Asked the now freed, dwarf.
“No,” said Jack guiltily.
“You were, you thought I was setting you up,” said the man.
“No, I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did.”
“Ok, I did.”
“Aha!” Exclaimed the little man with the big voice. “Even after all, that I am still going to grant you a wish – mainly because I am contracted to do so.”

Jack looked up at the sky and down at the grass but couldn’t find any inspiration in what to do with his wish.

“Tell you what,” says the dwarf, “why don’t you walk with me a while and you can decide then.”

Jack thinks, then looks around to see if the dwarf has accomplices and is planning to kidnap him.

“You’re looking to see if my friends are going to attack you, aren’t you?”
“No,” says Jack.
“You were.”
“I wasn’t………look we could do this all day. So yes, I thought you might be a robber.”
“At my height. What was I going to do? Gnaw your ankles?”

The smallish magical man and Jack decide to call a truce and walk through the woods together.

After a few minutes, small man speaks:
“Have you thought about  your wish?”
“I have,” says Jack.
“Well tell me what it is.”

Jack clears his throat and coughs.
“Well, perhaps you could hurry up as I have things to chase,” said the little man.
“And holes to fall-down,” says Jack.
“Do you want a wish, or don’t you?” Asks the midget.
“I do, I do. I would like to get rid of all my past mistakes, All the things I’ve done wrong. Reset them, so that they never happened.”

The little magical man looks at the bigger man with a sceptical look. “You sure?”
“Alrighty then,” says the little one, “but I’ve got to warn you there are consequences.”
“Hang the consequences,” says Jack.
“If you’re sure, I’ll begin.”

The little man rolled and ran in circles, saying strange words and making weird noises. Then he suddenly stopped:
“What would you like me to get rid of first? I can’t do them all at once, as that’s too tiring.”

So, Jack tells the little man that he wished he had never been drunk so often and told people things he didn’t mean.
The little man did his little man magic things, then shouted, ‘done’.
“That’s it?” asks Jack.
“Sure is,” says the little one, and the two of them continue walking through the woods. Suddenly a rather strange thing occurs, Jack’s right arm falls off.

At first Jack didn’t even notice, then as he went to scratch his head he realised he didn’t have an arm.
“I told you there would be consequences.”
“Losing an arm is more than just a consequence. It’s an arm.”
“But now when you meet people, they will never see you as an angry drunk. To them you have never drank,” said the little man.

Jack thinks about this and decides that he can live without an arm.
“Anything else?” Asks the small man.
“Well I wish I had made more friends, and been less judgemental of people.”
“Done,” says the little man.

And the next thing Jack knows is that his two ears fall off.
“I didn’t say, I wanted it, I was thinking aloud,” says Jack.
“Too late,” says the small fellow, “and if you want to put down meeting me as a mistake, you can’t, it’s in the contract.”
“What contract?” Asks Jack and the little fellow pulls out reams and reams of paper.
“Wait a minute is there something you are trying to tell me, little one?”

The dwarfish man nods.
“What is it then?”
“Can’t you see, if I got rid of all your errors and faults, you would no longer exist. It is the mistakes and wrong-doings that make you who you are. No one ever learns anything from doing things correctly. We are all made up of our faults.”

Jack had to smile and wished he hadn’t been so stupid. Which is what happened. The little man disappeared as Jack’s arm and ears grew back.
“Guess, I’ll just live with my faults,” Jack thought to himself.

And that is what he did.

bobby stevenson 2017

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