The gift from the Sea Fairy

A villager and his wife were in the middle of the sea casting their nets for some fish. Fishing had not been very good for the past few days and the village was hungry.

The villager and his wife were good folks but they had one problem. They didn’t have a child that they can call their own.

Fishing in the sea had not yielded much fish and as a result the whole village was hungry. The villager felt something heavy tugging on the net. Thinking that he snagged a big fish, the villager and his wife pulled in the net with all of their might.

It was hard labor but soon enough they hauled in the net after so much effort.

Inside the net was a huge giant clam. It was so big that the clam could hardly fit into their small boat. It looked gray with barnacles clinging to it, and wide leafy sea grass hanging out of its shell.

The villager and his wife looked at each other in wonder. Surely a clam this big must have a huge giant pearl within its center. They could sell it in the market and never have to worry about having nothing to eat ever again.

They brought the giant shell to shore where the villager took an ax and pried the clam open.

To their surprise, instead of a valuable pearl, out came a sea fairy from within the shell.

“Thank you for letting me out of there, thank you for setting me free” the pixie little sea fairy said in her soft lilting voice. “I was eaten by that clam a long time ago and have been in its belly for a hundred years.”

Because she was so grateful for being set free, the little sea fairy wanted to reward the villager and his wife. They could have one wish which their hearts desired and the little sea fairy can grant it.

They could have asked for food or great treasures, but the villager and his wife asked for a son instead.

Soon enough the villager’s wife started growing her belly.

A few months have passed and the wife gave birth to a son.

But the son was different from all the other children around the village. On his back grew a fin, and instead of legs, he had a fishtail. Instead of skin he grew some scales, and if truth were told, he looked like a fish.

The fishermen in the village thought it was bad luck to have a creature such as this. They wanted to get rid of the boy. But the villager and his wife begged them to leave their son alone. And they did.

From that day onwards, all the fishermen in the village caught so many fish. All kinds of fish, in many different colors and shapes, came willingly into the nets that they cast out to sea.  They had more than enough to feed their families. So they sold their excess fish to neighboring towns and counties. The village that once was so poor was now a rich and prosperous place.

All would have been well if the fishermen in the village had grateful hearts. But instead of compassion for the little boy fish, greed grew in their hearts.

They murmured to one another, “We should get rid of the boy fish,” they said. “More fish will come to our nets if we get rid of the bad luck in our village.”

Or so they thought.

Without further ado, they all ran to the house of the villager and his wife and dragged the boy fish out into to sea. They cast him into the water and wished that the sea would claim him forever.

Suddenly all the water around them churned and foamed.  The sky grew dark and lightning flashed on the horizon. The waves grew so big that they all feared for their lives.

From out of the water came a giant seahorse with the sea fairy sitting on its back.

With a voice so sad she said, “Oh, you cruel fishermen of the village, I showed you some compassion when I was set free from my prison and gifted you with luck. But instead you have shown cruelty to one of my own and threw him into the sea.”

In a blink of an eye the sea fairy disappeared and all was calm again.

From that day forward, none of the fishermen of the village ever caught a single fish again. They would cast their nets from dawn to dusk and not a single fish came willingly to their nets. Soon they hardly had any fish to sell, and none to feed their families.

They became a poor village once again. The fishermen would often sit by the shore and give offerings to the sea in the hope that the boy fish would return.

But he never did.

 

The Unicorn and the Mermaid

In a land called Faraway, nestled in a valley between two huge mountains, there lived a little boy named Gabe. He was a sweet little soul with curly hair that reached to his shoulders. When he smiled his sweet little smile, it was like the sun peeking through the mountains of Faraway land.

Gabe was a happy boy playing with his wooden toys made by his daddy. His mommy would sing softly as she made their dinner where a pot of stew hung by the kitchen furnace. Gabe’s daddy would come in from a long day’s work in the field.  They would eat their dinner together and told stories that made Gabe laugh so hard. Gabe loved it the most when all three of them were together.

One day, a dark and evil shadow entered their house and took his mommy and daddy away. Gabe did not understand why. His kind grandfather came and lived with Gabe because he was too young to be alone by himself.

But Gabe was not the same happy little boy that he used to be. He became sad and fearful. He would go about his house all day long wishing to see his mommy and daddy once again. He missed them so much. He refused to sleep all alone in his room because he feared that the dark and evil shadow will come and get him too.

He slowly became a sick and thin little boy with sad little eyes that constantly flowed with tears. His grandfather worried about him so.

His grandfather knew that Gabe missed his mommy and daddy so much. He called Gabe and sat him across his knee and he said, “I know how much you miss your mommy and daddy. They are here although you cannot see them. If you look with your heart and not with your eyes, I am sure you will see them.”

That night as Gabe lay in his bed, he thought hard about what his grandfather said. “If I look with my heart and not with my eyes, I will see mommy and daddy again.”

Gabe closed his eyes tightly and tried to look with his heart instead. The wind started blowing gently and the tree beside Gabe’s bedroom cast different shapes on the wall beside his bed. Gabe opened his eyes and there on the wall was a shape that looked strangely familiar. The shape on the wall shimmered and shone brightly. It became a white shiny horse with a horn on its head that spiraled to a pointy end. It had a beard that looked like a goat’s growing from its chin. It looked so strong and majestic standing inside his bedroom.

Gabe was not afraid because he knew in his heart that it was his daddy.

The shiny white horse spoke with a kind gentle voice and said, “Hello there son, I came to visit because I know that you have been lonely. I am a unicorn living in a magical place with your mommy. Someday, you will join us there. But we want you to be happy while we are gone and grow up to be the best person that you can be.”

Another shape took form in the wall and shimmered and shone just like the unicorn. Soon a beautiful mermaid appeared. In his heart Gabe knew that this was mommy.

Mommy spoke with her singsong voice and said, “Gabe it was hard for us to leave you behind but it was time for us to go.  You have to promise and try to be happy because we worry when we see you so sad.”

Daddy Unicorn spoke again, “All you need to do every time you feel lonely is close your eyes and look with your heart and we will come to you.”

“Alright,” Gabe replied. “I will try to be happy and be the best little boy that I can be so that I can grow up to be a good person just like you.”

Soon daddy unicorn and mommy mermaid disappeared into the night and Gabe was all alone in his bed. But he was not so sad anymore. He knew that his mommy and daddy will always be there for him to see if he looked with his heart.

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into years. Gabe grew to be a fine young man. He never forgot the unicorn and the mermaid who came to visit him when he was a child.

One night as he lay in bed, when there was no moon, but instead a million stars in the sky, daddy unicorn and mommy mermaid came to fetch him.  It was time for them to be together once again.

So kids, when you look at the night sky and see a flying horse with a mermaid on its back and a little boy holding tightly, that is Gabe with his mommy and daddy flying into the magical land where they lived together happily ever after.

Aside

The Beautiful Star Necklace

One sunny day, Leanne and Mika, two best friends, were walking down the road. They were walking hand in hand and laughing merrily as they walked. They were on their way home to the cabin they both shared in the camp. Both have grown to like each other well as they shared the activities the camp had set out for all the children.

The cabin was just around the corner when Leanne saw something glittering just under the bushes. It reflected the rays from the sun. That was the reason she noticed it at once.

Bending over to take a closer look, Leanne saw that it was a necklace. On the long, gold chain of the necklace, hang a star.  The star had many-colored glasses that sparkled brightly under the sun.

Leanne squealed with delight. “Look Mika. Look at what I found lying under the bushes.”

Mika inched closer to Leanne to check on the object. “That is such a beautiful necklace, Leanne. I wonder who it belongs to.” Mika said.

I don’t know, and I don’t care. It’s mine now because I found it.” Leanne replied.

“Oh No,” Mika replied. “Someone must have lost it and is certainly looking for it. We should find who owns it and give it back.”

“I do not want to give it away. Whoever lost it did not take care of it. It is so pretty, and I want it.” Leanne answered.

Mika did not want to argue with her friend. But inside, she knew that it was wrong. She felt sorry for the person who owned it. It looked like a beautiful necklace. Surely no one would have lost it on purpose.  She tried one more time to convince her friend about finding the owner of the necklace.

“Leanne let us take it to Mrs. Robins. She will know what to do with it.” Mika tried once more.

Leanne became angry with her friend. She thought that friends should standby each other. She did not know why Mika wanted to find the owner of the necklace. She thought Mika wanted it for herself too.

“It’s mine now. I found it.  Why don’t you leave me alone?” Leanne shouted angrily at her friend.” Then grabbing the chain, she ran to the cabin and left Mika standing by the side of the road.

Mika was surprised at her friend’s reaction. She just wanted to do the right thing. She felt like crying. Leanne has never shouted at her before. She decided to remain silent about the necklace. She started walking back to the cabin to look for her friends, Gabe and Rafael.

Meanwhile, back at the cabin, Leanne was sitting by her bed. She looked at the necklace longingly. It was so beautiful, and she genuinely wanted to keep it. She was also feeling sorry for shouting at Mika.

Suddenly, Leanne remembered when she lost her favorite pom-pom back home. It was her mother’s gift for her on her birthday. She looked everywhere and could not find it. She cried her heart out over those pom-pom. Her mommy promised to buy new ones. Leanne wanted the pom-pom that she lost.

“Oh no.” Leanne thought. “Whoever lost this necklace must be feeling sad too.”

It was a tough decision to make but Leanne knew exactly what to do next .  She left her room in search of Mika. She wanted to tell Mika how sorry she was for shouting at her earlier. Leanne also wanted Mika to help her get Mrs. Robins.

As Leanne stepped out the door of her cabin, she saw Mrs. Robins talking to tiny little girl. The little girl was crying. Mrs. Robins was trying to calm the sad little girl beside her.

Leanne was curious why the little girl was crying. She approached Mrs. Robins and asked her.

Mrs. Robins told Leanne why the girl was crying. Pointing to the little girl, Mrs. Robins said. “She lost her necklace. She cannot find them anywhere.  The necklace is important to her. Her daddy gave it to her before he went to war. It has a star on it with colored stones. Her daddy said that when she is lonely, the star would remind her of her daddy.   Now she cannot find it, and she feels so sad.”

Leanne feels guilty. She looked at the little girl who was crying. She felt like crying too. Holding out the necklace in her hand, she said. “Do not cry little girl. Here is your necklace. I found it by the bushes in the road.”

The little girl screamed in delight when she saw the necklace. Taking it from Leanne, she whispered, “Thank you. Now I won’t miss my daddy so much.”

Leanne was glad she returned the necklace. She remembered how sad she felt when she lost something truly dear to her. She did not want anyone else to feel sad that way.

Leaving the little girl and Mrs. Robins, Leanne went in search of her friend Mika. Mika was outside playing in the yard with Gabe and Rafael. When Mika saw Leanne approaching, she stopped and waited for her friend to come near.

“Mika I am truly sorry for shouting at you. I found the little girl who owned the necklace. I gave it back to her. Her daddy gave it to her before he left. I am glad I returned it because she was so sad about losing it.”

“It alright Leanne,” Mika said.  I’m not angry. I knew that you were going to do the right thing. It was a beautiful necklace. I understand why you wanted it. I am glad that you made the right choice and returned it.”

Leanne smiled at her bright young friend. She knew that Mika understood. But Leanne learned something even more important today. She learned that there are some choices that are difficult to make. But she also knew in her heart that when she made the right choice, she felt even happier than when she found the necklace.

an angry mama

Child, can you see me? You walk into my space and do not see me. You are angry, I am too.  The  eternal conflict between mother and daughter has never been so manifest between us. I say to myself you are stubborn and proud. Then I reflect on who I am. I too am stubborn and proud. But I have the privilege of being older and giving birth to you. That gives me the right to try to be your mother the way I was raised by mine. I spent a couple of hours trying to push your melon head through a hole the size of a lemon, that gives me the right too.  Someday you will look back and see that I was just trying to fulfill my role in your life the way you are trying to fulfill yours in your daughter’s life.  Then you will finally see me.

promises promises….

Awwwwww!!! Excruciating pain jolted through my body. My lower right molar just hit the upper molar as I was chewing the skin of the roasted pig that was sitting so appealingly on my plate. Tears filled my eyes because of the pain. This has been going on for days. I cannot eat much. I have existed on warm noodle soup for the last couple of days. I am in denial because I fear going to the dentist. Every night I pray…Please God, let my tooth be all right tomorrow. I am sooo hungry. Please! Please! Please!

Then I realized God will not answer that prayer for he gave me a perfectly good set of teeth when I was growing up. But because of my neglect, somehow, one has come to haunt me for that. But God did not completely abandon me. There was a dental office a few blocks from my house and I mustered courage to go for a consultation.  I waited for about half an hour till the dentist arrived, looking at all the gadgets around me, smelling the scents that only a doctor’s office can smell. I was sweating profusely, feeling faint and scared as hell. I was about to leave, my courage having abandoned me completely, when the dentist met me at the door. He was young and had a kind face. I thought to myself it can’t be that bad. I sat on the dental chair and had to suffer the indignity of opening my mouth and letting him see just how neglectful I have been.  His verdict…the tooth had to go. We made an appointment for 2PM that same day so I can have time to finish my chores at home. He gave me some mefanamic to ease the pain till he gets the tooth out. I was tempted to ask for some Valium instead, but I kept my dignity. The 3 hours till the 2PM appointment was like my last few hours on earth. I cooked food for 2 days, I cleaned the house, I threw the trash away, and I feed the dog with food good for 2 days too. He threw up on my newly cleaned floor adding anxiety as my 2PM was fast approaching. I was expecting to be bedridden after.

I went back to the dental office 15 minutes early so that I can have time to calm myself before the time of reckoning. He was already there waiting for me. I wanted to do a Suzette. She is my sister-in-law who is just as terrified with dentists and she was actually on the dental chair with anesthetic injected to her mouth. She asked to go to the toilet first, then made a hasty beeline for the exit, ran to her car and speed away. No chance for that here. I came on foot. And the dentist could probably outrun me by a mile.

Gingerly I stepped on the chair, closed my eyes and kept repeating the phrase, God HELP ME! GOD HELP ME! I called on all the saints in heaven when I felt the needle prick my gums. I promised never to eat candy or chocolates again. Not even the skin of another yummy roast pig. I swore at all the cigarettes that I smoked, wine that I drank, coffee and ice tea included. I promised to floss every hour, brush 10 times a day, and…and…and…

“There, you’re done.  You are not even a bleeder.” I remembered how to breathe again. My eyes popped open and the nice dentist was smiling so sweetly. I could have kissed and hugged him. I swear I did not feel a single pain. He asked if I wanted to have the tooth as souvenir and I imagined a hundred ways to extract vengeance on that tooth. In the end I decided to let them dispose of it. As I walked back home, I was joyous. My heart was light. My steps were strong. I was free. And the skin of that roasted pig is starting to look yummy again.

from blah to oh yeah…

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