Once there was a little girl. A very beautiful little girl. She went walking in the forest. It was a beautiful day. The trees were bright and the sun was green and the flowers smiled ar her as she walked by. She was very happy and didn't have a care in the world.
Pretty soon she met a little boy, a very handsome little boy. He told her she was very beautiful and asked to walk with her. He told her he knew of a place where there was a big lake and a waterfall and that the fish all had peoples heads and sang the prettiest songs.
The girl thought this all sounded very nice and decided to walk with him.
But soon, as they were walking, the boy began to walk too fast and ther girl couldn't keep up. But, when she asked the boy to slow down, he just laughed at her and said, "What's the matter with you, that you can't keep up?"
Now our dear little girl had never thought that there was any thing wrong with her but she didn't want the boy to get angry with her so she walked a little faster.
Soon she was walking faster than the boy.
"That will show him there's nothing wrong with me" she thought.
But, thr boy just said "Now you're going too fast, can't you do anything right, are you stupid?"
The poor girl had never thought of herself as stupid, but she began to get confused. Maybe she didn't know how to walk right. Maybe she was stupid
She began to cry.
This just made the handsome little boy angry. "Why don't you be quiet?" he said. Why do girls have to cry about everything. You are going to spoil everything. Don't you want to see the lake and the waterfall and the singing fish?"
Well, of course she wanted to see all those wonderful things, so she just went along with the handsome boy and kept quiet (he WAS very handsome and had a beautiful voice)
She tried her best to keep up with him, but he kept changing pace so that she couldn't keep up.
After a long, long while, they finally came to a pond, it wasn't a lake, there was no waterfall, and there were no singing fish.
"Here we are" said the handsome boy, as he pointed to the pond.
"But" the girl said, "where is the waterfall, where are the fish?"
"I never said there was a waterfall" the boy yelled at her "and the fish probably ran away because you are so ugly"
When she heard this, the girl began to cry.
"I'm not ugly" she said.
"You are too" the boy yelled "you are stupid and ugly and you are a liar" then he pushed her into the pond where she got all wet and covered with mud.
But the handsome boy...You know? I don't want to call him handsome any more. He may be good looking and have a nice clothes and a sweet voice and everything, but I'm beginning to think that kind of ugly inside, but perhaps I shouldn't judge.
Anyway, when the boy saw our poor girl all covered with mud and dripping wet, he began to laugh at her and thet made her cry even more.
Just then the boy spied a small cabin at the edge of the pond and that gave him another ugly idea.
"Oh,come on" he said to the wet girl "can't you take a joke? Here, I'll help you out of the water" and he offered her his hand and pulled her out of the water.
"You really look funny all wet and muddy, it's very funny" He laughed so much that the girl started to laugh too, but just a little bit.
"Let me take you to that cabin, you can get dry and maybe there's some food we can eat. So he took her by the arm and led her to the cabin, but, as soon as they got there, he pushed her inside and slammed the door and locked it. He began to laugh and laugh. "So long, stupid ugly muddy funny girl, this is where you belong, locked up, because you are no good"
The girl listened to his laughter as he walked away and soon she was all alone.
She began to get frightened.
She tried to open the door but the lock was too strong.
she tried to climb out of the window but the window was too small.
All she could do was look out at the window at the pond, so she just sat and tried to think of a way to get out. It seemed impossible and all she could do was cry.
"Maybe I am stupid" she thought "maybe I am ugly. I certainly am wet and muddy, so maybe the other things are true too. Maybe I deserve to be locked up. Maybe I am no good."
(I'm feeling sad too. This poor lovely girl certainly doesn't deserve to be locked up crying in the dark. I hope she finds a way to be beautiful and smart again, not to mention dry and clean.)
Well, after a cold and scary night, the sun came up and the girl looked out of the little window and she began to cry again.
"No" she said to herself "I musn't cry. At least I have the pond to look at and the pretty trees, maybe that's all I deserve. I will just stay here and do the best I can." But she was still lonely and afraid and she began to cry very softly to herself.
An indeterminate amount of time had passed (she had no watch) when another boy came tripping (literally) along the path that led to the pond. This little boy wasn't handsome, but he wasn't ugly, either. He was just a nice decent little boy.
There was nothing wrong with him except for a few bruises on his arms and legs and on his head because he was a little bit clumsy. Tripping along usually means a kind of happy, carefree walking, but with him, it meant a lot of happy, carefree falling down, which was the first thing he did when he saw the pond and the cabin. "Gosh" he said to himself "at least I didn't hurt myself this time." As he picked himself up was brushing off the leaves and twigs from his clothes, he thought he heard someone sobbing and it sounded so sad and lonely that it made him sad and lonely too.
So he went toward the sobbing and, sure enough, it was coming from the cabin. He went to the window and looked in. He saw the girl sitting on the floor all covered with dried up mud, but he could see that she was still a very lovely little girl.
"Hello" he said to her "why are you sitting all alone in there when it's such a nice day out here?"
"Go away" she said "I'm ugly and stupid and no good and I am supposed to be locked up in here."
"Oh" the boy said "if it'a supposed to be that way, I guess I'd better go away." and he started to walk on.
But then he heard her crying again and it sounded so sad and lonely that he couldn't leave her there so he turned back to the cabin and, as he did so, he tripped on a branch and fell down again. He picked himself up and want to the cabin door and said "I don't care if it's supposed to be, I'm going to let you out" But when he unlocked the door and tried to push it open, the girl shouted "NO" and pushed it closed again.
"Dear little girl" he said "I have unlocked the door and I will go away, but I still think you are too nice not to come out into this sunny day."
So the boy walked away.
But, when he was on the other side of the pond, he stopped where he could still see the cabin and he sat down and watched.
After what seemed like a very long time, he saw the door open a little bit. A little while after that, the girls head appeared in the doorway.
Well, our boy was a bit clumsy in other ways too, and as soon as he saw the girl's head, he jumped up and ran toward the cabin and shouted "Come out, it's a beautiful day."
But the girl didn't come out. No, she slammed the door and want back in. The boy, realizing that he had made a mistake, promptly tripped on a rock and fell down. "No harm done" he said to himself "at least the door is still unlocked." He did feel foolish, however.
He went back to his watchpost and waited.
After another long time, he saw the door open again. This time, he stayed quiet.
Soon the girl looked out again.
The boy stayed where he was.
After a while the girl stood in the doorway.
The boy stood up so the girl could see him.
The girl stopped and looked at the boy.
The boy smiled.
The girl looked back over her shoulder into the cabin.
The boy stayed where he was.
The girl took a step outside.
The boy took a step toward the girl.
Then they each took another.
Soon they were facing each other across the pond.
"Dear pretty girl" the boy said "don't be afraid of me, I will be your friend."
He reached out his hand and took a step toward the girl, tripped on a stone and fell right into the water. This frightened the girl and she turned back toward the cabin,
But the boy said "don't go, look, I'm a fish." and he began swimming around and spurting water out of his mouth.
The girl started to laugh, but then she remembered what it felt like to be laughed at and that made her start to cry.
"Don't cry, sweet girl" said the boy "I'll sing you a song" and he started to sing. Well, to be perfectly frank, he wasn't a very good singer, but that didn't matter because he looked so funny that the girl couldn't help but laugh, Then she offered her hand and helped him out of the water and they became friends.
Stories used to have morals and I think this one should too.
Life is not always fair or pleasant, but with a little bit of courage and patience, it can be worth the trouble.
Copyright 2007 Doug Palmer
Labels: Fishing trip