MIRIAM AND ELIZA
Once upon a time, there lived two girls called Eliza and Miriam, in a village. They were twins. But their nature was quite different. Miriam, was sweet and gentle. She had a soft corner for those in need of help.
Eliza, was short tempered and mean. She just did not care for others and was in the habit of ordering everybody else, what to do. No one liked her. If she didn’t get what she wanted she used to scream and scream, frightening everyone.
One day Miriam, went to pick raspberries in the nearby forest. She had with her a small basket full of buns and pies, which she bought from the village bakery. She was planning to make some raspberry jam, with her mother’s help. Suddenly she was surprised to see a handsome little boy sitting alone and crying,”Waa Waa Waa.
She went near the boy and asked him what he was doing in the forest alone. He said that he was an orphan and his cruel uncle had left him there. He said he was hungry and frightened and that was why he was crying. He begged Miriam to give him some food. She put down her basket containing bread and pies near him and told him to eat something. She continued to pick raspberries and when her bag was full, came back to the orphan boy. She was surprised to find that the little boy had eaten the whole lot of buns and pies. There was nothing left for her and her family. She was afraid that Eliza would start screaming bloody murder, if she returned without her favourite pie and croissants.
Still, Miriam did not get angry. She told the little boy with a smile,”You must have been really hungry to eat the whole lot. I wonder what I will tell my sister Eliza and mother.” The little boy smiled and told Miriam,” You are a kind girl. Let me repay your kindness.”
Before Miriam could answer, she found that suddenly her little shopping basket was full to the brim with buns, bread, croissants, pies and fruit cakes. She was surprised. The little boy burst out laughing and said,” Miriam, I am the ‘fairy of the forest’. I was just testing you. Now I am rewarding you for your kindness. Go home and give my presents to your mother and sister.”
Miriam ran home and told her story to her sister and mother. Eliza shouted at her sister,”You are a stupid girl. You should have asked for much more from the fairy of the forest. Tomorrow I will go and meet him.”
Miriam was not sure it was a good idea. But kept quiet. Her mother also did not say anything. Early next morning, Eliza went to the forest with a basket full of stale bread and rotten cookies.
She saw the fairy of the forest sitting on a rock, smiling sweetly at her. She told him,”If you are hungry you can eat the bread and cookies.” The fairy took the bread and cookies and ate the whole lot. He did not complain. Eliza caught hold of the little fairy and shouted,”You are a greedy pig. I want lots of goodies from you. You can’t fool me easily.”
The little fairy asked her,”What do you want?”
“Well I wan’t cakes, apple pies, cookies, lots of chocolates, peaches, apples, almonds, pistachios and crunchy nuts. Yes, a whole basket full, if you don’t mind.”
“OK” said the fairy,”If I do what you asked, will you please let me go?”
“Yes” said Eliza.
Suddenly she found her basket filled to the brim with tasty goodies. She let go the fairy’s hand and wanted to go home. She turned to say,”Good bye” but found that she could not open her mouth. She was terrified and started crying.
The little fairy told her,” You are cruel and rude. You gave me stale bread to eat, but you wanted from me the best and most delicious cakes and buns. You shouted at me for no fault of mine. Foul words only come out of your mouth, so I thought it will be better to keep it shut.”
Tears rolled down her face. She could only stutter and stammer. No words came out from her mouth.
“Because your sister was kind to me I will pardon you once. Your mouth will open a little, every time you do a kind deed. In course of time you will once again be able to speak. Till then, keep your mouth shut. You won’t be able to eat any of these delicious things in your basket. That is your punishment.”
Eliza walked home, sadder and wiser. She realized that good deeds and kind words will get you rich rewards. If you are rude and cruel, you should also expect people, to behave with you likewise.
IIIrd standardMiddle School, Boston ,U.S.A.