During December I spent some time with my nine year-old niece, who seems to attract trouble, skillfully! She has inspired me to write the following story. (By the way, my sister, her Mum, discovered that she had started to re-write the story using a new spelling for the stuff that was attracted to Zac. She guessed adults might not like the word poo….. I respect my neice’s wisdom so I have changed the spelling in the following version.)
Story for Caoimhe.
Once upon a time there was a little boy who had an unusual skin problem, pooh of all kinds was attracted to him. Wherever he went pooh flew to him like iron filings to a magnet. His Mum and Dad and his Granny cleaned off this pooh so that the boy could walk among the people of the village without being laughed at or shunned. But the boy hated this cleaning. He shouted and raged against his parents and Granny. You see he didn’t know that he was constantly covered in pooh and he didn’t smell it. One day he was so angry (about the cleaning) that he ran out into the garden and screamed and screamed. When he finally got tired of screaming he stopped and immediately heard a quiet voice whisper,
“Zac, would you like to see my magic mirror?”
Over by the compost heap stood a little fairy girl and in her hand was a tiny little mirror. The little boy was astonished because he had never seen a fairy before and he didn’t realise fairy’s could speak.
“Yes, please”, he whispered.
So the fairy girl held up the mirror in her two hands and Zac looked in, and for the first time he saw that he was covered in pooh. He jumped back in fright and landed in a patch of carrots, on his bum. He was very surprised and nearly missed what the fairy girl said next.
“Now Zac, look as I turn the mirror over.”
And he looked and what he saw was so… so…. so…. beautiful and so handsome and so lovely that he smiled – a very big smile. And when he smiled that very big smile he saw himself in the mirror shining like a bright light for everyone to see and admire. Then the fairy girl whispered,
“Zac, its time to let go of the pooh.”
But the little boy didn’t know how to do that so the fairy girl gave him instructions:
“First, every day for the next 21 days while your Mum and Dad and Granny clean off the pooh you have to stand very still. Second, after the 21 days are up, come out here and meet me again and I will give you my magic mirror and further instructions.”
Zac did exactly as he was told and 21 days later returned to the spot by the compost heap where the fairy girl was waiting. She held up the mirror and he saw how gorgeous he was and when the mirror was turned over he saw that he was gorgeous on that side too.
“How come I look so great on both sides, now?”, he asked…. and the fairy girl replied, “Because now, Zac, you are as beautiful on the outside as you always were on the inside.”
And the fairy girl gave Zac the mirror and told him to check from time to time how he was doing on the outside, but to always know that, “you are beautiful, radiant, and shining always, always, always on the inside, where it matters.”
From that day on only small bits of pooh clung to Zac and when he looked in the mirror and realised they were there, he stood still and cleaned them off, himself. But always, always when he looked at the other side of the mirror he was beautiful, handsome, gorgeous and radiant.