Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)
TITLE: The Qualities Box
By Julie Sewcharan
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He lived in a dark and musty house, situated all alone with a vast field. It was a very uninviting and eerie place and no one would considerer going out that way - certainly not the adults. Every now and then, though, children being the curious beings they are ventured into this territory much to Vile’s delight.
Once they were within sight, Vile would creep up to the children and cast a spell on them. Before the child had a notion of what was happening, the good quality possessed by the child would be sucked out.
Vile would then lock up the good qualities, he stole, into a special box that could only be opened with the key he securely hung around his neck. Off course he could not destroy it, for he did not know how.
Hence it was that Pearl’s children walked about with sad faces. No laughter rang out in Pearl anymore. For locked in the horrible box, were their laughter, kindness, helpfulness, innocence, happiness, love and all other good qualities that make children endearing.
The whole village was in despair and cried day and night because they did not know how to get these back.
One day, a tall, princely man, was passing their village and heard their cry. He stopped and asked concerned, “What’s the matter?”
He had the most wonderful appearance anyone had ever seen so they told him what plagued them.
“Ah, I know this man!” he exclaimed. “He hates good so he steals these good qualities from children compelling them to grow up to be evil like him. I also know how to retrieve the qualities from him, though,” he said encouragingly.
The compassionate man went off to Vile’s abode, lighting up the entire house. Catching hold of Vile in a strong grip, the man commanded sternly, “Hand over the box and the key.”
Recognising the man immediately, Vile trembled in fear. This was the powerful prince who fought against evil and won every time. “Don’t hurt me,” he pleaded shielding his face with his arm.
The prince ripped off the key from Vile’s neck and flung him afar off from the village. Pearl’s inhabitants could not believe their eyes when the prince walked back to them with the box in his hand. All the children were brought around him as he unlocked the box.
Everything floated out of it and appropriately entered the correct children’s hearts thus restoring them to happy, fun-loving children once more. Pearl smiled once again.
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