Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
TITLE: The Stone
By Lesley-Anne Evans
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About the size of a quail’s egg, the stone was speckled, brown and smooth. And for some reason, the child felt an immediate attachment to the stone and placed him in his pocket . Immediately the world became dark, and the stone wondered about his fate. Yet he wasn’t alone. Beside him in the dark lay others of his kind, also chosen for some purpose unknown to them.
So the stone made peace with his new home, and instead of looking at things, he listened instead. He was taken up into the child’s hand later that evening, and he heard the excited voice of the child.
“ Look mama. Look at how beautiful it is”. the child cried.
The stone had never considered himself a thing of beauty, after all, he was just a small stone.
He remembered the very beginning, when a voice had spoken and he had been made into a mountain. He had felt powerful and magnificent then, but now, after the painful experience of being broken from the bedrock and worn down by time, he felt rather small and insignificant. Yet he was thankful for the attention of the child.
Days passed, and weeks followed, and the stone became used to the confines of the child’s pocket, and strangely comforted by the gentle sway of the child’s body as he went about his daily routine. Every morning the child walked out to the countryside, where the stone could hear the sounds of the stream that he had once called home. And there, for the remainder of the day, the stone lay still and listened to sounds of his child’s voice and the voices of other children as they called out to one another.
There were other sounds as well, the sounds of animals grazing and moving to and fro all around him. After a time the stone no longer remembered what it was like to see the view from the bottom of the stream. He lived in a dark world of sound and was happy.
One day, the child did not go to the countryside. Instead, the child took a different, longer route. The stone listened intently for the voices of the other children but heard none. Much time passed, and then the stone heard new sounds in the distance. He heard the sound of metal clashing against metal, and the anguished cries of men. These sounds filled the stone with dread. What was his child doing in this new and strange place? What would become of them?
The sounds grew louder as the child walked on, and soon the intensity of the noise was more than the stone could bear. The child reached down into his pocket and rubbed his thumb on the stone. It soothed the stone to be touched in this way. And then the stone heard voices; the voices of men.
The men called out to the child, “What are YOU doing here? You are too young to fight. Where’s your mother, boy?”
The child didn’t respond, and continued along for a distance, stopped and waited.
The boom of heavy footsteps filled the air. The stone could feel the vibration go through him and it filled him with a great fear. Again a voice called out to the child, but this time, it was a voice unlike any the stone had ever heard before.
“What kind of joke is this?” the voice snarled. “Who do you think I am that you send children out to fight me?”
The child spoke.
“I come in the name of God, and I will fight and defeat you,” he shouted.
The stone again felt the touch of the child’s hand, but this time it was lifting him out of the pocket and placing him in a leather pouch. Bright sunlight shone all around him, and in the light the stone again saw the beautiful countryside, the azure blue sky, and the face of his child.
And then, the stone learned he could fly.
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