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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


The stone lay in the bottom of the stream as it had for many years. And like every other stone beside him, he hadn’t moved far for a very long time. He lay there enjoying the surroundings as the clear water above him magnified the scenery of the countryside. And then, one day, a child’s hand interrupted his gazing, and the stone felt himself lifted free of his watery home and held up to the eyes of the child for closer inspection.

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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This article has been read 693 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw01/17/08
Wow, what a powerful story!
Jan Ackerson 01/18/08
What a unique POV! Extremely creative, and a great read.

It's quite possible that I'm just dense...but I don't see the tie-in to the meaning of the proverb.

I love the pacing of this; it really pulled me along and the climax was perfect.
Bonnie Way01/18/08
Great POV. I started wondering about halfway through if this was that stone... :) really cute, though I'm also not sure how it ties to the proverb.
Karen Wilber01/20/08
I didn't get the proverb tie in either - but I LOVE this story. Good storytelling from the POV of the stone.
Holly Westefeld01/23/08
I'm glad I double-checked and discovered that I had not left a comment on this exquisite, beautiful, wonderfully subtle and creative tale of contentment.
This was tied for my favorite in Advanced this week.
Lesley-Anne Evans01/24/08
Just a little clarification to those who didn't see my tie in with the topic this week. My understanding of "a bird in the hand" is taking what you have available to you and making the best of it, rather than wishing you had something different. To me, it means taking action rather than making excuses, in some instances. Based upon that, I took artistic license in making the stone what David had available at the time (of course pre-destiny is at work too), and rather than putting on battle armour, rather than training for warfare, rather than being afraid of the giant, David takes what he has... the one small stone... and putting his faith in the Father, uses the stone for mighty results. Thanks for reading and commenting on my work. Blessings to all of you.
Beckie Stewart01/25/08
Oh my goodness. I did not see that coming at all. I LOVE THIS STORY!!!
Gerald Shuler 01/25/08
As a children's minister all I can say is "Wunnaful, wunnaful, wunnaful."

Wait... that's what I would say if I were Lawrence Welk.

Oh, well... Wunnaful, Wunnaful, Wunnaful.
Catrina Bradley 01/26/08
Ohhh. Ohhh, my. I'm awestruck by the simple beauty of this story. I'm glad you explained about your "artistic license" in the stone David threw, because I was going to comment on that. One momentary POV shift (as I understand POV, but I'm still learning): "the child felt an immediate attachment". The story is from the stones POV (which is SO creative), so it wouldn't know how the child felt - this phrase is from the child's POV.

If you don't frequent the message boards, please come - Deb is doing a great job of explaining the proverbs and exactly what the judges are instructed to look for.

I absolutely LOVE this story and your writing is fabulous. The last sentence actually made me sigh with contentment. Beautiful job.
Marijo Phelps09/16/08
Incredible! Uniquely wonderful. What a surprise.
Loved it!