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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)

TITLE: Coins from the King's Table
By Marita Thelander


I eagerly gripped the massive iron gates of the Baldwin estate. This is where it all began. I wanted to absorb every inch of the mansion grounds, the pristine white columns, and the grove of two-hundred-year-old oak trees.

I closed my eyes and replayed the so-called legend in my mind. The corners of my mouth turned up slightly. I know it isn’t a fable, and today I’ll prove it.


“Do you see this coin in my hand?”

Two dozen wide-eyed children gazed eagerly at the worn old coin. I loved to hear Mother tell the story to fresh faces.

“This coin is proof that God has a plan and a purpose for everyone; even the least of these.” Mother fanned her arm out across the cluster of love starved orphans.

“There once was a very rich man who was like a king over his land. Master Baldwin purchased many servants from slave traders, but he did not treat them like slaves. He was kind and generous, and his servants didn’t call him master, they called him the King.

“One day, while doing business with a man who owned countless slaves, the King heard a ruckus from one of the women in the field. She delivered a baby right where she worked. The labor became very difficult and something went terribly wrong. The woman died before the baby could be fully removed. Her master aggressively pulled the infant out and tossed it’s mangled body into the bushes.

“When the King saw this, he became very distraught. He searched for the bloody baby and found him alive. He took him home and asked his servants to care for him. They named him Amos, which means to carry, because they knew if he lived, he will be crippled and always need to be carried.

“It became clear to everyone at the King’s mansion as Amos grew up, he may be a mute with a broken body, but his mind was 100% whole.”

Mother held the coin high, reminding the children the key point of her story.

“One day, Amos was polishing the mansion floors. He pulled himself around in amazing ways to accomplish this task. Amos learned to do many things with his one good arm and mangled leg limbs. He found a coin on the floor near the King’s night table and immediately searched for him.

“The King refused to take the coin. He said: Perhaps you will have need of it someday. Any coin you find on the floors of this home is yours to keep.

“At once, Amos scooted his way to his room and hid the treasured gift in an old jar. The King noticed this and began to intentionally drop coins for the young boy to find…and keep.

“Many years went by. Before the King died, he asked his son to remember to take care of Amos and leave him coins to gather.

“Eventually, Amos became too old to pull himself around. A young servant girl was assigned to care for him. She loved to sing, share stories from the Bible, and talk about a future. Someday she wanted to be a nurse and make a grand difference in the world. Times had changed and even a lowly servant girl could receive an education and become something…someone.

“Amos became very ill and desperately tried to tell the girl something. He motioned over and over again for her to look under his bed. Finally, she noticed the uneven floorboards and pulled on one. Under the wooden surface were jars and jars of coins.

“The servant girl used Amos’ coins to attend college and learn how to be a real nurse. She moved back to the land of her ancestors and became a missionary right here in Ghana, and this…is the last coin from the man who was thrown away at birth, but saved by the King.


Master Baldwin’s great-great-great-grandson opened the door when he saw me approaching through the oak grove. “You must be Ruth?” He greeted me anxiously. “I’m glad you arrived today.”

“Did you find something?” I asked, suppressing my eagerness.

Michael Baldwin grinned wide. “I left it right where we found it…just for you.”

Renovations were well underway; floorboards in the servant’s quarters were being carefully removed and refinished to their original splendor. In the far corner, Michael pointed to a single jar, filled to the brim with old coins. My proof that mother's story is true, and Amos is the legend.

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This article has been read 524 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 05/03/12
This is an awesome story. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next. :)
Beth LaBuff 05/03/12
What an imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable tale. I found it rich with underlying meaning. I love the creative way you told this! Great work!
C D Swanson 05/05/12
Creative, gripping and so well written. I simply loved this entire piece.

Thank you. God bless~
Graham Insley05/06/12
Excellent. I want to give you a critique rather than a compliment, but I can't.

Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/07/12
This is a delightful story. I found myself leaning in and eager to keep reading.

This is just my opinion, but I think the story might have been stronger if you had just told the story of Amos. Perhaps if you had more words to develop the mother, it wouldn't have felt like a rough transition from present to past.
Steve Uppendahl05/09/12
Outstanding story-within-a-story. Gripping, tense tale. Great job seizing, and then keeping, the reader's attention. Write on.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/14/12
Congratulations for ranking 11th in level four and 12th overall!