“Ana….please story yeg gai lae.” My nine years old niece begged me.
“Some other time Tashi, I am reading now.” I snapped at her not wanting to disturb the budding romance of Sophia and Luke and on other hand, praying that somebody would come for rescue of Ira, so I can grasp the story of Ira and Ruth from ‘The Longest Ride’ of Nicholas Sparks.
“Please….please…please…Ana Tshering…yeg gai lae.” She surely knows how to get what she wants even she had knelt on her knees and folded her hands together.
“OK.” In a defeat, I bookmarked the pages and faced her.
“Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast…” her eyes gleamed with every title of a fairy tale I uttered in a long stretched tone.
“All?” she looked surprised.
“None! I am not telling any of those. You have heard thousand times and you know them by heart now.” Sparkles vanished from her eyes and disappointment shot with undeniable loud “Awooo!” from her.
“I am going to tell you another story.”
“Not so long ago,…”
“But the story starts with ‘Once upon a time’” She said.
“Ok. Once upon a time, there was a simple, hardworking and a beautiful girl.”
“Was she a princess?” she interrupted again.
“Tashi! You want to hear the story or not.” I said sternly.
“I want to, Ana.” Tashi surrendered.
“Once upon a time, there was a simple, hardworking and a beautiful girl, but she was always afraid of everything; Of the blazing sun in a day, of growing dark at night, of flowing stream from the mountain, of blooming flowers in the garden, of passing strangers from the road, of barking dogs in a neighborhood and of all she feared her fears for everything.”
“What is her name? Is she afraid of ghosts?” Tashi couldn’t help asking.
“She was not a princess, but a peasant Euphelma and yes, she was afraid of the ghosts.” I couldn’t think of a better name while I weaved the story. Also, Euphelma is a name of a princess of Bhutan.
“One fine day, Euphelma was reading her favorite book under a giant willow tree. An old lady passed by her. At that instant, a giant dog of a neighbor came attacking an old lady. Her fear for strangers and dogs was forgotten as she went for an immediate rescue of a lady.
An old lady with a silver gray hair said “You are a kind soul lady. I shall tell you a secret. Three passes from here, there is a deadly forest. Go through that in the dead of the night and make it before the break of the dawn. It is believed that you are closest to the sun from there. Make a wish when sunrise and your wish will be fulfilled. Fear none, conquer all. Bless you.” With these, an old lady disappeared miraculously.
Later, in the dead of the night, Euphelma set on the journey to make a wish. She was afraid to walk alone through the deadly web of the forest. If only, the choice was in her hand, she would never dream to cross that path. It was the fate, she didn’t want, but couldn’t avoid. By dawn, she was to burrow the forest and see the rise of the waking sun, which granted every wish at the sacred period of time.
Fear gripped her shoulder as snakes rattled on the ground, birds flown from her head, animals roared creating a cacophony and multiplying her fears.“
“Did Prince Charming came to her rescue and gave a true love kiss?” Her typical fairy tale questions irked me.
“Not a prince charming but an adorable tiny firefly came illuminating her path and leading her out of the forest. They fought with the giant monsters, poisonous snakes, mighty lion and tiger and finally passed the deadly forest.”
“How did they fight with all those monsters? Euphelma don’t have power and firefly is very tiny.” Tashi wasn’t easy to fool around.
“Actually, Euphelma didn’t have any supernatural power, but she was determined to reach there. A determination is not less than any supernatural power. Nothing could stop her from making a wish of being fearless. A firefly was not an ordinary one. It has a power to fight against the evil, but everytime it did, firefly lost its power to illuminate and became dull. Firefly was to die when it loses the power to light. The fact Euphelma was not aware of.
Finally, when they reached their destination just in time, having used all of its power while protecting Euphelma, firefly bids adieu in her palm and died peacefully.
With the rise of the sun, her tears fell freely on a firefly as she wished not to be a fearless but a life of a dear firefly.
When another drop of tears fell on firefly, a series of stars twinkled and circled a firefly. Firefly breathed and woke up but with a transformation of handsome gentleman.”
“Wow! He must be a prince.” Tashi squealed.
“Yeah, he is a prince of a mighty kingdom. A wicked witch fell in love with him and when he refused to marry her, she cursed and cast a spell on him. He was transformed into a firefly and trapped in a deadly forest. When a person with a strong determination passed a deadly forest will break the spell, but if he helped a passer, he was to die.
The moment Euphelma conquered the deadly forest, he was freed from the spell. Since he helped her, he couldn’t escape death. But Euphelma’s wish was to see a firefly alive, a wish which was granted. So, Prince was alive.
They fell in love, married and lived happily ever after.
The End.” I sighed and thought ‘uff…that was quite a story.’
“I like a story of Euphelma better.” I grinned as Tashi approved my story.