Once upon a time, a man without very much money was having a particularly bad day, so he decided to take a walk through Greenvale Gardens to figure out his problems. He had walked through the gardens many times before, but because he was filled with frustration, he was having trouble paying attention to his surroundings and was instead filled with jealousy while observing all of the happy people walking peacefully through the park. Watching a woman in a suit enjoying a delicious lunch on a park bench that the man would never be able to afford, he noticed something in the distance that he had never seen before. Although his mind was elsewhere, this object was hard to miss, as it was large, bright red and was sitting in the middle of an open area of the park that was covered in luscious, green grass. The man walked off the path, deciding to investigate the object for himself. As he got closer, the man could make out that the object reminded of something he had seen in the pictures of the nursery rhymes that were read to him when he was younger: A Wishing Well. Standing beside the well, the man noticed a sign beside which read:
All you wish will come to ye, just throw some coin inside of me!
Excitedly, the man took out his wallet and searched for any coins he had. Opening up the pocketed area of his wallet, he was pleased to find a coin of small value. He held it above the well and made his wish: “I wish to be happy,” the man whispered before throwing the coin down into the well, satisfied when he heard it splash into the water below. The man turned and looked around the gardens and waited. After several minutes, he was more frustrated than he was before he found the well. I mustn’t have given it enough money, the man thought, and he rushed home to see if he could find some more coins to throw down inside the well.
After searching his small house, his hands were now filled with every possible coin the man could find. He rushed back to the well and was in such a hurry that he dropped some coins along the way, but he made sure he went back to pick them up, no matter their value. It all adds up! He told himself. Back at the well, the man held his hands over the opening and, not thinking he was being too selfish by adding a little extra to his wish given the amount of money he now had, he closed his eyes and thought: I wish to be happy and content. He took a breath and threw all of the coins he had into the well. They made a wonderfully melodic sound as they hit the water below and the man again excitedly turned around waiting for the happiness and contentment to rush over him. Neither happiness, nor contentment, rushed over him, however, and was, instead, filled with complete disappointment. He stormed through the park and angrily made his way back home.
That night, the man had a terrible sleep. When he did sleep, he dreamed of all the happy people he knew in his life and how jealous he was that they got to be so happy all of the time. In the middle of the night, the man sat up in bed with what he thought was a terrific idea. Fine, he thought. If giving the well all of my money wasn’t enough, then I will give it more!
The next morning, as soon as the sun rose, the man took two very large blankets out of his closet and wrapped up everything he owned inside of them. He picked up the ends of the blankets and dragged all of his possessions down the road, through the park and, feeling very exhausted, dropped them at the base of the well. He unwrapped the blankets and, one by one, started throwing his possessions into the wishing well while repeatedly stating his wish. I wish to be happy, content and at peace. I wish to be happy, content and at peace. I wish to be happy, content and at peace. The man felt very tired once he had thrown down the last of his belongings, so he sat down, leaned up against the bright, red-brick wall of the wishing well and, once again, waited for his desires to come true.
As he sat, he watched the people walking through the gardens, all of them seemingly without a problem in the world. He watched them for long enough to begin to feel his mind calm down and, as his thoughts stopped racing, he started to pay attention not to the people, but to the park itself. He paid attention to the ways the tree-tops swayed gracefully in the wind and how the butterflies were chasing each other around in amongst the beautifully coloured flowers throughout the garden beds lining the path along the river.
The man realised he had finally given everything the well had wanted from him, and, despite knowing his troubles were far from over, he sat there for as long as he could, enjoying the feeling of being happy, content and peaceful.
I write and publish a new children’s tale every day