By David Michael Jackson
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Sabine and every night when she went to sleep she dreamed of a beautiful place called Dreamland where all the trees had chocolate branches. In Dreamland all of her friends were birds and deer and sweet little squirrels and rabbits. Dreamland had its very own castle with a road which led through the very distant fog. Every night Sabine could see the castle in the distance, but every single night she woke before she could reach the castle.
One night she asked her mommy, "Can I get to the castle tonight, Mother?"
Her mother stroked the little girl's forehead and placed a long piece of string in her little hand. "This is a magic string. It will help you reach the castle. and when you get there, tie it around the most valuable thing you find.
Sabine leaned her little head on the pillow and soon her eyes were feeling very heavy, very heavy, indeed. she was drifting drifting drifting to dreamland.
"Come and play with us ", said the birds.
Sabine ran through the golden fields of dreamland. A soft warm breeze was blowing in her face. The squirrels, rabbits, and deer all came out to play. Sabine ran and sang and hugged the animals.
"It's so good to be in Dreamland with my friends", she said. Then she remembered the castle and the magic string. She threw the string onto the ground. It curled and twisted and grew longer and longer until it had rolled itself into a large ball. In a blur it unwound itself and wove a magic carpet of many splendid colors.
Sabine jumped onto the magic carpet. "Oh goody, goody, goody a magic carpet ride", said Sabine.
The carpet and little girl rose slowly into the air and then, SWOOP! off they went, high into the air. The birds were flying beside the carpet. It didn't take Sabine very long to learn to control the carpet and pretty soon she was swooping and diving and playing catch with the little birds.
"Oh, I'm having so much fun," said Sabine to a rabbit which had joined her on the carpet. The rabbit looked up at her.
"Let's go to the castle, Sabine" said the rabbit with a wiggle of his big floppy ears.
Indeed the magic carpet had drifted near the castle. The tower of the castle was just ahead, sticking out of the fog. Sabine circled the castle and landed in front of a huge wooden front door. As she stepped off the carpet, it started to unravel before her eyes. The thread rolled into a huge ball again which shrunk as she watched until there was only a lonely piece of string again. Sabine picked up the string and placed it into the pocket of her nightgown.
On the big door in front of her was a huge metal clapper. She grabbed the clapper and let it go. CLONG, again CLONG and again CLONG.
She could hear the sound echo and echo. Just then the giant doors started to creak and groan as they opened slowly. A golden shaft of light surrounded Sabine and the rabbit and made her feel welcome and wonderfully loved right away.
As soon as the door was open wide enough, they dashed through it into a huge hall of light and soft music. Huge tapestries covered the walls showing scenes of children playing and dashing knights and maidens in flowing gowns. To little Sabine's surprise, in the middle of the hall stood a very confused little boy.
"Who are you?" they both exclaimed at once. This made them laugh. The laughter filled the hall and echoed again and again which made them laugh again. Pretty soon they were running and playing and laughing as they explored the castle. There were many rooms filled with gold and rubies and diamonds and clothes with shimmering threads and toys, so many toys and ribbons and balloons and everything the heart can name or describe flashed by them as they ran and played joyfully. Soon they entered the last room.
"I'm having so much fun", said Sabine. "This is the best dream of my life"
The little boy stopped. "My name is Griffin and this is my dream, if you please."
"My name is Sabine. Very pleased to meet you. My mother gave this string to place around the most precious thing I find. It's a magic string. It can't be your dream, it's mine."
Just then a shaft of light spun circles in the air. Circles, shimmering circles of light which danced in the air and soon took the form of a lady of light. Her hair was gold, as gold as wheat, and then auburn, and then brown then black then gold again and her face was the picture of grace.
"Children, sweet children, it is both of your dreams. You will meet in life, maybe only briefly, but both of you will know. Break the magic string in half and tie both halves around the most precious thing you find." In a second she was gone.
Sabine took the string out of her pocket and Griffin broke it in half. At that very instant silver and gold cups appeared in a recess in the wall. Every color in the world could be seen dancing on the surface of each cup. On one cup was engraved happiness, on another, love and on the third joy. They were the most beautiful things the little girl and boy had ever seen. Which one to choose? Which one?
"How could anyone have joy without happiness and love?", said Sabine somewhat sadly for she so wanted to make the right choice.
Sabine took her half of the string and tied it around Griffin's little hand "The most precious thing I have found is not joy, or happiness, or love. The most precious thing is someone to share it with."
He tied his string around her arm too. Just then the circles of light appeared again. They circled and circled until they became a blur then a whirlwind then almost a tornado which sucked and blew so fiercely that everything in the room including Sabine and Griffin and the cups rose into the air and circled the room.
Sabine felt herself swirling and turning ever upward and upward through an opening in the top of the room. Up she went swirling and swirling until it became unclear just where she was. and then... She woke up. Her eyes were still heavy with sleep. Her mother was there, sitting on the edge of the bed moving ever so tenderly the hair away from the little girl's face.
"Mommy, I didn't tie the string. I couldn't choose. She drifted momentarily to sleep and came back. "Happiness, love and joy. I couldn't choose."
Her mother took the covers away from Sabine's little arm.
"Look!", her mother said with the warmest of smiles. Half of the piece of string was tied around the little girl's arm. "You brought all three back, sweetheart, happiness, love and joy."
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Copyright © 1997 by David Michael Jackson, All rights reserved
Send private comments to author: Jacksdm@brigadoon.com>