Friday, March 8, 2013

A Fairy Tale - not Grimm but Joy Filled

Dear Friends,

It is my privilege to offer an amazing writing by our AHG Girl Blogger, Sarah Peterson.  Sarah skillfully weaves a story that will leave a tapestry on your heart.  Share with your precious son and daughter...this is a fairy tale of truth, honor and love.  Thank you Sarah for sharing your talent with us.  Thank you for being a bold follower of Christ in an age where it seems bold followers are rare.

From Sarah:  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to write a fairytale for one of my classes. I just sat down at the computer and started typing and the words just came to me! The whole time I was typing many Bible verses came to my mind and I wanted to share the story and the Bible verses with you. I hope this gives you a smile for the day and also makes you think, because that is why I love to write: I try to challenge people in their walk with God and lift their spirits in the process. I hope you enjoy it :)

 The Three Scales

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a young beautiful girl. Her name was Amelia. She was well liked by all in her village because of her happy, spirited personality, her good looks and most importantly her love for others.
Amelia was going to turn eighteen in one week. She was a little nervous, for it was tradition in her village that once a girl turned eighteen her father would pick her a husband. This man then had to accept the offer and proceed to go on a journey that would truly show if he loved the girl or not and if he was truly worthy of her hand in marriage.
A week passed and Amelia’s father hadn’t eaten for days; he was thinking and meditating and going over all the eligible young men in the village. Finally he announced his decision.

“Edward is my choice! He will marry my daughter.”
Edward was known as being the most handsome, and the richest, man in the village. Every girl dreamed of him rescuing her from some evil monster. Surely whatever the challenge would be, he would come back the victor and sweep Amelia off her feet.

“My father has decided that your test will consist of this: The Dragons of Timbault reside in caves no more than a day’s journey from here up the mountains. You will proceed to these caves and bring us back three scales, one from each of these fiery beasts, within three days. This will show your courage and your valor and if you succeed I shall be your wife.” Edward took the challenge and started up the mountain.

No more than an hour into his trek, he came upon an old and feeble woman sitting by the side of the road near a path that led up to an old rickety house.

“Good day to you!” She called, waving a bony hand his way.

“Good day!” He replied back.

“Are you so kind that I may call on you for a service?”

“Whatever you shall need I shall be of service, your oldness!”

Showing her crooked teeth, she smiled and led him up the path to the little shack of a house.

Pulling out a box, she said, “I just lost my husband and I need a favor. I am supposed to count out twenty sneckles for the landowner of this house, to give to him for my rent, but I don’t know how to count for my husband always did it. Would you be so kind as to count out the sneckles and give them to the landowner? He lives another hour’s trip down yonder.”

Edward nodded and got right to work. Counting out the twenty, he then thought to himself, Why shouldn’t I count out a few more for myself? She should pay me for my services anyway!
He counted out an extra ten and went on his way. Hours later he had dropped off the money and was back on route to the mountains.

About three hours later he came to a little town. Normally he would have passed it by, but it looked like there was some commotion happening in one of the pubs. He walked in and noticed a serious game of gambling going on.

One graying, smelling and half-drunk old man called him over, “Say, young lad, would you want to join us?”

Edward thought to himself, I should really be hitting the trail again…but could I use these ten sneckles and make more?

He decided to sit in a round and take a shot. Hand after hand and Edward had won one hundred more sneckles. He could have stopped…but seeing the other sneckles in the middle of the table made him want more. And more. And more.

After three more hours, he had won hundreds more sneckles. However, looking outside he noticed that he lost all his daylight for his trek. He rushed outside, with his new fortune of sneckles clanging in his pockets. Edward calculated that he had two more hours before he would get to the caves, but it would be harder in the dark.

Two hours soon turned into three…three turned into four…after five more hours he finally stepped up to the caves. It was now midnight and looking at the side of the mountain, he noticed a light coming from the rock itself. He walked over to it and saw a stone door leading into the caves being lit up by a torch. Edward shrugged and pushed against the heavy door.
Nothing happened. It wouldn’t budge.

Getting mad, he pushed harder and harder. Still, it would not move. He stepped back and studied the door a little closer. In it was engraved a poem. Confused, he read it slowly, “ ‘This door only opens for those who are worthy; those whose lives are filled with respect and mercy. This stone can tell if you are a real man, or someone who just tries to pretend. Because greed is what you are known for, you will not be allowed to enter this door. The money in your pocket will only cause you harm, and no, my friend, you will not be saved by your charm. Your dire and irrefutable punishment will be as follows: Your memory is gone and you are now forced to live in the forest’s hollows.’ ”

He took another step back and something started to happen. He was confused.

“I don’t know where I am…I should probably try to get home. Wherever that is…” He wandered down the mountain and into the forest where he was never heard from again.

Back at the camp, Amelia waited and waited for Edward to come back. But after more than a week of not hearing from him she gave up and went to her father.

“Father, Edward has not returned. Where do you think he went?”

Her father, elderly and wise, smiled a knowing smile and whispered, “I should have known he was not a worthy man.”

Amelia was about to ask what he meant but her father was already up and walking to the door, “I think Richard will be my next choice. He will leave tomorrow!”

Amelia nodded and left the house wondering if Richard would come back for her…

Early the next morning Richard was ready. Everyone knew he would be back; he was the strongest man in the village. He won the most medals in all the games and no one dared to face him in battle. Surely he would be the one.

Leaving for the mountains he didn’t let anything or anyone cause him to stray off the path. He didn’t stop for pubs, for parties or for any person. Everything was going smoothly until he came to the castle. He saw the game flags up on the towers and his hair started to stand on end. He could show off his amazing skills…

Entering the castle he was bombarded with the sights and sounds of a party. Colorful clothing, intensely addicting smells and loud, catching music overtook his senses. He was suddenly in charm mode. Richard’s smile and good looks was the only reason that the game master allowed him to enter the games late. In a few hours he had won multiple medals and even beat the man who was considered the favorite. He was having the time of his life! Hours later and after tons of food, dances and medals hung around his neck he looked at the sky and noticed that it was getting pretty dark. He strutted out of the castle with his head high and his many medals clicking around his neck.

Many hours later he too made it up to the mountain. He also noticed the light by the stone door and he went up to it. Seeing that it was closed and sealed tight, Richard smiled to himself, “This will be easy to open…”

He pushed and pushed against the door, his medals rubbing against the rough stone, but it would not move an inch. Frustrated he kicked the door as if that would suddenly make it open. He was about to start pushing again when he saw something engraved on the door. Folding his arm across his chest, Richard read the poem, “ ‘This door only opens for those who worthy; those whose lives are filled with respect and mercy. This stone can tell if you are a real man, or someone who just tries to pretend. Pride is your undoing, young lad, and no, being good at things is not bad. But you only compete to outdo others, even making fun of your fellow brothers. This stone will not open because of the medals around your neck; it will only open once your pride is in check. Until the day you learn to be humble, your social status will collapse and crumble. You are now no better than a beast of the field, until you, my prideful one, learn to yield.’ ”

Richard suddenly felt the medals get very heavy and he collapsed to his knees. Gasping, he held his hands to his face; they were growing rough, dark brown hair. He screamed, but to his shock and dismay it came out as a bray. His toenails became hooves and his ears grew long. Richard had turned into a donkey. Running down the mountain in shame and humiliation, he burst into the forest and was never heard from again.

A few days later, back at the village, Amelia looked at her father and sighed,“Richard is gone too. He never came back…”

Amelia’s father nodded, “He was too good to be true.”

“Father, can’t you just pick a man and let me marry him! I’m afraid at this rate no man will ever come back!”

Her father looked at her with his big, wise eyes. Taking her hand he said, “Amelia, you want to make sure that the man you are marrying is one of respect and honor and not just of valor. Anyone can act as though he conducts himself right, but you have to make sure his heart is right as well.”

He then left, leaving Amelia to wonder about this journey that he was sending these men on and hoping that the third time really would be the charm…

Days later her father emerged from their house and announced his last choice,“Philip, is my last choice. If he doesn’t come back for my daughter she shall be forever alone. I have known Philip to be a good man, but is he worthy? In time, we shall see.”

Amelia thought Philip was a good looking man, though not as dashing as the rest. He was thoughtful and sometimes quiet but many knew him for having a good heart. He took the challenge gratefully, though he was unwilling to boast that he would be the one to sweep Amelia off her feet. He left the next morning.

A few hours into his journey he came across a young, filthy child. He smiled at the red-haired girl, “How do you do?”

She looked up at him and grinned, holding out her hand, “Would you be so kind as to give a young beggar some food or money?”

Looking down on her he had compassion and held out his hand, “Come with me and I will show you to a nice village inn where they will take care of you.”

As he was leading her down the road he told her stories and let her nibble on some of his bread. Though she was reluctant, she trusted him because of his honest eyes. She even told him her name: Grace. Philip thought that was a beautiful name and the little girl blushed when he said so. A few hours later they came upon the inn Philip had told her about. Entering the inn, the little Grace’s eyes lit up and she looked up at Philip, “Can I really stay here?”

He smiled and nodded at the small girl’s expression. Calling the owner over he told him to take care of the girl. Handing the owner a small bag of sneckles he said on his way back from the mountain he would pay him the rest. He then left the girl in the owner’s caring and able hands and continued on his way.

An hour or so later, as he was entering another village, he heard some commotion. Looking around he tried to find the source. He started jogging around a building and was almost hit over the head with a piece of wood. Ducking, he quickly assessed the situation. In the corner of the alley there was a young lady, not much older than himself, grabbing at these buckets and blankets filled with what looked like beautiful jewelry and screaming at the top of her lungs for help. Three men were also in the alley. One was trying to grab the girl, another was stuffing jewelry into a bag and the third had just tried to knock Philip out. Using his swordsman skills he had learned by his father when he was a young child, he quickly drew his weapon and took his stance. Seeing that Philip was there and that his sword was out, the three robbers stuffed as much as they could into their bags and took off down the street and into the woods. Philip chased them and got as close as he could, slicing a hole in one of the bags. Jewelry started falling out of the hole and the robber decided it was too much of a hassle, so he dropped it. Seeing that there was no way he could chase down the men, he grabbed the bag and carefully picked it up.

“I’m sorry, young miss, but I couldn’t get their other two bags.”

“Thank you sir, without you, I would have hardly any jewelry left!”

She praised him and so did the others from the village. He took it gratefully but did not accept any reward. The young lady wanted to do something, so she offered him a good meal. He took it and after he had eaten his full he was back on the road.

Hours later he too made it up to the mountain. It was dark by now and he noticed a light coming from a torch by a stone door. He went up to it and saw that there was something engraved on it. He read it out loud, “ ‘This door only opens for those who are worthy; those whose lives are filled with respect and mercy. This stone can tell if you are a real man, or someone who just tries to pretend. You, my faithful one, are what a true man is all about, someone who is humble and truthfully devote. This door will open for you, because your valor you have shown, helping those in need who couldn’t help themselves on their own. Truthfully, you, my friend, are a worthy man, placing others first and lending a helping hand. Opening just for you, this stone will move, for you are a man of whom I truly approve.’ ”

Suddenly, Philip heard a loud Clang! and the stone door slowly started to move aside, revealing a beautiful room made of pure gold inside. Philip stepped into the room and let out a low whistle. The room was about ten feet by ten feet and the walls were covered in solid gold. On the far wall were three gold dragon heads protruding out of the wall about three feet. Each looked different but were equally beautiful; fiery red and green eyes, sharp teeth and beautiful iridescent scales. A smile slowly crept onto Philips face.

Well, I guess I won’t need to be slaying these dragons after all! Philip thought to himself.
Walking to the back of the room he gazed at these amazing statues. He ran his hand over the scales and one scale from each statue fell off into his hand. He grinned and pocketed the three scales. Leaving the room, he stuck his hand into his pocket and felt the scales again.

Hours later he made it down the mountain, with the scales clinking in his pocket. He came upon the village where he had helped the young lady. Wondering how she was doing now, he entered the village and looked for her. He found her in the same alley, but she was on the ground, hands to her face, crying. He dashed over and asked what was wrong.

“They came back! When you left they came back and took everything! I don’t have anything to sell now. My family will go hungry!” She wailed.

A thought suddenly popped into his head, and believing that it would be the right thing to do, he reached into his pocket and took out one of the shiny, jewel-like scales. Handing it to her he said, “If you sell this, it will help with your costs. Your family shall not go hungry.”

Looking at him with eyes wide, she took and scale and pressed it to her heart, “How can I ever repay you?”

“It is not necessary. Take it as a gift from me to you.”

Without another word, but with tears in her eyes, she hugged him and dashed for her home, new hope swelling in her.

Philip continued on his path home, hoping that he had done the right thing…
A few hours later he made it back to the inn where he had left Grace. She ran out to meet him. He picked her up and laughed. She looked much better and when she was cleaned up she looked like a very pretty little lady.

“How much do I owe you?” He asked the inn keeper a few minutes later.

“Well, I would normally say about thirty sneckles, but my wife and I have fallen in love with the girl and are adopting her! So we should pay you something for bringing her to us!”
Philip turned down the offer, but said he would love to have a meal with them. After he had eaten his share, he was back on the road again. Only a few feet from the door, Grace burst out and stopped him.

“Will I see you again?”

He knelt down and kissed the girl on the forehead, “I don’t think so.”

“Well…can I have something to remember you by?”

Absentmindedly, he reached into his pocket and pulled out another scale, “Take this. I was going to get it when I first found you, so I want you to have it. I won’t forget you Grace.”
She hugged him again and then rushed inside with her new treasure.

A few hours later he made it back to his own village and he found Amelia’s father waiting for him.

Oh no, he thought to himself, I only have one of the three scales…

Philip walked up to him and silently reached into his pocket, pulled out the last scale and handed it to him.

Amelia’s father looked at the one scale, emotionless, “Where are the other two?”

Gulping, Philip answered, “I gave the other two away. One to a little girl and the other to a young lass.”

“Did they ask for them?”

“No, I gave it to them because…I thought it was the right thing to do…”

Slowly, Amelia’s father smiled. He reached out and took the shaking man in his arms and hugged him. Pulling away, he then placed the scale back in Philip’s hand, “You, my friend, are the one who is going to marry my daughter. You have proven yourself, not with sword skills, not money, nor even the best looks but with your heart. You are the kind of man I wanted for my daughter. Go. Go and find your bride to be!”

Philip smiled the biggest smile, hugged the man again and ran through the village shouting Amelia’s name.

Months later Philip and Amelia were happily married and as most stories go…they lived happily ever after.

And the moral of the story is: Be the person you should be and you will be rewarded for your good actions because truth, honesty and morality will always win out.

Now, here are some of the Bibles verses that came to mind as I was writing this story. I hope they challenge you as much as they did me :

Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." --------Make sure your heart is always in the right spot, for that is what truly matters.

1 Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" --------Be careful who your friends are! Make sure they are walking with the Lord. And girls, just as a side note, make sure you fall in love with someone for the right reasons. Not just for looks or fame or money; they need to be walking with the Lord as well.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." -------Though it may seem like it is taking God awhile to answer you or bring Mr. Right into your life, have patience and trust. As the daughter trusted her father in the story, we must trust our Heavenly Father and wait patiently for Him, because He knows what is best.

Wow! Wasn't that great!  Until Next Time,


Anni said...

I would love to see this turned into a book! This is a great story! Nicely done!

Unknown said...

Great job, Sarah! Once again you have shared your heart with us and honored the Lord with your gift of communication. You are sending out important truths for all of the upcoming Women of Integrity. So proud of you! Love, Miss L

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