The Wishing Well is a story about patience that you can read to yourself, your children, or whoever else needs help seeing the “bigger picture” in life. This will probably be more relevant as we become filled with dreams we don’t necessarily understand or even really want through social media.
Here’s a well on Sanxia Old Street in Taipei which was their main source of water back in the day (at least that’s what I recall from our tour). It’s literally located on the sidewalk right in front of a shop. It isn’t a wishing well, but it’ll have to do to get your mind ready for The Wishing Well. Anyway…I digress…let’s get to the story.
THE WISHING WELL
Sarah was a young girl with big dreams.
She lived by herself in a small house, by a small forest, on the outskirts of a small village in Canada.
Her small dog, Eau, and her even smaller chameleon, Terre, were the loves of her life, but she had big dreams of becoming a star one day. She wanted to be important to people!
She knew that to make it big she needed money – lot’s of it! Maybe even a pirate’s chest worth of gold and jewels!
The only problem was she couldn’t afford to go to school and the only thing she was good at was singing.
She decided that she would go into the village square everyday and sing songs she would write the night before. Over the next couple of months she made her way into the village with Eau and Terre to sing her heart out, but no one paid any attention to her. Even though she worked really hard she made no money.
One day a man passed by and asked her what song she was singing. She smiled and told him that they were her own, but all he gave her was a puzzled look and marched on. She grabbed Eau and Terre and ran back home in tears.
No one liked her songs! Not one of the villagers! Maybe no one liked her songs because they couldn’t recognize them or maybe her voice wasn’t any good.
But then she remembered that her grandma would always love to hear her sing. Every time she’d visit her they would sing from breakfast to bedtime. Sarah would sing when her grandma was cooking, when she was cleaning, when they were gardening, and even when she was giving her a bath. If her grandma thought she was a good singer, then she had to be!
How could she make the villagers listen! She thought long and hard until she her eyes became so heavy that she fell asleep.
The next morning she woke to the sound of her favourite song playing on the radio. Even with her eyes closed she sang along and pointed her toes to the catchy beat of the song. Yes, that’s what she would do! She would sing popular songs that everyone already knew.
She wrapped her sandwich in a towel sprinkled with tiny shooting stars and gathered some goodies for Eau and Terre before setting out for the village square again.
When she arrived at the village square it looked less busy than usual, but that was fine. She would still give it her all!
She sang ten songs that day and made ten dollars. It was the most money she had ever made, but this still wouldn’t be enough to make her a star.
It was going to get dark soon so she headed back home. As she was walking she noticed the old village well. She had barely ever noticed it because no one in the village took care of it. It used to provide all the drinking water, but now water came straight to everyone’s homes. Everyone called it the wishing well now, but no one used it for that either.
Moss had almost completely covered its lovely stones. Reaching into her pocket she pulled out a dollar and threw it into the well. It took a while for the coin to hit the bottom. It wasn’t the sound of a coin hitting water, but of stone. The well had completely dried out.
She closed her eyes tightly and wished to become an important star!
The days turned into months as she made her way to the village square to sing. On her way home she would throw a little more of her money into the wishing well each day, hoping and praying that she could make it big.
Eventually the months turned into years. By this time she was making a lot more each day. She had quite a few regulars who would come out during their breaks to watch her perform. She had even begun to sing her own songs again until, in fact, they became so popular that that was all she sang.
One night while she was cuddled up by the fire with Eau and Terre she wondered if she had enough to become famous yet. Eau was happily chewing away at a bone while Terre was eagerly changing his costume to match the crackling fire. After counting up all that she had earned she began to cry. Even after doing this for 15 years it seemed like she didn’t have enough yet. In fact, the money she had would only be enough for her to do live the rest of her life singing in the village square forever!
The next day she packed her sandwich in that same towel with the tiny shooting stars. The design was almost entirely faded away now. She sighed as she took Eau and Terre to the village square like every other day.
As she was setting up in her usual spot a young boy popped up from behind her guitar. He looked at her with delight and told her that he was her biggest fan. Although she hadn’t even sung yet, he held out his hand with a single dollar and a smile from ear to ear. Her eyes filled with tears at the sight and she gave the best performances of her life that day.
That dollar was all that she made that day. It had rained and even the regulars stayed indoors during their breaks.
As she did at the end of every day, she walked to the wishing well before heading home. Even though she hadn’t made any money, seeing the joy in that young boys smile meant the world to her. The villagers hadn’t come out, but she had still seen them listening through their windows with smiles on their faces.
She was glad to have made them happy.
She was also glad she got to spend time with Eau and Terre all day long as they danced in the rain and napped during some of her performances.
Life was actually really great now that she thought about it!
Then she remembered that she had actually made some money. Reaching deep into her pocket she grabbed the single dollar given to her by the boy and with all the joy and gratitude in her heart she tossed it into the wishing well. This time she didn’t make a wish to become a star. Something seemed different that day and she let go of that dollar without a care in the world.
She was puzzled though. There was no noise when she tossed her dollar in. Was there some strange monster who had gobbled it up before it reached the bottom? Sarah, Eau, and Terre slowly peeked their heads over and were amazed at what they saw. The coin was sitting at the very top of the well on a pile she had unknowingly created all those years. It seems like she had been throwing a lot of her money into wishing to become a star. She was now rich and could travel around the world to finally make it big.
But after all the years of hard work and wishing she realized that it had already come true.
She felt like a star in her village.
All the years of practice had made her a great singer.
She got to spend time with her best friends everyday.
Everyone loved her and she loved singing for them.
She looked at Eau and Terre and as they smiled back at her she realized she had finally made it!
I hope you enjoyed this story. It’s how I feel the path of my own life will take me. I don’t have a dog or a chameleon though! Maybe I’ll do some illustrations for this story one day. Watercolours would be nice, don’t you think?
Jonathan How is the photographer behind Made by Ten and calls Milton his home. He specializes in creating beautiful, creative portraits of real women. He uses photography (and this blog) to help them build confidence and love for themselves and creates artistic images for their homes and offices. You can see him driving around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada from portrait to fashion shoot and back again.