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Auxiris Story for the day/Nov 18 (2000) (11) Story for the day/Nov 18 18 Nov 00

Dear friends, once upon a time there lived a farmer named Little John. He and his wife lived together in a small village and, even though they were poor, they always managed to get by. Every morning, Little John harnessed up his mule and went to work in his fields nearby and, as he walked along, he'd say to himself, "Oh, I'm so tired of scraping and skimping all the time; I wish I could find a way to make lots of money! It's such a weary life to be poor, watching every penny, patching clothes and making do" and so on. He was indeed becoming quite obsessed with the idea of not having enough money.

One morning as he went grumbling on his way to work in the fields, he came walking around the last bend in the road and who do you think he saw there? A fairy! A beautiful sparkly fairy! She smiled and said to him, "Good morning, Little John ; how are you today? I've come to grant you a wish." " Fine, I'm sure, thank you and good morning to you as well" said he, "What's that you say? A WISH? Splendid! I know exactly what I want! I want. . ." "No, Little John", said the fairy, "You musn't tell me now what your wish is for just now; I'll be here tomorrow morning and you can make your wish then." " But, but, there's no need to wait until then! I already know EXACTLY what I want!" spluttered Little John, fairly beside himself with impatience. "Tomorrow will be soon enough", said the fairy, smiling. "Just remember this : the night brings sound council." And with that, she disappeared POOF ! leaving nothing but a delicious odour of lily-of-the-valley.

As you can well imagine, dear friends, Little John had a difficult time keeping his mind on plowing his fields that day! On his way home, he stopped, as he often did, to see his poor blind mother and ask if there was anything he could do for her. He told her about meeting the fairy at the bend in the road and her offer to grant him a wish. Just as he was about to say that he was going to wish for lots of money, his mother said, "Oh, Little John, how wonderful! Well, it's obvious what you'll wish for, of course; I've always wished that someday I'd be able to see again!" Said Little John, " Yes certainly, mother. . . that would indeed be marvellous; well, I have to get on home now. I'll see you tomorrow" and left with a heavy heart. Now there were two wishes for one available wish!

He went home, unharnessed and stabled the mule and went into the house for supper. His wife looked up from setting the table and said, " You look as if you've had a hard day, my dear. Sit down and I'll get you some stew straight away." "You don't know the half of it!" said Little John and told her about the fairy he'd met that morning. "Oh my!" said his wife, "I know what to wish for! I've always wanted children and we've never been able to have any so now's our chance to have some at last!" She served him a bowl of stew, humming lullabys, starry-eyed and happy. "Oh, no" thought Little John, who had the impression that his dinner tasted of ashes instead of vegetables, "Now there are three wishes for one available wish! It's all well and good to say that the night brings sound council, but I'm sure I don't know how to stretch one wish into three wishes!" Needless to say, he tossed and turned all through the night and got very little sleep indeed.

The next day, feeling a bit tired but much calmer, Little John harnessed up his mule and went off to work in his fields. Sure enough, as he came walking around the last bend in the road, there she was, the same beautiful, sparkly fairy as the day before, dear friends! She smiled and said to him, "Good morning to you, Little John. I've come to grant you your wish, so I hope the night has brought you sound council. Have you decided what you'd like to wish for?" "Yes" said Little John, taking a deep breath, "I wish tha

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