Lesson 1.3, Assignment 1.5 –– This week is story time! I have a great story to tell you. It begins like this:
Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there lived a little boy. Now, this little boy was very naughty and he loved pranks, because he loved to have fun. To other people though, they saw him as nothing but trouble.
He would leave the shepherd’s gate open and let the sheep run loose, watching as they ran all over the place. He would let the pigs run through the streets with paint buckets tied to their necks so it dyed the town in all colours of the rainbow. He would take the baker’s bread and put it in the most innocent people’s baskets just to cause a scene. This little boy was not bad by nature, but he just loved to have fun, though he would always come home with some prank played on him. Not that he minded though, as long as people were having fun, right?
He wasn’t really afraid of getting scolded either, because the villagers would never get seriously mad, and surely they know he means no harm. It’s for the fun of it, you know? And so the boy kept doing what he was doing, each prank more elaborate and diabolical than the last.
But one day, after the boy played a particularly bad prank that resulted in some people getting hurt, the villagers have had enough. They refuse to keep up with his antics any longer, and anything they did to give him a taste of his own medicine was met with either laughter, a smile, or went completely unnoticed. So the villagers consulted the wise woman of the town, because she was the eldest, the wisest, and the mother of many. The wise woman listened to the villager’s complaints, nodding at appropriate times and waited for them to finish. When they have said their piece, the old woman thought and thought, and decided the best way to deal with the little prankster boy was to tell him a story.
“A story? What good would that do?” criticized a villager.
“Stories are wondrous things,” replied the wise woman, “And they are dangerous.”
So the old woman invited the little boy to her cottage one evening, after he had successfully pulled another couple pranks during the day, and gave him some dinner and a little dessert as well. Then, she started telling her story about a little boy in a land far far away, once upon a time, that loved to play pranks on people. The story included some details of pranks, some antics and some fun, but those things did not last. The story was overrode with misfortune and misery, accidents and injury, pain and trouble, and suffering and sadness shadowing any fun the pranks could ever provide. The little boy put his hands to his ears and shook his head, refusing to listen to the story, but the old woman continued anyway. Her voice reached the little boy through his closed ears, and when she was done, the little boy, crying, said “Okay, I understand. But what you said was not very fun. Take it back. Call the story back!”
But, of course, it was too late. For once a story is told, it cannot be called back. Once told, it is loose in the world. And the little boy dared play a prank again.
When I began the story, I feel like I assumed a persona, or a type of storyteller-vibe. I could tell I was speaking softer and with more clarity than I would normally in everyday conversation. I was also speaking slowly and more articulate than usual. The story isn’t very flushed out, and I’m not sure if I represented it in the right way, but the “evil” was the little boy’s realization of his actions through listening to the old woman’s stories. Though the one written by King is about how evil came to the world as a whole, I think everyone also realizes and recognizes a sense of “evil” themselves. In their own world, when evil came, whether through criticism or self reflection; the evil that is entirely their own.