Mini sat alone, wondering when it would be the others’ turn. Until then, she was all alone.
It all began a few days ago. Mini and her 6 sisters were not called “The Seven Samurai” not for nothing. They were so mischievous that the rest of the small town they lived in were in perennial fear of running into one or more of them at any point in time. All said and done nobody in the town wanted to get on the wrong side of the sisters, that would just be asking for trouble.
On one such day a couple of weeks ago, since the sisters did not find anybody in the town to trouble, they made their way into the woods adjoining the town. While they did not go there with the specific intention of causing any trouble, as was the norm, trouble seemed to follow them around wherever they went.
While walking in the woods, they came across a watering hole. And near the watering hole, they saw a unique assortment of animals drinking water – a tiger, a giraffe, a rabbit, a bear, a horse, a green colored animal which they had never seen before, and an elephant. While Mini and her sisters were not frightened at the sight of these animals, what stuck them as odd was the curious gathering of the animals here. There were quite a few natural enemies in this collection and yet they all seemed to be drinking water quite peacefully, in fact, they seemed to enjoy each others’ company quite a lot.
The sister being the epitome of mischievousness decided that they would try and scare these animals just for fun. So all of them hid in the trees surrounding the water hole, took out their firecrackers and lit them up. And when the crackers went off with bangs simultaneously from all the sides of the water hole, the group of animals panicked. They were not used to such loud noises and smoke emanating from all the sides at once. They ran helter-skelter into the woods in their frightened state.
While the sisters were laughing at this prank of theirs, suddenly they were confronted by an unearthly creature. It seemed to have a tree trunk for a body, branches and leaves of the tree for its hands and fingers, but it also seemed to have a face carved into its side. This being confronted the sisters and it suddenly spoke.
“I am Gaia, the mother goddess of this forest. And I am extremely displeased that you choose to trouble the sanctity of this watering hole, which has been deemed to be off limits for everybody else, other than my children”.
“Since you have sullied the sanctity of this place and also troubled my children unnecessarily, I hereby curse you to become wooden animals, the likes of which will be ridden by human children in fairs.”
While all the sisters were stunned to silence by the appearance and the curse of Gaia, Mini spoke up and told “Mother Gaia, it was never our intention to sully the sanctity of this watering hole, or cause any discomfort to your children. It was just a harmless prank that we played, and now we truly regret the same. Is there anything we can do to be rid of your curse, please?”
To this Gaia replied, “Only if you are truly touched by unconditional love, will you be freed from your curse. Until then you have no choice but to atone for the mistake that you committed.” Saying so, Gaia waved her hand and the sisters turned into a Merry-Go-Round with seven animals – a tiger, a giraffe, a rabbit, a bear, a horse, a green colored animal and an elephant. And with another wave of her hand, Gaia sent the Merry-Go-Round right to the centre of the town where the sisters lived.
The next day when the rest of the children suddenly saw the new Merry-Go-Round they immediately wanted to play with it, but since the parents didn’t know where it had come from, they assumed it was haunted or enchanted.
After 4-5 days, when the parents noticed that it seemed to be just like any other Merry-Go-Round, they let their kids play with it. One kid in particular, Jimmy absolutely loved the elephant in particular. Whenever he played, he made it a point to sit only on the elephant and ride the same.
One day when Jimmy was playing, he whispered the words “I love you elephant!!!” into the ears of the elephant and then suddenly Mini was back to her normal self again. Jimmy’s unconditional love for her had freed her from her curse.
Mini then sat alone on the edge of the Merry-Go-Round, wondering when it would be the others’ turn to receive unconditional love. Until then, she was all alone.
This story was prompted by The Weekly Writing Challenge prompt. The prompt was to write a post using the picture posted at the top of the post.