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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Only Sri Lankan Community Newspaper in New Zealand

The Crystal Ball | Menike Wickramasingha | Auckland 

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ශ්‍රී LankaNZ is a free distributed Sri Lankan Community Newspaper that aims to reach a Sri Lankan population of over 18,000 all over New Zealand. The demand for entertainment in literacy media itself gave birth to ශ්‍රී LankaNZ

Mithila was a little girl with curly golden hair.She lived with her parents in a little mud house near the forest belt. She had a cloth doll , a tiny teddy bear and a bunny which her mother made for her. Mithila was very kind and helpful. Never said a lie. Never cheated anyone. More than that she never hurt anybody. She used to feed birds. Turtle doves came to her every evening. There were about twenty of them in the flock. They sat on her lap  or on her shoulder  or in the cane tray which she kept rice. Sometimes birds come with their feet entangled with hair or cotton thread. She removed the hair and thread and set them free.

She liked to dress up like a fairy. Her mother made a long white dress for her. Her father made a little crown with wild seeds.   She kept a stick which she called her Magic Wand. She went near touch me not plants and waved her stick saying “now you go to sleep ”. The plants closed the leaves as they obeyed her.

One evening as she was feeding turtle doves a strange thing happened. Something from the sky fell near her. At first she was frightened. When she realized that it was not harmful she picked it up. It was a large pearl , a see through crystal ball. Mithila put the pearl on her palm and looked at it. When she turned it she saw different strange  pictures.  She took the pearl and went inside . Then put it under her pillow .That night while she was sleeping she had a wonderful dream. A tall man with a long white beard appeared. He was dressed in a white robe. He had a white turban on his head.  The man said something and vanished.  When Mithila got up in the morning  she remembered her dream. She put her hand under the pillow just to see whether the pearl was there.

One day she saw a beautiful palace through the crystal pearl. Mithila admired it. She compared her house with the palace in the picture. Her house is made of mud  and clay. She kept the pearl close to her heart and touched tenderly. Suddenly she saw a fairy in the crystal ball. The fairy smiled.  Her lips moved slowly. Then she   began to talk in a musical sound.

“My child, you are a wonderful girl. You cheat no one. You hurt no one. So I gave you that Crystal Pearl. Ask what you want. What do you wish for my sweet girl? ”Asked the Fairy waving her Magic Wand.

“My house is not good.  There are holes on the roof. When it rains water drips inside. I like to have a good house with two rooms.” she said.

“Your wish is granted ” declared the Fairy and disappeared.

Feeling very happy, Mithila began to sing and dance. She skipped round the house with joy. The next morning Mithila heard her mother calling.

“This is strange. I cannot believe my eyes. Am I dreaming ? Mithila got up. Look at our house. ”

Mithila jumped out of her bed and ran outside. Her mud and clay house was not there. Instead there stood  a beautiful small cottage. Mithila cleaned her eyes twice just to see whether her eyes were revealing the truth. She was amazed.

“Mithila, how did this happen ? What did you do?”,  She didn’t wait to answer. Instead she ran inside and brought the Crystal Pearl and put it in her mother’s hand.

“I didn’t do anything.This Crystal Pearl did what you are seeing now”.

“The Crystal Pearl fell down from the sky one day. I picked it up and put it under my pillow. While I was looking at it a Fairy appeared and asked me what I wanted. I said “we need a good house. That’s all”.

That night they were having their meal keeping plates on their palms. “ It is good if we have a dining table ”said    Punchi Appu , Mithila’s father.“ How are we going to have one ? ”asked Mithila’s mother Podina.

“There is one carpenter in the neighboring village. I know him. He can make one for us. ” He said.

The next day Punchi Appu came home with the carpenter Upali.Carpenter was shocked to see their house.

“How did you get this house ? Who built it ? A few days ago,  I was going along this road. There was only a little mud house.I cannot believe my eyes”. Mithila’s parents looked at each other. They didn’t say a word. Then Mithila went inside and came with the Crystal Pearl.

“Ah.. . . What is this ? A beautiful stone ”.

Then Mithila began to tell the story of how the Crystal ball fell  from the sky and how the Fairy . . .

Mithila’s mother closed her mouth but Upali understood the untold part.

“Let me see it ” Upali tried to grab the Crystal ball but Mithila ran inside with it.

Upali was upset. He went home thinking of a plan to get the Crystal ball from Mithila.

As promised he made a dining table. Then rushed to Mithila’s House.

“Your table is ready. I can bring it in the evening.  ” Upali said.

He put the table in his cart and brought it to Mithila’s house.

Podina asked Upali about the price.

“This is free. I don’t want money.”

“Thank you .Thank you very much” she said.

“ I like to see Mithila’s stone ball  ”. Upali said.

Podina asked her daughter to bring the ball.

Upali had a secret plan deep in his mind. He wanted to cheat and get the ball from Mithila.

When she brought the ball Upali was restless. He tried to grab it but he couldn’t hold it.  It slipped from his hand and fell down. Upali bent down to take it.The Crystal ball began to roll.He jumped to catch it .Suddenly it turned to a fireball and flew up like an arrow. Then the crystal ball vanished.

 

By Menike Wickramasingha – Auckland

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