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The Wish tree | 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

This story runs beyond the Golden Era. 

Long long ago in the midst of the Ocean, there was a beautiful island with a lush green forest. This forest was known as Silverdale Forest. The legend says in the middle of the forest 

stood  a Wish Tree surrounded by seven fresh water springs. Once in a thousand years this Tree bears a huge Silver Leaf. When that leaf appears men can wish for anything they want. People were afraid to go to the Silverdale Forest although they wanted to see the Wish Tree.

They told many different stories. Some said that people who went there, saw the tree but never returned. However this story remained as a hidden treasure for several thousand years.

One early morning a hermit in yellow robes appeared in a meadow by the river. A shepherd who was taking sheep to the grazing field saw the hermit. Leaving his sheep behind, the shepherd went to the hermit.

‘My Lord, I am sorry I have nothing to offer you other than this sheep milk,’ the shepherd said.

‘Thank you my dear child. Thank you very much.’

There is no hermitage or monastery nearby. How can this hermit be here early this morning? The  Shepherd thought. The hermit understood his puzzled feelings. 

‘I came to help you, my dear child. I am Ravana, The God of the Wish Tree. You are honest. You are ready to help others all the time.’ 

‘Now hold this stick with both hands and kneel down.’

‘Repeat these words after me ‘ 

‘God Ravana, God of the Wish Tree in the Silverdale Forest, please grant me a Wish. Bless this stick with Wishes.’

The shepherd repeated the words.

‘Keep this stick safely. It is the Wish Stick Remember. As long as you are good and honest 

this stick will be your humble servant,’  the hermit said. 

‘Thank you My Lord, ‘ said the shepherd.Then he turned back to see his sheep were there.

A strange thing happened. A fireball appeared. It flew up swiftly like an arrow at high speed towards the Silverdale Forest. The Hermit was nowhere to be seen. The shepherd could not believe his eyes. He sat on the grass puzzled, still holding the stick. He sat there for quite some time. When he regained his senses, he went home with his sheep. Later in the evening the shepherd climbed the little hill near his house and blew his horn. This was always used by his father to call people for a meeting. The villagers gathered and sat around the shepherd.

‘From today onwards my son will be the Master of this village. Our village will be known as Ravanapura,’said the shepherd’s father. 

Then the shepherd stood. He said, ‘we must build a Temple in honour of God Ravana .This stick was given to me by Him.’

‘Ah…‘  the  villagers were astonished. The shepherd held the stick up. Then it began to glitter. ‘Do you want to be killed by someone for food ? ‘The shepherd asked a question.

No… ,‘ they all said in one tone. 

‘These animals also feel the same. The only difference is that they cannot talk. They cannot 

 tell their feelings. They have the right to live. Let us honour that,’  he continued.

‘We can keep a barn for the old animals and take turns to feed them.’

‘We agree with you,‘ the villagers said.

The shepherd held the stick up and said in a different tone.

‘Let this village Ravanapura be filled with gems.’ 

At this instant a fireball appeared above them. It ran round like an arrow and then vanished 

into the thin air. The villagers sold the gems, became very rich and lived happily ever after

Later this village was known as Rathnapura.

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