Since this is a blog about many of my creative endeavors, I thought it would be nice to give y’all a chance to sample one of the children’s stories I’ve written. This one is called The Joy Pot. I got the idea for it from a phrase that my mother would say, “Don’t let the devil steal your joy”. It has obvious religious connotations, yet I thought it had value in a much broader sense as well. So with some toil and struggle (about 3 years worth trying to get the dang thing down on paper), I came up with this story. I hope you’ll like it. No illustrations as of yet, but at some point.
The Joy Pot
By Thom Reaves
Long ago, atop a high mountain, there lived an old woman who was full of joy.
She had so much joy that she turned it into a savory soup. She simmered it in a big pot which she called the Joy Pot and she shared it with anyone who wanted some. The Joy Pot never went dry, and it was warmed by a fire that never went out. From all across the land people came to have a taste of the soup in the Joy Pot and they went away filled.
There was living in the land, a wicked troll called Trouble and one day, he traveled across the mountain to upset the woman and steal away her joy.
“I would like some soup please,” he said.
“ And who are you?” asked the woman.
“I am Trouble and I have come from across the mountain!”
“It is said that Trouble comes as a great storm,” the woman replied. “You do not look like a storm to me.”
To prove his power, Trouble changed himself into a terrible storm that flashed lightning and thunder. “Tremble and be afraid,” he shouted through the raindrops.
The woman however, wasn’t afraid. She looked at him and said, “Impressive, but it is said that Trouble sometimes comes like an earthquake. If you were really Trouble‘, she said, ‘you could change yourself into an earthquake.”
To prove his power, Trouble changed himself into a mighty earthquake so that the ground shook and rumbled and the rocks rolled and smashed on the ground. “Shake and shiver,” he shouted over the tremors.
But the woman stood her ground. “You put on a good show,‘ she said, ‘but how do I really know if you are Trouble?
“I surely am Trouble,’ he said, ‘and I can come in any form.”
“If you were really Trouble,’ said the woman, ‘you could change yourself into something as simple as a chicken.”
Wanting again to prove his power, and not wanting to appear weak, Trouble changed himself into a fat chicken, running around and pecking at the ground. “Cluck, cluck,” he said.
And the woman, whose eyesight wasn’t very good, said “Come up closer that I may see you and then I will believe you are really Trouble.”
Quickly flapping his wings, Trouble jumped into the air and came to rest upon the edge of the pot. When the woman saw that he was on the edge of the pot, she quickly pushed him in and shut the lid tight.
And the pot bubbled and boiled and the joy swallowed Trouble up and made for a good chicken soup too.
And that’s how the woman stopped Trouble from stealing her joy.