The Boy’s Wish
‘Wish Star, Wish Star,
This wish of mine
So my joy will never end
Bring me now my longed for friend.’
The boy was sitting by the hearth when he heard his father at the door with their Christmas tree. He had finished wrapping the presents and had been amusing his sister with stories from her favourite story book while his mother finished off some chores for the next day. They were wrapped in warm blankets by the fire, with chestnuts roasting in the embers, ready for eating before they got ready for the Mayor’s party. The boy heard the key of the lock turn and the swish of the branches sweeping the floor. He flung his blanket off his shoulders and scrambled to his feet to help his father with the heavy tree. Then he heard a sound that made him freeze. It was the soft bark of a dog.
‘Joachim, what on earth have you done?’ He heard his mother’s voice in the hallway. His father had stopped dragging the tree down the hall. The dog had fallen silent.
‘I found him in the street,’ his father said. ‘He’s hungry.’
The boy’s mother was stern. ‘You know the rule. A pet is not a present. I do not like this.’
The boy squeezed his eyes shut and wished harder than he had ever wished in his life. The wish star’s wish peeked round the door and watched him.
‘I could not leave him out in the cold, Veronica,’ the boy’s father said. ‘Not on tonight of all nights. It is not a matter of presents. I didn’t choose to get him. It is a matter of being kind to one who needs us this night.’
There was a pause. The boy was still squeezing his eyes shut, wishing that his mother would not send the dog away. He was wishing so hard that he did not hear the dog padding softly into the room, or see his mother and father smiling at him from the door frame, or hear the gasp of his little sister when she saw the dog wagging his tail in the warmth of the fire.
The boy did not notice any of this, but he did notice when the dog nuzzled his head against the boy’s knees. The boy opened his eyes then, and saw large eyes looking up at him, a tail wagging, and his parents smiling.
‘He is not a present,’ his mother warned. ‘But he has come here this night and we will take him in. He is here for the rest of his days and we are his family now.’
The boy nodded. He had longed for a pet for so long and now here was one. He fell to his knees and threw his arms round the dog’s neck. The dog gave a little bark. He was home.
The wish star’s wish had reached the end of its journey. It shimmered and then with a tiny ‘poof’ it exploded into nothing, noticed only by the boy’s sister, who thought it was a fairy.
The Wish Star
Up in the heavens, the wish star smiled. She knew she had chosen wisely. Five wishes from just one wish! She looked down on the hall where the Mayor was welcoming people to enjoy the festivities in a room decked with beautiful decorations. She saw Lisette twirling joyfully in her new dress. She saw Mr Bonn, smiling at the children as he gave out presents and laughed and joked with his old friends. She saw the boy settling the dog onto a cushion by the hearth before he went with his sister and parents to join the fun. And she saw the dog, curling up in the warmth of the fire, knowing his life now would be full of love and he would never be abandoned again.
The little wish star smiled to herself. ‘Just think what I will be able to do next year,’ she thought ‘when I have two wishes.’