The Wish Star and the Five Wishes – Merry Christmas xx

Thank you so much for staying with the Wish Star’s story. I hope you have enjoyed it. Today I have uploaded the whole story so that you can read through to the end.

2014 has been an amazing year for me, with Arthur and Me coming out and finally getting to see a book with my name on it in bookshops. I hope 2014 has been equally good to you and that you all have wonderful Christmases and a blessed New Year.

Merry Christmas.

xxxxx

The Wish Star and the Five Wishes

The Star

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine.’

One dark Christmas night a little wish star was born. She appeared in the northern part of the sky, next to the great constellation of Perseus. The wish star’s older sisters had shone for many winters, granting wishes to people on earth and the little wish star was so excited knowing she would spend her life making people’s dreams come true.

In this, her first year, she only had one wish. On her first year in the heavens a wish star is given one Christmas wish to grant to whoever she chooses. Each year she will gain another. The oldest wish star in the night sky could grant wishes all day long, every day, but the new little wish star had only one.

‘Choose wisely’, her sisters told her as they placed the glittering wish into her hands.

The little wish star looked down at earth far below, and waited for someone to notice her, and wish.

She saw people bustling in and out of shops, doing their final preparations for the great feast of Christmas. She saw a tree decked with candles and sugared candies in the middle of a town square, and a church lit from within and full of the sound of merry caroling as the choir practiced for its evening service.

And she heard her first wish.

 

The Boy

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine.’

The first wish she heard was from a small boy sat at a table in a small house in the middle of the town. He was wrapping Christmas presents for his little sister and was wishing very hard. It was a wish that he made every day. The little boy had wanted a pet for as long as he could remember. He loved animals very much and every weekend he would take his little sister down to the park to feed the birds and watch the squirrels in the trees. He would have given anything to have a pet of his own. A dog or a rabbit or a hamster. Not a cat though. His mother did not know it but he secretly fed a mouse that lived in the kitchen cupboards. The mouse’s name was Boris and he liked porridge oats and dried apricots.

As the boy wrapped his presents he thought of how much he wanted a pet. He knew it was against the rules. Pets were not presents, his mother had warned him, and he would not be getting one on Christmas day. Still, he thought, there was no harm in seeing if a miracle could happen.

So he closed his eyes and wished.

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine

So my joy will never end

Bring me now my longed for friend.’

 The wish star heard him and she thought ‘That is the first wish, but perhaps there are others. My sisters said to choose wisely,’ and she waited.

 

The Dog

She did not need to wait long. Outside in the cold a few streets away from where the boy wished for a pet, a small dog lay down under a hedge and moped. He had lived in a happy home till only a few short days before, when his family had taken him on a run. They had not gone to the park he loved so much, where there were rabbits to chase and a fountain to splash in. Instead they had driven him to this town. He remembered the hurried ‘get in!’ as his master ran to the car, leaving him sprinting behind, and his mistress spun the wheel and drove away.

It was a few days before Christmas and they had bought a new puppy. Now the dog wondered whether, when they had taken him home from the pet shop, wriggling and excited with a satin bow round his neck, he had replaced some other faithful pet. It made him sad to think it.

It was cold under the hedge and he was hungry. It had been a long time since he last had a good meal. He looked up at the night sky and let out a soft moan that the wish star heard as a wish.

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine.

Bring me food, a fire, a bed

Warmth and love to rest my head.’

The wish star heard him and she thought ‘That is the second wish, and surely it must be a worthy one, but perhaps there are others. My sisters said to choose wisely,’ and she waited.

 

The Shopkeeper

In a house near the hedge where the dog was sheltering there lived an old man. He had kept a shop in the town for many years and he had enjoyed talking to the people as they came in every day to buy sweets twisted into striped papers and sherbert in all the colours of the rainbow. He was old now and he lived on his own in a house in the middle of the town with a neat garden and striped curtains in every window.

Every day he sat on the porch and waved at the children on their way to school, and they waved back. Their parents would tell them about ‘Mr Bonn, who used to sell us all sweets’ and would sigh with happiness at the memory of the sweets in striped papers and sherbert in all the colours of the rainbow.

Mr Bonn had prepared his Christmas already. His sons were grown up and lived many miles away with their own children, and he would see them in the New Year. He missed the laughter of a full house at Christmas, and as he looked out of his window this night and caught a glimpse of the wish star in the night’s sky, he chuckled to himself at the thought that he might make a wish. Still, it was a time for miracles, he thought, so he shut one eye (so as to not look silly) and wished.

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine.

Bring me friends to share this day

Chase my loneliness away.’

The wish star heard him and she thought ‘That is the third wish, but perhaps there are others. My sister said to choose wisely,’ and she waited.

 

The Girl

At the other end of the street, near the house where the small boy lived, there was a girl. She was also wrapping a present, but hers was for her mother. It was very small but it was full of love. It was a scarf frilled with beading. She had made it herself, using the skills her grandmother had taught her, working late into the night when her mother thought she was asleep. The girl had been invited to the grand party with the rest of the town, but her only party dress had worn out the summer before. A wide tear in the delicate fabric showed how much it had been washed and re-washed. Her grandmother had declared that it was beyond even her skill. The girl would have to wear her day frock to the party.

She was a good girl, grateful for everything her mother and grandmother did for her, but her friends were all going to the party in their newest frocks. Her grandmother had bought her new shoes for Christmas and the box that held them sparkled under the tree. Her mother had bought her a new fort to play with and it too lay wrapped up for the next morning. Her mother would make her a new dress, but there were no fine fabrics in the house and the shop in the town where she could riffle through vermillion and petrol and gold cloth and spill buttons out onto the counter would not now open until after the Christmas feast.

She was a good girl, grateful for everything, but still she thought she would make one small wish, on this the night of miracles.

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine.

Mothers’ skill and fabric fine

Bring a dress as red as wine.’

The wish star heard her and she thought ‘That is the fourth wish, but perhaps there are others. My sister said to choose wisely,’ and she waited.

 

The Mayor

The grand Mayor of the town stood in the middle of the town hall looking at tables spread with every type of lovely food you could imagine. He was a kind man and was looking forward to later in the evening when the carol service was finished and the town gathered in the hall for the grand party. Every year the Mayor threw a party and every year there was fine food and dancing. Every year the decorations were more impressive than the year before. Every year there was a Santa Claus to give out the Mayor’s presents to the children of the town.

This afternoon the Mayor had received two phone calls. The first told him that there would be no fine decorations as the man who made them could not get through the winter snow on the mountains. The second told him that there would be no Santa Claus as the man who was to play him was ill. It was five o’clock on Christmas eve and the mayor was very sad. There would be no fine decorations to cheer the eye and no Santa Claus to hand out the presents.

The Mayor was a kindly man and a jolly man, but he was also the sort of man who does not believe in wish stars. His little granddaughter had told him that a wish star will always make your dream come true, but he did not believe in them himself.

Tonight, though, he was in such a fix that he thought anything was worth a try. After all, he thought, Christmas is a time for miracles.

So, after checking that no-one was around to see him being so silly, he squeezed his eyes tight shut and wished.

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine

Every girl and every boy

Needs a party full of joy.’

The wish star heard him and she thought ‘That is the fifth wish, and the night is moving on. I must use my wish soon, but who to choose.’ The truth was that the little wish star wanted to grant all the wishes she had heard that night. But she only had one small wish to spend on the people who needed her help.

‘If only there was a way that one wish could help them all,’ she thought.

And then she saw a way.

 

The Dressmaker 

The Mayor thought that no-one had seen him wishing, but one person had. In the town hall there was a lady who worked as a cleaner. Her name was Mrs Porfit and she had worked for the mayor for thirty years. She liked his kindly ways and he liked her quick wit and good sense.

Mrs Porfit also worked as a dressmaker. She had been taught to sew by her grandmother and was able to run up an evening frock or afternoon tea dress in a couple of evenings if needed. She was an expert beader and every lady in town, including the Mayor’s wife, went to Mrs Porfit when they had an important occasion coming up for which they needed a frock.

Mrs Porfit was a very cheery lady. Everyone in the town hall liked to stop by her little den for a chat and a cuppa. When she wasn’t making sure the tables were polished so that the typists could see their faces in them, or polishing the fingerprints off the doorhandles with little tutting noises at the lack of glove-wearing, she was offering a ready ear to the troubles of the other staff members.

So when she saw the Mayor making a wish and looking so troubled, Mrs Porfit thought ‘now what on earth can be upsetting our Mayor on tonight of all nights?’

The little wish star saw her chance and, kissing it once, she let the sparkling wish fly to do its work.

 

The Mayor’s wish

Aloud Mrs Porfit said ‘Are we all ready for the party, Mr Mayor?’

The Mayor shook his head and told her about the missing decorations and the lack of Santa Claus. Mrs Porfit looked around the hall and thought very hard. Eventually she said. ‘Well if you can let me have the old velvet curtains that have been taken down in the Council chamber’ I can rustle you up some decorations by the time the clock strikes twelve.’

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine

Every girl and every boy

Needs a party full of joy.’

The Mayor looked at her with glee. Could it really be done so soon? He knew from his wife that Mrs Porfit was a miracle worker with her needle and thread. Instantly he made her a gift of the velvet curtains. ‘Use whatever you need and keep the rest’ he declared. ‘I will arrange for the car to bring them round to your house.’

Mrs Porfit hurried home and readied her kitchen for the task ahead. By seven o’ clock she had crafted huge banners of bunting to hang from the great hall ceiling. By eight o’ clock she had run up frills to go round all the tables for the feast. By nine o’ clock she had sewn beautiful red velvet roses to scatter among the dishes.

She looked at the rich red of the velvet cloth. Her little granddaughter, Lisette, had not had a new dress this year and the Mayor had said to use whatever she did not use.

 

The Girl’s Wish

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine.

Mothers’ skill and fabric fine

Bring a dress as red as wine.’

At ten o clock on Christmas night Lisette brought her grandmother a cup of tea and a bowl of cold water to dip her fingers in. So many hours of working at the machine was apt to make them warm and tired. The water soothed them.

‘Such beautiful cloth, grandmamma’ Lisette said, stroking the soft velvet. ‘Just like Santa would wear.’

Mrs Porfit smiled and shook out the skirts of the dress she had been sewing so that Lisette could see them. The red velvet hung in soft folds from a pleated waistband. The dress had a sweetheart collar and puffed sleeves finished off with tiny bows on each cuff. Lisette gasped.

‘It’s beautiful, Grandmamma,’ she said. Then she looked at the floor and smiled. ‘Someone will be very grateful to you for making them such a beautiful gown to wear for the Christmas feast.’

Mrs Porfit laughed and gathered Lisette to her in a huge hug. ‘It is for you, you silly goose,’ she cried. ‘The Mayor said I could use all the fabric I wished, and there was enough for this dress for your Christmas outfit.’

Lisette’s face lit up with joy as she marveled at the beautiful dress her grandmamma had made her. She did not see the wish star’s wish sparkling on the neckline, but it was about to work its magic on her too.

‘It is just the colour that Santa Claus would wear,’ Lisette laughed.

Mrs Porfitt looked at Lisette and smiled. She was right. The bright red was just the shade for a suit for a Santa Claus. If only there was someone to play the part. She sighed and told Lisette about the Mayor’s dilemma and the wish star’s wish went to work once more.

 

The Shopkeeper’s Wish

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine.

Bring me friends to share this day

Chase my loneliness away.’

‘Mr Bonn would make a lovely Santa’ Lisette said. ‘He was always so kind to us when he had his sweetshop.’

Mrs Porfitt nodded slowly. Her hands went to the soft velvet still lying on her worktable. A plan was beginning to form in her mind. They still had a few hours before the concert. If she worked quickly she could just about manage it.

‘Lisette,’ she said, ‘find the old wool rug that used to lie in the hall, the white fluffy one. Bring it back here quickly. Tonight we are going to make a Santa Claus outfit.

Mrs Porfitt’s needle flew across the velvet as she cut and stitched and shaped until she had a red pair of trousers and a red coat with a long hood trimmed with white fur. It was perfect.

Mrs Pofitt bundled up the decorations for the Mayor’s party and bustled Lisette into the hall to ring the Mayor to come and collect them. Then she wound her warm woolen cape around her and went across the road to Mr Bonn’s house.

Mr Bonn was in his kitchen, stirring a hot drink. He had decided to listen to the carols on the radio and sit in the window seat so he could watch for the families coming back from the party and wave a Christmas greeting at them.

‘Mrs Porfitt,’ he cried, as he opened the door to find his old friend on the doorstep. ‘Merry Christmas indeed. Are you going to the Mayor’s party?’

‘Yes, dear Mr Bonn,’ Mrs Porfitt said. ‘And I hope that you will join me.’

And she held out the red velvet Santa suit.

 

The Dog’s Wish

 Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

This wish of mine.

Bring me food, a fire, a bed

Warmth and love to rest my head.’

It was a very excited group that set out that evening from Mrs Porfitt’s house. Lisette stepped carefully through the snow in her boots, a pair of cream slippers in a bag hanging from her wrist. Under her warm wool cloak she wore the new red velvet dress and her heart sang with pride. Mr Bonn waved at passers by in his Santa suit. He wore a thick leather belt round his middle and had stuffed a cushion into the front of the suit to make himself look more rounded. He remembered that he was going to spend the night with friends, and his heart sang with joy. Mrs Porfitt carried a tray of gingerbread baked by her daughter for the great feast. In a corner, the wish star’s wish twinkled. Mrs Porfitt was so happy to see Mr Bonn and Lisette smiling on this Christmas night, and so glad that the Mayor would have his longed-for party, and her heart sang with thankfulness.

The snow was beginning to fall thick and fast around them, and there were icy patches on the ground. Lisette held onto Mr Bonn’s arm to help him through the streets, and Mrs Porfitt tried her best not to slip on the glass-like pavements. As they passed one particular corner the wish star’s wish went to work once more. Mrs Porfitt lost her balance on a piece of ice and the tray of gingerbread tipped over. One of her gingerbread rounds fell to the ground and rolled out into the road.

The dog that was hiding under the hedge, trying not to think about how cold the snow was on his paws and his nose, smelled the warm gingerbread as it rolled away and dashed out after the scent. Lisette cried out in alarm as the dog raced past her and away down the street. The wish star’s wish sparkled as it went round and round on the gingerbread, bouncing over the cobblestones, gathering speed as it went. The dog ran faster and faster, but he could not catch it.

When the gingerbread reached the end of the street, it collided with the foot of a young man who was on his way home from work, dragging behind him the tree that would be set up that night in his front room and decorated for Christmas Day. He felt the gentle knock of something against his ankle and looked down. The first thing he saw was a warm round of gingerbread lying in the snow. The second thing he saw was a bedraggled dog, looking at him with hungry eyes.

The young man bent down and picked up the gingerbread, and offered it to the dog. The dog ate it in one gulp, enjoying the warmth of the spices and the sweetness of the sugar. He gave a little bark of thanks to the young man and wagged his tail.

The young man leaned over and patted the dog on the head. He was a friendly soul and out on a cold night, clearly in need of a good home. The young man had a kind heart and did not like to see an animal in need. There was food and warmth enough for all of them at his house. He made up his mind.

‘You are coming home with me,’ he said to the dog.

And the wish star’s wish twinkled where the dog would soon have a collar.

 

The Boy’s Wish

‘Wish Star, Wish Star,

Brightly shine

Grant tonight

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.’

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