NOTE: Isa sa mga vintage blog posts na lumutang sa hard drive ko. yey!
Credits: Story adopted from elementary workbook called P.L.P., Louisians, remember that book? (Grade 5)
Al was an orphan. He lived with his poor aunt in a barrio at the foot of a hill. Al had already finished high school, so he could work as an assistant in a small store at the age of 18. As a child Al had always been curios. “How high is the sky? How deep is the earth? Why do people die? What is beyond the edge of the world?” were some of the questions he asked.
One hot summer day, a golden haze hovered over the village. The sun was small as the moon. Dogs hid under the beds with their tails between their legs. Doves rested in the park. Goats huddled beneath the eaves of the huts.
Al left the house without eating his lunch because his aunt had scolded him. He wore a torn jacket and was barefoot. His only possession was an old storybook which he had read many times.
Al walked through the meadows and rice fields. When he got hungry, he gathered some guavas and berries. When he entered the forest, it was cooler. The big trees stood straight as a pillar and on their bark hung golden necklaces as the sun shone through the blossoms. Al could hear the sounds of cuckoo and woodpeckers. Deeper and deeper into the forest, Al wandered sick and lonely. His head ached and his knees felt weak.
“Maybe I’m going to die,” said Al “then I’ll soon be with Papa and Mama.” Around the trees Al saw plenty of flowers with intoxicating odors. He felt asleep and had a strange dream.
The sun was setting and huge birds flew from tree to tree. Suddenly beautiful castle appeared. It had silver roofs and a crystal tower. Al went up to one of the windows and looked in. On the wall he saw his own portrait hanging. He was dressed in royal robe and seemed to be waiting for someone to come.
Then doors opened and people came into the room. They were dressed in white and the women wore jewels and held prayer books. Al recognized his parents, grandparents, and other relatives. He wanted to hug and kiss them, but the glass window stood in his way so Al began to cry, His grandfather came to the window and asked, “Why are you crying?”
“Are you my grandfather Pedro?”
“Yes, my child. I am your grandfather Pedro.”
“Who owns this castle?”
“All of us.”
“Of course, the whole family.”
“I want to speak to Papa and Mama. Please let me in, Grandpa.” begged Al.
“The time has not yet come,” said grandpa. “One day you will live here with us.”
“Grandpa, I don’t want to wait long. I’m hungry, tired, and thirsty. I don’t want to be an orphan,” said Al.
“We love you and we are all waiting for the time when we will be together. You have a long journey to take before you can come here to stay.”
“Then let me in for a few minutes,” begged Al.
“Okay, but only for a little while. I’ll let you see some of our treasures, but then you must leave.”
Al stepped inside and soon his hunger and weariness left him. He hugged his parents and they kissed him. But they didn’t say anything. Al floated Along with them from one room to another. There he saw his old clothes, shoes, caps, toys, notebooks, pencils, and the Bible. In the third room were soap bubbles floating around reflecting rainbow colors, castles, rivers, and gardens. The fourth room was filled with storybook characters found in the book he had read.
Equally surprising were the things found in the fifth room. A golden horse became a blue butterfly; a rose became a cup out of which flew grasshopper and silver bats. On a glittering throne sat King Solomon who looked like Al.
In the sixth room were strange men, women, and animals. The images were not clear. The figures were transparent and surrounded by mist. Al saw a girl Almost his age with long golden braids. Al could not see her clearly, but he liked her at once.
“Grandfather,” Al asked, “what is this all about”
“These are the people and events of your future. You are in a castle that has many names, where nothing is lost. There are other wonders here, but now it is time for you to leave.”
Al wanted to remain in this strange place forever with his parents and relatives, but all of them signaled him to leave the forbidden place. His parents silently bade him farewell and his face became wet and hot from their kisses. At that moment everything disappeared-the castle, his parents, grandparents, and the girl.
Al awoke and saw himself in the forest. The full moon shone and the stars twinkled.
Al looked into the face of a girl who was bending over him. Her long braided hair shone golden in the moonlight. She was shaking him saying “Get up, get up, it is late and you can’t remain here in the forest.”
Al sat up. “Who are you?”
“I was looking for berries and I found you here. I’ve been trying to wake you.”
“What’s your name?” inquired Al.
“Emily” said the girl. “We moved into the village last week. But then I saw you, I was frightened. You lay there like dead. Were you dreaming? Your face was so pale and you lips were moving.”
“Yes, I dreamed about a castle. It’s a long story and we will be late. I’ll tell you when we go berry picking tomorrow,” Al promised.
Hand in hand they started towards home. Al knew that his aunt and uncle would scold him for coming home late and for leaving without his lunch. But these things no longer mattered. He had visited a mysterious world in hid dream. He had found a friend who would be his life partner someday.