One Wish

One Wish

The scent of freshly baked cookies wafted through Elfkin Hall, and the sound of laughter echoed through the room. Seated on candy cane-striped cushions, several elves talked aloud about making wishes.

“Imagine if we could have one wish for anything we wanted,” mused Jingles, as he stirred his hot cocoa. “What would you wish for, Tinsel?”

Without any hesitation, Tinsel replied, “I’d wish for an endless supply of candy canes! Imagine never running out of peppermint goodness – a dream come true!”

“Seems selfish to me,” Sprinkle complained. “I would wish for peace on earth, so families everywhere could spend time together without fear or conflict.”

“I’d want to be like Santa and spread happiness wherever I go,” added Twinkle, her cheeks glowing. “To see smiles on faces, and hearts filled with warmth – that’s all I could ever ask for.”

Jingles leaned forward. “Those are interesting, but wishing for one thing would be a hard decision.”

Ms. Claus and I moved closer to the group after over-hearing their wishes. “I agree with Jingles,” I said. You can’t decide too quickly on one specific thing. It takes time to think.”

While the elves nodded in agreement, Anya and I settled ourselves in a couple of comfortable chairs. “I remember a story about a man who was granted one wish,” I began. “He had a really hard time deciding what he wanted because he needed so much. Wishing takes a lot of planning.”

Before I started, several more elves joined the group and listened.

A very long time ago a man and his wife lived on a small farm in Ireland with the man’s elderly parents. The man’s mother had lost her eyesight a long time ago and his father wasn’t in good health. Sadly, the young couple had no child of their own. For several years they had wished for one, but had never been blessed.

The young man managed to keep the farm going and to keep food on the table for his family. But when a disease destroyed their crops, the four of them had very little to eat and no money to buy food. The man knew it was up to him to save the others and decided to hunt for some food on their landlord’s property.

Now the landlord was not very nice and didn’t like to share. He threatened that anyone caught hunting on his land would be hanged.

“That’ scary!” Tinsel said aloud. “I don’t think I’d take the risk.”

“What did he do, Santa?” Twinkle asked.

Well, the young man knew the risk he was taking, but he felt he had no choice. He took an old hatchet and crept over the wall into the landlord’s estate.

He searched all day for something to kill. Just as the sun set, he spotted a beautiful, white deer. As he lifted the hatchet to strike, the deer spoke. “Spare me and I will grant you one wish.”

The elves gasped and gathered closer.

The young man was so frightened that he nearly collapsed on the spot! “A talking deer? A wish? What nonsense is this?” he thought.

But the deer continued. “If you kill me, your landlord will hang you. If you ask for a wish, it could save you and your family. Come back tomorrow with your answer. I’ll be here. If you decide not to make a wish, then you can kill me to feed your family.”

The elves shook their heads and began to discuss what to do. Finally, Jingles asked, “What did he do?!”

The young man could not believe what he had heard. He thought the hunger was starting to affect him. He walked home, and the first person he met was his father. He told him about the deer and the chance of a wish. The old man immediately said, “Wish for gold. Gold will solve all our problems.”

The young man loved and respected his father, but decided to discuss it with his mother as well. She listened to his tale and pleaded, “Wish for my eyesight to be restored. That is more precious than gold.”

The young man loved his mother and thought about her answer, but he felt he should also discuss it with his wife.

She listened to his tale and immediately said, “Husband, I love your mother and your father, but we have been praying for a child. Surely that is the most precious wish!”

“Take the gold!” yelled one elf.

“NO!” another elf exclaimed. “What about his mother’s eyesight?”

“Children are the most precious,” several elves cried in unison.

I held up my hand, and the hall went silent. “Thank you. Now I’ll continue.”

The man didn’t know what to do since he could have only one wish. He tossed and turned all night. Unable to sleep, he thought killing the deer to feed his family was best.

The next morning, he returned to the landlord’s property and found the white deer in the same spot. The young man stood there, watching it graze while trying to decide. Finally, he raised his hatchet and was about to strike when he came up with an idea.

The deer gazed at the young man and asked, “Have you made a decision?”

“Yes, I have,” he replied.

“Name your wish, and it shall be granted.”

I paused and looked at the elves. “What wish do you think he made?”

“Kill the deer!” a few yelled out.

“Take the gold!” shouted the elves in the back.

Jingles stood up and turned to his friends. “But neither of those would make his mother see, or bless him and his wife with a child.”

The elves discussed what Jingles had said. Turning sadly in my direction, they shook their heads. Twinkle stood up. “Santa, how do you wish for something when someone is going to be left out?”

“Now you know how hard it is to decide on one thing.” I smiled and stood up. “If you take your time and think, an answer will appear. The young man was smart and patient. Do you want to know what he did?”

“Yes,” they shouted.

Well, the young man took a deep breath and said, “I wish my mother could see my wife rocking our child in a golden cradle.”

His wish was granted, and they lived happily ever after.

All the elves went quiet until Tinsel said, “Wow, everyone got what they wanted.”

While the elves clapped and hugged one another, Anya came up beside me, slipping her arm through mine. “Wonderful story, Santa. Old folk tales are the best.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday April 6, 2024.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

Santa’s story was based on One Wish, an old Irish Folktale

To read more Fairy Tales or Folk Tales told by Santa please check out:

The Nutcracker – November 25, 2019
The Shoemakers – February 8, 2021
Magic Beans – June 21, 2021
The Gingerbread Girl – January 21, 2023
Polar Pete’s Tail – September 16, 2023
Story of Tinsel – November 18, 2023

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