The Water of Happiness

For a school report I wrote a short story. I thought it was rather good so I thought about posting it here. Tell me what you think!

Once upon a time—so long ago that even your great-great-great-great grandfathers hadn’t been born yet—there was a kingdom. This kingdom wasn’t one of those that did great things and went down in history but it was a pleasant one. Everyone, from the peasants working in the field to the scholars studying in their rooms, was happy. In this kingdom, there was a princess. She was sweet and just and, if I may say so myself, beautiful. All in all, she was the beauty of the realm. However, her father—the king—who was also fair to the people and much-loved, was always solemn and sad. This was because his beloved queen had died when the princess was just a baby. The princess, an angel that she was, tried to cheer him up by drawing pictures and singing songs for him, but it was in vain. The king would smile half-heartedly but his sky-blue eyes would betray his true feelings.

One day, she was out on the beach, thinking of ways to cheer her father up. Her silky black hair was loose and her dark black eyes were staring out to sea. Sparkling in the sunlight, her silver tiara rested upon her noble little head. She was thinking of holding a play for her father when, suddenly, a wind blew from the sea. It brushed past her and whispered in her ear “Come with me…” in a raspy voice.

“Where would I come with you and why?” the princess asked, puzzled yet intrigued.

“Come with me…far away…to the well of happiness…” the wind replied.

Overjoyed that a chance to help her father had finally come, the princess quickly got up to her feet and was just about to follow where the wind was going when a depressing thought came to her: How was she supposed to go ‘far away’ just by walking? As if by reading her mind, the wind abruptly changed direction and sprayed some seawater in front of her. Right before her eyes, the salt crystal that had escaped the water turned into a beautiful white horse. Without even trying to hide her delight, she mounted the calm steed. Its body felt like velvet and its hair was smooth and soft, just like the water it was made from.

For many days and many nights, the princess rode on, following the lead of the wind. Many a time she would not stop for days, no matter how tired she was, hoping that she could get there faster. The trio traveled to all places, far and wide. They journeyed across scorching deserts and trekked up steep mountains. They swam across oceans and braved dense jungles. Whenever the little princess wanted to give up and go back home to her comfy bed, the thought of her father kept her going. The wind and the horse, seeing her determination, helped her by never complaining.

One night, while the princess was having one rare moment of sleep, she had a dream. She was but a child and was in the royal garden. On a swing, there was a woman who looked astonishingly like herself. With a start, the princess realized that it was her mother. Her mother was laughing while she went up and up and up. She saw her father and was immediately surprised. He looked much younger and, though the princess couldn’t believe it, he was smiling! The smile that she had always longed for was portrayed now in full radiance. The woman smiled back. Then, as if in slow motion, the woman lost her grip on the swing and fell out. It wasn’t a big fall—it was just a little one—but she landed on the worst place possible: the marble footpath. Her father’s smile was gone and it was replaced by one of shock. The vision blurred and the princess was awake. She knew that this was the scene of her mother’s death and her determination to get the water was even greater than before.

They rode on and on until, finally, they came to a barren piece of land: no vegetation, no monuments, nothing except for a well in the middle. However, this well was not an ordinary well. Its stones were made of silver and its bucket of gold. Hesitantly, the princess went forward, taking baby steps. Suddenly, in front of her, a nymph appeared.

“I am the guardian of the well,” said the nymph. “If you want some water, you will have to give up your true happiness.”

Concerned more about her father than herself, the princess gladly gave up her happiness. The nymph jumped into the well and came out with a vial of water. The princess solemnly took it, mounted the horse and rode back to the kingdom.

Upon returning, the princess realized that it had been a year since she had left. The whole kingdom had worried and thought that the sea had taken her. Everybody was sad. With the help of the wind, the princess spread the water all over the empire. All the people became happy again. Entering the castle, the princess saw the king smiling a most wonderful one. It was like in her dream. The king, seeing her, welcomed her into his arms and looked at her with love. “My beloved daughter, how did you leave me so?” he asked. She told her story and the king nodded and cooed. At the end of her story, he stood up and hugged her and kissed her. It was then that she wept. The king and all the onlookers thought that the curse of the nymph was at work and looked in dismay but those tears were those of joy. The wind swirled around the room, messing everybody’s hair and the horse neighed and stomped his golden hooves. The true love of her father had triumphantly conquered the curse of the nymph.

The End


About The Empty Notebook

I'm a hopeful illustrator who wishes to change the world through art. I suppose, though, that I'll have to start simple - one sketch at a time.
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2 Responses to The Water of Happiness

  1. evajoy says:

    This is the most super short story I have ever read (besides my own, of course)! It makes you want to keep reading until the end. It’s absouloutely smashing!!! I love it, I love it, I love it!!!!

  2. The Empty Notebook says:

    Thank you so much reading (and liking, I’m guessing) my short story! It’s actually the first completed one I’ve ever written. I love your blog and your book reports!


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