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The Box Of Dreams

LONG AGO, in a city called Carmiel (meaning vineyard) the people were very unhappy. Everyone was poor, and had nothing they desired. Except for one little girl named Evelyn. The ruler of Carmiel saw that his people were unhappy. He did not know what to do. So the ruler thought, "Maybe a good nightís rest will help, I will think of something, yes, perhaps in the morning". He yawned and drifted off to sleep.

As the ruler slept, he dreamed. He dreamed of his people happy. They were having parties and dancing again. Yes, they were laughing and smiling. Where did such happiness come from? There was a long line of the people waiting. What were they waiting for? They were looking into something... This thing was making them smile, but what was it? In the morning, the ruler awakened. He yawned and opened his eyes. Suddenly, he remembered the dream. "My people, happily looking into something... Now what was it?" The ruler mumbled to himself as his servant served him breakfast. "Having parties again, smiling, laughing, even. I know- it was a box! A beautiful box! A polished wood chest with jewels all around it!"

SO AS SOON as possible, the ruler sent the town carpenter to work. "It must be the most beautiful chest ever, polished with jewels all around it", he exclaimed to the carpenter. Then the ruler stayed all day at the wood shop, making sure everything was just as he had dreamed. Meanwhile, Evelyn was helping her mother prepare dinner for the ruler. "Oh, mother, it sounded wonderful, the way he was describing the chest, polished and with jewels, too! But he wouldnít say what he was making it for. I think heís going to put a ton of gold-" "That will be enough, Evelyn, you know I tell you too often to keep from eavesdropping like that. Especially on our highness. Sometimes I think you have more curiosity than is good for you. Now keep your mouth shut and keep peeling those potatoes." Evelyn sighed. "Yes, mother". But of course, Evelyn couldnít help thinking about the chest- or what treasures it was to hold...

THAT NIGHT IN the Rulerís bedroom, the ruler smiled at the big, wooden, chest, and at all itís beauty. "Yes", he thought, "Yes, this is exactly as I had dreamed." And so it was. He could only hope that his dreams he would have that night would fill the chest. That night, his dream came. He dreamt of wonderful things, big feasts, parties, smiles, laughter, riches, families together. Yes, everyone was smiling. He dreamt beautiful colors, wishes come true. At the very end of the dream, there was the most wonderful thing of all. Carmielís dead, withered, vines suddenly burst out in the most beautiful green ever, and ripe, sweet, deep purple grapes grew out of the vines. There were so many grapes that he knew his people would never go hungry again. When the ruler awakened, he only remembered one thing. Something about the old vineyard. He did not remember anything else. He could only hope what he dreamed was good, and that all of the good things were in the chest.

The ruler announced to his people to come to the vineyard that day, dressed in their finest clothing. Evelyn and her mother were among the people who heard the news, and Evelyn knew that the ruler was talking about the chest. THAT EVENING, AFTER Evelyn and her mother had prepared the feast for the special banquette for the chest, they dressed in their finest clothes. "I wonder what would be so important that the ruler would want a feast for?" Evelynís mother wondered out loud. "I think I know", said Evelyn almost to herself. After everything was ready for the feast, Evelyn and her mother set off to the old vineyard. There was a long line in front of the vineyard gate, and everyone gave each other confused looks. "Why the old vineyard, I wonder?", a lady said. "I heard there is going to be a feast", said the ladyís friend. "Silence", said the ruler loudly, but gently. Everyone turned their eyes to the ruler. "Everyone one of you, I am sure, has at least one hope for their future. Today, I am wishing that you will find that hope, that dream. After I have opened the gate, one by one you will enter. You will open a chest, see what there is to see, a walk out of the vineyard." The chest did make people happy, just as the ruler had dreamed. An unhappy woman saw herself at a party. A hungry man saw himself at a feast. Everyone came out of the vineyard smiling and overjoyed. "A big feast! With turkey and mashed potatoes..." described the hungry man. Finally, it was Evelynís turn. When she opened the chest, she saw- NOTHING. EVELYN SAW only the wood of the bottom of the chest. "Was this some kind of joke?" Evelyn asked herself. Puzzled, she looked deeper into the box and felt it. "Is there some kind of trick to it?" she mumbled to herself. Disappointed, Evelyn walked out of the vineyard. After the great feast, Evelyn and her mother were washing the towering stacks of dishes. Evelyn was silent. "Why didnít the chest show me anything?" she thought. Her mother handed her the wet wash rags to hang out in the vineyard. "You must be tired, Evelyn, hurry now so we can go home." Evelyn walked into the vineyard and hung up the towels to dry. She noticed the chest was still there. "Maybe just one more look," Evelyn thought. She walked over to the chest. She closed her eyes. "Please show me something chest." She opened it and- Brilliant colors spun out so beautiful- so bright. Evelyn let out a scream. She closed her eyes. When she opened her eyes- it was the most beautiful thing ever- grapes, green vines everywhere, enough to keep the people fed forever. The ruler and Evelynís mother came running into the vineyard. "Honey is everything alrigh-" The ruler and her mother smiled. "Why did the box show me nothing, but give me something?" Evelyn asked the ruler. He replied, "Those who desire see what they desire in the chest, those who are grateful see nothing but receive for others, for they have all they will ever need. One day, I hope all will see that the box is empty, just like you."

Submitted by Copyright © Jordan (11),Texas

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