There are 11 written responses to this assignment.
I was teaching level 2 English in Japan yesterday and we were reading a story where an old woman approaches a farmer and his wife and asks for food and drink. She offers them a magic box in return which will grant them three wishes*
As the lady had already finished their lunch the couple wishes for both lunch and a great wine but then they need to have a third wish…….. what to do what to do. *this is where the students have to think of a solution*******
They go go to the king and he suggests that wish that no one will ever feel hungry again. The couple thinks this is a great idea and leave to make the wish…..
Everything seems to be in order under a few weeks later when the harvest comes. The farmer and his wife try to go to the market to sell their products…. but since people are no longer hungry no one is interested in buying them…. So now the farmer has 2 trucks of corn and pumpkins,…. with no way to seel them. He is also getting worried because even though he doesn:t need food winter is still coming and he and his wife will still need heat to make it through the cold Japanese winter…. Without money they can`t afford to buy wood.,
I know says the wife lets burn our vegetables for fuel….
They go home and throw a few cobs of corn onto the fire….. They are feeling warmer and suddenly they hear POP POP POP. It sounds like firecrackers are going off…..
The corn has heated to the point that it is turning into popcorn. Pop corm kernels are streaming out of the fireplace and covering the floor. They are slowly builing up in the house and the extreme heat from burning the cobbs is causes more popcorn cobbs to explode and more and more popcorn to stream out…….. The husband and wife run for their lives but the door is blocked by tonnes of popcorn everywhere. We could eat our way out… says the husband….. Naw I`m not hungry says the wife.
Retold by Shashigai:
I say it was not my fault other than the selfishness that afflicts all people. How was I to know? It was Halloween, and everyone was in costume. The Djinn was far and away the best, and I complimented him on his appearance.
He preened, and thanked me, and said I’d have three wishes for it.
Again I say, how was I to know? I thought it was a joke.
I wished for world peace. No., he said, he couldn’t do that. Not enough people believed in it. I wished for a cure for cancer with the same result – the Djinn said the pharmaceutical companies had already done it, but had convinced everyone that there was no such thing. Why would anyone want to believe that?
After much negotiation, I realized that my wishes needed to be more personal, more selfish. I wished for my home to be rid of pests. I meant the mosquitoes and cinch bugs, but I have to say that I was glad to see that my mother in law and wife had vanished, and I was overjoyed to see that the children were missing, but unfortunately that was because they were at a soccer game and with my wife gone, they had to walk home. I still thought it a joke, and my mother in law and wife at some fancy restaurant, leaving me to care for the kids.
My second wish was an accident – the kids without their mother are holy terrors, and in a fit of pique related to the trajectory of my golf club and the intervening plasma TV, I wished their mother could see what they’d done to the house. I’m not sure where people go when you wish them away, but wherever it was put her in a foul mood. I escaped (barely) by climbing out a window in the first floor bathroom.
I realized that this was real, and I was determined to make the best of the last wish. How was I to know I needed to be specific? I wished for unlimited wishes. The Djinn instantly appeared, with disclaimers – he would not be responsible, he would not be available after I made such a wish. I’ll be careful, I assured him.
He vanished while I was speaking the words, shaking his head and grinning like he’d won a prize. I’ll say. The unlimited wishes were granted to everyone in the world. You’ve no idea, really. For every human who wished he or she had studied harder, or caught the one that got away, there was a corresponding degradation in the order of the universe. Entropy. Chaos. It has to come from somewhere, doesn’t it?
And then, someone wished that “we.” not just they, knew who was responsible for the chaos. Suddenly I was a celebrity. Of sorts. Again, I escaped – barely – by wishing myself permanently and unwishably invisible.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to do anything with invisible hands? I’ve only just learned to eat. Fork and spoon are on the back burner, because I finally figured out how to fix it.
I wished all the wishes back to me. So now only I have unlimited wishes. Guess what? Remember conservation of energy? I have to get rid of them or I get to explode, likely taking a good portion of New Jersey with me. That’s why I’m hiding out in this swamp. It culls some of the gawkers, and seriously – who’s going to miss it if the swamp explodes? So now you know, the rumors are true. But I’m not going to be responsible for the next idiot who wishes for unlimited wishes.
That’s why I’ve warned you. So take your three wishes and scram – there’s people waiting.
So my third wish has to bring back to life everyone on earth who got killed off by wish #2 which was for world peace. How was I to know that my genie always takes the easy way out and has no concern for human life?
*Thanks to the Xfiles for this idea.
“Wishes” she said, “Why do I want wishes?” The little man starred at her…he had never encountered anyone with a question. What he didn’t know, this was a test!
He thought for awhile, but the little figure just sat there starring back through her incandescent green eyes.
This was not going to be easy so, he sat down gentle beside her fragile little body.
“You know” he said, “most people jump at the chance to have me grant their wish.”
“Well” she said, her quiet voice carrying authority as she gazed into the bubbling stream, “I have had the opportunity to grant wishes! And now I find myself receiving yet another wish from someone who isn’t even of this world.
As she continued he noticed dew collecting in her eyes…we offer wishes to those who make our home a better place. This world was once flourishing with lush and colorful vegetation, sweet cerulean blue water, and atmosphere so pristine you could smell the plant life from other worlds.
Now, the sky darkens, our water has become filled with “things” and I sit on a rock, hard and unforgiving.
He was about to interrupt but she waved him to be still…I see you mean well but, all the good intentions have led us here, now, dried up and useless. Wishes are just that, wishes. What we need now little man is the opportunity to rid ourselves of these wishes that brought us to this point of utter dissolution and get about the business of saving what we have left. Can you do that?!
He sat for a long while before answering….
”well, you will just have to wait until the next time to hear the rest of the story Johnny,” said his Mom.
I let the phone go to voicemail. Again. I couldn’t get another call. Not from my literary agent. Not from my publisher. One doesn’t need external pressure to remind you of failure. No failure existed right in front of me, on the blank page.
I wish I picked up that phone. Instead I went to do my real writing work. I walked the dogs. As I crossed over the lake I went and visited the old foundation. I found it relaxing in an eerily way. The lake was man made. It was created after the great flood of 55. The houses that once existed were nothing more than slab foundations. As a I sat on the broken concrete I saw something.
There in the flakes of stones, chipped by time was an old pen. Not like quill and inkwell old but still one that had to be filled. It was rusted, so clearly not gold, but some shine peeked through the damagaes of time. I thought nothing more of the old artifact and shoved it my pocket. Then I headed home still without an idea to write.
After an hour of lurching over my notebook with nothing but a pad of scribbles and scratches I remembered the pen. I decided to take it out. Maybe it was worth something. Afterall I didn’t get a book deal I would need the cash.
I went to my closet and found my grandfather’s old well . Carefully, not carefuly enough, I filled the pen, spilling only enough on my shirt to ruin what was a decent outfit. Disgrunteled again I returned to my notebook to see if the pen worked. As soon as I placed it to paper IT began to write.
“Write your wish. Not three times more, and ye shall have all you wish for.”
I tried again, but still, “Write your wish. Not three times more, and ye shall have all you wish for.”
So in my current predictament I wrote, “I need a book.” Immediately it was laid out in my mind. From start to finish. Conflict to Ccimax. I knew it all. Pushing away the pad I went to my claptop and eleven hours later had my first novel. Three months later my first best seller. A year later my first Pulitzer.
I spent that year on a whirlwind book tour. Then the phone started ringing. Everyone wanted that sophomore novel. Once again I could not develop an idea, and I took the pen out of the box. Needless to say the novel was an even bigger hit.
It was the third book that did me in. It was the third book that left me drowning in the noise of silence. Condemed me to the solitude of crowded ideas.
On that third wish I realized I would always need ideas. I wrote down one flawed sentence, ” I will never be without an idea for a novel again.”
I have not written one since. In fact this short note is thre first continous writing I have done in years. Usually I am trapped in my head, lost in my ideas. Static characters dance around, dynamic characters frozen place. Conflict come and go. Settings are lost forever. And the words. The words never follow.
If I had realized that it wasn’t actually my lucky day I would have saved my third wish to make sure that things worked out with the first two. But I didn’t realize that I wasn’t having the best day of my life so when I wished for an end to world hunger I thought that would imply efficiencies in our current food chain, not rampant cannibalism.
I am not sure which is going to last longer – my food supply or the lock on the door.
So after making my first wish, that my Bachelor’s Degree program at ODU would be complete and that I would walk (without being pushed in a wheelchair by grandchildren or worse yet, GREAT-grandchildren!) at graduation after 10 long years of working full-time and taking one class at a time, came true (and it will…just 3 more classes to go), I then made my second wish.
My second wish was that all of my friends and family who loved and supported me during the journey to obtaining my degree would be present at my graduation and that wish came true and I was thrilled!
And now my most important and final wish, it had to be the best wish ever!! My third wish was that with all of my years of experience working in communication and marketing, plus my brand new Bachelor’s Degree, I would be offered any job I wanted. No more obstacles because I didn’t have a degree, any company would welcome me with open arms now. So I made my wish, my biggest wish ever…that I would work for the Disney Corporation because I love Disney and their business and customer service model. I would be the President of Communication and Public Relations for Disney!!! I would be the spokesperson and the face of Disney worldwide!!!
Why is it that no one knows it’s me inside this Minnie Mouse costume?????
When I found Carlton, he wasn’t exactly what I expected a genie to be. The first thing you have to know is that you don’t *technically* need to speak the wish out loud for them to grant it. So, when I immediately fantasized about money, I suddenly had one less wish. The second thing, and this might be even more important, is that genies are sarcastic. I guess having an eternity of granting wishes like some kind of butler on cosmic steroids makes you a little snarky.
So, the money. I don’t have to worry about it any more. It all comes in quarters, but you know what? I actually like rolling quarters. Besides, since I don’t have to work any more, it’s kind of therapeutic to roll my money out for the day. Plus, the bank has good coffee.
I was much more careful about the second wish. I made sure not to have any wild ideas while Carlton was around. You know what I wished for? Credentials.
I know, it sounds funny, but just think…I can go *anywhere* and not worry about whether I’m “allowed” to or not. Want to go to space? BOOM. Astronaut clearance. Want to meet the President? BOOM. High profile official who is invited to Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws. Or, just want to jump to the front of the line at airport security? Done. No more lines. The only pain was the celebrity. People following me everywhere got old. Fast. (These genies really want you to be specific…who knew?)
The third one wasn’t so easy. I wasn’t going to mess this one up like I had messed up the first two. Having all the money I could want was great, but having to dig through the couch every day to get it was getting old.
No sir, this time, I would do it right.
“Have you decided yet?” quipped Carlton one day as I dug through the couch for some change for the day. “I may be immortal, but all this waiting around is getting dull.”
“Will you give it a rest?” I shot back, elbow deep in the cushions. “I messed up the first two, so I’m taking my time. I don’t want to blow it by jumping to a decision or not being specific enough…again.”
“Well, if you could hurry it up, that’d be great.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
I put him back into his travel mug (In Carlton’s words: “Lamps are too pretentious. I prefer the blue-collar feel of the Thermos.”) and then went out the door. It was a great day and as I stepped lightly off the step, I gave my mind a little reprieve. You see, genies can only read minds, be sarcastic, and grant wishes when they’re not confined. Since Carlton was enjoying some quiet time in his Thermos, I was able to daydream. I’ve noticed that my daydreams had gotten more and more wild. Having to repress your consciousness all day out of fear of wasting a wish really takes its toll on your mental state.
For example, I saw my neighbor get a new tractor the other day. Immediately, I thought, “I wish I had a new lawn mower…” only to catch myself in a sudden jerk, worried that Carlton was in the room with me. Luckily, he wasn’t, so I was off the hook. But really…who *wishes* they had a lawn mower? I’m turning into such a loser. Obviously I was getting more and more distracted from having to be so careful, and I was slipping up.
I found myself wishing that day that I could not have to worry about daydreams or idle desires anymore. In fact, it would be great if I could just clear my mind entirely. It would really make my life much simpler. I would have to sneak around Carlton or be so careful not to misspeak. But, alas, it would count as my third wish, and that’s a bad way to go out.
What I didn’t realize is that I was idly playing with the travel mug as I walked, rubbing my thumb on the cool stainless steel shell like I used to when I made my own coffee at home. Right after I had my little daydream about wishing for a clear head, I heard something that made my blood run cold.
“It’s about TIME!” said a gleeful Carlton. “I didn’t think you would *ever* get around to making up your mind!”
It turns out that he had decided to wait around the mouth of the mug when I rubbed it with my finger. Like I said genies can be a little hard to handle.
With a wave of his arms, he went into his normal routine of showmanship as he granted it.
There was nothing I could do to stop it.
“You had a thought float through your head,
a wish in spirit, fear not, don’t dread.
It was loud and clear, I’ll grant it for thee,
Now as for that thought I say, ‘Make it be.'”
I don’t remember a whole lot other than feeling kind of dizzy and then being on the ground. As my thoughts slipped away, I remember Carlton looking at me, leaning in close, and whispering, “Maybe next time you’ll be more careful.” Then he was gone.
As people ran up to check on me, I was left helpless, unable to walk or speak, with nothing but an empty mind to be filled with that dark warning to echo forever.
The Djinn laughed and that’s when I knew I had made a mistake. But it was too late. The wish was granted.
My third wish would be to meet my favorite actor, Benedict Cumberbatch and I was not told when the third wish would come true just that it would.
It was all wrong from the start. I wasn’t supposed to be in bed with a fever that could kill the dinosaurs. I wasn’t supposed to run out of tissues that I don’t usually need. I was supposed to be at work, portraying one of my favorite characters from Shakespeare and hamming it up with my coworkers. Instead I had come down with something that would not let me function. But I had to go to the store to get more supplies and none of my flat mates were home to go for me. Not that they would. So I bundled up in baggy sweatpants that only stayed on by the string, a jumper so thick my shoulders sagged even more, and my hat that covered up the bed head. I went to the local convenience store down the street. Dogging people and I sneezed and sniffled in the frigid air. I wandered around collecting things as I went. Tissues here, a bottle of cold medicine there, and then I came upon the best comfort. The tea section. Tea had always righted me before so I decided to stay and look. I realized I had run out of my supply of tea biscuits but I didn’t know which one I could handle at the moment. Regular or dark chocolate. Dark chocolate was my favorite when functioning properly but I didn’t think I could stomach it. Then I heard a low rumble baritone near my shoulder say, “The chocolate ones are better”. I looked up to see none other than Benedict Cumberbatch staring back with his ever changing eyes. Before I realized what I was doing my mouth opened with my dry cracked lips and uttered one word, “Fuck”. He looked startled and chuckled but I didn’t hear it as I turned dropping the tea biscuits and shuffling the best I could in my state over to the checkout line. I quickly paid and made my way home thinking I had made such a fool of myself and I had forgotten my tea biscuits. That wasn’t how I imagined that happening at all.
My third wish would be to be more creative and succesful in what I do. I have always wanted to be super smart, successful and creative guy. I am hopeful that one day I not only I will be more creative in problem solving but will lead a successful company of my own.