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Josh Robbins And Rapunzel
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Josh Robbins And Rapunzel
A beautiful way to tell children how to take care of things they love...
[762 words]
Vaishali Shroff
[July 2007]
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Josh Robbins And Rapunzel
Vaishali Shroff

“And they lived happily ever after”, thus ended the story of Rapunzel, which Martha read out to Josh, who still lay yawning next to her, tucked in his bed. It had a new blue bed spread with the moon and stars on it.
“Mom, can you read me one more, please?”
Rolling her eyes, Martha sighed, “No Josh, it is well past your bed-time and you need to sleep well before you wake up early to go to school tomorrow. But if it makes you any happier, tomorrow I have a new story for you.”
Josh’s face lit up. With a smile on his face and the thought of listening to a new story, Josh slowly lowered his eyelids until his long eyelashes touched his cheekbones.

As much as Josh loved story books, he was lazy! He was just seven years old, but he loved to read stories and could never get enough of them – the colors, the adventures, the characters, the pictures, the places, he loved it all! He dreamed about the characters at night and then dreamed about them the next day. “Get off your bed, you lazy boy – go out and play some games. These books are not going anywhere!”

But Josh would not budge. One book after another - he even wanted his meals to be served on his bed. Martha hated it and sometimes had to pull him out of his coziness to make him have his meals where he should – at the dining table.

Dinner was over, and it was time to go to bed. “Mom, I will read the story myself tonight, so you can sleep early. I know you are tired from a long day at work.”
“Thanks Josh, it is really sweet of you. Good night and sweet dreams, my dear!”

Making himself comfortable under the blanket, Josh opened the book. He suddenly heard someone crying! He felt something trickle down his face but still he could not see who it was. He lifted his blanket and sat up straight.
Josh lept from his bed to grab a small magnifying glass that came as part of his Mechanics Kit. He moved it all over the book and suddenly stopped at one spot – he saw something move. It was Rapunzel, the character of the book he was reading. She lie there staring at him with deep sorrow in her eyes.

“Rapunzel, is that you? What’s the matter, what makes you cry?”
“You make me cry!” said Rapunzel, still sobbing. Josh was amazed.

“How do I make you cry? Your book belongs to me and nobody else. I love my books.”

“Yes, you are right. But I do not believe that you love your books. You twist my ears when you read me. My golden tresses are charred black because you spilled hot milk on it the first time you read me. My tower is unhappy too after you made dirty marks on it with your crayons. How can you not take care of someone you love so much? My other friends, Cinderella and Thumbelina, and I are leaving you!”

Josh could not believe his ears. It was true – he had started taking for granted what he truly loved. He had actually forgotten to take care of his books, with whom he spent most of his time!” Upset with the whole thing, he walked to his parents’ room.
“Mom, are you still awake?”
“Josh, how come you are still up, it is well past bed time.”
“I am a bad boy Mom, I did not take care of my books and now they are leaving me.”
“Your books are leaving you?” Martha laughed, “You must have seen a nightmare Josh. How can books leave someone?”

“It’s true Mom,”, and he narrated what happened to Martha.
Martha thought for a moment, smiled, and hugged Josh.
“You are not a bad boy at all. You love to read, which very few boys of your age do. But at the same time you must take care of your things – especially those that really mean a lot to you. Josh, your books are like your babies and you need to take care of them like your father and I take care of you!”

Josh smiled. He knew what Martha meant. He thanked his mother and went back to his room.
He gently lifted Rapunzel in his arms and hugged her. Tears from his eyes rolled down his cheeks and onto Rapunzel’s hair, cleaning the stains off it!
Josh’s face lit up. Rapunzel too smiled, swaying her long tresses and went back inside.
…And they lived happily ever after!


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© 2007 Vaishali Shroff
April 2007

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