Ezine Article

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The One That Served as the Eyes and the Hope (Short Story for Children)

                                        Photo credit: geralt
                                         Gerd Altmann from Freiburg, Deutschland

The One That Served as the Eyes and the Hope (Short Story for Children)
By: Noel N. Villarosa
June 22, 2015

The story tells of two different perspectives. Seven-year-old Lerma was born blind to a farmer couple. Lerma’s parents incapable of sending her to school because of a poor life, young Lerma was contented of dreaming that one day she would learn those things learned in school. The eight-year-old Jose and his sister Jasmin are both somewhat coming from a better-off family; their parents have the capability to send them to school. Full of dreams the two siblings excitedly went to school, and the older brother Jose became a guide to his younger sister.

An unexpected tragedy happened, sister Jasmin was injured and died, Jose mourned too much for losing his sister, and the dream suddenly disappeared, the excitement in studying was replaced by annoyance and loss of interest. On the other hand, Lerma, full of hope and the interest to learn is reaching up to the sky. The shape and form, she often hears, but she does not know how to describe it because she did not yet see it, but only hear the words like square, circle, oblong, semicircular, square, rectangle, triangle, but with Lerma it is only a word with no solid picture in her mind.

Many days had passed, the world of Lerma and Jose have crossed paths, while Jose was looking for tranquility in the field, he spotted Lerma sitting under the shade of a big tree, he approached her, and heard Lerma’s song regarding shapes: "circle, square, oblong what are your appearances, darkness enwrapped your semblance." Jose approached Lerma, he watched her before she could speak, and Jose had just learned that she was blind. Jose spoke: "I am Jose, what is your name?”  "I am Lerma," answered Lerma. "It seems your song is looking for an answer on the semblance of shapes?" asked by Jose. "I was born blind and not well educated, and therefore it puzzles me what are shapes look like, I am hoping that someday I will go to school, but my parents are incompetent in sending me to school," replied by Lerma. "Almost as your age was my deceased sister Jasmin, if you would want, I could teach you what I learned in school," said by Jose. "I'll be happy my new friend Jose," joyfully replied by Lerma.

The two children became close friends; Jose began teaching Lerma about shapes. "The square has four equal sides and corners," and while saying this, Jose took Lerma’s hand and conveyed how it portrayed on paper. "The circle is circular in shape and without beginning or end," and upon saying this he took Lerma’s hand and conveyed how it portrayed. "The oblong is a shape with two curves at both ends and two straight edges," and immediately Jose took Lerma’s hand and helped her to draw on paper. "The triangle shape with three sides and corners," and again they drew them on paper. "The rectangular shape has two long sides and two short sides. Like the square, because they both have four corners,” they again have drawn it on paper. "The semi-circle is a divided circle shape." And then they drew it on paper. Thereafter, Jose and Lerma went back happy in their home bringing new hope in their life. Jose had served as the eyes of Lerma’s goal in studying, and able to see things with a clear picture of the shapes which were long before registered blank in her mind. Lerma served as a way of new hope for Jose to continue his studies and enjoy living in a world full of color, shape, and movement. Even though they have a different world, it has opened a true color of life, the existence of guidance and hopes with one another. The End.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Super Taho and the Four Children (Fictional Short Story for Children)

       Illustration designed by Noel N. Villarosa using Microsoft Shapes tools and ClipArt

The Super Taho and the Four Children (Fictional Short Story for Children)

By: Noel N. Villarosa
June 16, 2015

When Pio, Malka, JD, and Joakim were experimenting to produce a high breed of sago pearl from a palm tree, they were testing the water with various concoctions to make it more nutritious to feed a palm tree and to produce high breed sago pearl. While inside the laboratory, the tube where the water was being tested got contaminated by a bee sting and made changes in the structure of water. Overnight the sting reacted to the chemicals creating a powerful elixir.

The next morning, the four children went out to test their experiment to water a palm tree. They waited until the fruit of palm tree is produced. They read that the full ripening will drain the starch center to produce the seeds. It will leave a hollow shell and causes the tree to die.  When this happens, it is time to cut down the palms when they are about 15 years old, just before they are ready to flower. The stems are split out. Then the starch pith is taken from the stems and ground to powder. The powder is mashed in water over a clean cloth. It passes a rack and after a few minutes of washing, the flour is ready to be used in cooking. The four children just produced their first sago pearl and planning to use it for their taho (a pudding made from soy beans) business.

One summer day when the first half of school year was over, the four children decided to prepare their taho plus a mixture of their sago pearl, they did not know that their sago pearl was contaminated by a bee sting to which they didn’t know how powerful it was now. While inside the kitchen, Pio tasted one sago pearl, then started to feel something unordinary, he felt strength and tried to lift the drum filled with water and he could lift it with only one hand, surprised by his super strength, he kept quiet for a while, and went out to help his friends build a small stall to put their taho. Malka prepared the caramel syrup while JD and Joakim peeled the strawberry and jackfruit while putting buko pandan into the syrup. The four children had put a little twist for their syrup to make it more delicious and nutritious plus the hidden power of the sago pearl which had restructured by the unknown bee sting.

Incredible Hulk, known as their rival when it comes to hobby-business had also put up his taho stall in front of his house to compete for the four children. He was announcing that his taho was more delicious than their taho, and to prove this, he let passers-by have a taste for his taho and was telling to the one who tasted it that they will have super strength upon devouring his taho.

Pio, Malka, JD, and Joakim were so sure that their taho was more delicious and nutritious. The Chairman of the barangay had organized a fun competition for those willing to join a weight-lifting competition and by trying to eat the taho served by the four children and Incredible Hulk, that whoever lifts the heavy bar will prove whose taho has the nutritional benefit. Of course, Malka, JD, and Joakim were uncertain that they could compete for that contest for they are still young and with no muscle build up unlike Incredible Hulk showing so much physical strength on his muscles. Pio confident of his sago pearl would give them super strength, encouraged Malka, JD, and Joakim to join the contest by telling them the secret of their sago pearl, Pio showed to his friends his strength by lifting them only on one arm, satisfied by what they witnessed, Malka, JD, and Joakim agreed with Pio that they will join the completion.

The day came when the competition has to begin; the chairman suggested that because Incredible Hulk has the herculean strength than the other four children, the chairman suggested that the four children will lift the barbell in unison. Incredible Hulk agreed to be fair with the four children.

Now both teams should eat their prepared taho before lifting the barbell to prove whose taho will give the strength to lift the 100kgs bumper plates. Pio has already mixed the sago pearl with their taho, pouring to each cup and to be drunk by his friends.

Incredible Hulk very confident that he will mightily lift the barbell has failed in the first attempt, 2nd attempt and on the 3rd and last attempt and ended up breaking his hands.

The four children had stood still in front of the crowd, had put tape on their wrists and thumbs to protect it from friction and to lessen the pain with the hook grip. They also wore a weightlifting belt to give them lower back support. They also wore a good pair of weightlifting shoes. To start lifting the barbell, they positioned by squatting, grabbed the handle of the barbell and with a deep breath pulled the barbell overhead, the crowd amazingly cheered for the four children that they showed super strength in lifting the barbell.

The people began buying their taho which gave them an unusual lively feeling and very energetic up to midnight. A magtataho (peddler) which usually carries two large aluminum buckets that hang from each end of a yoke can often be seen to the taho stall of the four children waiting the long queue to acquire the nutritious taho of Pio, Malka, JD and Joakim. Unlike before, people got to hear the calling out “Tahooooooo” during morning, but because of the special sago pearl mixed with the taho, it maintains its freshness until midnight, so people on the night shift schedule could still have the chance to buy fresh taho, and what was more exciting was that the energetic taho was giving the peddlers a round-the-clock loud voice to shout “Tahooooo,” “Tahooooo,” “Tahooooo.” Even during the evening, they could hear a taho peddling their stuff.

Pio, Malka, JD, and Joakim were still puzzled to where their sago pearl got its special ingredient that until now the ground that has been sprinkled with the experimental water could still grow another palm tree. Incredible Hulk has recovered from his hand injury, had praised and congratulated the four children for what they achieved, and started to help them in growing and extracting the powder out from the palm tree to produce the sago pearl for their taho. The four children named their taho as “Super Taho.” THE END.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Guardian Rock of the Ambato Forest (Fictional Short Story for Children)

Photo credit: werner22brigitte
Brigitte Werner (Age 61) from Canim Lake, British Columbia, Canada

The Guardian Rock of the Ambato Forest (Fictional Short Story for Children)
June 14, 2015
By: Noel N. Villarosa

A long time ago, there was a village in the Philippines called the “Ambato.” Old folks had told that this village had a one gold bearing tree side by side with waterfalls flowing with sparkling diamonds. The people lived in luxurious life, a bounty of foods and drinks. The chieftain of the village was so selfish that he would not allow strangers to intrude inside the rich village, so he demanded all his brave soldiers to guard all the premises of the village that no strangers will be allowed to go inside the village.

One Sunday morning when all the villagers were having a feast, an anchorite arrived into their place asking his way inside the village, but all the guards were not paying attention to his asking and they just ignored the poor old man to wait there without getting any reply from the guards.

Suddenly, the sky got dimmed threatening for a bad weather to come. Only the guards did not know that it was all created by the old man, and with a loud voice, the old man said, “You had only proved that you are no different with a rock, because of your not paying attention and being sturdy” at the flick of his finger, the old man turned all the guards, including the chieftain and the villagers into rocks and to be there snappily guarding the place for the rest of their life. The mysterious old man had put a curse into the place to be hidden forever unless a good-hearted and kind person will tap a rock and ask their way into the hidden place. The rock being knocked will only display an arrow for the direction for those with the kind-hearted personality and if not, a drawing of a circle will be displayed making for that bad person to get hypnotized and later turned himself into a rock.

The old folklore has not been talked for a long time and not given any attention because the people were scared to be turned into rocks and to be guarding the mysterious place for the rest of their life.

One day, five children from Laguna named: Pio, Malka, JD, Joakim, and Incredible Hulk have heard the old folklore and they would like to explore the hidden place. The next morning, the five children flew to Surigao del Norte to where the mysterious place called “Ambato” was located. The five children arrived at the place in the evening, a tent was built to make a shelter, and the five children soothingly listened to a baritone of crickets that eventually broke the silence of the night.

The next morning, the five children started their trek into the savage forest. They climbed many mountains and crossed many lakes, getting their foods from the trees and catching fish in the river. While they were taking a bath in the river, Pio noticed some rock formations not far from their place, it was a kind of weird formation that those rocks were formed like a sitting stone and were holding a stick, and the other rocks were seemed to be staring at their direction, Pio felt that the rocks seemed to be alive and watching every move they made. Pio called the attention of Malka, JD, Joakim and Incredible Hulk to take a look at the rock formations, and also the other four children were puzzled by what they saw. The five children walked near to the position and while they were walking, Incredible Hulk was making fun with Pio as he lifted and throw Pio into the air and catching him before falling to the ground, he did this several times and all had been watched by the guardian rock. Pio heard about the folklore and tried to remember the old sayings about tapping the rock and asking which way to take the hidden place of Ambato. Simply tap once, the rock showed an arrow of direction and so did by the other children, one by one they tapped the rock, but when Incredible Hulk tapped the rock, it showed a circle and made him hypnotized and later turned him into a rock. Pio, Malka, JD and Joakim got surprised by what they saw. Pio told Malka, JD, and Joakim that they will return back for Incredible Hulk but this time they need to follow the arrow direction displayed in the rock. The four children followed the direction and amazingly the path was cleared and showed the exact location of the mysterious Ambato like a magic it showed the gold bearing tree and fascinating waterfalls with glittering diamonds flowing into it. The four children were very happy to have found the mysterious place. Suddenly from nowhere the old man appeared before them and telling them that they were the right person to find the mysterious Ambato because they were a kind-hearted person. Pio begged for the old man to help their friend Incredible Hulk to bring him back to life, Pio explained that Incredible Hulk was a kind-hearted person and what the guardian rocks saw while Incredible Hulk was hurling and catching Pio was just making fun with Pio, and that it was just all a joke for Incredible Hulk and Pio, and that they were just having fun, but not serious of having someone hurt. The old man believed what Pio told him and helped Incredible Hulk returned into a human again. Incredible Hulk was very happy and thanked his friends for not abandoning him. The five children thanked the old man and let each one of them picked a gold from the tree and a pocketful of diamonds from the waterfalls. They all went back to Laguna full of satisfaction and happy, but have promised to the old man that they will not tell to anybody and will remain a secret about finding the mysterious guardian rock in the Ambato forest. THE END.