The Big Circle:
By Max G. Bernard
Copyright 2011 Max G. Bernard, all rights reserved
On the cover: a drawing by Will Quispe Chávarry placed into the public domain by the artist, found on WikiMedia Commons.
“It’s story time!”
“Come on kids, get in a circle, and Father Donahue will tell you a story.”
Father Donahue was a kindly old man, who took time off from his regular duties at the church to help out at the orphanage.
The kids,45 of them, pulled up as many chairs as they had, and the rest sat on the floor with their knees pulled up to their chests. As usual, Father Donahue had brought them all candy.
He sat in the center of the circle.
“Once upon a time,” He began. “Once upon a time, there was a dwarf who lived in the forest. He was a very lonely dwarf, for he lived all alone. He didn’t like being so small, especially since the trees were so big. He was often afraid at night because he would hear noises from the big animals who lived in the forest. Some of them only came out at night, and he had never seen them, but he imagined what they might look like.”
“A rich prince drove through the forest one day, and the dwarf, having very few visitors, ran after the prince’s coach to catch it. The prince was happy to see the dwarf, and asked him to ride along for a while with him to talk. The dwarf was happy too. ‘What do you do little man,’ the prince asked. ‘I live in the forest,’ the dwarf replied. ‘I get so scared at night by the animals because I’m all alone, and there is no one to protect me. And I hate living in the forest because the trees are so big and I am so small.’”