Bedtime Audio Stories - The Dreamer Grandpa And The Blue Eyed Girl

 The Dreamer Grandpa And The Blue-Eyed Girl

It was a fine morning. The good old farmer sat musing in his little garden. The sweet sunshine of the spring tenderly warmed his weary back. He looked at the freshly planted vegetables, carrots and lettuces, potatoes, and tomatoes, and smiled. Will he be fortunate enough this season to pick them when they are ready? The cherry tree was a snowy peak covered with tiny white blossoms. In summer it will be laden with red juicy fruit! Every year the brown rabbits hopped and skipped into his garden and nibbled away everything, root and all. During the warmer months, the chirping birds fluttered onto the cherry tree and ate away the fruit before they could fully ripen. But the farmer accepted his fate with a smile of resignation. His neighbors said to him one day, "Master farmer, you let the small animals and the feathered creatures pilfer your property right before your eyes. Never a finger do you raise nor drive them off. How is that?" "Yea," the farmer replied letting out a little laugh. "I'm well rewarded for what I lose. Look how sweetly the birds sing on the cherry tree! Where can I find such happy sweetness? At dusk, the cute little rabbits are a good company to a solitary man." But the farmer was also a peddler of small wares.

With a long bag strapped to his back and a hat on his head, he went every Sunday to the weekly fair. Come! Oh, come! Little boys and girls, Here's a flower for your lovely curls. Tops and marbles, trinkets and toys, Revel and fill your hearts with joys. Soon from little tots to young lads and lasses would all gather around him as he spread his wares under the cool shade of the chestnut tree. A blue-eyed girl would pick up a tiny brooch. Holding it to her lovely frock, she would ask, "Grandpa, how much do I pay for this one?" "Half a crown, my dear," the man would answer in a kindly tone. The girl would slowly put it back, smile gone from her face. "No, I don't even have half that amount on me." The good old man would beckon her to him and caress her curls. Pinning the brooch onto her frock, he would say, "It looks much happier on your dainty frock than in my rugged pack." The little boy's eyes remained transfixed on the set of shining marbles. Hands in his pockets he stood with a disappointed look. The peddler knew that he does not have a single penny. "Tommy, come over here. These marbles are a present for you from your Grandpa. Take them and have fun!" he would say in a loving tone. Thus in the evening when the farmer packed up, he had hardly earned anything, but he would sing his way homewards paying no heed to the comments of the townsfolk.

"Master peddler, you should be a little more prudent! Keep something aside for the future, for the day when your legs would no longer obey you," someone would say in a sober strain. Now and then when there was neither market nor fair, the peddler would proceed to the chestnut tree without his pack. Those were the days when a host of happy children would gambol to him saying, "Tell us stories today, Grandpa, Stories!" So tales after tales, the old man would recount, tales of a bygone age, tales of heroes, fairies, magic, and adventure. His young listeners sat charmed, in pin-drop silence. When he finished, he would say, "Dear Children, be brave like the handsome prince and gentle like the comely princess. Look into yourselves and discover the little blue flame of happiness." Thus days changed into months and months into years. The farmer lived contented in his own sweet world. But alas! His pack grew lighter and lighter and a time came where his pockets were empty. There was nothing in his cupboard and nothing in his house. Half a loaf of bread and a cup of milk was all that he had for the day. He warmed the milk on the hearth and sliced the bread.

As he sat to appease his hunger, there came a gentle knocking on the door. "Whosoever is there kindly enter," said he in a slightly raised tone. To his amazement there stood before him that little blue-eyed girl. "I'm hungry, Grandpa," she said in her sweet little voice. The good old man fed her with half a loaf of bread and the cup of milk and told her a lovely tale. The little girl planted a kiss on his forehead and romped away towards the town square. That night the peddler went to bed hungry. But hunger did not prevent him from dreaming. It was the blue-eyed girl in his dream. She was saying in a whispering tone, "Proceed to the hamlet beyond the yonder hill. There you'll know what you ought to know." Well before the cock crowed on the morrow, he awoke and remembered the dream. He felt very week indeed and hunger gnawed at his empty stomach. But the dream was too vivid in his memory and the girl seemed to speak with great earnestness. So, carrying his wooden staff, he made his way along the serpentine path. For two long arduous days, he traveled, barely halting to refresh himself. At dawn the next day, he reached his destination.

Soon, he saw an inn. The landlord, seeing a stranger, asked, "My good old man, what brings you to this sleepy little town?" The farmer had hardly any strength to speak. The innkeeper took him in and fed him well. "Rest awhile and gulp this ale by the fire in the kitchen yonder," said he in a kindly tone. When the farmer felt fresh again, he recounted to his host the dream he had the other night. "Good gracious! Just a dream you had and you believed it!" laughed the landlord. Thanking the innkeeper, the farmer set out, a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face. For he still believed deep within him that he had dreamt no ordinary dream. Not a furlong had he advanced when he heard someone calling him. "Master farmer! Halt awhile, Master farmer!" Turning back, he saw the landlord of the inn hastening towards him. "I remember! Now I clearly remember!" he exclaimed gasping for breath. "I too had a dream." "But what did you dream, my good friend?" asked the astonished farmer. "A little blue-eyed girl I saw in my dream. Beckoning me to her, she said, 'Eastwards beyond the valley nestles a quiet hamlet. There, under a tree of white blossoms lies buried a secret treasure," said the innkeeper excitedly. The farmer smiled and thanked him. His face brightened up, for he knew that in the east and across the hill lay only one hamlet. And that is where he lived! He began his homeward journey. As he crossed his gate, it dawned on him that the flowers of his cherry tree were white. 

Could it be that the treasure was hidden under it? Early the next morning he took up his spade and began digging. He dug and shoveled well into the twilight. The sun dipped over the western hills and stars twinkled in the sky. But the sweet whisper of the blue-eyed girl echoed and reechoed in his mind. At last, as he lowered his spade into the shallow trench to rest his tired limbs, it struck something solid, He removed the earth from the surface of the object and lo and behold! In the moonlight shone a chest and as he opened it, he found it full of precious stones and gold. The good old grandpa built a beautiful park for the children whom he loved so dearly. The rest of the wealth he donated for the welfare of his little hamlet that had been so kind and nice to him all his life. In his loving memory, the townsfolk erected a statue of him. To this day under the shade of the chestnut tree stands the good old man, a pack strapped to his back and a little girl holding his hand.

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