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The One Wish Box
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Charlie was out in the garden when he heard the roar of a motorbike pulling into the drive.
With a big grin he dropped the remote control of his racing car and ran full speed through the house. Opening the front door he threw himself into his uncles waiting arms.
"Uncle Bob, I'm so glad your back. How long are you here for? Where have you been this time? Did you see any strange creatures?"
The questions were pouring out of his mouth but his uncle just laughed and said; "Hang on Pint-size, give me a minute to breath and say hello to your Mum and Dad."
Charlie waited impatiently while his parents asked their own questions, but he longed to have his uncle to himself because he always had exciting stories to tell.
He remembered a story about his uncle finding a strange creature in a jungle that had two sets of eyes; one set at the front and the other on either side of his head; he said it had purple fur and a curly tail.
His Dad had laughed and told Charlie that his brother was pretty good at telling tall tales; but he didn't mind because the stories were always exciting.
A few years ago, his uncle had returned from a long trip and had given Charlie a strange looking wooden box.
He made him promise to keep it safe and never give it away.
He called it a, 'One Wish Box.'
"Can I wish for anything?" Charlie had asked excitably.
His uncle looked at him seriously and said; "Be careful what you wish for Charlie because there is always a price to pay.
Maybe you ought to keep it until you are older and can use it wisely."
"What did you wish for?" he asked his uncle.
"I never used my wish. I guess there is nothing I really want or need," he replied.
Of course Charlie was far too impatient to wait for more than a couple of days.
He tried opening the lid and wishing, even rubbing the box like Aladdin's lamp but no matter what he did nothing happened.
Finally it ended up in his cupboard unused and forgotten.
Later that evening, after his uncle had told him another exciting story, he asked if Charlie still had the box.
"Err, yeh, of course," he replied guiltily.
"Good," was all his uncle said.
As soon as his uncle left the bedroom Charlie jumped out of bed and found the box under a pile of junk in the cupboard.
The closer he looked, the more he realised there were words amongst the strange carvings on the box.
He traced the pattern with his fingers and as he read them out loud the lid of the box suddenly sprung open.
His hands were shaking, half in fear and half in excitement.
There were so many things he wanted to wish for but he remembered what his uncle had said about 'always a price to pay.'
Maybe if he wasn't too greedy and didn't ask for money or expensive things he would be OK?
Thinking of his uncle, he said; "I wish I could go to a strange land and have an adventure of my own."
Dark green smoke poured from the box and Charlie started to cough and splutter. He dropped the box and covered his mouth but it was too late, he felt himself falling to the ground and that was all he remembered.
Charlie stretched and yawned, expecting to feel his soft snugly duvet, but jumped up in surprise and fear when he realised that he had been sleeping on the ground in a forest, or was it a jungle?
The box had granted him his wish but he quickly realised that he really hadn't thought about it enough. Here he was in the middle of a jungle in his pyjamas and slippers.
Something slithered across his feet and he screamed out loud.
'Was it a snake? PLEASE don't let it be a snake, I hate snakes.'
He slowly and carefully walked in between the trees keeping an eye out for anything that moved. His tummy started to rumble but he knew there would be no breakfast unless he found something himself.
'What do you eat, or what can you eat in a jungle?' he thought to himself. He looked up into the trees to see if there was any fruit growing on them and stared into two pairs of eyes.
He had never seen such brightly coloured parrots in his life.
Suddenly there was a rustling in the bushes and the parrots squawked and flew away.
Charlie spun around and saw a lion creeping towards him licking his lips. Maybe it was breakfast time for the lion as well!
He knew he couldn't outrun a lion, but he was pretty good at climbing trees. Even the monkeys in the jungle would have been impressed had they seen Charlie scrambling up the nearest tree in record time.
One of his slippers had come off and now the lion was sitting at the base of the tree ripping it to shreds.
'Some adventure this was turning out to be,' he thought.
Hour after hour passed but the lion had no intention of going away when there was a nice juicy meal about to fall into his lap.
Charlies mouth was dry and his tummy rumbled with hunger.
He felt a small tear roll down his face and was ashamed to admit that he really wasn't brave enough for an adventure on his own.
Faintly, in the distance, he heard the thump of feet moving nearer and nearer.
The ground started to shake and the lion dropped the shredded slipper and quickly disappeared through the trees.
Charlies eyes opened wide with fear, expecting a huge slavering animal coming to shake him out of the tree.
He clung onto the branches until his fingers turned white, not even daring to breath.
There below was the weirdest creature you can possibly imagine with enormous feet and two sets of eyes, one set at the front and the other on either side of his head. He had purple fur and a curly tail! Charlie didn't know whether to laugh or scream as he realised it was the same one his uncle had seen.
The creature took a huge breath and his chest doubled in size.
He then let out a roar so loud that the whole jungle must have heard. A blast of foul smelling air hit him straight in the face.
Charlie could feel his fingers slipping from the branches and he fell down with an almighty bump, onto his bedroom carpet!
Standing over him was his uncle with the Wish Box in his hands.
"Oh! Uncle, I thought I was going to be eaten alive," Charlie cried, as he threw himself into his arms. "How did you find me?"
"Well pint size, I finally used my wish to bring you back."
"From now on uncle, you can have the adventures because I don't want another one."
His uncle laughed as Charlies tummy gave a big rumble.
"I guess you're ready for some food eh?"
The box still sits on the dresser in Charlies room but he decided to keep it until he was older and find someone who really needed a wish.
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