Once Upon a Time

Clare - Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Entered on September 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope, love
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I grew up with fairy tales. When I was little, Cinderella was my best friend, and there was a beanstalk in my front yard. I would lie down in my bed in the summers with the fan on, listening to my mother read aloud from a book so that my sister and I would have a pleasant dream. I remember fighting off the sleep that would eventually take me so that I could hear how the tale ended. I was captivated by those tales, always wishing and waiting for the ending—for the happy ending. It always seemed impossible that the tale would end happily, but I waited patiently anyway. If I fell asleep, I’d dream a happy ending of my own.

I believe that happy endings are around us everywhere, especially if we choose to look for them. Why don’t I tell you a fairy tale- a true one? Will you believe me?

Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Lynn. Lynn lived in a small village her whole life. At age fourteen, she was already the most beautiful maiden in all the land, although she never recognized it in herself. Whenever someone told her of her beauty she would smile and deny their kind thoughts.

One day a friend told Lynn that there was to be a festival in their village. She and her friends excitedly and eagerly anticipated the celebration.

One of the boys in the village noticed Lynn’s stunning beauty both inside and out. His name was Jeff. Jeff went to the same school as Lynn and was two years her senior. Jeff was a common boy whose father had died from a heart attack several years earlier. When he asked Lynn to the festival, Lynn accepted, believing his was to be the only offer she would receive.

It so happens that the very next day another boy had noticed Lynn. He was three years older than her, and was one of the most accepted and admired boys in the village. In fact, he was in line for the throne! His name was Joe. Now Joe had not heard that Lynn was attending the festival with Jeff. When Joe asked Lynn to be his escort, she informed him of her previous commitment to Jeff. When Lynn told her friends about Joe’s invitation, they responded,

“Forget Jeff!”

“Go with Joe!” another exclaimed.

“I can’t,” she told them, “I have already told Jeff I would go with him.” Her friends shook their heads and told her to think again. Lynn seriously considered going with Joe, but her conscience advised her against it. This was the right thing, she told herself. She would go with Jeff.

Jeff and Lynn went to the festival together and had a wonderful time. In fact the two were so smitten with each other that they continued to see each other until the day they were married.

This fairy tale is the true story of Lynn and Jeff and their Homecoming in small-town Iowa. They have been married over twenty-five years. Their story makes me believe in happy endings. It’s no tale of princes or dragons, but of two people who lived happily ever after. The End.