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Good Night

Joo-Young Choi

     "Grandmother, tell me another story, please."  Mary could not sleep without hearing her grandmother's story.  
     "Oh Mary.  It's almost midnight.  I will tell you tomorrow, okay?" said grandmother.
     "No.  I want to hear it right now.  Please grandma," begged Mary.
     "Alright.  But you need to change your clothes.  Put on your pajamas real quick then I will tell you the story.  And this is the last story for tonight.  Promise that you are going to go to bed after that.  No more stories, okay?" said grandmother.  
     "Okay.  I promise," smiled Marry and she quickly put on her blue pajamas with moons and stars on them and jumped into superhero sheets.  
     Grandmother smiled looking at Mary and started to tell her a story.

     There once was a princess named Deborah who was the only daughter of King.  She had beautiful blue eyes and curly blond hair.  She looked just like her mother.    Deborah's mother died when the princess was three years old by an accident.  She fell off from a horse while she was riding.  Deborah was too young to remember her mother, but her father liked to tell his daughter the story of her mother, so she knew that her mother was nice and beautiful person.    
The King loved his daughter so much that he wanted her to live with him forever.  He knew that someday, he has to let his daughter to marry someone, who can truly love Deborah, but he was afraid to let her go.  Deborah became 20 years old, and it was the best time for her to marry.  Deborah was very beautiful and was so nice that everybody liked her.  

     "She was as pretty as you Mary," said grandmother and smiled.

     She liked to ride the horse all day long, but her father didn't like it.  When she would ride the horse, it reminded him of her mother, who fell off from the horse and died.  The King asked Deborah not to ride the horse, but she did not listen.  Of course she enjoyed riding the horse, but she also wanted to see Tom, who was in charge of taking care of the horse.  The horse had white long hair and was really healthy.  The King trusted Tom, because he took good care of the horse and he was a handsome young man, who was the same age as the princess.  He had wisdom and was very brave. 

     "Tom.  I want to marry you," said the princess.  
     "No my lady.  We can't marry each other, you are a princess and I am nothing," said Tom.
     "Why can't we?  If I ask my father and tell him that I really love you, then he will allow us to marry," said Deborah.
     Tom was afraid of the King, because he knew that the King really loved his daughter and would not let him marry the princess, but he could not say that to Deborah.

     "Dad, can I talk to you for a second?" asked Deborah.
     "Of course, my little princess.  We can always have a good conversation," said the King.
     "Okay.  I want to marry Tom.  I really love him.  Father.  Please let us marry each other.  Please!"  The princess begged and begged, but the King didn't allow her to marry Tom.  The King was so mad that he decided to punish Tom.
     The Queen ghost, Deborah's mother, told her daughter to run away with Tom, or they would be in big trouble.  

     Deborah and Tom ran away, but there was no place to stay.  
     "Let's go into the forest on the mountain side," said Tom.  "We can hide there, and perhaps we'll find a place to live where your father cannot find us."
     And so they climbed toward a high-forested valley, where no one lived but deer and wolves.  Following a rocky and noisy stream, they suddenly came upon an old woman sitting on a bare rock.  Though it was sunny and they were warm with climbing, she shivered in her black rags.
     Her clothes looked like the bark of the trees and she smelled awful.  The old woman asked them for something to eat.  At that time, they had very little to share, but they gave her some of the food they did have.  
     "Thank you very much.  I am too weak and too old that I cannot climb up this mountain by myself.  Can you help me?" said the old woman.
     "Sure we can, but we don't have any place to stay, so we need to look for it," said the princess.  
     Deborah, Tom and the old woman climbed up the mountain for two hours and they finally found an empty house.  They spent one night in that house.  The next morning, Deborah and Tom could not find that old woman.  
     "I think she already left," said Tom.
     "Oh well, then let's go," said Deborah.

     On their way, they saw a lamb lying down on the ground.  The lamb seemed almost dead.       "Tom, I can't leave the lamb like this.  I know it will take more time to get to the top of the mountain, but I want to take good care of this lamb," said Deborah.
     "As long as I am with you, I don't care how long it will take," said Tom and he laid down the lamb on the grass and fed some grass and let it drink some water.  The next morning, after they woke up, the lamb disappeared and they could not find it.
     They could hear the birds singing, which was bright and joyful.  The color of leaves had turned to yellow, brown, and red, telling them the time had flown.
     "Tom, I can feel that my father is coming," said Deborah.
     "I can feel it too," said Tom looking around the forest.  
     They walked and walked, but they were not exhausted.
     "Look Tom.  I can see the top of the mountain," said Deborah.   
     "Yes, we are almost there," said Tom.

     When they got there, the old woman was waiting for them.  But the woman was neither wearing dirty clothes nor did smell awful.  She was wearing the most beautiful clothes and she was shining bright like the sun.  Also, the color of leaves turned to green and the birds seemed more joyful and brighter.  Trees and flowers were singing and all the animals came and greeted them.  

       "Mother!" said Deborah.  It was the ghost of her mother.
     "Deborah.  Come here closer," said the ghost and she continued, "Do you remember the old lady whom you fed?  That was I.  And the lamb that you took care of was I too.  I am so proud of you Deborah.  And I think you met a nice guy.  I will bless you two and want you to always be happy together forever," said the ghost and it vanished.  As soon as the ghost disappeared, they could see a beautiful palace standing in front of them.

     As soon as they saw the palace, they heard somebody calling their names.
     "Deborah!  Tom!" shouted the King.  The King was following them to ask for the forgiveness.  
     "I am so sorry my dear.  I really love you, so that's why I was jealous of your relationship with Tom.  But now I want to bless you two and wish you happiness."
     "Oh, Father.  Thank you.  I love you Father," cried Deborah.
     "Tom, I think this is my mother's gift," said Deborah.  The tears were falling down from her eyes and she hugged Tom and said, "I love you, Tom and I love you, Mother.  I love you."

     After grandmother finished her story, she looked at her granddaughter sleeping and said, "Mary my dear, I want you to be a good girl like Princess Deborah and always help other people, who need your help," and she kissed her and said, "Good night."


I have many people to thank; Terry, Brooke, Allison, Tom, Lin, Christina, Dirk, Emily, Shelly, Nicole, Chad, Heather, Sarah, Melissa for giving me some good comments.

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