It was a dark starry night. The sky was as black as tar and against the darkness the stars shone like diamonds. A little boy sat on the verandah of his house looking up into the sky. ‘How dark the sky is’, he thought to himself. ‘But how brightly the stars shine. They are beautiful.’ Then the boy noticed that the stars made shapes in the sky. He began tracing the stars with his fingers and he did that he saw that things were appearing. First he saw a kite flying, its tail curled in the wind. Then he saw a choo choo train, puffing clouds of smoke. Then he saw a fat juicy lemon. And then he saw a lovely rose. And finally he saw the face of a kind old lady. As he looked at her, he saw her smiling at him with a big, broad smile.

‘These stars are so beautiful that I would to have them for myself,’ said the little boy aloud. ‘Then I can take them with me everywhere I go and look at them anytime I like.’ So he got a piece of thread out of his pocket and strung the stars together. He strung all the stars together and they hung on his thread like a dazzling diamond necklace. The sky was pitch black. 

The boy tried to put the stars in his pocket. But as he did so, the stars fell off the thread, one by one, and lay on the ground. As they lay there, much to the boy’s surprise, they slowly began to fade. ‘What’s happening?’ thought the boy. ‘Why are they losing their light?’ He suddenly felt very lonely and sad.

A few stars, however, continued to shine although not as brightly as before and even so they struggled. They were the stars of the old lady with a big broad smile. As the boy gazed at these last remaining stars, he heard a voice coming from the old lady. ‘Please put us back in the sky,’ she said gently. ‘But why?’ he asked. ‘Why can’t you be mine?’

‘Everything has its place,’ she replied. ‘We are the stars and we belong in the night sky. There we will be for all eternity and you will never lose sight of us. Me especially.’ The boy did not quite believe the old lady but he felt the need to listen to her. So he put all the stars back into the sky. At once they bounced back into place and sprang back to life, shining brighter than the little boy had ever seen them shine. And the old lady shone brightest of all.

From then on, the little boy would sit on his verandah every night and gaze into the night sky. And every night the stars were there, shining like little diamonds, and every night he saw something different in the sky. Sometimes he saw birds and fishes, sometimes he saw trains and kites and other times he saw plants and flowers. But above all, he always saw the old lady and she always smiled down at him with a big broad smile.

 

Diamonds in the Sky:
A Children's Story

 

Written on 10 Febuary 2004