The Answer Stone
This was written for my godson, Beau, when he was a young boy.
A young boy with blonde hair and sparkling eyes walked the shore of the pond looking for a frog to be his friend. The blue of the sky was the color in his eyes as they darted here and there looking in vain for a jump, a splash, a croak that would tell him where his friend would be.
Suddenly the boy saw something bright lying half-buried like a precious treasure, in the muddy sand of the pond’s edge. He bent down to pull it from the mud and as he rinsed it in the cool water he saw its color come free.
In his hand he held a smooth stone, clear in some places, murky in others but a beautiful color of purple, unlike any other rock around. He forgot about frogs and stood still, turning the stone in his hand, watching how the sunlight played on its surface and feeling the velvety texture.
The boy ran to his mother and sister to show them the wonderful surprise he had discovered, all the while carefully holding the rock so it wouldn’t be lost.
His sister said it looked like the tooth of some ancient fish, broken off at the base and worn smooth everywhere else from eating so many little fish. His mother thought it was the color of the first wildflowers of spring poking up through the thick, green grass.
As they stood admiring the find an old man with gray hair and eyes the color of the stone appeared from the trees. They were not afraid.
He greeted them and smiled as he saw what the boy was holding. “You’ve found an answer stone” he said. They didn’t understand.
“They are very rare and found only by very special people. I’ve been around here a long time walking the shores of this pond and I’ve only seen a few people find them, and even fewer who put them to good use. They only seem to work for the ones who actually find them and here is how they work.
“You’ll keep it for a while and think it’s great. You’ll show it to your friends but they won’t understand, so soon you’ll tire of it and it will find its way into a drawer, or a toy chest, or a fish bowl where it will be forgotten.
“But, one day when you’re older, you’ll have a problem, something you just can’t seem to work out or find an answer to and you’ll go looking for that stone. You’ll find it where it has been all this time.
“Then you’ll go off by yourself, somewhere quiet and alone. You’ll hold the stone in your fingers and close your eyes. As you gently rub the stone and breathe deeply your problem will appear before you and soon, if you are quiet and at peace, your answer will come.
“The answer won’t be something that’s hard to do. It won’t be complicated and it will feel right. You might say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that before?’ and it will be your answer. Then it’s up to you to do what the answer suggests; no one else can do it for you.”
The boy, his mother and his sister all looked down at the stone with amazement and when they looked back up the old man was gone. When he looked back toward the water the boy saw a frog hopping into the lake. He slipped the stone into his pocket and went running to catch up with his playmate.