It was a cold, dark night when Eveline saw her, like a glowing specter, behind a grove of persimmon trees. She had heard legends about the white doe who roamed the woodlands near her grandparent’s estate. If one were fortunate enough to look into the eyes of this elusive creature, they would be allowed three wishes. But there was a caveat. Only wishes of pure intention would be granted.
Eveline stood perfectly still as she watched the white doe meander through the trees, pausing to savor sweet persimmons along the way. Her old cat brushed against her, purring loudly.
“Shhhhhh, Fiona!” Eveline whispered, but it was too late. To her dismay, she had captured the doe’s attention. It ambled to where she stood bowing its head.
To Eveline’s surprise the doe spoke audibly, “Fortune comes to thee this night. Reveal to me thy wishes three. And if thy heart is pure as light, I’ll grant thy wishes unto thee.”
“But what shall I wish for?” Eveline queried. “A wish by it’s very nature seems a selfish thing to me.”
Eveline looked deeply into the eyes of the enchanted doe. In that moment of silence she realized she knew exactly what to wish for.
“Very well,” she said, “here are my wishes. First, I wish a wish for my family: that they would never have to toil to survive another day. Second, I wish for peace in the world. And third…” she looked at the doe and smiled, “my third wish is for you dear one, that you would have the desire of your heart.”
“As you wish,” the white doe responded, “you and your family shall never want, and nevermore shall any of you toil. You shall have plenty for as long as you live. As for your second wish, I hereby grant that the world will know 100 years of peace.” (From that very day there was, in fact, peace in the world that lasted 100 years.)
“And my third wish?” Eveline smiled.
The white doe spoke softly, “I have listened to and granted wishes for centuries. In all my travels, I have never beheld a heart such as yours; one whose wishes are completely selfless and pure. You, Eveline are my wish. You have set me free to grant wishes with every fiber of my being.” The doe nuzzled Eveline gently before transforming into a thousand stars that drifted skyward settling in the firmament above.
There is an old nursery rhyme that goes something like this…
“Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have this wish I wish tonight.”
Now you know how that rhyme came to be. And it is true, if you believe.
~kat – 21 December 2016
For Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge based on the illustration by Virginia Frances Sterret above.