The Evergreen Doubt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
What happens when a ten year old boy, Mark is made fun of by his friends for his belief on Santa and X-mas? Does he grow up to actually stop believing Santa or does he continue living in his castle, built on air?

Submitted: July 31, 2017

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Submitted: July 31, 2017

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Mark was the perfect example for a well-behaved, intelligent, and cute little boy of ten, always obedient at home, school, and a perfect friend and companion to his friends. An extrovert and playful kid, he never messed up anything, nor was he involved in any form of unnecessary mischief, and lived in his own imaginary world of fairy tales.

“Oh! Come on, Mark. Who told you this? You are a big boy and you actually believe that Santa exists? That’s completely untrue. I think someone wanted to make fun of you, that’s why they told you all these stories”, shouted Steve, his best friend. The other friends in his group also supported Steve and made fun of Mark and his stories about Santa.

“How is it possible that you receive gifts every year from an imaginary character?” Mark told as a matter of fact.

“Mark. Please listen to me and don’t mistake me. I don’t want to hurt you. Even I have been getting gifts every year on X-mas. I think every child does on X-mas. Does that mean every child is good and deserves gifts on X-mas? No, Mark. You are good and you deserve the gifts. But, the actual truth is it is our parents, who have been putting the gifts in the socks to make us think that Santa has put it. Santa is a mirage. Nothing more. The sooner you realize the better”, so saying Steve left for the class followed by other friends leaving a shocked Mark.

Mark was astounded to hear all this. His tiny heart broke and his eyes were flooded with tears.

But, he was a big boy now and showing tears is not what the big boys do. He quickly wiped them with his kerchief and ran for the class.

His little heart was still racing and his mind couldn’t get over what Steve had stressed. His grief seemed to increase with every passing moment and he lost interest in whatever was happening in the class that day, which was so unlike him.

The final bell rang and at last, the school was over for the day.

Sad and shaken, he dragged himself home with his mind and feet weighing heavily upon him.

Just as he turned the corner of the street leading to his home, he saw something that immediately caught his eyes.

A small white puppy, hardly 3-4 weeks old, trying desperately to come out of the muddy puddle in the middle of the street, in which it had fallen.

Heavy rain had a massive effect on the streets that had become nasty with big puddles of water here and there, making it very difficult for the daily commuters, and even animals.

Upon seeing the struggling puppy, Mark came running not minding his white canvas shoes turning brown with sticky mud.

He bent down to have a better look. The puppy was initially afraid but the soft caress of Mark seemed to give him confidence and he immediately jumped upon Mark’s hand with wagging tail and started licking Mark’s palm and fingers.

He seemed relieved at having found a safe destination on Mark’s hand.

Mark suddenly brightened on seeing the puppy and all his sadness and gloomy feelings seemed to evaporate like the morning fog on being touched by the first rays of the sun.

He patted the puppy, cuddled him lovingly, and brought him home.

As usual, his grandpa was sitting on the porch with tea on one hand and a book on the other waiting for Mark’s arrival from school.

“Grandpa, see what I found”, Mark shouted excitedly, as he entered the gate of his home, and proudly raised the cute, little puppy as if showing off his victory trophy.

Without a pause, he narrated the whole incident to his grandfather, who too seemed to share the same excitement of having found a sweet companion and a loyal friend for life.

Grandpa came closer to have a good look at him and stroked the puppy’s tiny head, while the puppy seemed to get super excited on having found a family now.

“Wow. That’s a cute little puppy. You now have a companion and a best friend. You had always wanted this, isn’t it dear?”, grandfather softly spoke into Mark’s ears. Mark was too busy looking at the charming, little gestures of the puppy, which was now yawning and seeming too tired after the long day’s ordeal and struggles.

“Grandpa, I will name him, Tom. I had always wanted to give this name to my little brother, if I ever had one. From now, he will be my little brother and I will never ever leave him”, Mark’s excitement soared high and he seemed to be in the seventh heaven, after all, little brother was what he had always wished from Santa.

“First and foremost, clean the poor thing and give him something to eat. He has gone through a lot today and needs rest. You too want him to be active and play with you, isn’t it? For that, he now needs to take complete rest,” Grandpa told him, gently running his hands over the soft skin of the puppy.

“Yes, Grandpa. You are right. I will go now,” Mark told and went in.

He showed Tom excitedly to his mother, who had already listened to his story from the kitchen. She too shared his excitement and was proud of her compassionate boy. She also felt happy that Mark had got a companion, he had always wanted.

She, then, gave him some warm water for bathing Tom. Mark placed the almost sleeping Tom on his little bed and excitedly took the small tub reserved for cleaning his toys to the bathroom. He poured the warm water and double checked the temperature by dipping the elbow of his hands, as his mother had told him that it was the right method to check the temperature of water. Then, he slowly carried Tom and placed him into the tub.

The warm water seemed to send thrills to Tom, since he was starting to feel cold due to having been soaked by the muddy water in the puddle. He felt excited and started splashing water with his tiny legs as if inviting Mark to play with him.

Mark slowly cleaned Tom, as gently as possible, with his favorite strawberry shampoo and water. Tom was sparkling white now.

He, then, patted him with his soft towel that he had kept reserved for special occasion. After all, this was the most special occasion, he had always longed for.

After drying him as much as possible, he then, brought him back to his bedroom. Mother had prepared a separate bed for Tom with a small basket and soft bedsheets, beside his tiny bed.

Mark placed Tom on his bed and Tom, immediately took to his bed like the fish takes to the pond.

Mother gave bread soaked in milk to feed Tom. Mark took the soft, milk soaked bread with his fingers and touched the mouth of Tom, as if giving him signal that his delicious food was waiting to be devoured.

Tom got the signal, opened his eyes and with his tiny tongue, started licking excitedly on the bread and milk. In his over excitement, some drops of milk touched his nostrils, when he let out a small sneeze. And then, continued licking.

When, he was finished, he licked his mouth completely and gave out a small yawn, as if indicating about his next chore.

Mark felt satisfied and slowly, patted Tom to sleep on his tiny, little bed. He also placed his favorite small stuffed soft toy that he had played with when he was a baby beside Tom. Tom cuddled himself to much needed sleep and held the toy as if it were his partner in bed.

Upon dad’s arrival from work, Mark couldn’t contain his excitement and again narrated the whole incident with the same excitement.

His dad felt very happy on seeing the excitement and happiness on the face of Mark, which had been missing for some time due to his constant yearning for a little brother.

Like a good boy, Mark quickly finished his homework and kept his books according to the timetable before dinner.

After dinner, Mark came to bed and lied down beside Grandpa, which was his favorite abode at night, where he shared all his excitement, fears, sorrows, and little joys.

Mark hugged his grandpa tightly. His grandpa could sense that something was amiss and was troubling the child. He looked at his face that now bore a gloomy look and asked,

“My boy. What happened? Is there something bothering you?”

The soothe words of Grandpa stirred him from his cloud of thoughts.

“Grandpa, I am thinking about Santa Claus,” Mark told unsure of his grandpa’s reaction.

“About Santa? Oh! I see. X-mas is round the corner. Is that the reason?” Grandpa smilingly asked.

“No, Grandpa. It’s not about that. It’s about Santa. Does he really exist, Grandpa? My friends told he is imaginary and nothing more than a mirage. Please tell the truth, Grandpa. Everyone is making fun of me telling that a big boy like me should not be believing in the fairy tales about Santa and the gifts, he brings every year during X-mas,” saying this Mark’s eyes welled up with tears and he hugged Grandpa tightly.

Grandpa too hugged him and allowed him to let go of his suppressed emotions and feelings to get relaxed.

After a few moments, Grandpa cupped his face and wiped his tears and spoke softly.

“My dear child. Is that it? The evergreen doubt that everyone has about Santa?”

Mark couldn’t understand what his Grandpa told. The gloomy look on his face was now replaced with inquisitiveness and excitement to understand what his grandpa wanted to say.

After a while, Grandpa spoke. “Mark, tell me one thing. Why did you rescue Tom and bring him home?”

“Because he was helpless and I wanted to help him,” Mark told with a questioning look unable to understand what relation did Santa have with his bringing Tom home.

“That’s it, my boy. That’s what Santa is all about. He is not the fat person living outside wearing a red coat, riding a sleigh, and bringing gifts. He is inside everyone. If you believe and see him, Santa is real. If you don’t, he is imaginary”, Grandpa told reassuringly.

Mark couldn’t understand still what grandpa was trying to say and felt that grandpa was just trying to reassure him somehow with unrelated explanations. Grandpa continued.

“Your friends told he is a mirage, isn’t it? What is a mirage, my dear? It is an illusion of the presence of water in a scorching desert. Seeing a mirage gives hope and an unknown surge of energy to a dreary traveler to move forward. Similar is the case with Santa. Your friends were right. Santa is a mirage. He is actually not existent physically. But, he gives hope and energy to people having faith to live better with compassion and love, and spread happiness to all. He teaches the meaning of love, selfless love that helps one to think about others and make a difference in their lives without any expectations. These virtues symbolize Santa, my child. That’s what X-mas is all about. Spreading happiness and love to all.”

Everything dawned upon Mark now and he understood what his grandpa wanted to say.

Mark wiped his face, flashed a big smile and hugged his grandpa even more tighter.

“Thanks, Grandpa. I understood. Santa is real. He lives in our hearts silently teaching us good things. I will keep him and his virtues alive forever.”

And, he slept peacefully.


© Copyright 2017 kavenk. All rights reserved.

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