Peter and the Magic Thread

So, recently I had read a book titled ‘Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’,  written by one of the most renowned authors, Robin Sharma.

I had come across a very beautiful fairy tale in the book and I couldn’t resist sharing it on my blog. The title of the fairy tale is ‘Peter and the Magic Thread’ and the story is as follows…

Peter was a very lively little boy. Everyone loved him: his family, his teachers and his friends. But he did have one weakness. Peter could never live in the moment. He had not learnt to enjoy the process of life. When he was in school, he dreamed of outside playing. When he was outside playing, he dreamed of his summer vacation. Peter constantly day dreamed, never taking the time to savor the special moments that filled his days.

One morning, Peter was out walking in a forest near his home. Feeling tired he decided to rest on a patch of grass and eventually dozed off. After only a few minutes of deep sleep, he heard someone calling his name. ‘Peter! Peter!’ came the shrill voice from above. As he slowly opened his eyes, he was startled to see a striking woman standing above him. She must have been over a hundred years old and her snow-white hair dangled well below her shoulders like a matted blanket of wool. In this woman’s wrinkled hands was a magical little ball with a hole in the center and out of the hole dangled a long, golden thread.

‘Peter’, she said, ‘this is the thread of your life. If you pull the thread just a bit, an hour will pass in seconds. If you pull a little harder, whole days will pass in minutes. And if you pull with all your might, months – even years – will pass by in days.’ Peter grew very excited at this discovery. ‘I’d like to have it if I may?’ he asked. The elderly woman quickly reached down and gave the ball with the magic thread to the young boy.

The next day Peter was sitting in the classroom feeling restless and bored. Suddenly, he remembered his new toy. As he pulled a little bit of golden thread, he quickly found himself at home, playing in his garden. Realizing the power of the magic thread, Peter soon grew tired of being a schoolboy and longed to be a teenager, with all the excitement that phase of life would bring. So again he pulled out the ball and pulled hard on the golden thread.

Suddenly he was a teenager with a very pretty young girlfriend named Elise. But Peter still wasn’t content. He had never learnt to enjoy the moment and to explore the simple wonders of every stage of his life. Instead, he dreamed of being an adult. So again he pulled on the thread and many years whizzed by in an instant. Now he found that he had been transformed into a middle-aged adult. Elise was mow his wife and Peter was surrounded with a houseful of kids. But Peter also noticed something else. His once jet black hair had started to turn grey. And his once youthful mother whom he loved so dearly had grown old and frail. Yet Peter still could not live in the moment. He had never learnt to ‘live in the now.’ So once again, he pulled on the magic thread and waited for the changed to appear.

Peter now found that he was a ninety-year-old man. His thick dark hair had turned white as snow and his beautiful young wife Elise has also grown old and has passed away a few years earlier. His wonderful children had grown up and left home to lead lives of their own. For the first time in his entire life, Peter realized that he had not taken the time to embrace the wonders of living. He had never gone fishing with his kids or taken a moonlight stroll with Elise. He had never planted a garden or read those wonderful books his mother had loved to read. Instead, he had hurried through life, never resting to see that was good along the way.

Peter became very sad at this discovery. He decided to go out to the forest where he used to walk as a boy to clear his head and warm his spirit. As he entered the forest, he noticed that the little saplings of his childhood had grown into mighty oaks. The forest itself had matured into paradise of nature. He lay down on a small patch of grass and fell into a deep slumber. After only a minute, he heard someone calling out to him. ‘Peter! Peter!’ cried the voice. He looked up in astonishment to see that it was none other than the old woman who had given him the ball with the magic golden thread many years earlier.

‘How have you enjoyed my special gift?’ she asked.

Peter was direct in his reply.

‘At first it was fun but now I hate it. My whole life has passed before my eyes without giving me the chance to enjoy it. Sure, there would have been sad times as well as great times but I haven’t had the chance the experience either. I feel empty inside. I have missed the gift of living.’

‘You are very ungrateful,’ said the old woman. ‘Still, I will give you one last wish.’

Peter thought for an instant and then answered hastily. ‘I’d like to go back to being a schoolboy and live my life over again.’ He then returned to his deep sleep.

Again he heard someone calling his name and opened his eyes. ‘Who could it be this time?’ he wondered. When he opened his eyes, he was absolutely delighted to see his mother standing over his bedside. She looked young, healthy and radiant. Peter realized that the strange woman of the forest had indeed granted his wish and he had returned to his former life.

‘Hurry up Peter. You sleep too much. Your dreams will make you late for school if you don’t get up right this minute,’ his mother admonished. needless to say, Peter dashed out of his bed on this morning and began to live the way he had hoped. Peter went on to live a full life, one rich with many delights, joys and triumphs, but it all started when he stopped sacrificing the present for the future and began to live in the moment.

Unfortunately, none of us will ever get this second change to live our life again. Knowing that time flies, we refuse to make the use of it and live in the present. We are so preoccupied with out thought about the future that we turn a blind eye to our present. And when we are finally on the death bed, we regret not doing so many things we could have done in our life.

I don’t know what’s your age, but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is that you are alive, reading my blog at the moment and my message is being conveyed to you. Don’t let time slip out of your hands like the sand. Learn to relish and enjoy the present so that you have some really exciting and interesting stories to share with others and you have no regrets when you would be on your death bed. 🙂

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