The jigsaw puzzle
Alice and Andy were twins. They were both very keen jigsaw puzzle builders. The more difficult a puzzle was, the more they liked it. When it rained or was unpleasant outside, their mother would give them a puzzle with equal numbers of pieces, and they would see who could finish first.
For their eight birthday, they were given a puzzle with 5000 pieces. Alice and Andy could hardly wait to start this “monster”- but, by the time the last person had left their birthday party, it was too late.
They went to bed in a fever of excitement, hardly able to sleep. The next morning, early, they awoke and cleared a huge space in the middle of the playroom and started to build. As they placed the pieces together, the space filled up and from the picture on the box, it began to take shape. It was a picture of a stone castle with a very high tower. The castle was surrounded by a moat. At the main gate was a draw bridge which was used long ago by people to cross the moat. At last the final piece was in place and the twins stood up to look at their finished prize.
All at once the picture began to grow and grow – until they seemed to be on the bank of the moat. Alice and Andy then heard a loud creaking noise and a thump as the draw bridge dropped on the bank on the other side of the moat.
Andy said “I wonder what the inside of the castle looks like – let’s cross over.” Alice, by now, was quite scared and hesitated, saying “Do you think it is safe?” “Come on, you coward – I am going to cross even if you do not”. With that, Andy ran on to the draw bridge – followed not far behind – by his sister.
As they reached the gate, a helmeted guard with a sword, appeared. “Where are you two going? “he asked. “Oh”, cried the twins. “We are going to see who lives in the high tower, if we may.”
“Well, seeing you two built the castle today, I cannot see any reason to stop you, but do not scare the little princess who lives in the tower. She has a broken heart and will not come down and play. My job is to guard her and see that no one upsets her – perhaps you can cheer her up.”
He stood back and let them in. they could now see the tower which was very high and had many steps leading to a room at the top.
The excited twins climbed the stairs two at a time and were soon talking to the little princess. At first, she was not pleased to see them but, after a while, realized that the twins were very good company. It did not take long before the three of them were laughing and having a super time. The princess was hardly aware that she had climbed down the stairs and was playing with the twins on the bank of the moat. Everyone, including the guard, was overjoyed. He let them ride his horse and play with his shield and helmet. By now, it was time to go home and have supper.
The beautiful princess gave Alice a lovely handkerchief and Andy a toy knight on a wooden horse.
They waved goodbye, promising to return one day. The twins then crossed the moat and, within seconds, were back in their playroom.
Standing there, they could not believe where they had been, but they each had a present from the little princess.
They tidied up the pieces of the puzzle carefully – putting them in the box and went happily off to bed.
Barbara Louise Gillman