One of the things I did as a child was wish that I could create things from thin air like the magicians on television. It was a thrill to see rabbits and birds appear from behind a magician's magic hand with a wave of a wand. In the following story, Mike had a way to create things by drawing with his magic paintbrush.
Long time ago in a village tucked away in the mountains lived a little boy name Mike. His family were farmers. Farming was hard to do on a mountainside. There wasn't much success for his family, nor for the rest of the village. Being poor didn't bother Mike because he loved to paint. In the fields, Mike drew animal shapes in the dirt. By the river, Mike drew fish and plants on rocks with his wet finger. There was no stopping Mike's creativity for canvas and paint. When he was old enough, he went to the monastery to speak with the head monk. He knew the head monk was a famous painter and Mike wanted to learn from him. The old monk told Mike he was too young and that he should stay with his family to farm. Mike was devastated and walked home slowly, crying silently all the way.
That night, a white owl appeared at Mike's window. "Whooo," the owl cried as it flew into Mike's bedroom. In a flash, the owl changed into an old man. Mike hid behind his bed, trembling. The old man laughed and said, "I've been watching you, Mike. You're a very talented artist. I've brought a gift from the gods. It's a magic paintbrush. Use it, and it'll make many people happy." Then the old man turned back into the white owl, flying out the window and into the night.
Mike blinked his eyes, and blinked them again. The brush was on the table, waiting for the boy to pick it up. Mike picked up the brush and a tingle ran up his arm. He had to try out his gift. He unrolled a torn piece of cloth, mixed some ash with water to make ink, then drew a bird. Nothing happened for a moment but then Mike couldn't believe his eyes. The bird blinked, then ruffled its feathers. With a stretch of its wings, the bird came to life and flew off the paper. Mike fell to the ground! He tried again, but this time with a turtle. The turtle came to life with a hard shell and a head that popped in and out of that shell. All night, Mike drew little animals that came to life.
When morning arrived, Mike ran to the farm to greet his father. He had to show him his new paintbrush. Mike walked towards the broken cart. It hasn't been used in years because it was missing a wheel. Mike waved his magical paintbrush in the air and drew a wheel for the cart. POOF, a wheel appeared on the cart. Mike continued to draw things for his father to use on the farm. They were both very happy.
A week went by and news of Mike's paintbrush spread through the village. Neighbors visited Mike to have him draw new farming equipment. He was happy to help them all. One neighbor who heard about Mike was Mustache Sam, the mean rancher who lived at the end of the village. No one liked him. He abused his animals and stole from the village.
Mustache Sam had a plan. He told his henchmen to kidnap Mike and steal his paintbrush. Wednesday night, Mustache Sam's men grabbed Mike when he was walking home from the farm. Mike was thrown into an abandoned shed and two guys stood guard at the door while another ran for Mustache Sam.
When Mustache Sam arrived, he smelled something burning from inside the shed. He opened the door and found a cooked meal and a blanket, both of which were drawn by Mike for comfort. Mustache Sam discovered something else: a ladder perched against the back window of the shed. Mike had drawn a ladder to escape his capture. With all of his might, Mustache Sam yelled and knocked over the fire, burning the shed to the ground. Mike watched the chaos from behind a big rock and was not found. He ran home and hid for the next month.
During this month, stories of Mike's magical paintbrush travel all over China. People described animals coming to life and how one village poverty turned around with the aid of new farming equipment; all of this because of one little boy's big heart and his paintbrush. The news reached even to the ears of the Emperor.
The Emperor was a greedy man. He hoarded gold and gems from far away lands. He counted his money daily. He even had servants killed if they were eating too much food. The Emperor wanted Mike's magical paintbrush. He set out a million-dollar reward for the capture of Mike and his paintbrush.
Mike was captured by the Emperor's soldiers and brought before the emperor. Mike was separated with his brush and then thrown into jail. The Emperor wondered what was to be his first drawing with the magical paintbrush. He drew what he thought was a golden phoenix. A golden phoenix to lay him golden eggs. The bird flapped its wings and came to life as a common chicken. "Bock," it cried and ran around the royal throne room. The emperor tried to draw a bar of gold. Since he was a greedy man, he drew a long bar of gold. The gold bar wiggled off the paper in the shape of a snake. The huge snake crept towards the emperor and wrapped itself around him. The emperor yelled for his men of court to free him. At the same time, the chicken ran and jumped up on the head of emperor, and laid a big yellow egg.
Mike was ordered out of jail to the emperor's throne room. The emperor was furious and frustrated, unable to paint gold and riches. He ordered Mike to draw for him a sailing vessel, large enough for the royal family and all of its servants. Mike drew the most beautiful boat, carved from rare woods and gilded with gold and gemstone sparkles. Next he was ordered to draw a river to where to dock the boat. Mike drew a river. When it came to life, it picked up speed and enough strength to give birth to a tidal wave. Water crashed and destroyed the royal palace. The rough tides towed the boat far out to sea. The evil emperor was stuck on the royal boat never to return to China.
With all of the confusion, no one saw Mike sneak away, draw himself a horse and ride away. Where did he go? Some say that Mike went home to continue to help the poor. Some others say he created animal refuge in the middle of China's mountain range and drew animals until the day he died.
When I was young, I never thought of having a magic paintbrush. If I did, I would have painted my mom a new vase. One to replace the one I knocked off the shelf causing it to fall and shatter to pieces. Never run in the living room. Trust me on this one.
पैंट ब्रुश Adventures