A long time ago, there was a village of people who lived in a difficult place. There were no trees, flowers or grass. There were no animals or birds, and almost no food. As far as the eye could see, there were only bare empty rocks. But worst of all, the sun never shined. The sky was always filled with dark clouds and a cold wind blew constantly. Each morning, as a gray light filtered through the clouds, the parents would leave to find food. They would crawl around on their hands and knees looking for small pieces of moss that grew between the rocks. With this moss, they would make a watery soup for the children to eat. There was never enough to eat. In these conditions, the children were always hungry and sick. This was not a nice place to live. Each day, the children tried to help their parents find food. All of the children would go to the one small lake near the village. In this lake there were some very small fish. The fish were difficult to catch and most of the time the children would catch nothing.
One day, a small boy was sitting near the edge of the water when suddenly, he saw a huge fish in the middle of the lake. He was so excited. He picked up his fishing pole and was about to cast his line into the water when the clouds parted and the sun came shining through. The golden light of the sun reflected off the water and came flooding into his eyes. The boy looked up and for the first time in his life, he saw the sun. Behind the golden sun was the bright blue sky. When the boy looked at the lake, the water was bright blue and the boy could see that the fish was a golden fish. In the middle of the boy’s head a light went on. He had an idea. The sky is blue and the lake is blue. The fish in the lake is a golden fish and golden sun in the sky is really just a fish going by! I want to catch that fish! I want to catch the sun!
The boy ran home to tell his father what he wanted to do. When he found his father, he shouted, “I want to catch the sun!”. The boy’s father wasn’t sure what to do. So he said to the boy, “Catching the sun is a big job. For such a big job, we should talk to your grandfather. He will know what to do.” So the boy and his father went to find the grandfather. When they found him he was in his house on the top of the hill. When the boy saw his grandfather, he shouted, “Grandfather, I want to catch the sun!”. The grandfather laughed and said, “I have been waiting for you all day. I have been getting something ready for you. Here it is, a magic fishing pole with a magic fishing line. With this, you can catch the sun”. The boy was about to take the magic fishing pole, when the grandfather spoke to him. “There is just one thing. If you hook something, you have to promise not to let go of this fishing pole”. The boy responded, “I promise grandpa, no matter what happens, I will hang on”. Then he looked up at his grandfather’s eyes and said. “I love you grandpa”, and hurried out the door to go catch the sun. The grandfather went to the door of his house and called to the boy, “I love you too!” The sound of the grandfather’s voice followed the boy through the rocks as he raced to catch the golden fish in the sky.
The boy returned to the place by the lake where he had seen the golden fish. But instead of casting his line into the lake, he cast his line into the sky. Of course, the line came down again. This was just like fishing in the lake, you had to keep trying. As he was doing this, the other children of the village came by and started to laugh at him. “You’re so stupid, you don’t even know where the lake is”! Then they threw sticks and rocks at him and walked away laughing. The boy fell to the ground and began to cry. These were his only friends and they had hurt his feelings. All he wanted to do was catch the fish in the sky, so that no one would be hungry again. Now he felt so alone. Then he cried even more because he missed his mother. He never really knew his mother, she had died the day he was born. He had always wondered if he had caused his mother’s death. The only thing he knew about his mother was that his grandfather had told him his mother loved the red rose. He cried so hard even his bones began to cry.
Then suddenly the boy thought he heard the sound of his grandfather’s voice calling, “I love you” . The boy opened his eyes to see if his grandfather was there. But the boy was alone. It was getting late and the sky was filled with the darkest clouds he had ever seen. He decided to cast his fishing line one more time. So he stood up very straight and with his whole body he threw that line into the sky. That magic fishing line went right through the darkest cloud and just kept going. Then suddenly, the boy hooked something. The line went racing away. The boy thought the line would break. But the line was a magic fishing line. It didn’t break. The boy pulled as hard as he could. But no matter what he did, he could not pull the line in. He could not even see what he had hooked. So he just stood there holding that fishing pole as it started to get dark. He wanted to go home, but what was he going to do? He had made a promise to his grandfather not to let go. He would hold on to that fishing pole as long as it took.
The boy stood there holding his fishing pole as it got darker and darker. He was a little bit afraid of the dark because he had never been out of the house at night. Then suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck the ground right at his feet. The light raced up his toes to the top of his head. The hairs on the back of his neck stood straight up. The boy blinked his eyes then he blinked them again, because he was sure he was seeing something. He was right. Standing in front of him was a giant wolf. His grandfather had shown him a picture of a wolf. This was a wolf. The wolf had big yellow eyes and white teeth. This wolf was growling at the boy like he was going to eat him. The boy wanted to drop his pole and run. But he couldn’t run because he had made a promise to his grandfather.
So the boy looked straight at the wolf and said, “Wolf, I am not letting go of this fishing pole. If you eat me, you will have to eat this fishing pole too. If you eat this fishing pole, you may die”. The wolf stopped growling and slowly walked away. The boy stood there alone, trembling in the dark.
It was late at night. The boy was very tired. The wind stopped blowing and all around him there was only silence. He wanted to sleep. So he wrapped his arms around the fishing pole and laid on the ground. He would just rest his eyes a little while. The boy dreamed his grandfather was whispering in his ear, “I love you…”. He opened his eyes just in time to save the fishing pole from being lifted out of his arms. The boy stood up and started pulling on that fishing line. Whatever he had hooked was coming closer. Each time he pulled he got stronger and stronger. As he pulled the line, the sun began to rise. For the first time in his life, the boy saw the rising sun without clouds. When he looked up into the clear sky, he could see he had hooked an angel!
The boy pulled and pulled. He pulled that angel all the way down to the ground. And there on the ground, stood an angel, NINE FEET TALL. A magnificent and beautiful angel. But this angel looked a little funny. He had fishing line all through his wings. That angel looked down at that boy and said, “Little boy, you are the strongest boy in all the world. All night long I tried to get away from you. I threw lightning at you; I sent a wolf. I even stopped the wind to put you to sleep. Little boy, what is it you want so much, that not even an angel can get away from you?” The boy looked up at the angel and said, “Angel, you are very beautiful, but I don’t want you. I want to catch the sun! The angel laughed, and replied, “If you want to catch the sun, you have to cast your line over the moon, through the sun to the real sun. The only way you can do that is if I help you.”
The boy said to the angel, “Angel, if you will help me catch the sun, I’ll let you go.” The angel laughed a belly laugh and said, “I promise to help you!”. So the boy pulled the fishing line out of the angel’s wings and instantly the angel was gone.
The boy decided to run home and tell his grandfather that he had caught an angel. As the boy entered the village, he heard people screaming as they pointed to the sky, “The darkness is eating the sun. We will all die!” The boy looked up at the sky and sure enough, there was a big bite out of the sun. He called to the people, “Have no fear. I can catch the sun!” The people angrily shouted at the boy, “Who do you think you are?!” They came after him to hit him with sticks. But standing in their path was the boy’s grandfather. The boy’s grandfather said to them, “He can help us. I know he can. Go ahead son.”
With all of his might, the boy cast his line towards the sun. Then he shouted, “Angel!” His line sailed over the moon and through the sun to the real sun. The boy hooked the sun. Then he pulled the sun out of the darkness. The whole village began to cheer. “We should make you king!”, they shouted. But the boy ignored them. He kept pulling the sun closer and closer to the earth. The people asked him to stop. But he wouldn’t stop. The people got frightened. Someone screamed, “If he pulls the sun any closer, we will all die in the fire! We must kill him before we die!” They came towards the boy with weapons. But standing in their path was an angel, NINE FEET TALL! At the sight of this magnificent angel, the people dropped their weapons and fell to their knees.
That boy pulled the sun all the way down to the ground. From the north to the south; from the east to the west, the whole sky was filled with the sun. But this sun was the real sun and the fire of the real sun is made of love. Everyone felt wonderful and alive. The boy said,
“Look!” Everyone turned and looked at the sun. Where the boy was pointing, there was a heart-shaped opening in the middle of the sun. The boy crawled into the sun and looked through the opening. Do you know what he saw? He saw a paradise. Giant trees, beautiful flowers and green grass. All the food anyone could ever want was there.
The boy said to the people, “Come through here!”.
Each person held someone else’s hand. And two by two they walked into the paradise. The very last one to walk through the sun was that little boy. Except that now he was no longer a little boy. He was a man, a magnificent man, and he stood NINE FEET TALL! When the boy walked through, he could smell the fragrance of the rose.
Those people are still in that paradise. Because in that place you live forever.