When Henry walked into his house, he saw his big sister sitting at the table.
Susie was flipping through a magazine and talking to a friend on the phone. She was a teenager and that’s what teenagers do—talk on the phone. And read magazines. And talk on the phone. And read magazines… To Henry, that seemed to be the only things his sister did, aside from eat, sleep and boss him around.
Henry sat down at the far end of the table from his sister. He pulled the leather pouch out of his shirt and took the strap from around his neck. He stretched the mouth of the bag as wide as it would go and loudly dumped the contents on the table.
He wanted to get Susie’s attention. It worked. She looked up from her magazine as the gold nuggets bounced on the tabletop. The ruby rolled half way across the table toward her.
Susie’s eyes went as big as dinner plates and her voice caught in her throat—she actually stopped talking! Then she said, “Uh, Jaz, I gotta go. Talk to you later.”
She pressed the off button on the phone and then reached out for the ruby. “Where did you get this stuff?” Susie asked in amazement as she examined the shiny red stone. “You are going to be in so much trouble if you stole it.”
“I didn’t steal it,” Henry said, wondering for a moment if he was telling the truth. “I mean, I found it. In a cave on the mountain and on a little path that nobody walks up anymore.”
“Where?” His sister questioned, raising her eyebrows. She didn’t believe him.
“On a hidden path that goes up behind the waterwheel,” Henry said defensively. “Honest. I found the stuff. It’s mine!”
“Well, I don’t think you’re telling the truth,” Susie said, holding the ruby up to the light. “This is a real ruby! Nobody leaves this kind of stuff just lying around on the ground!”
Henry didn’t want to tell his sister about the dragon—or whatever it was—because then she definitely wouldn’t believe him.
“Well, it’s true!” He said in a big voice. “I found the ruby on the path. And,” he pushed his finger into the gold flake and lifted it up, pointing it at his sister, “I found this gold flake on the path, too. Then I found a cave and these five nuggets were in a little pile. That’s the truth!”
Susie was quiet for an entire minute. She was enamoured with the ruby. “It is so beautiful,” she said.
Henry saw his opportunity to get his sister on side. “You can have it, Susie,” he said quietly. He didn’t like the idea of giving away his only ruby, but he thought it might help. “You can have it, if you promise not to say I stole this stuff. I didn’t and I don’t want Mom and Dad to take it away.”
Susie lifted here eyes and met Henry’s gaze. She studied his face for a few moments.
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” she asked. “You really just found this stuff outside?”
“Yup,” he said, nodding. “I did.”
Susie looked back at the ruby. Her eyes looked a bit teary as she said, “You would really let me have this? It is so pretty.”
“So are you!” Henry said with a twinkle in his eye, “A pretty ruby for a pretty girl!”
|The Hidden Path
a fairytale by David Edgren
“You’re a little charmer!” Susie said, shaking her head and smirking at her little brother. “Thank you, Henry. I think I might get it made into a necklace or something.”
“Cool!” Henry said with a wide smile. He actually felt good about giving the ruby to Susie. She was really happy and that made Henry happy. “Well, I’m gonna put my gold nuggets in my money jar,” Henry said. “And one day, I will spend them on something really nice.”
Henry and Susie went to their rooms and imagined what they could do with their new treasure.