In a small chocolate box cabin, on the edge of an obscure forest, dwells a Wizard with an incredible secret power.
One day he was meandering along a winding path, deep in the forest, when he came upon a broody, unhappy boy who was sitting on a log. Resting his elbows on his knees, he held his head in his hands and appeared to be very miserable indeed.
"Why the grim look?" ... asked, the Wizard.
There was no reply... just a feeble grunt and weighty sigh!
"Come over here young man and look at this very old tree."
The boy stood up still looking glum and with his head hung low meandered over to the Wizard.
"This tree has been around for many hundreds of years and never has it been sad for one moment. I have learnt its secret, therefore I am going to share with you the greatest gift any human can possess. But before I do, you must first complete a mission I will present to you....
I know today is your twelfth birthday... You must keep a smile on your face for one year and never moan or groan. I will be following you around in my invisible form.
When you feel the whiff of a breeze on your face, you will sense my presence.
The very first time you stop smiling, moan or groan I will disappear forever and you will never know my secret power that will pass over to you next year. You will lose the greatest gift on earth and will be just like all the other mortals that live a wretched unhappy life."
The young boy eyes began to water and tears fell down his cheek like a waterfall cascading down a mountainside.
"That is good sign", remarked the Wizard.
"Get rid of all your pent up tension and unhappiness. Remember this... You have but one life on earth and you cannot afford to spend one moment in misery.
From this moment on you will be conscious of the smile on your face and you will understand that if the smile fades for just one moment, you will lose contact with me and the secret power that I will bestow on you in a years time, will be lost, like a snowflake in a fire."
The boy's tears suddenly dried up and a radiant smile beamed bright. Suddenly a strong wind blew and all the fallen leaves scattered all around the young boy. When the wind subsided, the Wizard was gone.
The youngster felt rejuvenated and although all the worries and problems he had still existed, his disposition was quite different. He launched into a merry jog and sang a happy song as he made his way out of the forest and back to his home to confront his problems and resolve outstanding issues.
Every morning, upon awakening, he would go over to the mirror and make sure his smile was still in place. It seemed to get bigger and brighter every day... As the smile grew brighter, his demeanor, conduct and manner improved. Everyone remarked how different he was. Some mean spirited people tried to change his smile into a frown, but none could. It was engraved on his face like an exquisite incandescent photo.
At the end of the year, the Wizard suddenly appeared from out of the blue and declared...
"Your disposition and nature has been extraordinarily noticeable.
Your luminous smile is a joy for all folks to behold.
I will now share with you the greatest secret power in the world that I possess."
The excited teenager held his breath in anticipation.
"The truth of the matter is... I do not have any secret power more potent than the one you possess.
The smile you have on your face right now is the greatest power in the world.
Once your face radiates with joy, you are empowered with the greatest gift any human can possess whilst they live on earth.
Now that you have experienced that power, I know there will be no going back to your old worried frown."
The young man's faced beamed even brighter and he threw his arms around the Wizard and gave him a loving hug... "I thought that was going to be the secret. I am so glad that I will not be disappointed and given some golden magic charm or trinket."
As he hugged the Wizard, a strong gust sprung up... lo and behold... he was left giving himself a big hug.
"I wonder if I have been having a dream," he thought... just then, a light breeze tickled his cheek and shivers ran down his spine like a mild electric current... This lit up his face more than ever and he said aloud ... Today I am thirteen years of age and the gift I want more than anything else is to find out how many people I can help smile today!
All at once, he realized he had become a Wizard on his thirteenth birthday.
Copyright © 2005 Michael Levy and Point of Life, Inc.