There is a legend about a tiny girl who flew around in a fantastic teacup.

She was just over four sugar-cubes tall, and for most of her life she had never been outside of her teacup. Her cup sat on a lovely little table in a springtime garden. She was very happy and spent all day watching the sky, listening to the garden’s sweet springtime melodies.

One day a particularly large shape flew overhead. The little girl was startled by the passing shadow and needed to see where it had gone. To get to the rim, she took a couple of steps back and ran at the curved wall. The cup tipped over and she tumbled out onto the flat table. The new perspective was too large to take in at once. The little girl looked around and around until she became dizzy and sat down heavily. She wrinkled her nose and tried to think of a way to get back into her teacup. It had a lovely pattern on the outside but she could not make sense of it; all she could think about was the smooth white porcelain inside.

Having regained her composure, she stood up and faced the teacup resolutely. After many attempts, she finally managed to push the cup over and manoeuvre the rim to face her. She clambered in and fell forward as the cup wobbled upright. She sat up, closed her eyes and shivered. After a while she fell into a restless sleep.

The next morning she awoke to familiar noises but was haunted by the new sights that had become even more vivid during the night. She stood up and leaned against the side of the cup, wondering if she could roll it. It made a large semicircle and came back to its start. She practised this a few times and soon she began making short trips outside the teacup. She made great efforts to retrieve utensils and materials from the table-setting around her, but her tiny legs could not cover great distances.

The little girl spent all of her time renovating her teacup – first a teaspoon, then a napkin, some threads and wax: anything she could lay her hands on. Occasionally the birds would come to see what she was doing, sometimes bringing her a token from further afield.

It took days but she finally got the teacup up and running. Powered by the wind, she was able to sail to distant horizons. She kept adding to her vessel, constantly improving its capabilities. The little girl became well-known throughout the countryside, and everyone she met looked forward to her return when she would bring new and wonderful stories.

Her life was filled with excitement and adventure, and she very rarely looked up at the sky.

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the little girl who lived in a teacup | 2011 | fables | Comments (0)

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