By: Wouter van de Zandschulp
Jonathan had become a popular bard. People loved him. The old man did all he could to keep the always unsure and unbalanced Jonathan from going overboard in his enjoyment of his popularity. He had thought a great deal about Jonathan lately, since he himself got to the old age when you start to think things over as a whole. He wanted to leave Jonathan all right behind him when his time would come. But Jonathan, after thinking to be good for nothing for so many years, had not much ground beneath his feet. Fame made him think all was perfect and go completely overboard, destined to once ruin it all. What to do when he would be all on his own? Wouldn't he once ruin everything so completely that he would not come through? He did seem to have some talent; loads of creativity, good looks, character and persistence. Maybe he was man enough to keep going time after time.
While the old man pondered, Jonathans career went big. He became some sort of hype. People knew he was funny, sang well and had good looks, so his name became a quality name. Most places where he was staged made the bar or house or yard where he was all fireproof and made sure not much could be broken. He did loads of performances, all successful, but nothing really big. The break that would place him among the big names still had to come. His success was bigger than the old man's was, though.
Then his real big chance came along. Some messenger found him and gave him an invitation to perform at a big festival in a large town. Every year at the big Pumpkin Party the whole town would eat pumpkins and listen to the best bards around. The pumpkin industry was proficient to get the very best. Bards seen there where know to be among the very great.
The old man saw the Pumpkin Sign in Jonathan's hand.
"That's... a... pumpkin..." he spoke, out of breath.
"So?" Jonathan said.
"Never... I never thought... are you ready for something THAT BIG???"
"Sure" Jonathan said. "You heard me sing, didn't you?"
"But... the... pumpkin... are you sure? It's supposed to host only the REAL GOOD bards, and..."
"And what am I? A real good garden gnome?" Jonathan said.
"Well, come to mention it, if you put your arm just there, you really would..." the old man started another of his wise ponderings.
"You are just jealous because I look like a great bard and you look like Gandalf" Jonathan said.
"That's ridiculous, just because I've got a beard, that does not mean that..."
While they fight along, we skip towards the night of the Pumpkin Festival. I can do that, since I am the storyteller. Pretty neat, huh?
Jonathan was all dressed up and walking towards the festival. The old man had given him loads of advice and already had gone to the field to get a good place. Jonathan and he where quite nervous. His big...
Jonathan looked up. He saw an orphanage. It was on fire and a child called out for help. Some men where standing next to it.
"It's too risky, the building will collapse..."
Jonathan sighed. He knew what he was going to do. He was a clumsy fool with a big performance planned. He was totally dressed up, costing him all his money. And he was going to run inside a flaming building that was about to collapse.
He ran inside, ran up on the stairs towards the screaming.
He grabbed the child.
"I... cough... can't... cough... go... cough... with strangers..."
"You can go... cough... with me..." Jonathan replied, while running down the stairs. He heard the stairs falling behind him. He jumped outside on the grass with the child, while the building came down.
They both coughed. The men looked wondered.
"That was crazy" one said.
The child looked at Jonathan, amazed.
"You are my hero" she said and hugged him.
Jonathan heard these words and was totally lost. Tears came into his eyes, looking at a life full of failure.
"Well... I... what do you want to do?" he asked.
"Can you guys wait here, while we inform the orphan station to pick her up?" one of the men aside asked.
"Well..." Jonathan hesitated... "I had an appointment..."
The child looked at him.
"Can we stay here and chat some more... I'm scared..."
Jonathan gave in.
"Sure" he said.
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