The Magical Garden
of Words

There was once a boy who loved words very much…


Once, not far from here, there lived a boy. He was an ordinary boy except for one thing: he loved words. What type of words you ask? Oh, many kinds of different words. Words that made you see things differently, words that made you smile, words that made you sad, words that made you imagine amazing things… Many different words.

These words he would pick up when others would use them in conversation. He discovered some when his father told stories. Others he found when his mother told him what to buy when she sent him to the corner shop. And yet others he uncovered in conversations he overheard when adults were speaking… Soon he had collected a large number of beautiful words.

It was not that he really understood any of these words. Well, not at first. But as he took them to his room, he would look up their meanings in a dictionary and lay on his bed and pondered over them. Turning them round and round in his mind. Every new word he had would bring new ideas into his head.

As he collected these words, he hid them in a box under the bed where no one could get to them. Soon he had so many that they could no longer fit in the box. Tried as he could, the lid of the box would not close any longer. The box was full. And so it was that as he grew older, he always had many boxes in his room each one filled to the brim with the new words he collected over the years.

His mother was not too happy about this because it meant that his room was always untidy: boxes everywhere with words spilling out of them. Why could he not be like other boys and just forget words as soon as they are told to him, she would complain. Many of the words had found their way onto the the blankets of his bed, onto the floor and even onto the walls. His room was a mess of words.

One day he took one of these words and planted them to see what would happen. He took a little pot with soil and put the word inside. He watered it and would you believe it? It grew. First a green stem with leaves and then later a flower: the word in colour with the most beautiful petals.

Images from Cas Cornelissen in Unsplash, Ryan McGuire of Bells Design and Steven Spassov in Unsplash

So excited was he that he fetched his box of special words and began to plant them one by one. Soon he had a garden of words. Pot planted words were now everywhere in his colourful garden. Some words grew differently from others. Some had grown, like his first word, into word flowers. Others, grew into poems, into stories, into tales. Some even grew into books.

On a sunny day a young woman walked by and admired his garden of words. “What a most amazing garden,” she said. “You should cut them and put them in vases.” He could see that the words had a great effect on her. As she cast her glance to different parts of the garden, the young man could see that the different word flowers changed the expression on her face.

When she looked into the furthest corner of the garden where a tree of poems was in bloom, she became transfixed, the smile fading from her face and a tear forming in the corner of her eye. Then when she bent down to page through a book hanging from a branch, her eyebrows seemed to crease and there was a lost look in her eyes like someone who had stepped into a different world. Other stories made her smile so wide, the young man blushed.

“Would you like one of them?” he asked because he could see that this word wonderland had touched her heart. He picked a poem with the most exquisite colours and gave it to her. When she looked him in the eye, he knew, in that moment, that she would always return to this magical garden of words.


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