Once upon a time, a young boy named Tristian was lost on a desert island. The camel he had been travelling on had left him many miles ago which was far from ideal, as it was the only one out of either of them who had any idea where they were, where they were going and where they had been. The urge to get to his destination kept him motivated, so despite the heat and in spite of his thirst, Tristian trudged through the burning sand one heavy step at a time. Since Tristian had been alone with his thoughts for so long, the smallest of things would capture his attention. Whether it was the patterns created by the wind in the sand dunes, or the occasional critter caught scurrying away out of the corner of his eye, Tristian had suddenly become intrigued by everything. For the third time in as many hours, Tristian stopped, wiped his forehead, reached into his back pocket and took out his treasure map.
The map was brown and stained with noticeable tears on each of its sides. Tristian was not responsible for all of the tears, so he knew he was not the first owner of the map and, yet, from the moment he held the map in his hands, he was determined to be the first person to discover and to keep the treasure all for himself. Looking closely at the landmarks that had been carefully printed in a dark-black ink on the paper long ago, Tristian was able to quickly determine where his journey should begin and where it would end. The idea of being the one to possess the secret riches had now become an obsession and nothing, not even getting lost and losing his camel, was going to stand in his way. Grains of sands lifted up by the strong winds whipped his face as he focused on the map once again in an attempt to get his bearings and to finally reach his destination.
Tracing over his steps, Tristian thought back to when he conquered not only the terrain of the mountains of Navana but had managed to have the two-headed beast known as Thandor at his mercy. Thandor possessed the key Tristian would need to unlock the treasure chest once he uncovered it, and that was all the motivation Tristian needed to defeat the beast in a matter of minutes. His victory was bitter-sweet and short-lived for, as he left the Forests of Pantagnomia behind him, in front of him, lay the vastness of the seemingly unconquerable Harana Desert.
A tribe of ancient warriors known as The Baratonia had waited many centuries for someone as brave as Tristian to come and slay Thandor and to release them from the spells the beast had placed on them. As a thank you gift, they offered Tristian a bed and a camel, allowing him to rest and travel a great distance the following day. He bid farewell to The Baratonia as he made his way towards the horizon. Using the map, Tristian guided the camel from landmark to landmark and grew increasingly excited every time he conquered challenge after challenge. He utilized the camel’s strength by tying much of what he was carrying to its back, making the camel acutely aware that they were rapidly running out of supplies. Very shortly after Tristan drank the last drop of water, the camel promptly turned around and began walking back home. He refused to budge no matter how hard Tristian begged and pleaded, but neither the camel nor Tristian would change their minds, leaving both without each other.
Brushing away the sand from his map before folding it up and putting it back in his rear pocket, Tristian was unable to remain modest in his own thoughts about himself when he looked up and saw the palm tree which, according to the map, had the treasure buried underneath it. Tristian drew on the final reservoir of energy he had, to plough through the sand and wind, hugging the tree tightly when he finally made it. Double checking the location of the dark black X on the map, Tristian started to use his hands to dig deeper and deeper. Finally, Tristian found the treasure chest and, although his hands were sore and blistered from digging in the hot sand, he managed to lift it out of the hole with a single almighty pull.
Battered and bruised, yet excited and energized, Tristian took a moment to run his hands over the wooden chest, admiring every piece of wood and rusted metal that surrounded it. Everything he had worked for had led to this moment, and he was now about to become the richest boy the world had ever known. Tristian panicked as he reached into his pocket to take out the key only to discover that there was nothing in there. It was then that Tristian put his head in his hands and sobbed. For, he knew that out there in the desert, was a camel with the key to all of Tristian’s dreams tied to its body.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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