Long ago, before the rise of the oceans and the crash of the stock market, on a tiny island, there lived a little boy who loved stories. He loved stories in all forms. He loved books. He loved movies. Hey loved comics and cartoons. He even loved documentaries.
He didn’t have many toys back then. But he had imagination. His parents were constantly bemused by the strange sounds he made and the flurry of movements of his arms around bed time. What they didn’t know was that he was, more often than not, re-enacting an epic scene from a book he read, or a movie he watched.
One day they bought him a crayon set. He took to it like fish to water. Or King Kong to Ann. Or dragons to gold. Or… well you get the drift.
The boy drew, and drew, and drew. As much as he could, until he was good. It wasn’t easy because he was colour-blind. He didn’t know how green Green was or how much red was in Red. And sometimes he would colour green yellow instead. But it was okay, because he saw things differently, and he drew and drew and drew. And drew so much that all that didn’t matter anymore.
But he wasn’t interested in drawing apples or pears, or pictures of Daddy or Mommy. He drew elephants, and then superheroes, and then elephants who happened to also be superheroes. And then the elephant superhero would speak; badly at first, because the boy was only beginning to learn spelling and the rules of grammar.
So it wasn’t too long before he sold his first comic book, at the age of nine, to his mother for the grand price of 10 cents. Interestingly, it didn’t feature any elephant superheroes speaking proper English. But what it did feature were scores of characters from Greek mythology and history – Hercules, Odysseus, Zeus, Hector (or rather the ghost of), Alexander the Great, King Darius of Persia.
It was an epic sword-and-sandal buddy-comedy adventure where Hercules and Odysseus were sent on a mission to rescue Alexander from the clutches of the megalomaniacal Darius whose chief enforcer was the vengeful ghost of Hector.
Alas! The book accidentally found its way into a pile of newspapers meant for the rag-and-bone man and was never seen again.
But as all good storytellers know, you should always end your tale with a silver of hope.
For even as the little boy mourned for days and nights, he understood why he cried. It was because no one else would be able to know how Hercules and his best friend Odysseus saved Alexander. The boy realised in his sadness what made him happy.
And he is doing it to this very day.
That’s just one story. And it’s quite a short one too. But here’s a surprise. We’ve a few more for you…