Shaun was a young boy who was afraid of everything. He could not ride a bicycle as he was scared of falling and hurting himself. Could not swim as he feared of drowning. He was afraid of the dark and therefore he could not sleep alone. His father always scolded him for this behaviour and his friends made fun of him. They teased and called him Shaky Shaun. He was a lonely child with no friends.
There was a park with a big willow tree near his house. All the children in the neighbourhood would play in the park, but as Shaun had no friends he mostly remained at home.
Everyday when it would get dark Shaun closed the window and pulled the curtain overlooking the park. “ It’s just a tree darling, you cannot be scared of it,” her mother would explain; sometimes angrily.
“ But it is so huge”, wailed Shaun in trembling voice.
One windy evening when Shaun was about to shut the window and draw the curtains, lights went off. The whole neighbourhood plunged into darkness.
“ Shaun will you please open that window,” shouted his mother from another room. Shaun opened the window and rushed to his mother in the darkness.
“ What happened, why are you shaking?” asked his mother.
“ I’m scared, that tree is shaking”, cried Shaun.
His mother took hold of his hands gently and said “let’s go to the park and enjoy some cool breeze. There are plenty of people around.”
When they entered the park, other children started shouting , “ Here comes shaky Shaun“. Poor Shaun he was furious with his mother to put him through this. His mother took him near the willow tree and made him touch it’s strong rough bark. He felt the roughness of the bark, the soft leaves brushed his face and hands every time the cool breeze blew. “It’s just a tree darling,” whispered his mother softly to him.
Comforting him patiently with her soothing voice. Slowly Shaun’s fears were fading away. Shaun stood under the tree, exploring and feeling the branches and it’s leaves, letting tiny ants crawl on his bare hands. He looked at the huge tree in darkness and kept murmuring “ it’s just a tree” to himself repeatedly.
Finally the lights came and there he was facing the tree. He laughed aloud and thanked his mother for helping him to conquer his fears. From that night onwards Shaun was not afraid of anything.
His mother’s wise words always remained with him “ If you ever get scared, say aloud; fear is all in our imagination and minds they are not real. When you face your fears bravely, they become very small and not as big and dangerous as you think it to be.”
He has many friends now as he was able to conquer his fears. He could now do everything that he once feared and now nobody calls him Shaky Shaun.
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