“I find a pleasing humor in that fruit bowl. And the hanging lantern. And the — what is that vast… thing… over there?”
The juvenile servant rushed to the rich man’s side. “It is the ocean. Quite beautiful, if I may say?”
The rich man squinted his eyes, then clenched his fists, resisting the impending irritation. “Well, it was not there yesterday.”
“It was, you just did not perceive its presence.”
The rich man paced back and forth to the patio door, then to the fence overlooking the ravine. He raised a hand to the sky, feeling the breeze of the ocean against his hand. Bringing it down to his eyeline, he furrowed his eyebrows.
“How greedy of it to consume so much land! I do not like it. Have it removed by sun up tomorrow.”
The servant sighed, then hesitantly nodded, brushing his fingers against the darkening sky. The rich man turned and left for the house without another word. The servant remained, his wide, nervous eyes motionless. He perched on the wooden rail of the fence and dangled his legs off into the ravine. The only thought in his mind was, How will I go about this? Will I be sent home if I do not follow through with his request?
The servant finally gathered the courage to reenter the home. These long hallways are beginning to nauseate me, he thought as he made his way to the dining room.
The rich man finished his meal, enjoyed the comforting glow of his fireplace, then made his way to a door in the back of his home. As he slept in his palatial bedroom without a single fret, the young servant crept out of his corridor, pulled on a long jacket and fedora, made his way outside to embark on his journey, and alas, found the sun resting beneath the horizon.
“Ma’am! Good morning. You seem to have overslept.”
The sun flicked her eyes open. “I never oversleep! Read me the time, please!”
The servant peeked at his watch, and read a bold 11:00 PM. “It is 11:00 AM,” the servant lied.
“Well, thank you very much. I will begin getting ready so as to not set the entire world into a state of panic. Whatever can I do to repay you?” the sun asked, trembling her fingers as she carefully brushed her golden locks.
“Well, there is one thing. Would it be too much trouble for you to evaporate the Pacific Ocean?”
The sun tilted her head in confusion as she tugged a yellow sundress over her head and fixed a sunhat on her head.
“There is an odd request, if I’ve ever heard one! But of course, anything for you.”
The sun guided the servant to the horizon door as she busily attached her earrings and jewelry. Thanking him for coming, she rushed up into the sky as swiftly as possible. Better late than never! she blithely thought.
The servant returned to the rich man’s home and let his eyelids drop as he rested on his metal-wired bed. The sun ascended the sky and took her place next to the moon.
“Thank you for covering the sky for me. I seem to have overslept,” the sun said, graciously shaking the moon’s hand.
The moon had a suspicious look in her eyes. “Is it really 6:30 already?” the moon interrogated.
“11:00! If you can believe that!” the sun blurted.
The very much confused (but naive) moon bowed her head and descended down the sky below the horizon.
The rich man awoke at 7:14 AM and consumed his usual breakfast of grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. The young servant eagerly stood in the doorway, concealing the thrilled expression on his face.
“What is it? Why are you staring?” the man demanded crossly.
“Have you forgotten? Come take a look outside!”
The man pushed his stool back and followed his servant out to the patio.
“The ocean. Where has it gone? What have you done with it?” the man shrieked shrilly.
“You requested its removal. Remember? Do you?” A smile slowly faded away.
“Look at the land it has left! How barren! Where is the life? The joy? Bring it back now!”
“But I cannot… The sun has taken it. I am afraid it will not return.”
As the days flew by and the sun and moon rose at peculiar times, people in the world were split. A message from God? A punishment from Satan? The Earth falling off its axis? Nobody knew why but some chose to pay no attention. The rich man, for one, did not question the sun and the moon.
The once beautiful, thriving ocean had gone away, and the rich man began to absorb his surroundings and enjoy every charming aspect of it. Although he consumed his nightly tea while the sun still beamed and enjoyed his usual breakfast as the moon patiently shimmered in the sky, the man could not complain. He made it his moral obligation to not question anything. Not to complain, not a single word. Everything is just heavenly. Oh, just heavenly!
“Look at the ivy growing from the trellis! And the flowers growing from the cracks in the dirt! Oh, how I love the way the aged wood of the railing feels against my fingers and how the clement air touches my face ever so gently! Don’t you just love it?” the rich man howled. “Well, now I will not act on my impulses. There is just too much beauty in everything to want to rid anything!”
The servant just nodded, a broken smile pasted across his face.