(By Jason L. – 12 years old)
The sun was shining brightly as Joan trudged her way home from the hospital. She had gone for a physical check-up to see what was wrong with her as she had been plagued by various kinds of illnesses for almost three years.
As she dragged herself tiredly towards the lift lobby, she heard footsteps from behind her. Turning round, she saw an old couple. They walked up to her and asked compassionately, “Young lady, are you alright? You look so pale.” Sensing that she had a sympathetic ear, she began to tell them about her health problems.
The old lady, Mrs. Tan, took out a small shiny stone from her handbag. She told Joan that the magic stone which only cost $500, could instantaneously cure all kinds of illnesses. Feeling that it was too expensive, she hesitated in purchasing it from the elderly couple. After some coaxing, they finally persuaded her to buy it with her hard-earned money.
On reaching her apartment, she immediately tried to use the stone by following the instructions given by the old couple. She impatiently gulped down the potion which she had brewed and expected an instant, miraculous end to her lethargic state as promised by the elderly couple, but nothing happened. She felt as sickly as before. When she eventually realised she had been conned, she threw the pebble against the wall in a fit of temper. Sobbing bitterly, she wished she had not been so gullible. “What a costly lesson!” she thought despondently to herself. Gloomily, she swore never to buy things from strangers in the future.