Once upon a time, there was a boy. He was the youngest son of a merchant who travelled the world. Living with his mother and older sisters in a large mansion by the sea, he waited every single day on the beach to see his father return. For the merchant had promised his son that one day they would travel the lands together. One cold winter day, when the sea was a moving sheet of ice and the waves crested with frozen foam, a lone figure could be seen flying towards the land. As it came closer, the boy could see that what he had mistakenly thought of as wings were instead the billowing cloak of a girl. She had come to look for her shadow. Stunned by her sudden appearance, the boy stared as she chased a moving silhouette around the beach and finally attached it to herself. Armed with her cloak and shadow, she reached out a hand towards the boy. Together they flew off the beach, heading for a land where time stood still.
Paul rolled over on his straw mattress, his eyes desperately squeezed shut. He knew that the moment he opened them, the lovely images of his dreams would evaporate and be lost forever. He watched with pleasure as the colours of Neverland danced behind his eyelids, a reminder of a beautiful world just waiting for him to discover it. But all too soon the faint thuds of his brother’s footsteps could be heard, and before Paul knew it the window shutters were thrown open. The warm sunlight of a spring day burst into the room, its warm fingers coaxing the bright Neverland colours to fade away. With a small sigh, Paul opened his eyes to greet another ordinary day.
Paul hauled an armful of firewood from the crate next to the chopping block, his skinny arms struggling to encircle the whole bunch. Following in James’ big footsteps, he trudged back towards the cottage. His arms were aching and his hands were rubbed raw from clutching the bark of the firewood. Paul hated this job.Be brave Paul, this is all a big adventure. That horse over there is a big dragon, and the cottage is a castle on the hill. And me, I’m a knight in shining armour. Suddenly he was no longer a little boy carrying firewood, but a brave adventurer on a fairytale quest.
Neverland was a paradise over the rainbow, where myriads of blue birds fly. It was the land of dreams, of fairytales and princesses. The boy and girl flew over vast expanses of green fields, where talking animals roamed. They flew over a sparkling bay, where a little mermaid sat to comb her hair with a silver fork. They met a beautiful girl with impossibly long golden hair swinging by her hair from branch to branch, her dress in tatters and her face wreathed in smiles. They met a stunning princess who lost her glass slipper and was kidnapped by a Beast, only find out that she was on a journey to find the fabled Golden Fleece.
The girl and the boy joined the princess on her journey aboard the Dawn Treader, and discovered that they had to fight off terrible pirates in order to complete their quest. The Beast, the princess, the boy and the girl fought bravely, their skills with a sword and bow could rival any soldier’s. At last, they reached...
The firewood tumbled out of Paul’s arms, half falling in the pile of wood near the fireplace and half scattering on the kitchen floor. He was still a knight in shining armour as he picked up the branches one by one, brandishing them with a twist of the wrist before dropping them neatly into the pile. His day dream evaporated when the princess, who was really his mother, opened her mouth.
“Oh Paul, why must you day dream so? Can’t you just concentrate on your task for once?” she asked, hands on her hips.