Far away from faraway lands was a tiny town filled with children whose childhoods were envied by all the other children in all the other towns. The town’s name was Wallerwood. It was named Wallerwood because it sat nestled in a forest near the base of Wallerwood Mountain. The town was filled with candlelit cabins, each with a large brick chimney and a narrow brick pathway that led to a small brick road. Though the road was small, it was a very important road. It was the road that wound through the center of town, up the mountain, and between the trees to The Wallerwood Toy Factory.
The Wallerwood Toy Factory was the reason the children of Wallerwood were thought to be the luckiest children in the world, because each and every day the children got to play with new toys. Games, dolls, bicycles, balls, and every toy a girl or a boy could dream of playing with, filled their childhoods with laughter and joy. There were toys in their baths, there were toys in their beds, and there were toys on strings that hung over their heads. Toys were piled to the roof in every home, and no matter where in town one roamed, the children played with great delight throughout the day and into the night. Children who lived in other towns would cross their arms and make huge frowns, while wishing they were as lucky to be just down the road from a toy factory.
The Wallerwood Toy Factory sat halfway up Wallerwood Mountain. The children of Wallerwood thought it looked like a castle, only it was more amazing than any castle they had seen. There were bright billowing flags that hung from its walls, embroidered with toys like bears, balls, and dolls. Its windows were filled with colored stained glass, which reflected the sun on its neatly trimmed grass. There were statues of children, both girls and boys, that stood on its grounds playing with toys. Carved on its roof were even more toys, next to pipes from an organ that made lots of noise. Its music could be heard by the town below, as smoke puffed from its stacks in the colors of a rainbow.
But the most wondrous sight the children could see was truly amazing, I’m sure you’ll agree. Carved out of marble from the ground to the roof, and very detailed from each eye to each tooth, was the face of a jester with a large purple hat, which looked down on the town from the place where it sat. It was so large it covered the factory’s front wall and made everything else look incredibly small. There were bells on its hat and glass in each eye that reflected the light from the sun in the sky. Its long pointy nose sat above the front door, an enchanted door that was hard to ignore. It was carved in the shape of a big happy smile and could be seen down below for many a mile. No matter what age a traveler might be, The Wallerwood Toy Factory was something to see.
On their thirteenth birthday, the children of Wallerwood became old enough to work inside the toy factory. It was a moment every child in Wallerwood dreamed of, because the magic inside the toy factory, and how the toys were built, was kept a secret. On the morning of their thirteenth birthday, the children were allowed to walk up the road to the toy factory’s front door. They knocked with their fist, took a few steps back, and watched as the jester’s mouth opened to reveal the magic inside. On that day they made their very first toy, and the joy of that moment was looked forward to with great anticipation.
Alex woke on the morning before his thirteenth birthday in an adventurous mood. It was the day before the biggest day of his life. He felt excited and restless as he sat up in bed. “One more day,” he thought, and then he looked out his window toward Wallerwood Mountain. The sun was rising over the toy factory and the mist of morning had already faded. The town was full of activity as the factory workers made their way up the mountain toward whatever secrets lay behind the factory’s front doors. Alex sat there and wondered, and then he wondered some more. Then he got up and began pacing his floor. “What’s behind those factory doors?” he thought to himself. He had asked his father to give him a hint, but his father only smiled and said, “Be patient.” Being patient was difficult for Alex. He had grown tired of the toys that cluttered his closet. He had grown bored with the board games that covered his floor. He was grown up and believed he was no longer a boy. He was ready to make his very first toy.
–Excerpt taken from “Tales for Your Monkey’s Mind.” Purchase the book here to read the rest of the story!