I was searching for a Christmas writing or story that would continue to change this heart of stone into a heart of flesh. For this is the time and season for such miracles to happen, a la Mr. Scrooge. But I had read Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" many times.

I did find a short story written by Oscar Wilde entitled "The Happy Prince."

The prince had lived his life behind great walls of a palace where no sorrow was allowed to enter. Even now he was a great statue, overlaid with gold, two eyes of rare sapphires and a great ruby inlaid in the pommel of his sword.

Set upon a great pedestal, he looked down upon the city. But often tears were seen running down the prince's cheeks. For now, he did see all the misery and poverty and war in the world that he had not seen while alive in the flesh.

He convinced a swallow to peck out the ruby and sapphires and gold flecks, and give them away to those in great need. In the end, his statue became so ugly the city fathers took down the lump of lead that remained.

I would not give the ending away if others also would like to read it. But what a meaningful story for this Christmas season.

Steve Russell, Clear Lake

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