Have you ever heard of the ten-year-old mayor that solved the riddle of the crying umbrella? Well, it’s a true story – a friend of a friend saw the umbrella with her own eyes.

The town of Onki-O used to have a normal “moustache”-aged mayor (if you know what I mean). The people loved their mayor and the mayor loved his people. One day, an umbrella flew into town with the cunning old northern wind that lived for creating chaos when there was too much peace around.

The umbrella was a pinky red, almost like the colour of a man’s face when he knows that he is in trouble. Something was strange about the gift from the northern wind. It didn’t take the people of Onki-O long to figure out what it was: It rained from within! It cried!

As the days went by and the trees changed colour, the town of Onki-O grew sadder and sadder with the sobs coming from the umbrella. This was a big concern for the mayor. When even the children of your town stop laughing, something MUST BE DONE!

The mayor has tried everything.

First he tried to hang the umbrella over the river to let the tears flow away with the river, but the fish became so sad that there was no more dancing on the water.

Next the mayor tried a street corner near the best bakery in town that promises “Our fragrant bread brings a smile to a head”! My, oh my! Within a month the merry bakery turned into a blues café!

The mayor then considered bottling the tears, but the idea got not one, but five “REJECTED!” stamps all over the paperwork by SWADRA (Sad Water Drinkers Anonymous).

The mayor has puzzled and pondered and pondered and puzzled. His advisors had no more advice, his councilors no more council and his gurus no more guru.

So he did what any caring mayor would do. He set out a “Wanted!” poster that read:

“Solve the puzzle of the umbrella that cries

and become the next mayor as your prize!”

This was a puzzle-O to the whole of Onki-O. Everyone tried to find a solution and every day the mayor listened to a hundred more failings. Just as the mayor thought that burning the umbrella seemed the only way, a little boy pulled on his jacket.

“Mr. Mayor, I think I might have a solution.”

The mayor that likes kids to know that they are taken serious, goes down on his one knee to listen to the boy.

The boy started to explain: “If water flows downwards they form tear-drops that brings sadness. When water flows upwards it brings happiness in the form of a fountain. I think that the umbrella doesn’t want to be an umbrella. I suspect that she wants to be a fountain. I believe that she cries herself into a puddle because it lets her see a reflection of herself like she would most want to be seen.”

The boy turned the umbrella upside-down and there was an immediate switch to happiness – the umbrella fountained, the fish danced again, the children laughed again and the whole town was happy.

The bakery stayed a blues café, because the sad-happiness of the music reminded the people of Onki-O that looking a certain way, don’t make you a certain way.

 

Crying Umbrella

 Liesel xx