The Boy Who Wanted Too Much

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A gentle breeze was blowing from the pine woods on the sandy slope, not far away. So Klaas climbed up on the stool to sniff the sweet piny odors. He thought he saw lights dancing under the tree.

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One beam seemed to approach his roof hole, and coming nearer played round the chimney. Then it passed to and fro in front of him. It seemed to whisper in his ear, as it moved by.

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It looked very much as if a hundred fire-flies had united their cold light into one lamp. Then Klaas thought that the strange beams bore the shape of a lovely girl, but he only laughed at himself at the idea. Pretty soon, however, he thought the whisper became a voice. Again, he laughed so heartily, that he forgot his moping and the scolding his mother had given him. In fact, his eyes twinkled with delight, when the voice gave this invitation:.

To make sure of it, the sleepy boy now rubbed his eyes and cocked his ears. Could it be? He had heard old people tell of the ladies of the wood, that whispered and warned travellers.

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To this, the flame-lady was inviting him. Again and again the moving, cold light circled round the red tile roof, which the moon, then rising and peeping over the chimneys, seemed to turn into silver plates. As the disc rose higher in the sky, he could hardly see the moving light, that had looked like a lady; but the voice, no longer a whisper, as at first, was now even plainer:.

At the door he stepped into his wooden shoes. Just then the cat purred and rubbed up against his shins. He jumped, for he was scared; but looking down, for a moment, he saw the two balls of yellow fire in her head and knew what they were.

Then he sped to the pine woods and towards the fairy ring. What an odd sight! At first Klaas thought it was a circle of big fire-flies.

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Then he saw clearly that there were dozens of pretty creatures, hardly as large as dolls, but as lively as crickets. They were as full of light, as if lamps had wings. Hand in hand, they flitted and danced around the ring of grass, as if this was fun. Hardly had Klaas got over his first surprise, than of a sudden he felt himself surrounded by the fairies.

Some of the strongest among them had left the main party in the circle and come to him. He felt himself pulled by their dainty fingers.

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One of them, the loveliest of all, whispered in his ear:. Upon this, the heels of Klaas seemed as light as a feather. In a moment, with both hands clasped in those of the fairies, he was dancing in high glee. It was as much fun as if he were at the kermiss, with a row of boys and girls, hand in hand, swinging along the streets, as Dutch maids and youth do, during kermiss week. Klaas had not time to look hard at the fairies, for he was too full of the fun. He danced and danced, all night and until the sky in the east began to turn, first gray and then rosy. Then he tumbled down, tired out, and fell asleep.

His head lay on the inner curve of the fairy ring, with his feet in the centre. Klaas felt very happy, for he had no sense of being tired, and he did not know he was asleep. He thought his fairy partners, who had danced with him, were now waiting on him to bring him cheeses.

With a golden knife, they sliced them off and fed him out of their own hands. How good it tasted! He thought now he could, and would, eat all the cheese he had longed for all his life.

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  4. There was no mother to scold him, or daddy to shake his finger at him. How delightful! But by and by, he wanted to stop eating and rest a while. His jaws were tired.

    The Boy Who Wanted to Cook

    His stomach seemed to be loaded with cannon-balls. He gasped for breath. Crowell Co. But the fairies would not let him stop, for Dutch fairies never get tired. Flying out of the sky—from the north, south, east and west—they came, bringing cheeses. These they dropped down around him, until the piles of the round masses threatened first to enclose him as with a wall, and then to overtop him. There were the red balls from Edam, the pink and yellow spheres from Gouda, and the gray loaf-shaped ones from Leyden.

    Down through the vista of sand, in the pine woods, he looked, and oh, horrors! There were the tallest and strongest of the fairies rolling along the huge, round, flat cheeses from Friesland!

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    Any one of these was as big as a cart wheel, and would feed a regiment. The fairies trundled the heavy discs along, as if they were playing with hoops. They shouted hilariously, as, with a pine stick, they beat them forward like boys at play. Farm cheese, factory cheese, Alkmaar cheese, and, to crown all, cheese from Limburg—which Klaas never could bear, because of its strong odor. At school, as he caned his way through the halls, other kids teased him about how his eyes rolled out of control.

    At age four, Matt surprised his mother by making out flashing bulbs on the Christmas tree. After that, he could perceive faint lights — and he exploited the ability for all it was worth. He cooked for himself by feeling his way around the kitchen — eggs here, frying pan there, toaster over there — and refused to stop, even after he burned himself. He shocked his brother by climbing on a bicycle and tearing down the road, using the blurry shadows for guidance. He taught himself to skateboard, too. And he could do one thing even better than sighted people: hear.

    Weigman became obsessed with voices, music and sounds of all sorts. He could perfectly mimic characters he heard on the Cartoon Network, and he played his favorite songs on a small keyboard by ear. He would also dial random numbers on the phone, just to hear who picked up — and what kind of response he could elicit from them. He fondly recalls the first time he called , at age five, and duped them into sending a cop to his door.

    I wanted to see what the operator would do. The cop reprimanded the boy sharply. But Weigman was hooked. In real life, he was gaining weight and dodging bullies, struggling to find a place to fit in.