The Magic Heartoscope (TM)

Story by Tali Lehavi
Available for purchase on Amazon:

In a poor village, in a distant land, lives a very imaginative girl with freckles, dimples, and wild curls. The girl, whose name is Jaminor, lives in a house as tattered as a house can be. The roof leaks when there is rain. The windows creak when there is wind, and there is always wind. Only the floor is silent and still, because it is made of earth.

Outside, there is no green garden; Jaminor can find only dry twigs and old seeds to decorate the house. The same is true for the entire village.

But in her imagination, Jaminor sees beautiful stone houses, singing birds, and colorful butterflies swirling above aromatic flower bushes. Jaminor knows the world is beautiful because every night when she falls asleep, all the people of the village turn into heart-people. They greet each other with hands making hearts, like a peaceful handshake. They live in houses made of hearts, too.

Everything Jaminor sees in her dreams is made of little hearts that interconnect. When Jaminor wakes up, her dreams fill the morning light with real happiness and warmth.

Jaminor believes her dreams are true. Her parents, however, tell her to live in reality.
“We are not made of hearts, and our impoverished garden has nothing to offer us,” they repeat tirelessly.
But Jaminor listens only to her dreams.
One day, a visitor comes to Jaminor’s house while her parents are away at work. “Heartiyoli Jaminor!” the visitor greets Jaminor. She offers Jaminor a heart-shaped hand to shake in the heartmark manner, just as Jaminor already envisioned in her dreams!

“I am LOVELLE, and I have come all the way from Planet Heart. I know that no one believes you, so I have a special gift to help you prove that everyone is made of hearts! It is a special microscope, called a heartoscope. This heartoscope is so powerful that it can enlarge items more than a hundred times, more than a thousand times, and even more than a hundred thousand times! It can enlarge items by a heartillion times and show that they are really made up of tiny interconnected hearts!”

Jaminor immediately experiments with the heartoscope.
“It is true! Now I can prove to my family and friends that I did not invent my heart stories! Thank you so much! I am positive that this unique gift will please all of us!”
Jaminor gives Lovelle a bracelet she made from garden seeds and husks as a parting gift.

Unfortunately, Jaminor’s stories of the heartoscope and its powers only anger her father. Jaminor’s mother is sick and needs to go to a doctor. Jaminor’s inability to focus on reality disturbs him.
One day, Jaminor’s father finds her making twig bracelets.
“You should take responsibility and learn to count, sew, and cook,” he tells Jaminor.
“But the heartoscope is real!” Jaminor insists. Her father takes away the heartoscope. He does not even look through it to find the heart-shaped beads in the twig bracelet.
“I am going to hide this useless toy so that you can focus on practical matters!” he decides.
“Now I will never get to show my friends that everything is made of hearts! Still no one will believe me,” Jaminor sobs.

A year passes. Jaminor helps around the house, and takes wonderful care of her two younger sisters. Her father is proud that she can count, sew and cook. But he is very worried. Jaminor’s mother is now too sick to work.
“I have nothing left to sell to buy medication for your mother and I cannot afford to take her to a doctor in the city,” Jaminor’s father explains.
Seeing his desperation, Jaminor finds the courage to approach him with that dreaded heart story one more time:
“We can sell this beautiful heart necklace that I made from the plants in the garden last year. Look how nicely it still hangs around my neck!” She shows the necklace to her father.
All he sees is a dry group of twigs, twisted together. He frowns.
“Jaminor,” he sighs in distress, “Why do you still live in a dream world?”
“But father,” Jaminor pleads, “Only the heartoscope can prove that the necklace is truly made of hearts!”

Jaminor’s father realizes he still has the fantasy toy somewhere. He brings it to Jaminor to clean the dust.
“Perhaps we might sell it,” he says, “if only for a little money.”
Jaminor begs passionately that he look through the magic lens, but he shakes his head in disbelief.

He puts a sign on the door:
“For Sale: Magic Heartoscope toy and necklace—no reasonable offer refused!”

Soon, a traveling visitor appears at the door.
“You look a lot like Lovelle,” says Jaminor to the visitor. The traveler smiles and says,
“I hear you have a magic heartoscope! That sounds heartastic! May I look through it?” The visitor places the necklace under the heartoscope and looks through the magic lens.
“Indeed!” the visitor announces, smiling, “the magic heartoscope shows that this necklace is completely made of golden hearts. I will buy both!”

Surprised, Jaminor’s father assumes the visitor is crazy. But when he sees the visitor taking out three gold coins, he agrees at last to look through the heartoscope.
“I am delighted with all my heart!” her father rejoices as he looks through the strange device.
“What I thought was a necklace of dry twigs really is a necklace of golden hearts! How could I have been so blind? And look Jaminor–these three gold coins are almost enough for your mother’s medicine! We will sell the heartoscope and the necklace to the visitor,” he decides.
Instead, Jaminor pleads with her father not to sell the heartoscope.
“I can make more jewelry and sell it as long as we have the heartoscope,” she says. “Then we can earn enough for the medicine, and for a trip to the city to see the doctor.”

Finally Jaminor’s father listens to her. He agrees to keep the heartoscope. The kind visitor pays half a coin for the necklace.
”Thank you for showing me so much beauty in a small group of twigs,” the visitor says, and heartmarks Jaminor goodbye.

[Jaminor’s father hangs a shiny new sign:]
“Magic Heartoscope! See beautiful hearts in absolutely everything!”

Soon, many visitors arrive to see the magic device. They come from small villages, bustling towns, and even great cities. Some travel very far, bringing items of their own to put under the heartoscope. They bring broken garden tools, naughty pets, and even photos of their loved ones. Everything that people put under the heartoscope indeed appears to be made of hearts.
“We are all made of hearts! Our world is so beautiful! Everything is possible!” they say. Jaminor’s heartoscope brings hope to all.

Jaminor’s jewelry making is a success. She and her father even sell postcards of the heartoscope. Before long, they earn enough to take Jaminor’s mother to the doctor in the city. Her mother’s health improves. And the health and happiness of the whole village improves, too!

At night, before she sleeps, Jaminor counts every heart-blessing.
“Everyone finally believes in dreams. It is wonderful to see the world is made of hearts, the gardens turn green, and the tall trees fill with singing heartbirds sipping nectar from heart flowers.

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