“You can open your eyes now.”
Anjola stared at the silver fish standing on its tail. Big round eyes stared from opposite sides of its head. “Y..you’re talking!” she stammered.
“Everyone speaks in Bilandia.”
“Bilandia?” Anjola suddenly realized she wasn’t in bed anymore. She was in a wood clearing surrounded by tall oak trees. Instead of pajamas, she had on a glittering golden dress. “How did I get here?”
“Was someone reading you a Bible story?” Asked the fish.
“Yes,” Anjola remembered. “My Gran. King Nebuchadnezzer built himself a statue, and then …”
“Oh look – we have company,” the fish interrupted.
Ten guards in shiny black boots marched towards them. “Her Majesty wants to see the princess immediately,” said the lead guard. He turned to Anjola. “Please come with us.”
Anjola started in surprise. “Me? I’m no princess. Tell them,” she said to the fish. But the fish bowed and scampered away. “Hey!” Anjola called. “I knew there was something fishy about that one,” she muttered.
The guards whisked her away to a magnificent castle with huge, oval columns. Soon, she was standing before a plump, moonfaced queen. “Finally!” said the queen with a wide smile. “A princess worthy of the crown.” Then she placed a gold tiara on Anjola’s head and shoved a gold staff in her hand!
Anjola began to argue, but then caught sight of herself in a mirror. She really did look like the princess she’d always wanted to be.
The queen led Anjola into a large chamber filled with people. “Bow down to the princess!” she commanded them.
“Bow down?” Anjola whispered. “To me?”
“Yes,” the queen replied. “The tiara has chosen you!”
Anjola thought of the boys who wouldn’t bow down to the king’s statue.
“This isn’t right,” she said, taking the tiara off. “Only God should be worshipped.”
The queen turned purple. “HOW DARE YOU DISOBEY ME?! DUNK HER IN THE ROYAL SEA!”
Anjola yelled as the guards dragged her to the water and pushed her in. She couldn’t swim! As she sank, she saw the fish swimming around her. Faster and faster it went, creating a sucking whirlpool. The sea evaporated as Anjola went deeper. The queen, guards and guests pointed and stared with open mouths. Then everything disappeared.
Anjola gasped. She was safely back in bed!
“Goodnight, dear.” Gran said, turning out the lights. “I hope you enjoyed the story.”
SIDEBAR – Faith Rewarded
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were three young men who were captured from Judah and taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. Although far away from home, they decided to keep obeying God in the strange land. When the king ordered everyone to bow down to a gold statue, the boys refused. They knew that only God should be worshipped. The king tried to punish them by throwing them in a fiery furnace, but God kept them safe. Because of their faith, God was honored.
Have you ever trusted God to save you from a scary situation?