I have been wrestling for some time with trying to write for children. I do not really think it is my forte. Even when I try to simplify the language, I seem to end up with concepts that are more appropriate for adults. Then I thought that maybe some folk might appreciate my attempt,– so here goes.

Once upon a time, there were two lamps. Lucy Lamp and her younger brother, Lionel Lamp.

They lived in a skip outside a house, where they had been thrown a long, long time ago.

One day another lamp came along and shouted up to them “Why are you two living in a skip? There is a whole world out here just waiting for you.”

Lucy leaned over the edge of the skip in order to see who it was that was speaking.

It was a lamp, not unlike herself or Lionel, but much cleaner, and in his hand he held a candle.

“Why have you got a candle?” Asked Lucy

“All lamps were made to give light” said the lamp whose name was Bill. “If you come and join me, you can be all cleaned up and you can give light as well.”

Lucy looked at her lampshade and her lampstand. They certainly were very dirty. Then she looked at Lionel. “He is even more dirty than me” she thought. “We could both certainly do with a good wash, and it would be good to do what we were made to do.”

So taking Lionel by his lead, she gave him a lift up to the side and they both climbed down to join Bill.

“Come with me and meet the others, said Bill.” He led them both to his car and they drove off to a hut where there were lots and lots of other lamps. Over the door was a sign saying “THE TRUE CANDLEBEARERS”. All the lamps were singing and praying to the Lamp Maker, from whom, Bill explained, all the power comes from.

“The Lamp Maker lives in the electricity station in the sky and that is where all the power comes from” said Bill. “The Lamp Maker wants all of us to be bright and shining lights. He cleans us up and then tells us to give lights to others.”

Later that evening, Lucy and Lionel were talking. “I have always suspected there was something more than the skip” said Lucy. “It does make sense that lamps should give light” said Lionel, “let’s join this group that Bill is in.”

So Lucy and Lionel became True Candlebearers and the following Sunday they were taken to a sink and washed amidst lots of singing and happy faces.

The True Candlebearers were certainly a nice group of lamps, but Lucy had a nagging question: if they were all lamps, why did they all rely on candles? Bill tried to explain that when they had been made, the Lamp Maker had intended that they should actually give light themselves, but the first lamps had been disobedient, and although the Lamp Maker had forgiven them, they now had to try and shine themselves, and the best way to do that was to carry candles.

Lucy and Lionel tried very hard to be good True Candlebearers. They trimmed their wicks every day and regularly met with the others so that together they might give more light; but it was all very unsatisfactory. Lucy felt sure they were missing something.

Gradually Lucy and Lionel became a bit sloppy. Some days they didn’t trim their wicks, and occasionally they missed lighting them all together. The smoke and the soot from the candles made them dirty again and when they tried to clean themselves up, they got all smudgy.

Disheartened, Lucy and Lionel started visiting the skip again and, after a while they climbed back in amongst all the old familiar grime and rubbish.

One morning however, Lucy was poking around and discovered the original box that she had been packed in. Inside she found an instruction manual. Suddenly she saw the words “PLUG THE LAMP INTO THE ELECTRICITY AND IT WILL SHINE BRIGHTLY”.

“Could it be that easy?” thought Lucy. “We have been trying to be what we were made to be, and it has been such hard work with so little results.”

Showing the Lamp Makers instruction manual to Lionel, Lucy suggested they pray and ask the Lamp Maker to help them. The very next day, an old man came rummaging in the skip and took Lucy and Lionel out, put them in a bag and took them away. “These lamps will look just right in my living room” thought the man.

When he got them home, he plugged them into an electric socket and Lucy and Lionel lit up and shone as they had never done before.

So the moral of this story is: if you want to be a True Candlebearer, forget the candles and get plugged in!

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