Sweet Potato Boy and Whatever Lives in the Well


Sweet Potato Boy threw two bright pennies down the well, and then he went away. He did one thing and he came back; those pennies were still there. So he went away again, he did another thing, then another.  He came back, and those two pennies were still there.

Sweet Potato Boy realized it would always be that way. He went off for a long time. When he came back, there were those pennies, still down inside the well. “I’m never coming back again!” he said. So he went away.

One day he came back after he had forgotten all about those two pennies. He looked down the well for a drink of water and he thought he saw two bright eyes looking up at him. “Are you looking at me?” he asked, but those eyes never said a word. Sweet Potato Boy jumped right down into the well, ready to talk or fight, but it was deep water and all he could do was spit air and climb back up. “All right,” he shouted down the well. “You tricked me, all right.” But those eyes still never said a word.

Sweet Potato Boy walked away, grinning and sneezing water. But whenever he goes by that well, he shouts out a Hello to whatever lives down there.

(photograph by Bertalan Szürös
used under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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