Fairytale about the Cap of Invisibility
Anechka liked to play hide-and-seek with Grandpa Vanya, but their play was peculiar, not like the one Anechka played with other children.
The room of grandpa Vanya was small, so there was no place to hide.
There was a big bed, a cupboard, two chairs, and a sofa with the wonderful name of atamanka* in that room.
It was on that atamanka that she would hide. She simply would close her eyes with her palms, lie down on her belly, and stay very quiet!
At that moment, grandpa Vanya would start counting to five and then begin to look for Anechka.
He would touch Anechka’s dress and say:
“What is this? Probably, my Akulina left her clothes here.”
After that, he would go around the room for a very long time as if he were looking for where Anechka could hide there.
He did that in such an interesting way! He would say aloud that he did not find Anechka neither in the cupboard nor under the table. And Anechka would try, with all her strength, not to laugh ahead of time, and she would even breathe very quietly.
Then grandpa Vanya would say:
“I give up!”
After these words, Anechka, shining with happiness, would jump up on the atamanka and say:
“I am here!”
Anechka indeed felt invisible, so all this game was very funny and magical for her! It was as if she acquired the ability to disappear from the usual world, which is visible for all people, and to become transparent like the air, and then to appear in this world again.
One day, when Anechka grew up a little bit, she said after that game:
“It would be wonderful to be able to disappear and to appear when you want to!”
“Why would you need to be able to do this, Anechka?” asked grandpa Vanya.
And they began to discuss the reasons for which the ability to be invisible might be useful for people.
Well, it definitely can be useful for more than just playing hide-and-seek with other children so that you can always win! To always win would be boring! So, what else can it be used for then?
It turned out from this discussion that the ability to be invisible is not very useful in modern society.
Anechka even became upset.
Then Grandpa Vanya asked:
“Do you want me to tell you the fairytale about the cap of invisibility?”
“Sure! Very much!” Anechka exclaimed in excitement and made herself comfortable on the atamanka.
“Well, then listen!” said grandpa Vanya, smiling under his grey mustache.
He began his story:
“Once upon a time there lived the cap of invisibility. It lived for a very long time and helped a great number of heroes to win their battles with dragons, to free princesses from the captivity of evil sorcerers, and to accomplish other heroic feats.
But the time changed, and heroes and bogatyrs* disappeared.
So, one day, the cap of invisibility found itself in a showcase in a museum about the ancient way of life. It was lying inside the glass case, and people called it an “exhibit” and were amazed by its beautiful embroidery consisting of a gold thread and intricate patterns! However, no one knew that it was magical!
It was boring for the cap to live in this way! What kind of life does it have if the only thing it does is lie on its side?!
So, the cap started thinking about how it could change such a monotonous life.
It should be said that since the cap of invisibility was magical, it could think like a human. Oh yes! It lived on so many different wise heads for so many years that it became wise!
It happened that some burglars came to that museum. They stole different ancient gold exhibits and took the cap of invisibility as well. They thought that they could sell it for a very good price, for it was ancient and had patterns embroidered with a gold thread!
The quantity of the things that one burglar was trying to hold in his hands was so much that he decided to put the cap on his head.
He looked at himself in the mirror and could not see himself.
He immediately understood how lucky he was, for it is so convenient to steal when no one can see you!
So, he began to commit sly burglaries one after another.
All of this was disgusting for the cap!
“In the past I helped heroes and bogatyrs, and now look where I am! Serving a burglar! It would have been better to stay in the showcase, which was like a glass coffin, than suffering such a disgrace!” the cap of invisibility thought.
It felt sick of the thoughts of the burglar on whose head it had to spend every night! So, one day, when the burglar was stealing in a big shop, it did its best and got caught on a shelf and fell to the floor.
The burglar did not notice this and continued doing his sinful work as if he were invisible. However, now everyone around could see his actions!
So the burglar was caught straightway!
The cap of invisibility was arrested with him, but no one knew about its magical properties…
Now it lay in the detective’s office on his table as a piece of evidence…
Fall came, and it got cold in that cabinet. There was a draft coming from a window…
So the detective put the cap on his head and instantly disappeared.
He was not stupid. He understood how this invisibility could help him with his job.
He began to catch the criminals very skillfully.
At first, the cap of invisibility was happy about this change in its life, thinking “Although my new owner isn’t a bogatyr, he does useful work, and I help him in this!”
Nevertheless, later on it became so bored with spying on criminals that it decided to change its work somehow.
One day they were in a hospital where the detective came to examine a witness. He was given a white robe and was told to leave the cap and other outerwear in a checkroom.
This was when the cap of invisibility found its way to fall down from the coat rack! And it did this so luckily that it got into one of the bags that were brought to sick children by their parents. The hospital was under quarantine so that even parents were not allowed to visit their children at that moment.
Thus, it found itself among things, including food, that a sick boy’s parents had brought for him.
That boy, however, did not want to eat anything because of his illness. He did not even look into the bag.
He was lying and thinking about how to hide from the doctor who would come soon and give him a painful injection.
And the cap of invisibility could easily understand different thoughts. For thoughts exist in the world that is invisible to ordinary eyes, and the cap of invisibility knew this invisible world very well!
So the cap easily understood what the sick boy was thinking about and really wanted to jump out of the bag and say: “Here I am! Put me on your head now!”
At that moment the boy noticed something extraordinary among the oranges and apples in the bag. He pulled out the cap of invisibility, wondered, and put it on.
The doctor came into the ward but did not find the sick boy. The panic spread all over the hospital! Nurses and orderlies began to run and look for him.
He, on the other hand, rejoiced that the doctor had not found him, got up, and started walking along hospital corridors. He wanted to come back home very much, for he missed his mother and father!
However, soon he felt bad because of his illness and fell from exhaustion. The cap of invisibility did its best to fall from the boy’s head so that he could be found as soon as possible.
It thought: “I caused such a disaster! What should I do to bring benefit to people? I still don’t know!”
From that moment on, the boy stopped putting the cap on and instead started talking with it affectionately, like with a friend. He told it about his sorrows and resentment against his very unhappy hospital life, about his fears. But the cap just kept silence and listened to him. It was thinking about how it could help the boy in his misfortune.
The boy asked the cap once:
“You are magical, right? Can you do something so that my illness stops seeing me forever?”
The cap of invisibility started thinking about that.
It began to observe how a dark shadow approached the boy’s body in the world that was invisible to the eyes of ordinary people, attacked him, and got into his body! It was when he felt bad.
Nevertheless, the cap did not know how to drive this shadow out.
The boy began to put the cap under his pillow to feel less lonely and scared at nights.
So, the cap decided to show him magical fairytale dreams to console its new friend!
In these dreams, the boy was strong, brave, and healthy and had different interesting adventures. He fought evil and defeated it in every one of his dreams. He took correct and kind decisions and always followed them. He was never frightened and never cried but was similar to the bogatyrs whom the cap of invisibility helped earlier.
After each one of such dreams, the boy would wake up stronger and full of energy!
And he wanted to become the person who he was while in his dreams! So he started to try his best! He even began to endure painful injections without fear to recover sooner!
Little by little, all dark energies completely disappeared from his body.
And when the evil shadow came once again to strengthen the illness, it could not see the boy.
The cap of invisibility could overcome the boy’s illness, which was considered as incurable by everyone!
All the doctors were so surprised! And the boy was discharged from the hospital soon.
Before being discharged, he gave the cap of invisibility to a sick girl, who was in the next ward, and told her how this magical cap helped him to recover.
The cap of invisibility began to think up magical fairy tales for that girl too so that she felt healthy, strong, beautiful, kind, and tender.
The illness also weakened and then completely passed, because the girl changed inside and did her best to recover.
From that moment on, magical recoveries started in that hospital.
Doctors were wondering what was going on! And children passed the cap to each other.
One thing now still upset the cap: she did not have enough time to help everyone! For there were so many sick children in that hospital!
It happened that one little boy, who had the cap of invisibility under his pillow and to whom the cap showed magical dreams, told a doctor about it.
This doctor was a serious man, and even though he did not believe in an invisible and magical world, the facts of recoveries were real!
So he took the cap, and they began to study it with the help of different devices. They cut its fabric for diverse analyses, pulled out its threads…
But surprisingly that doctor did not put it on even once! If he had put it on, the cap would have been able, probably, to whisper to him about what it had learned during its long life, namely, that besides healing the body, it is necessary to help the soul overcome illness! The cap and the doctor would have been able to do this better together! But no…
The cap of invisibility did not like all these procedures that much! It was no longer young and, on top of that, they ripped off its lining and soaked the cap with different substances!
It almost disappointed with conventional medicine, although it understood that it would not be able to overcome by itself the illnesses of children without medication and different treatments.
However, the cap was lucky again! The doctor gave it to a writer who was treated in that hospital.
He also told him about the stories of recovery that happened to children and added:
“Here is a plot for a fairy tale! You can write about it in your spare time!”
The cap of invisibility made a strong friendship with the writer!
It would tell him a fairy tale, and he would write it down and read it to all the children in the morning.
So they began to live in this way!
Although many children were healed in that hospital, more sick ones arrived every time.
One day a clown, a young volunteer, came to the hospital to make children happy. He showed them funny performances and tried to cheer them up.
The cap of invisibility said to the writer:
“Give me to the clown, please!”
“But how will I write my fairy tales then?”
“You can already write healing fairy tales without me, for you have understood the most important thing: diseases do not live where light and love shine in souls! Such souls become invisible and invulnerable to any disease very quickly!
“This young man and I will do real magic! After all, it is necessary to help healthy children as well, so that neither their bodies nor they as souls can get sick! We need to help them turn into real bogatyrs, and not into villains! We need to do something, so that true magic returns to people’s life instead of fairy magic! This will be the real work for me!
“And this young man is a very appropriate person! For even the most amazing magical cap can do nothing without a wise person! Only such a person can transform his or her life and help other people to do so!
The writer went out into a corridor and saw the young clown smoking and almost crying! A smile was drawn on his face with grease paint from ear to ear, but his eyes were very sad!
The writer asked him:
“You want to help children but you don’t know how, do you?”
“Yes, I would love to help! I feel so sorry for them that I can’t help but cry!
“Do you know how to help them?”
“I know something, but you need to quit smoking, friend! Thus there will be less filth for children’s breath! After all, some of them are sick because other people smoke near them!”
The young clown put out his cigarette and threw it to a trashcan.
“Forever! Tell me now how I can help children!”
“I have a present for you! It is the cap of invisibility!”
“Are you kidding?”
“No, I’m not!”
The young man took off his pompom cap, put the cap of invisibility on, and suddenly disappeared!
Now only the body of the writer was reflecting in a mirror nearby.
“Hi!” the cap of invisibility said to its new friend.
The writer confirmed:
“Yes, it can speak with people! And it can read your thoughts as well! It will give you smart advice! And the most important thing is that it wants to learn to better help people together with you!
“It taught me to write magical fairy tales and it promised to teach you many things! I think it will be useful for you to show magical performances to people and to open magical abilities in them!
* * *
Grandpa Vanya looked at his little listener and finished:
“Well, Anechka, this is the end. I don’t know what happened next.”
This time Anechka listened to the story spellbound. She even did not interrupt Grandpa Vanya with her questions as usual. Only when the story was finished, did she ask:
“Grandpa, is this a real story or just a fairytale?”
“Some of it is a fairy tale and some of it is a true story. That writer told it to me. We met in that hospital. He promised to write a book with fairy tales from the cap of invisibility.
“But the authors of fairy tales are greater inventors than I! So you are the one who needs to decide where the truth is and where the fantasy is in this story!
“The real magic is not about being invisible with the help of the cap of invisibility or flying on a magic carpet, it is about marvelous acts that bring joy and benefit to other people!