Mary's Dream: A True Life Story

Written by Arthur Zulu

She walked several kilometers bare-footed through dangerous mountain terrain in cold winter to buy a Bible. But it was sold out before she got to her destination. What happened? Find out.

There are dreams and there are dreams. And there are dreamers and there are dreamers too. Some of these dreamers realize their dreams, while others have had their names writ in water. In some, theirs may be an ambition to rule empires, while for other young men,repparttar mere accomplishment of marrying a fair lady and living happily with her ever after in a hanging garden beside a blue sea, is a big dream.

Now consider one of these dreamers who dreamt of owning a Bible. Butrepparttar 105575 family being very poor could barely provide food forrepparttar 105576 members, not to talk of buying a Bible. Now this dreamer is notrepparttar 105577 Biblical Joseph,repparttar 105578 dreamer. But her name is Mary Jones, a sixteen - year old girl born 1784 in a village in Wales that goes byrepparttar 105579 curious name of Llanfihangel.

There is nothing wrong to dream of owning a Bible though. Butrepparttar 105580 odds against her were many. Becauserepparttar 105581 girl lived inrepparttar 105582 wrong century and dreamed inrepparttar 105583 wrong times. In those days, to own a Bible was to die. Like William Tyndale. Like Jan Hus. Like so many others.

But big dreamers are die-hards. And Mary was one of them. So this daughter of poor weavers started saving whatever money that she got in order to buy a Bible. It was Mary’s parents that aroused her interest inrepparttar 105584 Bible. They told her Bible stories and instilledrepparttar 105585 fear of God in her heart. Sincerepparttar 105586 family never had a Bible, Mary often read a neighbor’s Welsh Bible.

Then when she is sixteen years old inrepparttar 105587 year 1800, news came that a few Welsh Bibles were available for sale atrepparttar 105588 local church at Bala. She checks her box of coins. It is full. She tells her parents that her dream is coming true. For she is going to Bala to buy her own copy ofrepparttar 105589 Bible.

The journey to Bala itself was not an easy one. From Llanfiangel inrepparttar 105590 Atlantic coastline up to Bala inrepparttar 105591 hinterland is over 40 kilometers. Again, she was to walk barefooted inrepparttar 105592 middle of winter and without a winter coat or boot to get there. Furthermore, it was a steep mountainous terrain, often rising, falling, and meandering here and there. And worse, it was a highway for robbers.

Few parents would allow a sixteen-year old daughter to takerepparttar 105593 risk. But few families have sixteen year olds who have a love forrepparttar 105594 Bible. So onrepparttar 105595 day of Mary’s departure, Mr. and Mrs. Jones buys bread and dried meat that would last her journey, ties them up in a large white handkerchief and puts it in a basket.

Mary ties her coins in a neck handkerchief, keeps it inrepparttar 105596 pocket of her long dress, adorns a hat and carries her basket of provisions. And with a hug, a kiss and a goodbye from her parents, she startsrepparttar 105597 long, uncertain journey to Bala.

She had thought of makingrepparttar 105598 journey in three days. She walked 18 kilometersrepparttar 105599 first day. It was very cold and she shook all alongrepparttar 105600 journey. She only stopped to eat and rest under a tree. She was almost dropping dead when she sights a watchman warming himself beside a fire in a village gate house. Not wanting to spendrepparttar 105601 money by lodging in an inn, she begsrepparttar 105602 watchman that he allows her to passrepparttar 105603 night inrepparttar 105604 gate house.

“No problem” saysrepparttar 105605 old man spreading his palms byrepparttar 105606 fire. “But who ye and where art thou goest this winter cold?” he asks.

“I am Mary. Going to Bala.”

“That’s 22 kilometers away, and no winter boots and coat,” saysrepparttar 105607 old man absent mindedly. “Here’s some hot soup. It’ll do ye some good.”

With that, he poursrepparttar 105608 hot soup in two bowls. And they drink and talk ofrepparttar 105609 weather. Before long,repparttar 105610 old watchman falls asleep followed byrepparttar 105611 tired Mary.

Inrepparttar 105612 morning, she thanksrepparttar 105613 old man, washes her face and continues her journey. Today, she walks 15 kilometers, stopping twice to rest and eat. What makesrepparttar 105614 journey hard is that she would have to climb and descend mountains. Her legs swoll and ached. And at night, she meets a group of weavers who were working throughrepparttar 105615 night by a fireside. She indicates her willingness to help inrepparttar 105616 loom for an opportunity to stayrepparttar 105617 night.

The curious weavers receive her after hearing her story. She works for a while and is allowed to even sleep inrepparttar 105618 early morning hours. They even give her a coin before she leaves inrepparttar 105619 morning. When she was exhausted inrepparttar 105620 evening, she drags herself into an unlit gate house atrepparttar 105621 outskirt of a village. The watchman was not there. Perhaps, he will be coming later, she thought. And she lay on a mat and sleeps away.

It is 2 am. Two thieves, Red Devil and Black Night are looking for someone to rob. The road is empty. It is plain that they would have to go hungry and empty handed. Andrepparttar 105622 night is cold. They look intorepparttar 105623 dark gate house. The night watchman didn’t come. So they decide to go in and rest for a while beforerepparttar 105624 break of dawn. But to their surprise they find a girl fast asleep there. Red Devil holds her throat, while Black Night searches and takes her money. After that, they take her remaining bread and meat, leavingrepparttar 105625 cloth andrepparttar 105626 basket; and run away.


The local apothecary generally called Dr. Hades finds it unusual to be woken by this barefooted girl with a basket this early morning. After listening to her, he asks:

“Do you know them that stole your money?”

“No,” was Mary’s answer.

“And is that why you want to drink arsenic to kill yourself?”

“Yes,” she replies.

“But where did you getrepparttar 105627 coin you want to use to pay forrepparttar 105628 poison?”

She explains that it is a gift from some weavers whom she had helped to weaverepparttar 105629 night before. But Dr. Hades is not satisfied with her answer. Perhaps,repparttar 105630 girl is a run-away—one of these bad girls inrepparttar 105631 neighborhood. Perhaps, she needs food and a good sleep. He goes to an inner room, returns with a mixture which he gives to her, and asks her to userepparttar 105632 coin to buy some food.

Mary thanks him and walks torepparttar 105633 gatehouse. She spreadsrepparttar 105634 white handkerchief onrepparttar 105635 ground, finds a piece of rock, and starts to write a suicide note on it,repparttar 105636 bottle of arsenic by her side. But halfway, she falls asleep.


Lord Godsend, a generous rich man, happens to be passing through that road at that time. He is driven in his horse- drawn chariot by Johnny, who is inrepparttar 105637 habit of swearing byrepparttar 105638 minute.

“By Jove,repparttar 105639 girl is dead,” he says to Lord Godsend, pointing torepparttar 105640 sleeping Mary as they ride pass.

The Fine Line Between Strategy And Luck: Pro Battleship Tour

Written by Dusty Applegate

I've coveredrepparttar U.S. Professional Battleship Tour since its beginning in February 2005. I know that's not a lot of time for this sport, but believe you me, I can't think of a more backbreaking or grueling sport to watch, cover or think about.

What is Professional Battleship? It's making a living playingrepparttar 105574 classic Milton Bradley board game. Some ofrepparttar 105575 best players include: James "The Fat Blacksmith" Sheppard III, Gadda Hagga-Hagga, Texas Slim, Texas Hank, Carlrepparttar 105576 Floridian, Scrupulous Kentucky Lou, Mad Oklahoma Johnson, The Idaho Shocker, Lou "Shoulders" Padowski, The Green Hornet, Infomercial James and El Presidente De Lo Ricardo Montalban Fan Club.

In order to berepparttar 105577 best in Pro Battleship you have to be good, but you also have to be lucky. Sometimes you have to be real lucky.

"I was in a best-of-99 match and couldn't finish my opponent until he made a series of F1-F15 blunders in round 77 that, frankly, I didn't understandrepparttar 105578 logic behind," said Mad Oklahoma Johnson. "But at that point I didn't care. Ultimately, I ended up winning with little effort."

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