Once upon a time there was a girl named Maine. She lived in a village near the banks of a humongous river. The village had about twenty families and was surrounded on three sides with crop fields. The basic way of earning was cultivation. Maine’s father too owned a piece of land on which he grew a special type of fruit that had a blending taste of mango and jackfruit.

Maine was a beautiful girl and very lovable but she had one problem; she was scared. Every time, something happened out of the league, she would panic and would begin to cry. Her friends and brother used to mock at her and call her ‘Cowardice’.
Maine was fed up with the constant teasing and she wanted to make others know that she was a grown-up girl and she would not fear anything. However, when she told this to her friends, they again laughed at her. She wanted to cry but refrained herself and decided to overcome her fears.

One day she decided to bring the herbs from the far end of the river. The herb could cure fever in just one or two hours and she decided to get that herb. The river’s down course was dangerous as there were rumors about the water animals that lived in the river and also that whoever went to gather those herbs, the river would swallow them up. Though Maine put up a strong face in front of everyone as she got into the small boat, her insides were churning due to the fear of the tales they had heard since their childhood. Gripping the oar tightly, she bid her family goodbye and started muttering to herself, “I will face it. I will not run away”.

Through the entire journey, she muttered the words to herself. It was night time when she finally reached the borderline of the river and it’s down course. From a far distance, she could hear the rumbling sound of the stream current that flowed vigorously. The crashing of the water against the rocks gave rise to goose bumps and she shivered due to fear. “I will face it. I will not run away”, she said this loudly this time and sided her boat along the banks of the river. She chose to walk the rest of the path rather than traveling it by boat. The water flow seemed not too friendly to her and that’s why he stayed away from the roaring river.
Her feet were covered with mud and she had slipped many times on the forest floor. She could hear the distant howls that disturbed the ominous silence of the night. in spite of injured knees and hands and a thundering heart, she stood up and started to walk. Every time she would chant the words to herself and somehow she got the encouragement to go on.

A relieved sob broke through her throat when she saw that the herbs were at a distance of ten minutes from where she stood. She increased her pace and was about to cross the wooden bridge when suddenly she heard an angry growl from behind. Fear crippled her body and she started to tremble. However, she knew it was not the time to be afraid and so mustering the required courage, she looked back and was shocked to find the source of the growl.

A puppy! She squeaked in happiness and walked towards the angry puppy. He was ready to pounce on her when she bent down on her knees and forwarded her hand. He looked at Maine’s face and hand and again at her face. Hesitantly he came forward and Maine wasted no time in cuddling the little puppy.

“So you are the little monster that people are afraid of. I wonder how they have not known about it till now?”, frowning her eyebrows, she turned back and crossed the wooden bridge. Collecting the herbs in her bag, she was about to take a step back when suddenly a man appeared in front of her.

“Little girl, I see you gathered the herbs. I am amazed to see your audacity. Even grown-up men could never reach this place. The rumors kept them at bay, then how you are not afraid?”, the man asked him while leaning against the tree.

“I was scared at first. I still am but today this trek had made me realize that we cannot sit back and run away from everything due to fear. In fact, we should fiercely face our fears and conquer them. I did not pluck all the herbs. I know they are rare. I have only a few. We will grow them back on our lands”, Maine said in a calm voice, her fears slowly fading away with every word she spoke. The main nodded at her and walked up to the boat along with her. Bidding him a goodbye, Maine settled down with the puppy on her lap and stared at the river.

“I have conquered your fear. I am not afraid of you anymore. I will never cower back and run away. I will face everything in my life and will rise up like a knight in shining armor”.


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