🎧 Bedtime Story Podcast #16
Chapter 1 – Ninja Kids
There were two young ninjas who lived on opposite sides of the world.
One was a young boy living in Japan, who had been born into a family of ninjas. His name was Myasako. He always wanted to be like one of the normal boys, able to relax and play and laugh and have fun after school. His was a life of hard work and discipline. He was trained to be a killer, an assassin that could move silently, and for those kinds of skills to be developed, his father expected nothing but total commitment from his son.
The other ninja was a young boy who lived in England. His name was Martin.
Martin was a boy who was able to have fun and laugh and play with his friends after school, but he always wanted the life of a ninja. He always wanted to be trained by a ninja, to move silently and use his body as a weapon. He wanted to learn how to use other weapons as well – nunchuks, daggers, throwing darts – everything that a ninja would be able to use.
Each boy wanted the other one’s life, but they had never met before.
“Father. I wish to be away from all of this,” the young Japanese boy said. “You work me too hard. My entire life is work, training, always trying to be faster and stronger and more accurate with my skills. You never allow me any rest.”
His father stared down at the young boy in front of him.
“Excellence is a full-time occupation,” his father said. “There is no time off for the excellent. Look at how fast, how flexible, how strong you have become already. If anyone was to challenge you, you could defend yourself with ease. Your timing, your speed, your…”
“But you won’t even let me go outside and play! Who am I supposed to be defending myself from if I don’t have any life in the first place?”
His father went quiet. He had dreams of his son being able to defend himself in front of twenty men. He thought his son could have a career in security, protecting the Emperor or assassinating the country’s enemies. But he was losing his son’s attention by the day, and his training was becoming weaker.
“Are you sure you want the life of an ordinary boy?”
“Yes. Yes I do.”
“Then I will send word out. I will look for a replacement for you, a boy who is willing to be trained in the way of the ninja. It’s all you’ve ever known, and so you don’t realise its value. I will send you away, overseas, and you will taste what it is like to be born into another family, in a different culture, and you will return enriched from the experience.”
“Another country? No, no I didn’t mean…”
“Leave!” his father yelled. “I will find you a good home. I have connections with some people in England, a place that exists on the other side of the world. You will experience life there as a normal boy.”
“Maybe I could still stay in Japan?”
“Leave!” And the young ninja named Myasako left the dojo, looking down at the ground, wondering what he had just done.