Box Envy

Alexandra Klaudia Süveges

Once upon a time there was a small family. Two sisters, a little girl and a teenager. They were not poor, but they weren’t wealthy either. One day their father got home from work and called for them. He showed them a big treasure chest and opened it. There were two small boxes inside, one made of simple wood, the other of gold. The father said that the girls could have the boxes; they just needed to decide which one they wanted.

The younger sister went first. “I think I’ll go with the wooden box.” Both her sister and father stared as she reached for the simple one. The older sister was happy at first, knowing she’d get the gold box. But then, when she saw her sister opening her wooden box and getting all cheerful, she left her own box unopened and started following her.

She had been playing with it for a while—opening it, closing it, carrying it everywhere, and talking to it as if it were alive—when the older sister interrupted. “Sis, what’s inside your box? I’m dying of curiosity, you’ve been playing with it for hours,” she said, trying to touch it.

“I chose this box, it’s now mine. Play with yours.” With this she left the room and went to bed. The older sister went to bed as well and tried to sleep, but this box-thing kept her awake. She got out of bed and snuck into her sister’s room. The box was placed right next to her, on the nightstand. She grabbed it, almost opened it, then suddenly the light was on.

“What on Earth are you doing?” She pulled back the box.

“I am so sorry, but I just can’t get this out of my head. I NEED to know what’s inside….”

“Okay, what if we just switched boxes?” The older sister’s eyes went shiny; she immediately ran for hers and returned.

“There is my box, switch?” They switched.

“What?!” the older sister looked confused.

“What’s wrong?” the younger one asked with a grin.

“There’s nothing inside… did you take it out or something?” she asked, hoping it was just a prank.

“No, originally there was nothing there, but if I had chosen the metal box in the first place, you’d surely have tried to take it away; you always want things that aren’t yours.”

“Whatever… and what’s inside your box? I haven’t checked it.” The younger sister opened the box, and to her surprise there was a diamond in it.

Maybe sometimes appearance does matter after all.