In this ongoing collaborative series, young writers around the world revisit stories important to their childhoods. Like many of the tales that shape our lives, these pieces flow into each other, creating a narrative that links contributors across continents and cultures. You can read the previous stories here and here. Remember to come back to KidSpirit for the next installment, and don’t miss the accompanying videos that bring these young voices to life.
This adventure began in a remote village near the Mississippi River, in the days when coal was a vital material and boats were the only means of transport used were boats. A 14-year-old boy named Jack lived in an inn with his family. Together they kept the inn running, despite the health problems that Jack's father suffered. In fact, he and his mother worked even harder because of that.
All was peaceful and quiet until one Wednesday afternoon. Jack was calmly resting in the portico of the inn after an arduous day of work, when on the horizon he saw the silhouette of an old navigator who limped on one leg and wore old, filthy clothes that seemed torn by a fight. No doubt this physical appearance caused fear in the people who approached. Under his arm the man had a strange chest that looked as if it were the most important thing in his life.
It was not until the old man came shouting to the inn that Jack realized that something was wrong. Then the boy approached him, but the only thing the old navigator said was, "I want a glass of rum." It was then that Jack served him some rum, after which the old man started talking, saying things that were hard for the teenager to believe. But the moment the old man opened the chest, all the stories he had told Jack became true. In the chest there were things of gold and some other things of value, but nothing as valuable as the piece of paper that showed a road to fortune — the treasure map. Jack felt the map belonged to him from the moment he thought about the economic instability.
Jack began to ask the navigator about the map, and the the old man said: "I've been a lifetime looking for it, but I've never followed it. I've had friends, but greed and envy made them enemies. " Then he addressed Jack once again saying: "You are the only person who has given me what I want and you seem like a good young man. I leave all my things to you. Beware of the thieves who seek me for what I know and for what I have."
The next morning, without preparation, the young traveller went out in search of an adventure that no one could have imagined.
Juan Vicente is a 17-year-old boy who loves reading books about adventure, playing sports, and listening to music. He is always worried about doing things well and helping others.
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