There was a girl…let’s name her Cornelia. Cornelia had a ‘difficult’ childhood.
But she was really smart. Or so everyone told her. Cornelia was always juggling. She had some
many things that went on from day to day that she never knew which way was up. So one day Cornelia
figures out how she can make the craziness stop. Cornelia creates a compass. This compass tells
her where she needs to go all the time. It’s a pretty simple compass (because Cornelia
put magnets underneath) that only ever pointed in two directions. When ever Cornelia needed
to make a decision she pulled out her compass and it told her where to go. Cornelia decorated
her compass with gold and gems. She protected it, carrying it around in a small pouch at her
side so that it could never be lost. She never showed anyone her compass. It was her special
After a long time the compass and the pouch disappeared into Cornelia’s body. It traveled
up her stomach into her lungs and snuggled into the crook of her heart. Cornelia loved her
compass so much it became a part of her heart. And she was happy to have it close to her. Years
passed. When Cornelia stopped seeing her compass, she forgot about it. And she walked around
all day not even realizing when it helped her make her decisions. Sometimes she turned left
when she was thinking of going right. Sometime she turned right when she was thinking of going
left. After several years Cornelia started to get worried, because lately she was always turning
right and she couldn’t seem to make herself stop. So Cornelia went to the doctor to find
out what was wrong. The doctor leaned down to listen to her heart and jumped back in surprise.
“What is that?” She exclaimed.
Cornelia giggled, “Oh, that’s just my compass.”
“Well that’s your problem,” said the doctor. “You’ve got a compass
where your heart should be. You can’t follow your heart and it’s making you confused.”
Cornelia was very surprised to hear this. Her compass had helped her for so long and she had
treasured it. How could it be a bad thing? She asked the doctor what could she do and the doctor
said they would have to take out the compass. But Cornelia was afraid. If the compass was her
heart then how would she live once the doctors removed it? She left the doctors office and
didn’t return for months and months. She went right a lot when she wanted to go left,
but she pretended not to notice. One day she saw a little girl. The girl was like Cornelia
when she was young, except totally different in every way. And by the girl’s side Cornelia
saw a mysterious little pouch.
She walked up to the girl and asked, “What is in your pouch?”
The girl nervously replied, “Nothing.”
Cornelia smiled. She wouldn’t have told a grown up about her compass either. “Are
you sure it’s not a compass? A super special compass”
The girl shyly nodded her head.
“I have a compass too.”
The girl looked Cornelia up and down. “I don’t see your pouch.”
Cornelia sighed. “That’s the problem. I used it too much and it disappeared inside
The girl stared at Cornelia’s stomach curiously. Cornelia continued, “It’s
not there anymore though. It moved up and became my heart.”
The girl smiled now. “You’re lucky, that’s a lot easier then pulling the
compass out of your pouch all the time. How did you do it?”
Cornelia paused. She had left the doctor all those months ago knowing that her heart-compass
was not good for. But she had been to afraid to do anything about it. What should she tell
this little girl?
“Its not that great,” Cornelia told the girl. “When my compass was in a
pouch I could choose when to look at it. Now I have to do whatever it tells me.”
“Like with parents?” The girl asked.
Cornelia laughed. “Yeah like with parents.”
The girl hugged Cornelia. “I’m sorry. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.”
“That’s why you have to careful with your compass. You don’t want to end
up like me!”
“No ma’am, I don’t!” The girl blushed. “I mean—”
Cornelia laughed. “No You’re right.”
Then the girl checked her watch. “Oh no, I’m going to get home late and my mom
will be mad at me.”
The girl left then, running towards her home. As she turned the corner Cornelia saw the girl
slip the pouch from her side and put it in her backpack.
And for the first time in years Cornelia smiled. And not because her compass told her to.