The Jigsaw Puzzle

Once there was a boy who bought a jigsaw puzzle, one of a happy dog skipping down a field. Despite the jovial picture, the puzzle was said to be one of the most difficult ever made, and it was said that once it was complete, something magical would happen.

The boy indeed found the puzzle was difficult, but determined to see what magical thing would happen once the puzzle was complete, he persevered. Months he spent on that puzzle, the first two months with several pieces in the wrong place. ‘At first you don’t succeed’ and ‘Remember that something magical will happen’ repeated throughout his brain as he attempted to put the pieces in the right place, and though at times he considered giving up, he forced himself to complete the puzzle.

He did complete it. Something magical did happen.

Two legs sprung from the bottom side of the puzzle, an arm sprung from the right side and another arm sprung from the left. A face formed in the middle, making it look like the dog depicted had eyes and a mouth growing out of its belly. The completed puzzle sprung to its feet and struck a pose before it admired itself in the mirror.

It was proud. Proud of its picture, proud of its difficulty. It named itself after what it thought the dog, the chubby, bouncing dog, in its picture was named.

‘Wow,’ said the boy to the puzzle, ‘I brought you to life!’

‘Yes, you did,’ said the puzzle with a smirk, ‘but it wasn’t exactly a speedy process, was it? Months you spent on me. Months!’

‘Hey!’

‘I am truly challenging, aren’t I? The greatest, most difficult puzzle there is! Everyone should know about me!’

Instantly, the puzzle ran out of the boy’s house, with the boy following it. The puzzle climbed the largest wall it could find and then sat atop it, calling one and all to come look at it.

‘Look! Behold the greatest puzzle of them all! A true challenge!’ It gestured towards the boy, standing below it. ‘He may have completed me, but do you know how long it took?’

The novelty of bringing a jigsaw puzzle wore off, and now the boy could now feel nothing but irritation towards the puzzle and its arrogance. He climbed the wall himself, snarling and…

Well, you know how the poem never mentions Humpty Dumpty is an egg?

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