Creative Writing Prompt: The Old Man and the Stars

Every Friday in my English/Language Arts class, I project a random picture on my SMARTBoard and have my students write a creative story about the projected picture. I, along with them, come up with my own creative story about the picture.

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Here is another beautiful piece of art from Xavier Collette that just begs of a deeper story.

Once, there was a little boy. Like all children, the little boy had dreams and wishes for a big future. Every night, as he laid in his bed waiting to fall asleep, the little boy would wish upon a star. He would wish and wish and wish. He would wish for toys. He would wish for friends. He would wish good things for his family.

The little boy grew older and older, and every night he wished upon a star. With every year that passed, none of the little boy’s wishes came true, even as the other little children in his town had their wishes granted.

The little boy eventually grew into an old man, who was bitter and full of resentment after spending years watching other people enjoy the fulfillment of their wishes. None of the old man’s wishes had come true and he lived in a small house full of bitterness and darkness. He hated his neighbors who lived in big, bright houses and lived their happy lives. He hated the children who wished upon a star every night. But most of all, he hated the stars for not granting his wishes.

One day, the old man built a sky boat and sailed into the night sky just as the stars were beginning to appear. He soared above the clouds and cast a giant net. One by one, the stars became tangled in his net. He even captured the moon. Soon, the entire sky was dark and the old man had captured every single star.

As the old man’s boat sat anchored in the clouds, he heard something like a soft whisper coming from the world below him. As he listened, the whisper grew louder and became a great cry. The old man realized that the sound was all the little children of the world crying. It was time for them to make their wishes, but there were no stars to hear them.

“What have I done?” the old man cried. He took a knife and cut the ropes of his star net. The stars shot across the sky and returned to their normal spots, twinkling with promises and wishes.

The old man left the sky and destroyed his boat, swearing to leave the stars where they were. He realized that just because he was not happy did not mean he had to keep others from being happy.


What story does this image have for you? Tell me about it!

Happy writing!


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