Someone sent this story to me. I don’t know if it’s true (I hope it is) but in any case it’s a wonderful story about stories.
At 40, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who never married and had no children, was walking through a park in Berlin when he met a girl who was crying because she had lost her favorite doll. She and Kafka searched for the doll unsuccessfully.
Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would continue to look for her doll.
The next day, when they had not yet found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter “written” by the doll saying “Please don’t cry. I took a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.”
Thus began a story which continued with each meeting.
During their meetings, Kafka read the doll’s letters which related her adventures and conversations that the girl found adorable.
Finally, Kafka brought back the doll (he bought one) that he said had returned to Berlin.
“It doesn’t look like my doll at all,” said the girl.
Kafka handed her another letter in which the doll wrote: “My travels have changed me.” The little girl hugged the new doll and with much joy, brought her home.
She did not meet Kafka again.
A year later Kafka died.
Many years later, the now-adult girl found a letter inside the doll. In the tiny letter signed by Kafka it was written:
“Everything you love will probably be lost, but in the end, love will return in another way.”