“The Landlord’s Quest for Happiness” is a narrative short story for kids originally written by Joel G. Ebardo.
Once there was a fine, attractive landlord named Leo. Most of the women in the town of Salvador admired his charisma and wit. He lived a very frugal and simple life.
One day he felt so lonely and bored. So, he wrote a letter to his friend Lolong. Then, he let his messenger send the letter of invitation for a spectacular business launch party in his Casa de Salvador. The messenger took this chance to lurk the letter because he lavishly hated Leo, his landlord, for not giving him a just distribution of palay and banana harvests.
Each time they had their harvests, three-fourths of them went to his landlord, and the remaining left for them who labored the harvests so hard.
As his revenge, he made a huge, colorful lantern and tied the letter to it, and watched the lantern go high up the sky ’till it was gone.
Leo waited for days; it became weeks and even a year of waiting, but Lolong never did come.
He called his messenger and asked why it seemed that Lolong disregarded his invitation. But the messenger answered he had no idea what happened to Lolong and the letter of invitation.
Leo became upset and very sad. One day, he decided to take a stroll down the new amusement park at the Poblacion in the town of Salvador. Along the way, he met a maiden woman, he assumed, who happened to be a beggar and asked him for a little food to eat.
Landlord’s quest for happiness found
Leo felt pity for the beggar. He realized the values of giving and service. He ordered sumptuous food in the nearby high-end restaurant and gave it to the beggar so she could eat. The beggar, elated and gladly said, “You can find your happiness in giving.” Leo smiled and left with him were the thoughts of the message from the beggar.
Each time Leo helped other people, he felt upbeat and enjoyed every moment he gave something to others. He was now kind and generous to all of his workers. He gave what was right and just to them and often exceeded their expectations.
The messenger realized what he had done to his landlord Leo. His revenge was not intently done to hurt his landlord. So, he confessed what he did to the landlord’s letter for Lolong.
Leo almost cried when he learned about it. Despite it all, he didn’t blame the messenger for his fault. Leo even asked for forgiveness and understanding for his impertinence. Now, Leo was loved by all of his workers very much.
The following year, Leo decided to travel to Los Angeles, California. Upon arriving at the Los Angeles Airport, he saw a lottery ticket on the floor. Without even thinking of something, with alacrity, he picked it up and kept it.
From the airport, he then went directly to LA Mall and happened to pass by a lottery booth in the corner. He stopped by, got the ticket he found in the airport, and looked at the winning combination numbers posted on the bulletin of the lottery booth.
To his surprise, the ticket had the winning combination numbers, 23, 21, 11, 88, 22, and 82 on it with a 101 million-dollar prize. He thought nobody claimed it yet. So, he decided to ask how to claim the prize of the winning lottery ticket he found.
As he started to speak to the cashier of the lottery ticket booth, it was Lolong his best friend inside. He called him and Lolong hurriedly went out and together they affectionately embraced each other. They hugged so tight they didn’t even bother people around who might be watching them. They must have missed each other so much.
From then on, they met regularly, traveled, and even enjoyed every moment they had with each other. Finally, they decided to make their own family. Later, they became successful businessmen in the town of Salvador. ▲
Joel G. Ebardo teaches English at Salvador National High School and is a reading coordinator of the school’s Tara Basa & SIKAD reading program. He graduated with a degree in Education (English) from PUP-Taguig and earned some Master’s academic units from PUP Open University. Joel is a former editor-in-chief of an official student publication of PUP-Taguig Campus.