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The Mushroom That Changed the World

John was feeling very gloomy today. He had performed badly in his exam and his mom’s

disappointment in him didn’t make it any better. All his friends had gone out to play as their

exams were over, but John wasn’t allowed to go. His mom was firm that he wasn’t supposed to go anywhere till his grades got better.


But John was sick and tired of staying at home and he had a mischievous side to him. So, as soon as his mom went out for some work, he ran out through the back door. He decided to go into the woods which were just a couple miles away from his house. His parents had always forbidden him to go anywhere near the woods but he was a curious and adventurous kid, and just couldn’t resist the temptation to explore when no one was around to catch him.


He ran all the way there and stood outside the woods for a moment. He realized that he didn’t know his way around in the woods, and although they weren’t that dense, he could easily get lost. But this second thought only lasted a moment. His curiosity took the better of him and he entered, not running like before but walking slowly, marvelling at the natural beauty around him. He spotted brightly coloured birds, little creeping creatures and so many different trees and grasses and weeds. It was hard to believe this place was so close to the concrete jungle where helived. 

Suddenly, his eyes caught a large red dome speckled with yellow. He came closer and saw that it was a mushroom. He had only ever seen little white mushrooms which he ate at home but this one was huge and colourful. Without thinking, he plucked the mushroom. Instantly, felt a huge wave of happiness and relief wash over him. All his worries about exams and being grounded were gone and he didn’t feel anything but calmness and glee. With a huge smile on his face, he continued walking deep into the woods.


A clearing came, and he realized he had entered another village. He saw a group of many people huddled together, with grief-struck faces. 

 “What’s wrong, uncle?” he asked a man among the group.

“Are you not of this village?” John shook his head in reply.

“Another of us has died from the plague that’s gripped our village almost for a month now. It’s truly a curse!” the man said in anguish.

John felt sympathy for the villagers and decided to try giving them the mushroom and seeing if it works on them too. He handed the man the mushroom, and suddenly, the frown was wiped off his face and there was joy and peace instead. John was ecstatic, the mushroom was magic! He passed the mushroom to all the villagers gathered there one by one, and saw the smiles appearing on their faces. He felt even happier than before because he was able to bring joy to so many other people. 

An idea suddenly struck him. What if he could make the whole world happier with his magic

mushroom? He had studied in school that mushroom breed quickly and spring up anywhere. He decided to replant the mushroom and see if more grow. He rushed back into the woods and down the path he had come, soon finding himself at the beginning of the woods. He went home and planted the mushroom near his house. A week later he had a whole colony of large red mushrooms growing in his yard. 

He plucked them all and took them to various places where he thought people needed cheering up. He took them to school and cheered up kids who got poor grades or were lonely. He planted one in the school’s garden so that another lot grows there. He took some to the local market and uplifted vendors who hadn’t sold much throughout the day and shoppers who were tired of waiting in long lines. Just like at school, he planted one there. He took some to the streets and brought joy to the urchins, beggars and homeless people living in misery. He planted one on the street too. He went to a neighbour’s home whose child had been critically sick for days and comforted the family with his mushroom. He planted it in their yard. Finally, he came home and lightened his mom’s mood which had worsened since the day in the woods when she discovered he had snuck out. 

John went to his room and lay down with a feeling of contentment he had never felt before.

Bringing happiness to others was in a way bringing happiness to you. He remembered the smiles and glee on everyone’s faces. Just like how the mushroom bred everywhere, it had bred joy in people. 

Soon, the mushrooms John planted had grown into colonies and gave moments of relief and pleasure to anyone and everyone who was having a bad day. The mushrooms became popular, and people started farming them. The world had become happier, at least more than before. A little magic mushroom had brightened up so many lives. Sometimes, all you need is a dose of happiness.


Aaryan Gupta

Wisdom High International School

6B Cambridge

Govardhan Campus(GOC)

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