What John changed and why

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 December, 2009, 12:00am

I've set my version of 'The Man with a Wish' in a world closer to the one we know in modern Hong Kong.

So now the poor man is no longer on his way to the market to sell his last cow. Instead he's walking to a job interview in Kowloon.

And I've removed the magical element.

The expensive gifts he receives are no longer created by the supernatural powers of an angel. In my version they are bought for him by a rich and grateful woman.

But the structure of this version and Astina's excellent original story are basically the same.

In both, a poor man is struggling to survive.

As a reward for an act of kindness, he's given anything he wants.

But wealth has a damaging effect on his family. His children have all changed. The man realises he was happier before he became rich.

But is the message of this version still the same?

Or does the story now tell us we only really enjoy the things we earn through our own efforts?

And do you think the way Astina includes magic, and a farmer's timeless way of life, in her original story makes it more colourful than my version?