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The Magic Wand

by  PaulaBlake

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2005
Word Count: 3392
Summary: The story of a typical day in a cottage garden, with Alfie the mouse, Posy the fairy and their friends.

Many years ago - long before you were born - at the very bottom of a cottage garden, lived a mouse. Alfie was a harvest mouse and he lived among the different flowers and shrubs of the overgrown garden. He was usually up early in the morning because he was very hungry. He scampered through the hedge into the garden to look for something to eat and as he passed the rockery, he heard a sound. Alfie stopped, listened, and then he raised himself up on his hind legs to try and get a better view. With his whiskers quivering and nose twitching he looked around. There, sitting on one of the stones of the rockery was a fairy. She was a dainty little thing with long golden hair shimmering in the morning sunlight, she looked very dirty: her silver wings were crumpled and one was torn. “Poor little thing,” thought Alfie, as he climbed the rockery. “What’s the matter? Why are you crying?”
The fairy looked startled. “Oh! You made me jump.” She said, as the tears rolled down her cheeks. Alfie was surprised to see her tears sparkle like pure spun silver. “Don’t cry,” said Alfie. “Tell me what is troubling you.”
“My magic wand has been stolen and I am very sad!”
“Oh dear! Then we shall have to get it back as soon as possible, so you can be happy again.”
“But how can we? A big black and white bird stole it, and then just like that she was gone! It could be forever away by now! Oh, I’ll never find it.”
Alfie shuddered; he knew the fairy was talking about the magpie, a large bird that scared everyone who lived in the garden. The magpie wasn’t usually too fussy about what she ate for dinner – if you know what I mean!
Alfie, who was a very polite and friendly mouse, said, “I’m Alfie, by the way.
What’s your name?”
“I’m Posy.” The fairy sniffled. “It’s very nice to meet you, Alfie”
“Pleased to meet you too, Posy. That is a very pretty name, and now that we know each other you can tell me how it all happened. Get up on my back and I will carry you down to the grass. You don’t look as though you can walk.”
Posy carefully climbed up onto Alfie’s soft, furry, back where she found it very comfortable. She was enjoying the ride when, just past the flowerbed they stopped. Posy slid off Alfie’s back, sat cross-legged on the grass and this is the story she told: “I am a Dewdrop fairy and I come out every morning just as the sun is rising, to put all the dewdrops on the flowers and trees. This morning I was beside a bluebell, about to put my dewdrops on, when some pollen made me sneeze and I dropped my wand. It all happened so quickly. Before I could pick it up, a black and white bird swooped down and grabbed it. I tried to stop him but his claws caught my wing and tore it. Then I fell in the dirt and that’s why I am sad, broken and dirty, I’m in a terrible mess. The most awful thing is that he flew away so quickly I didn’t see which way he went! Oh, I am so unhappy.”
Alfie looked thoughtful for a moment, “This is going to be difficult, but don’t worry I have quite a few friends who just might help.”
Hearing this Posy looked much happier. “Do you really think we shall find it?” she asked, “Oh I do hope so, Alfie. I can’t do any work without it and all my sisters will have to do my share which isn’t fair at all.”
“Jump up on my back again and we’ll try to find some of my friends.”
Alfie, with Posy on his back, went through the hedge and out into the lane. There, after a few minutes of steady walking they arrived at a fallen tree. Alfie stopped, and
facing the thickest part of the hedge, he called out; “Hopper! Hopper are you in there?”
Posy was very surprised to see a cricket hopping towards them. “Hello Hopper!” said Alfie. “How are you today?”
“I’m very well, Alfie - and who is this pretty creature you have with you?”
“This is Posy, and she is a dewdrop fairy. She has had her magic wand stolen and I
wonder if you will help us find it?”
“Hmm, tell me about it and I’ll see what I can do” said Hopper.
Alfie and Posy both told him what had happened. Hopper thought for a while. “I know what we will do. We’ll go and see Tom. He knows everything, he is so inquisitive.”
“Where will he be?” asked Alfie.
“A bit further on in the next garden. He always goes there about this time for a clean. They have a lovely bird bath there and there is always food put out for him.”
So off they went. Alfie with Posy on his back, and Hopper jumping alongside them. When they arrived at the garden, sure enough, there was Tom enjoying himself, fluffing up his feathers and bathing in a beautiful birdbath. They waited, as it would have been rude to interrupt his bath time. When he had finished and was drying in the sunshine they all called to him; “Tom, Tom! Can you help us?”
He flew over straight away. “What is the matter? What’s wrong everyone?”
“We need your help,” they sang, and Alfie told the story all over again.
Tom thought for a moment and then said, “does it shine, this magic wand?”
“Oh yes, it’s silver and sparkles like glitter in the sunlight,” said Posy.
“Yes that must be it; I saw a magpie fly over early this morning. It was just as I was
getting up and I’m sure she had something very shiny in her beak. It could have been your wand, Posy. I’m not sure it was but I know where her nest is, we could go and see?”
“Where is it?” they all asked together.
“How will we get to her nest? It must be very high up in the tree.” Alfie asked.
Posy, almost in tears, said, “I could fly if only my wing wasn’t torn.”
Just then, Alfie had one of his brainwaves, “I know, let’s go and see Spider. He makes the most beautiful webs, I’m sure he would help if we asked.”
The others agreed that it was a very good idea and off they all went. Alfie, with Posy on his back, Hopper jumping alongside and Tom flying just above them. They arrived at an old shed in the corner of the garden. Between the shed and a small tree, there was a very large web, and, right in the centre, there was a very large hairy spider.
“Spider!” Alfie called, “Spider, can you help us?” Spider slid down a fine thread of silk and settled beside them on the grass.
“Now, now! What a lot of noise first thing in the morning! What’s all the fuss about?”
“We want to know if you can repair Posy’s wing. It was torn this morning and now she can’t fly”
“Posy? And who is Posy?” asked Spider.
Posy slowly stepped out from her hiding place behind Alfie and took a hesitant step
forward, she was a little bit frightened of Spider. “I’m Posy,” she said in a very small voice.
“Well, well, a fairy! How lovely! Of course I will help mend your wing. Come over here and let me see the damage.”
Posy nervously walked closer to Spider so that he would be able to see the tear better.
“Oh my, that is a nasty tear, but with my finest thread and a bit of trimming I should be able to make it as good as new.”
Hopper, Tom and Alfie all stood and watched intently as spider gently pulled the wing this way and that to see how he could best spin a thread to patch Posy’s wing. Then he started to spin a very fine thread. He worked very hard weaving round the torn edges of the wing. Posy stood very still with her eyes shut tight. She was afraid to look behind her in case Spider could not mend her wing.
“There” said Spider after a while, “How does that feel? Although I do say so myself, I have made a lovely repair.” Spider had spun a thread that matched Posy’s wing exactly. Posy took a look at her wing and she could hardly believe her own eyes. Her wing was just as it used to be, a transparent gossamer thread like the finest lace. She started to move it very slightly and when it didn’t hurt she took a cautious step and began to fly again. Oh, how good it felt! She flew over to Spider and placed a kiss on his big round body.
“Dear Spider, how can I ever thank you enough for making my wing as good as new?”
“Oh, I will think of something,” said Spider gruffly. No one had kissed him before
and he was a bit embarrassed, but secretly he liked it. “Now, suppose you tell me
how you got into this mess?”
Alfie, Hopper, Tom and Posy all started to talk at once.
“Hold on there, all of you! Alfie, you tell me; I can’t hear myself think with all of you talking at once.”
So Alfie told the story all over again. Spider thought for a bit “I saw that magpie; she is in a nest at the top of that tree.” Spider pointed with one of his long hairy legs at a large Chestnut tree covered in spiky green conker shells. There, in the topmost branches was a nest.
“Yes, that’s the same tree I saw her in,” said Tom getting excited that they may have found Posy’s wand.
“Oh dear, how will we ever get to the top of that tree?” Posy said when she saw how tall the tree was.
“Don’t worry Posy, we'll get there,” said Alfie, trying to hide what he really thought.
He didn’t want Posy to think it was an impossible task.
They started off towards the tree, Alfie with Posy on his back (she rather enjoyed it), Hopper jumping alongside them, Tom flying just above them and Spider on Tom’s wing. When they all got to the bottom of the tree it looked even taller. “Its no use us all trying to get to the top, said Tom “I’ll go first, check out the nest, and see if I can see the wand.”
And off he went with Spider still on his wing – he had forgotten he was there. Poor Spider, he had never gone through the air so fast in his life! He was so high up everyone looked like dots on the ground. He shut his eyes, hoped that it would soon be over, and wished that he were back on the ground again.
Spider felt Tom swoop down and he nervously opened one of his eight eyes and was surprised to find they had landed back safely on the ground. And how good it felt too.
He made his mind up to get off Tom’s back quickly before he flew off again.
“It’s there! I saw it,” Tom said. “But the magpie is there too, so we will have to wait until she gets hungry and goes for something to eat.”
So they all sat and waited patiently for the magpie to get hungry. Tom flew off to find something to eat: he was back shortly with a branch of blackberries in his beak for the others. They all thanked him, as they were very hungry.
After flying off to take another look, Tom reported back that the magpie had gone. Alfie said, “I will run up the tree and keep watch for the magpie coming back. Tom, you grab the wand as soon as I shout that all is clear.
“Alright, I will wait until you shout, then fly up quickly and grab the wand”
Alfie started to make his way up the tree; it was old and the bark was very rough so he was able to get a good grip. It was quite easy at first, Alfie found some good footholds and, for a few meters he went quite quickly. Gradually, he got slower and slower. When he came to the first big branch he rested for a few moments to get his breath back. Then he went on, up and up and up. He looked down and all he could see were Posy’s wings glinting in the sun. At that point, Tom flew up to him “Come on Alfie, its only another few meters! You have been so long I thought I would come and see what had happened to you.”
They both rested for a bit. Then Alfie said, “I will go along to the branch where the nest is built and when I call, come as quickly as you can” Tom agreed, hid himself behind some leaves and waited. Alfie climbed along the branch and tried to make
himself as small as possible. The magpie was back. Alfie couldn’t see Tom, and they both waited for what seemed forever. They dared not speak to each other for fear that the magpie would hear them. Then, just as they thought she would never go, she flew off. Just like that… she was gone.
“Tom, Tom!” Alfie shouted as loudly as he could, “come quickly, she has gone!”
Tom flew up to the nest and stood on the edge. He was scared because the magpie was such a large bird with a strong beak. If she should come back… well, there’s no knowing what would happen. He searched for the wand in the nest. He had seen it when he flew over before, he was sure of that. Perhaps the magpie had covered it up: looking at the sticks, branches and pieces of foil paper lining the nest, Tom thought what a messy bird she was collecting all sorts of shiny rubbish. Then, out of the corner of his eye he saw something glinting, “It must be the wand” He grabbed it and flew to Alfie. “I’ve got it!” he said in a muffled voice - He couldn’t open his beak for fear of dropping it - he gently put it down. Sure enough, it was the magic wand and what a beautiful thing it was. It shone with all the colours of the rainbow. Only a fairy could own such a beautiful thing.
“Quickly, take it to Posy; I will follow you down as soon as I can,” Alfie whispered to Tom.
Tom, still very frightened, picked it up and flew down to the others who were waiting impatiently at the bottom of the tree. He landed at the foot of the tree
trembling so much that he could hardly open his beak to give Posy her wand. He felt
Posy stroking him saying, “dear Tom, you are so brave and I love you.”
He felt a little better and dropped the wand. Posy picked it up and started dancing
around happily.
“Now I can do my work again!” She was so very happy that she had forgotten
about poor Alfie still trying to get down from the nest, until Hopper asked where he was. At that moment Alfie came scrambling down. He was very, very scared. He sat on the grass at the foot of the tree quivering with fright. What had frightened him the
most was being so close to the nest even though he knew the magpie had gone for
food. Magpies have been known to eat mice for dinner, you see.
He had come down the tree so fast he was quite out of breath. They all crowded round him and after placing a kiss on his forehead, Posy said, “I love you too, Alfie! What can I do for all of you? You have all been so kind to me.”
They were all a bit shy; they did not want anything in return. They were just helping a friend. But Posy had her own ideas.
“I know what I will do! You, Spider, what do you want?”
“Well, my webs get very dry and brittle and I have to keep making new ones. A few of your dewdrops would moisten them and stop them breaking,” said Spider.
“That’s easy,” said Posy “You shall have your wish. I will make your webs so pretty every morning that they will look like necklaces of diamonds shining in the morning sun.”
“Thank you very much,” said Spider.
“And you, Alfie, what would you like?”
He thought for a moment and then said, “I should like a beautiful long tail to coil
around the stalks of corn. Then I will be able to hold on to the stalk and eat the corn, and not have to wait for the seeds to fall to the ground.”
Posy waved her magic wand and there in front of them all, Alfie’s tail began to grow until it was fifteen centimetres long.
“Oh, my!” said a very happy Alfie, swishing his new long tail, “this is the most beautiful tail I have ever seen.” He swished it once more, and then, remembering his manners, said, “Posy, how can I ever thank you? I will be the envy of all other mice!”
Posy just smiled and said, “no Alfie that is my way of thanking you.”
Posy turned to her bouncy friend. “Now, it’s your turn Hopper. What would you like?”
Hopper knew immediately what he wanted. He said, “I should like to be able to make a pretty sound; I know I cannot sing like a bird. It’s not that sort of sound I want - just something so that I can be heard, and everyone will say, ‘listen to the crickets’.”
Posy waved her magic wand again. Hopper made a noise like a frog, “ribbett, ribbett!”
“Oh no, that won’t do. That sound is already taken.” She waved it again, and this time she said to Hopper, “I have made your legs like the edge of a saw. If you rub them together, they will sing for you.”
They all looked at Hopper and waited with bated breath to see what sort of sound he would make. He started to rub his legs together and it came; “Chirrup-Chirrup, Chirrup-Chirrup!”
“How lovely,” they all said together, “do it again, Hopper.”
“Chirrup-Chirrup,” he went and they all cheered.
“Thank you very much, Posy!” Hopper was happy.
“Tom, what would you like?” asked Posy she was enjoying seeing all her new
friends’ happy faces!
“Me?” said Tom “I’d like to be a pretty colour.” Posy waved her magic wand again
and Tom was suddenly transformed from a dull brown colour to a bird with blue wings and a bright yellow breast.
“Now you will be known as The Blue-Tit, and everyone will say what a pretty bird you are.
The friends were all very tired now that the excitement was over and they slowly made their way back to the garden where Alfie had found Posy. As they passed the shed where they met Spider they left him to tend to his webs. Hopper went back to his hedge Chirruping for all he was worth, he was so proud of himself. Tom flew away repeating his new name over and over again; “I’m a Blue-Tit, Blue-Tit, Blue-Tit!”
Just then, Alfie with Posy still on his back arrived back at the garden. There, Alfie let Posy off and they said Goodbye. Thanking her again for his beautiful tail he went on his way, waving it to and fro hoping everyone would see it. Posy went home, she was very tired.
The very next morning she was up early to carry out her promise to Spider. She covered all the webs with dewdrops and they glistened in the morning sun making them look like diamonds strung together.
Now you know why spiders’ webs are always covered with dewdrops in the morning, Blue-Tits are such pretty colours, crickets chirrup, and harvest mice have long tails.