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A Never Ending Miracle

By Michael Arshavsky

Long ago, in an enchanted forest far away, there was a school for young magicians. Like most schools, it had students and teachers, homework and vacations. But this school was different from all other schools. At the end of the year there was a great magic show for the students to demonstrate what they had learned.

One of the first-year students was a boy named Arthur. He had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed making all his friends laugh.

Arthur invented a very special magic trick for the show. It was not an ordinary flying bed or an endless stick of peppermint. Instead, Arthur invented a magical wishing rug! To perform the trick, a child would stand on the rug, hop two times, and say the magic words, “Click-Clack.” Then, instantly, the boy’s wish was granted! But sadly, the magic only lasted for one minute, since Arthur was still a student.

Before the magic show performance, Arthur decided to practice his new invention at a nearby pre-school. He invited each child to stand on the rug and make a wish. All the children ran to the magic rug, but little Nick, the smallest child, got there first. He stood on the rug and hopped two times. Then, he uttered the magic words, “Click-Clack,” and screamed loudly, “I want to be big, bigger than everyone else!”

Instantly, Nick began to grow. The class watched with great surprise. First he became taller than everyone in the class, then taller than Arthur, then taller than the teacher, and finally his head touched the ceiling. However, he had not considered his clothes when making the wish, and his clothes were still very small. His pants ripped wide open, then his t-shirt followed, and even the straps on his sandals split and flew in separate directions.

The girls began to giggle. The boys broke out laughing. Even the teacher could not help smiling. But when the minute ended, the magic did, too; Nick was back to his original size and his little clothes fit once again.

Next to step on the rug was Jessica. Two hops and she said the magic words, “Click-Clack!” Suddenly she froze—there were so many wishes spinning in her head she didn’t know what to choose. “A doll! No, a chocolate bar! Maybe a toy car? No, that’s for boys. A new dress! No, Mom will buy me new a dress anyway, and this one will disappear in a minute. What should I choose?”

Suddenly, her gaze fell on a shelf full of stuffed animals and she remembered how she once imagined that all these animals were alive. This memory pushed away all the other wishes, and the magic rug began to bring the animals to life.

Instantly, the room was filled with the sound of wings flapping and birds tapping their beaks at the window as they tried to escape. The cats were mewing and chasing the birds. The barking dogs chased the cats, and the bear cubs rolled around on the floor growling and pinning each other down.

While the children crowded around the teacher in fear, Arthur rushed over to open the window. Immediately, the birds flew out the window, the cats jumped after the birds, the dogs rushed after the cats, and the bear cubs tumbled out together. Finally, the minute ended and all the animals became toys again.

Several minutes went by before anyone dared to step on the magic rug again. Then, a boy named Alex had a thought. He remembered his friend Pete, who had a terrible toothache that morning. Pete could not even eat the apple he had brought with him from home. Alex stepped up and stood on the magic rug. He hopped two times and said, “Click-Clack! I want Pete’s toothache to go away.”

In an instant, everyone heard Pete’s joyful laugh. “Thank you, Alex!” Pete exclaimed, “Let’s share my apple.”

At that moment, the children were called to the cafeteria for lunch and the game of magic was over. Arthur rolled up his invention and followed the children. He knew that in one minute Pete’s toothache would return, and he would need to find a way to comfort him. But he was wrong! Much to Arthur’s surprise, Pete continued to eat the apple and laugh.

Arthur spent a long time thinking about this miracle. Why didn’t the magic end in a minute? Arthur had invented the rug, and knew that the magic should have lasted for only one minute.

Unable to find the reason, he decided to ask a very wise teacher who knew the ways of magic. The wise teacher listened to Arthur’s story carefully and laughed, patting Arthur’s hair tenderly as he uttered words that would stay with Arthur forever:

“Remember, my little friend, magic that is done for others NEVER ends.”

Illustrations: Giya Basiliya

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