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Miracles Can Happen!

By Michael Brushtein

There once was a boy named Pete. Although he seemed like an ordinary boy, Pete was really a very unusual boy. It wasn’t that he didn’t like to play and ride his bike like all his friends. What made Pete special was that he only believed in things he could see, touch, or taste. While his friends never thought to question anything that they learned, Pete was skeptical about anything that he could not prove. He had serious doubts about electricity, since he couldn’t actually see it. He even had doubts about the Earth being round, since all around him he could only see flat land.

Other children often talked about a magical wizard that lived in an enchanted garden outside of town. Many stories were told about how this wizard would make people’s wishes come true. But Pete did not believe it. Pete had seen magicians. He had watched them pull rabbits out of their hats, make coins disappear, and even fly all the way up to the ceiling. But magicians will tell you themselves that every trick is an illusion. With a lot of practice and a quick hand, they are able to make their tricks look real even when they’re not. Pete knew very well that there was no such thing as a wizard. “How silly!” he thought. “Wizards aren’t real, they only exist in fairytales.”

One day, when Pete went to visit his grandmother, he fell asleep on the bus on his way back home.

“Wake up, young man,” a loud voice startled him, “this bus is going back to the station.”

Pete rubbed his eyes and woke up. Realizing that he had missed his stop, he got off the bus and found himself in an unfamiliar place. He looked around and saw that he was in a small garden surrounded by smooth stone walls and trees with shimmering leaves. Pete immediately recognized that this was the garden everyone had been talking about—the place where the wizard lived.

“Hmm, let’s just see who really lives here,” Pete thought as he opened the iron gate and peeked inside. He couldn’t believe his eyes. The garden really was enchanting, just as the stories had described. Pete was truly charmed as he walked through the cobblestone path; never before had he seen such magnificent flowers and trees! The path brought him to the middle of the garden, and there, sitting on a bench, was an old man with a long, gray beard.

“Are you a wizard?” Pete asked the stranger suspiciously.

“Yes and no,” the man responded.

“What does that mean?” Pete asked.

“You are asking if I can make miracles happen, and the answer is not completely, only halfway.”

“Halfway? What does that mean?” Pete was confused.

“The magic only works if people remember that I helped them, but they usually forget and end up with nothing.”

“Umm, I don’t get it,” Pete confessed.

“Let’s imagine that you ask your mom to buy you a baseball bat. Before you ask her, you‘ll think about your mom. Right?”

“Of course,” Pete agreed.

“But when you start playing baseball with your friends, you forget about your mom and the only thing left on your mind is how to hit a ball. My magic works the same way. It has helped many important wishes come true, but as soon as people forget about me, everything disappears.”

“Can I make a wish, too?” Pete asked.

“Absolutely! When you make your wish, just say the magic words: ‘Miracles can happen,’ and your wish will instantly come true! But remember, you can only make one wish.”

Pete said goodbye to the wizard and soon he was on a bus heading back home.

“I should wish for grandma to get better!” Pete thought to himself. “But if I forget that it was the wizard who healed her, she’ll get sick again… No, that won’t do. How about a bike? And then again, once I start riding it, I’ll forget about the fact that it’s magic and the bike will disappear. So what can I do?”

Meanwhile the bus had reached his stop. Pete got up, looked at all the passengers, and suddenly knew what to do.

“I wish for everyone to always remember that miracles really do exist and there is a wizard that makes them happen!” Pete shouted so that everyone on the bus could hear him. And he spoke the secret words: “Miracles can happen!” He knew that he was using his one and only wish, but that was OK, because now the wizard could make everyone’s wishes come true.

Pete got off the bus and walked down the sidewalk to his home. His house looked just like it did this morning before he left to visit his grandma. But as he opened the door, he heard the phone ring; it was his grandma.

“Pete, you’re not going to believe this, but all of a sudden I feel so much better! It’s a miracle!”

“You’re right, Grandma, it is a miracle!” said Pete smiling happily, remembering the wonderful wizard who had made it happen.

Illustrations: Michael Gonopolsky

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