A Magical Short Story for Kids and Adults.

This engaging, fantastical romp will have you and your children laughing out loud, and you'll love the chance to believe in magic again, for in this story magic is not an illusion but something we all possess. Whimsical and richly entertaining from the opening scene to the unexpected conclusion, this short story takes you to a marvelous place and will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

Author's Note: I have been asked to take the occasion provided by the 2020 edition of this short story to provide some background. The idea arose when a good friend approached me to write a story for his children, two young ladies aged 9 and 11, and a young man, age 6. A quite gifted parent, he wished for a story with a dash of philosophical content. I was happy to comply.

It is much to be hoped that parents will consider the subtle philosophy espoused by this book's characters to be more than an extension of a fantastical storyline. Simply put, the insights presented are extracts from a much larger philosophy, one set forth by mystics, masters and sages through the millennia.

Here some ungentle reader may check us by asking: Can children possibly absorb and benefit from philosophical ideas? Absolutely they can. Children are natural philosophers; who has not seen it? They question everything and perceive a great deal that adults miss. Once, near the town of Cannes, I watched a little golden-hired fellow gazing at the sea. His parents, a young couple from Stuttgart, summoned him, saying that he had looked long enough at the waves and everybody was going away. His answer? "Sie beobachten, was ich beobachten, aber nicht sehen, was ich sehe." ("They watch what I am watching, but they do not see what I see"). This was no brag, but merely a plea to stay on.

And who is to say what children can or cannot appreciate in their reading? On a long journey to Newfoundland I was aboard a Pullman car in the company of an intelligent looking but quite countrified man sorting through papers. In the corner his little daughter, a child of 12 dressed in black, was reading a square little book, also bound in black. I never saw anyone read like that. It seemed as if the pretty and dignified little figure was trying to lose itself in that book. In time my curiosity about a book that could be read with such intensity became irresistible. I turned to the little girl and asked: "What are you reading with such interest?" The eager little face looked up, summoned, as it were, from far-away regions. "Monsieur, c'est l'Histoire Romaine," (brief pause) "et je vais arriver a' Jules Cesar!" "How," I asked, "do you know you are coming to Julius Caesar?" Her answer, of course, was that she had read the book many times. I have never forgotten her intensity.

I saw the background in an instant: A farm on the windy Canadian plain, wheat fields between long strips of grape vines, the salle with its big mantelpiece; a tiny library of three or four musty prayer books, a gardening book, a cookbook, a surveyor's manual, a Family Lawyer, a Larousse dictionary, a few old almanacs and, in the far away corner, the little black canvas Histoire Romaine. In a modern library the squat volume would have been as forbidding to a child as an old monk. But next to the other fare, Roman History resumed its glamour and Julius Caesar became once more the romantic hero he was during so many centuries. Owing to a remarkable "chance" the little girl summoned up in herself the dreams, yearning, and aspirations of greatness. No wonder she looked distinguished. The lesson is simple: Let us not underestimate our children.

2020 Edition, includes a four book anthology.

Library-Cataloging-Data: Children's, Middle Grade, fantasy, magic, magic realism, adventure, literary fiction, mystical, visionary, inspirational

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Additional Info

  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 89 Pages
  • File Size: 605 KB

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