The Boy Magician
In the heart of a wilderness, there once lived an old woman and her young
grandson. Both of the boy's parents were dead, but from his father
he had inherited some magical skills, so that his grandmother used to call
him "my young magician." They were happy enough in their life together.
By day, the old woman would be busy with cooking and cleaning, while the
young boy went hunting to catch food for their table.
Often the grandmother would talk about the time when the boy would be ready
to go out into the world. "Always go to the east," she would say.
to the west, for that way lies danger." But no matter how often the
boy asked her, she would never say what kind of danger lay to the west.
And as he grew older and stronger the boy thought that one day he would
have to go and find out for himself.
One day the old woman said again, "Never go to the west." But this time
her grandson - who was by now a young man - would not rest until he had
an answer from her. At lost, reluctantly, she said, "There is a creature
out there. A terrible creature. it wants to do harm to everyone who
If you were to go near it, we
should both be killed." More than that she would not say, but her
words only made the young man want to go and find out about this creature.
He trusted his strength and skill and his knowledge of magic, to keep both
himself and his grandmother safe.
so, when he set out next morning to go hunting, as soon as he was out of
sight of his grandmother's lodge, he turned west. All day he traveled
and saw nothing. Then he came to the edge of a lake, where he decided
to rest. He had not been there long when he suddenly heard a strange
voice. "I see you," said the voice.
boy looked all around him and at the sky, but he could see no one.
"Where are you?" he asked.
you cannot see me," answered the voice. Then it said, "I am going
to send a hurricane. It will smash your grandmother's house to pieces.
How do you like that?"
thank you," said the boy. "We are always needing firewood. Now
we shall have plenty."
home," said the voice. "I dare say you won't like it that much."
boy hurried home. When he was almost in sight of the lodge a great
wind blew up from nowhere. It rooted trees out of the ground and
threw rocks about as though they were pebbles. The boy's grandmother
looked out and saw him coming. "Quickly," she cried. "Get inside
before you are killed."
as he was inside the old woman began to scold him. "You have
been to the west," she said. "Now we are both going to die."
grandmother," said the boy. "I shall use my magic to turn the walls of
the lodge to stone." He spoke some magic words and though the hurricane
blew as strongly as it could, it could not even move the stone lodge.
When it had blown itself out, the old woman and the boy went outside and
found enough firewood to last them for a month.
next day the boy was ready to go to the west again. But his grandmother
begged and pleaded with him until he promised to go east instead.
He set out that way, but soon his feet turned west again and he found himself
back at the lake. He looked all around and could see nothing. Then
he heard the strange voice again. "I'm going to send a great storm
of hail to destroy your grandmother's lodge. What do you think of
like that," said the boy. "I need some new spears."
home then," said the voice, "but I don't think you'll be so pleased."
boy hurried home and, just as he was nearing his grandmother's
lodge, the sky got very dark. Huge hailstones the size of boulders
began to fall out of the sky. The boy ran
as fast as he could and got safely into the lodge where his grandmother
waited. "Now we shall surely die, "the old woman cried.
once again the boy used his magic and turned the walls of the lodge to
stone. The hailstones banged and rattled against them, bouncing off
harmlessly. When the storm was over, the boy came out of the lodge
and saw that there were dozens of sharp, glittering spearheads sticking
in the ground. He ran to get poles to fit them to. But when
he returned the spear-
vanished. "Where are all mg beautiful spears?" he demanded.
have all melted away," said his grandmother. "They were only
made of ice."
The boy was very disappointed. He began to wonder how he could get
his revenge on the owner of the voice. "Don't be so foolish," his
grandmother said. "Take my advice and leave well alone."
the boy was determined to be avenged. He took a special stone that
was full of magic and hung it around his neck on a thong. Then he
set off back to the lake. This time he went as stealthily as he could
and, when he arrived at the lake, he crouched down behind a big rock and
looked carefully around him.
he saw nothing, then, as he was watching, he saw a horrible head
pop up out of the middle of the lake. It had a face not only on the
front, but on the sides and back as well. Eight e-yes, eight ears,
four noses, four mouths. "I see you," cried the youth. Then
he said, "How would you like it if this lake dried up?"
said the ugly head, speaking out of all four of its mouths. "That could
home and see," shouted the boy, imitating the head. Then he took the stone
from around his neck and threw it up into the air. As it went up
it got bigger and bigger, and when it fell in the lake it made a great
splash. At once the water began to boil and bubble and the head made
a great roaring sound.
boy ran away home as fast as he could and told his grandmother what had
happened. "It's no good," she said. "Others have tried to kill
him, but they have all died."
the boy decided to go back to the lake the next day. When he arrived he
found the lake had boiled away entirely and that all the creatures
in it were dead - except for a big green frog that was hopping weakly about
in the middle. The boy looked at it and knew that this was what the
creature that had plagued him was realty like. He took a big stick
and went to kill it.
spare me," cried the frog in a little voice, not at all like the one it
had used to terrify so many people. But the boy thought of all those
who had been killed by the monster, and he struck the frog with his stick
and killed it.
Then he went
home and told his grandmother all that had happened. After that they
lived in peace, and now the old woman calls her grandson
"my great big magician," because of the good use to which he had put his