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Mini-Witch Loses Her Horse

"One, two, three ..." Billy moved his piece along the Monopoly board. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed something moving. Money from Mersina's pile was mysteriously rising in the air and floating toward the bank. Billy blinked. Then he looked back to the board just as his playing piece landed on Boardwalk.

"That will be $2000, please," Mersina grinned.

"Where did that hotel come from?" Billy protested. "It was just a house."

"I paid for it! Now pay me!"

"That's not fair. I quit! I'm going home." Billy slammed the door as he left Mersina's house. Just as he reached the gate, he noticed a toy horse on the lawn. For a minute it looked as though the horse was actually eating the grass. But when Billy looked closer, the horse wasn't moving at all. He picked it up.

Suddenly there was a fluttering of wings around his head. "Stop, thief!" squawked Mersina's parrot, Pepper.

"Oh, shoo, Pepper!" said Billy. "I'm only going to take it for a while to teach her a lesson." He swatted at Pepper with his hand. The parrot flew up into the air, squawking. As Billy raced home with the horse tucked under his arm, Pepper flew after him, scolding all the way.

When Billy got to his room, he pulled out his bag of cowboys, Indians, and soldiers. They were just the right size to sit on the horse's back. He set up a battlefield on his bedspread. But just as he was about to start his battle, his mother called him for lunch.

As soon as Billy closed the bedroom door, Pepper fluttered down onto the window. He cackled a few words, and the window mysteriously slid open. Mersina's horse looked up eagerly and neighed to the parrot as he hopped in.

When Billy finished his lunch, he raced upstairs. He stopped outside his bedroom door. He thought he heard noises inside. He carefully turned the knob and gently swung the door open. As soon as he stepped inside, Pepper called out an order, and twenty tiny soldiers ran over and pushed the door shut behind him. Then Pepper quickly called out some more orders. A troop of cavalry charged across the floor toward Billy. A band of Indians rode in warwhooping from the other side. Cowboys followed, swinging their lassoes. Billy was surrounded!

At that moment, Mersina leaned out of her front door and whistled. She waited a moment and then whistled again. "Where is that horse of mine?"

Mersina searched the lawn, but her horse was not there. Worried, she raced back into the house and up the stairs to her room. She poured some water into a basin and got out a box of bubblebath powder into the basin. The water foamed, and a mound of bubbles began to build up in the center of the basin. Quickly it spread. Still the mound of bubbles climbed and began to form into a shape. It looked like Billy. He was walking. Now another shape formed beside him. He bent down and picked it up.

"My horse!" Mersina yelled. Without waiting to see any more, Mersina dashed to her closet and snatched up her broom. Out the window she shot, straight for Billy's house. She swooped in his bedroom window and landed right beside him.

Billy was lying on the floor tied with dozens of tiny lassoes. Dancing on his chest were a dozen Indians. Soldiers were standing guard beside him. Pepper flew over to perch on Mersina's broom handle.

"Horse thief! Horse thief!" Pepper squawked.

"I just borrowed it!" Billy protested. "And besides, I thought it was just a toy."

"You'd better leave my things alone from now on," Mersina warned Billy. He nodded quickly. With a wave of her hand, the cords around Billy disappeared and the soldiers, cowboys, Indians, and their horses were toys again.

"Remember, they'll all be watching you," Mersina said as she scooped up her horse. Then she and her horse and parrot swooped out the window. The broom landed in Billy's back yard. Mersina placed the horse on the grass and tapped it lightly on the head. Instantly it was big enough to ride. With a wave to Billy, Mersina trotted off on her horse, as Pepper flew ahead on the broom.


©1973, 2013 The Silversteins