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A Horse For Mini-Witch

"No, Mersina, you may not have a horse!" her mother said sternly.

"Please, Mother," the little witch begged. "I'll take care of it all by myself. You won't even know it's here."

"I've told you a dozen times, we have no place to keep a horse," her mother said. "Now run along outside and play. I'm working on a new spell, and I promised to have it ready by midnight tonight."

Mersina walked sadly out the door. "I wish I had a horse," she thought. "It's no fun riding around on a broom all the time."

She kicked at a stone on the sidewalk. It rolled along and almost hit a large black ant that was crawling along. Mersina stooped down to look at it. "Did I frighten you?" she asked. "You're a nice ant. If you were a horse, I could ride you every day."

Then the little witch got an idea. She picked up a pinch of dirt from a crack in the sidewalk and sprinkled it on the ant. As the grains of dirt touched the ant, Mersina said a magic word.

The ant started to grow. Bigger and bigger it got. Soon it was as large as a mouse. Then it was as large as a dog. Still it grew, and as it grew it changed its shape. At last Mersina snapped her fingers.

Standing beside her was a fine black horse. It tossed its long mane and whinnied. Mersina leaped onto its back and rode it around the block. With a clatter of hoofs, they stopped at Mersina's house.

"Quiet, girl," said Mersina, patting the horse. "Now we have to figure out where to keep you."

Mersina looked around. Soon she spied the cellar window. "That's it!" she said. "There's plenty of room in the cellar." She led her new horse over to the cellar window. But it was much too small for the horse to fit through.

Mersina thought for a minute. She put her hand in her pocket and pulled out a rubber band. Stretching it out, she looked at the horse through it and said some magic words. Suddenly the horse stretched itself out long and thin, just like a rubber horse. It squeezed in through the window and leaped down onto the cellar floor.

Mersina's mother heard a noise in the cellar. She came down to see what was going on. "Mersina!" she cried. "Where did you get that horse? You can't keep a horse in the cellar. Take it back where you found it."

Mersina sadly led the horse up the stairs, through the hall, and out the front door. Slowly she walked along the sidewalk looking for the spot where she had found the ant. Lying in the grass, by the edge of the walk, was a small twig. Mersina stooped and picked it up. She was getting another idea.

She laid the twig on the horse's back and said some magic words. The twig began to grow. Quickly branches and leaves sprouted from it. Soon the horse was completely hidden in a large bush, covered with sweet-smelling purple flowers.

Mersina led the horse around to the backyard. Mersina's mother looked out the kitchen window and saw the flowering bush. "Mersina, where did that bush come from?"

"I thought you'd like it," said Mersina.

"It's very pretty," said her mother, "but it's blocking the light in the kitchen. Why don't you move it around to the front lawn?"

"Giddyap!" said Mersina to the bush. The bush trotted around the house and stopped in the middle of the front lawn when Mersina called "Whoa!"

Everything was fine until the horse got hungry. She began to nibble at the branches. She ate off one leaf after another and munched on the flowers.

Mersina's mother looked out the front window and shrieked, "There's a horse in the bush! Mersina, I told you to get rid of that horse."

Once more Mersina sadly led the horse down the walk. Wasn't there any way she could keep it?

That evening, Mersina's mother noticed a new miniature on the mantel -- a tiny, perfect statue of a black horse. "Did you just get that today, Mersina?" she asked. "Now, that kind of horse you can keep."

"Thanks, Mother," Mersina said, and she smiled at the horse.

As her mother left the room, the horse nodded at Mersina.


©1972, 2013 The Silversteins