Mersina was sitting in the corner, watching her cousin, Melvin.
He was practicing his magic lessons. A big book was open on
the table in front of him.
Melvin picked up a piece of paper and crumpled it. Looking
back and forth from the book to the paper, he mumbled a magic
spell. The paper began to change its shape. Long ears grew
out of the top. A fuzzy tail appeared in the back. A white
rabbit was sitting on the table, wiggling his nose.
Melvin looked back at the book to find out what to do next.
Mersina quickly opened her little witch's bag. She took out
a small compact and opened it. She blew gently on the powder.
A puff of powder rose into the air and floated across the
room. It landed on the rabbit. Instantly, the rabbit's ears
got shorter and shorter until they disappeared. Its tail grew
long and bushy.
Just then Melvin looked up from the book. "What happened to
my rabbit? I thought I did it right." He said a magic word,
and the rabbit disappeared.
Melvin turned the page and began to study another spell. Then
he reached into his pocket and took out a marble. He put the
marble on the table in front of him and said a few magic words.
The marble began to grow. Soon it was as big as an apple.
Then it was an apple -- a big, red apple. When he looked back
to his book, Mersina took a pea shooter out of her witch's
bag. She pointed it at the apple and blew.
A hole appeared in the apple. Just as Melvin looked up, a
worm popped out of the hole. "What's going on here?" He turned
around and saw Mersina putting her pea shooter away. "So you're
the one who's been doing it!" he shouted. "Why don't you get
He threw the apple at her. As it hit her, Mersina disappeared.
found herself in the middle of a big city. All the buildings
looked strange. People on the street were staring at her.
Their clothes looked a little strange, too. And they were
saying things that Mersina could not understand.
Soon a policeman came and took her to the police station.
Everybody kept asking her questions. But she could not understand
them. And when she tried to tell them she was lost, they could
not understand her.
A tall policewoman pulled at Mersina's bag. "No you mustn't
touch that!" Mersina cried. "That's my witch's bag. Only a
real witch is supposed to see what's inside."
The policewoman shook her head and snatched the bag away.
She stuck her hand inside and then yelped with pain. When
she pulled her hand out, there was a small mousetrap clamped
on her fingers.
Everyone gathered around and began to look at the things in
Mersina's bag. They could not figure out what most of them
were, or how they worked. They thought Mersina must be a spy.
And the things in her bag must be the latest spy equipment.
Mersina tried to tiptoe out the door while everyone was looking
at her bag. But the tall policewoman suddenly spotted her.
She reached out a long arm and grabbed Mersina by the shoulder.
Before Mersina knew what was happening, she was locked away
in a little cell.
What could Mersina do? She saw a thread hanging from the mattress
on the cot near the wall. She broke it off and said a magic
word. The thread turned into a key. It just fit the lock on
the cell door. But what good would that do? Even if Mersina
escaped from jail, she still did not know where she was. And
she couldn't talk to anybody.
A chirp from the window sill made Mersina look up. A little
sparrow was sitting between the bars.
what I needed!" said Mersina. She gave a special whistle,
and the sparrow flew over and perched on her 'finger. As soon
as it touched her finger, the sparrow turned into a green
parrot, with a red and blue and yellow head.
Mersina whispered to the parrot. It called out loudly in a
strange language. Immediately the guards appeared.
The parrot told them that Mersina was not a spy. She was just
a little witch girl from America. All the guards laughed.
They did not believe that she was a real witch.
Then the parrot told them Mersina's name and address. The
policemen called the American Embassy. The Embassy sent a
telegram to Mersina's mother. When Mersina's mother got the
telegram, she put on her witch's hat and got out her magic
broomstick. In a wink she was at the jail.
is my daughter?" she demanded. They tried to ask her questions.
But she did not listen to them. She heard a squawk from the
parrot down the hall and rushed to the cell. With a touch
of her finger, the door opened. Mersina ran to her mother.
The police tried to arrest Mersina's mother, too. But with
a wave of her broom, she and Mersina were gone.
Back at home, Melvin was waiting. "Where'd you get that parrot?"
The parrot cocked its head and looked at him. "Get lost!"
it squawked, and it said the magic words.
2013 The Silversteins