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The Magic Notebook

Christopher was on his way home from school when he noticed a large notebook lying on the sidewalk. It had a beautiful rainbow cover. And there was no name on it at all.

When Christopher got home, he tried to write his name in the new notebook. But his pencil did not make a mark on the page. Neither did a pen, or crayons, or paints. He even tried spilling a whole bottle of ink on the page. But the ink just disappeared.

Christopher went back to the spot where he had found the notebook and searched and searched. In a crack in the sidewalk he found a rainbow-colored pencil, which just matched the notebook cover. Maybe that was the answer.

Sure enough, when Christopher tried the new pencil in the strange notebook, it wrote. In fact, it wrote in colors -- a different color for each letter of Christopher's name. He tried drawing a picture, and the pencil made the grass green and the tree trunk brown and the sun yellow.

Christopher drew a bird, perched on a branch in the tree. Then he stared. For the bird in the picture spread its wings and flew down to the ground. It pounced on a worm and pulled it out of the ground. Then the bird flew back to the tree.

Quickly Christopher drew a nest in the tree. Three little heads poked out, and the bird gave one of them the worm and flew down again for another.

What kind of notebook was this?

Christopher drew a squirrel on the grass and waited to see what would happen. The squirrel ran up the tree trunk and then seemed to be looking for something. Christopher drew a hole in the trunk, and the squirrel popped in.

Christopher stared at the picture. And strangely, it seemed to be growing larger. The picture grew and grew, until Christopher was inside it!

He was standing on the grass he had drawn. The squirrel popped its head out of the hole in the tree trunk and looked at Christopher. The bird flew past him with another worm.

Christopher bent down and drew a rabbit. It wiggled its nose and hopped away. Then he drew an elephant.

"Thank you for making me," said the elephant. "Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Nothing right now," said Christopher. "If I think of anything, I'll call you."

Now Christopher decided he needed somebody to play with. He tried to draw a boy, just his age. But it did not come out very well. So he erased it.

"Maybe girls are easier to draw," said Christopher. But when he tried, he thought, "that looks more like a witch!" He drew in a witch's hat and cloak and a long broomstick.

"What an ugly witch!" Christopher laughed.

"How dare you say that!" cried the witch. "I am going to turn you into a pumpkin."

Christopher lifted his pencil to erase the witch. But she put a spell on the eraser. It did not work anymore.

"Ha, ha," the witch cackled. "Now I'll put a spell on you." But as she began to mumble, Christopher quickly drew a gag over her mouth.

Christopher thought quickly. He drew a magic lamp and rubbed it hard. A genie appeared, and asked, "Master, what is your desire?"

"Quick, make the witch disappear!" Christopher shouted. And in an instant it was done.

"And now, Master?" the genie asked.

"Make my eraser work again," said Christopher.

"It is done," replied the genie, bowing low. Just to make sure, Christopher tried the eraser on a patch of grass.

Christopher thought of a third wish: "Make me someone to play with." And before he could blink, there was a little girl standing beside him -- the prettiest little girl he had ever seen.

"Hello, Christopher," she said. "My name is Miranda."

Christopher turned to the genie. "I've had my three wishes now. Can I do anything for you?"

"I wish you could set me free," said the genie. "I've been bound to this lamp for 3000 years."

Christopher erased the lamp. "Thank you," said the genie. And in a puff of smoke he was gone.

Christopher and Miranda had a party. He drew ice cream and cake and soda. They played games for awhile. Then Christopher drew two ponies, and they went for a ride.

Everything was fine until Christopher drew a wall of stones for the ponies to jump over. "That's too high," Miranda exclaimed. But Christopher jumped it anyway -- and fell off his pony. He wasn't hurt, but he soon discovered that he had lost his pencil.

Christopher and Miranda looked everywhere. Suddenly the elephant appeared. "Did you call me?" When they explained, he reached down with his trunk and sucked up everything near the wall, like a vacuum cleaner. Then he blew it out again. Sticks and stones and grass rained down -- and there was the magic pencil.

Christopher thanked the elephant. Then he told Miranda he'd better be getting home. "But how do I get home?"

Miranda did not know, either. "Why don't you draw a wise old owl and ask him?" she suggested.

Christopher did. The owl blinked and said, "Just draw a door, open it, and walk through."

It was as easy as that. "Come on, Miranda," Christopher said. But she told him she was not allowed to leave the world of the notebook.

"You must come and visit me again," she said. And as Christopher sat on his bed and looked at the page, there was the tree and the bird's nest, the wall, the ponies -- and Miranda, waving at him.


©1972, 2013 The Silversteins