Rogers Meets a Wizard
Rogers was packing. Ever since they had moved to their new
house, nothing seemed to go right. The kids on the block called
him an egghead. They didn't want to play with him. And he
didn't want to play with them either.
He hardly ever saw his father anymore. Ever since his father
got the new job, he was always working - even weekends. Nobody
seemed to understand Rick. So he was going to run away from
Suddenly there was a tapping on the window. Rick turned around
and was surprised to see a face in the window. It was an old
man with a long white beard. How could anybody be out there?
Rick's room was on the second floor!
He went over to the window and looked out. There was an old-fashioned
surrey parked outside his window --hanging in midair. The
old man pointed to the window, and it suddenly creaked open
all by itself.
Rick stared. Before he could do anything, the old man stepped
through the open window and into Rick's bedroom. "I hear you're
planning to run away from home," he said.
did you know that?" Rick asked, surprised.
I have my ways," the old man chuckled. "How would you like
to be my apprentice?"
kind of apprentice?" Rick asked.
apprentice wizard, of course!" the Wizard said.
getting old now, and I need to train someone to take over
the business. I've been looking through 20 centuries for a
boy like you."
centuries?" Rick gasped.
yes. I come from a long, long time ago. My work takes me to
all times and places."
Rick pointed to the surrey. "You mean that's a time machine?"
might say that. Why don't you step into my surrey? I'll show
you how I operate."
In a moment Rick was sitting in the surrey beside the Wizard.
The Wizard called to his four horses, and in an instant they
were up sailing through the clouds.
On and on they sped. Then the horses dipped downward, carrying
the surrey below the clouds. They were over a thick forest
now. Ahead was a lake.
said the Wizard. "There's a problem that calls for our attention."
He pointed to the center of the lake where there was violent
Rick squinted, but he could not make out anything. The Wizard
handed him a telescope. "Hey!" yelled Rick. "That boy is drowning!
Take the surrey down so I can save him. I can swim."
a minute, Son," the Wizard cautioned. "If you want to live
as long as I have, there's a lesson you have to learn. Never
do anything dangerous if a little magic will work just as
With that the wizard pointed his staff at a giant tree standing
at the edge of the lake. There was a crackle of thunder. A
lightning flash arched out from the Wizards staff and struck
the tree. The trunk split, and the tree plunged into the water.
The top branches landed just a foot or two from the struggling
boy. He grabbed one of the branches and pulled himself to
Then the surrey sped off again into the clouds. Their next
stop was a small village, five centuries in the past. The
Wizard explained to Rick that the people of the village were
starving. For months now there had been no rain.
it's your turn, Son. Let's see how you can handle it." The
Wizard handed Rick his staff. "Just point this and think of
what you want."
Rick asked the Wizard to land the surrey. The Wizard was surprised,
because there were already some clouds over the fields around
the village. He had expected Rick just to point the staff
But instead, when they landed, Rick pointed the staff at the
there was a shiny bar of silver on the ground. He pointed
the staff again, and a mound of violet iodine crystals appeared.
The Wizard scratched his head and stared as Rick pointed his
staff again. In a puff of smoke, the silver and iodine mixed,
and a sack of orange silver iodine crystals appeared in their
Rick scooped up the sack and said, "OK, I've got what I need.
Now can you fly me up to those clouds?"
Flying above the clouds, Rick sprinkled them with the silver
iodide crystals. Suddenly it began to rain, harder and harder.
Water soaked into the dry fields, and the people ran out of
their houses, dancing with joy.
The Wizard looked puzzled. "What happened?"
you heard of making rain by seeding clouds with silver iodide?"
my day, we never heard of that. But I guess it's the modern
way." The Wizard shrugged. "Well, that's enough for this trip."
In a flash they were at Rick's house. "I'll be back again
soon," the Wizard promised. Rick leaned out of his window
and watched as the surrey sped off.
2013 The Silversteins