In the small village of Norwell, a magician whipped and whirled incantations from the nose of his umbrella, a wish-granting spell, beneath the shade of a willow tree.
As the spectacle was seen by all, there came three men before him, each eager to receive their heart’s desire.
The first man asked for his wish without hesitation. He wanted all of the fortunes of the world for himself. The wizzy magician laughed to himself a little and when the man asked why he was laughing, the magician answered, “you’re already the richest man in the world.”
“It isn’t enough,” the man said.
Then came the next man and wished for the woman of his dreams—his true love. The magician chuckled again, and said, “but you are already loved by a beautiful wife and three wonderful children.”
“It’s not enough,” the man said.
And when the magician turned to the third and final man and requested to hear his wish, there was hesitation.
“I wish peace for the sick,” the man said, “and fulfilled promises for the dying.”
The magician’s face went stern and his head shifted from side to side like a barn owl and then he vanished from the three men’s sight just as he appeared.
“What a waste,” the first and second men said in agreement. “Doesn’t grant real wishes.”
The third man felt something delicate enter his hand and sitting in his palm was a flower that grew before his eyes. A snowdrop. A promise.