Bedtime Stories in English - The Wizard's Secret

 The Wizard's Secret

In a mountainous region of Scotland lived a wizard. He could command rain and wind at his will, he could scare anybody by producing strange eerie noises near his ears and do many similar things, good, not so good, and even bad. He had become very famous. Landlords and high officers and common men, all paid respects to him. He earned a lot of money. He became very proud and haughty. He built a mansion for himself. There were a number of servants to do his chores. Whenever he would go out to attend a function or to cure somebody possessed by an evil spirit his servants will follow him carrying his clothes, seat, food, and other things. But he did not let them carry only one thing, his magic book. That was a huge volume given to him by his master. "Never, never, never let anybody else open it. You know what happens the moment it is opened!" The wizard knew. The moment he opened it, hundreds of spirits appeared around him.

Nobody but the person who has opened the book can see them. The wizard always carried the book himself to avoid the risk of anybody else opening it. One day he was summoned by the king who wished to see him perform some miracle and the same time to honor him. He set forth in style. He rode a horse while his servants followed him. He was not quite accustomed to riding horses. He found it difficult to carry the book and to hold the reins. "My master, why don't you let me hold the book?" proposed one of his young servants a new recruit to his service. The wizard was fond of him. The wizard yielded, "Hold it, but never open it!" said the wizard. The small procession started for the king's palace which was beyond a vast valley. The horse went faster. The wizard's old experienced servants managed to keep pace with the horse, but the young man fell behind. Tired, he sat down near a spring and drank from it and relaxed. By and by the mysterious book aroused great curiosity in him. "My master does not wish us to open it lest we should learn some magic formulae! But he is not here to see me!" He opened the book. Of course, he could not read a thing for the text was not written in any plain language. Soon he heard a strange hissing sound. He looked and saw hundreds of wierd creatures coming pressing towards him. "Task, a task for us, task!" they said in a grim, nasal voice. The young man did not know what work to give them. He said, "Wait!" "Task, task, task!" they said more impatiently. They pressed against him.

They had no physical bodies, still, the young man could feel their touch. It was very uncomfortable. "All right. Gather all the dry creepers and roll them into ropes!" commanded the young man. The spirits dispersed. The young man heaved a sigh of relief and went on turning the pages of the book, hopeful of finding at least one passage that he could understand. He had hardly turned two or three pages when the hissing was heard again. He looked and saw rolls of ropes before him. "Tasks, tasks, tasks!" said the spirits. "Oh the botheration!" the young man told himself. Suddenly in a flash, he got an idea. "Go to the seashore and make ropes out of the sand!" he said, happy with his cleverness. The spirits dispersed. "Now they will go on laboring in vain and I will be in peace!" the young man told himself. He was in peace for five minutes. The hissing sound was heard once again, this time louder. "How dare you play with us!" they screamed. "You cannot make ropes out of sands and the task has no meaning. You have been false to us. We will leave this region, never to be back!" They went away. The young man stood up and walked to his destination. The moment the wizard saw him, he took the book from him. He had started regretting for handing over the book to his servant. He opened the book and in no time knew that the spirits had departed forever. The young man took to his heels to avoid the wizard's wrath. The wizard, a sad man told the king that he had become an ordinary man and could do magic no more.

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