The Good and the Bad Magician

One hot day, twelve sisters, who lived in a village in Africa, went to the nearby river for a swim. While they were having fun in the water, a man came by and sat by the riverside. He picked up a scarf from the lot that the sisters had left on the bank and said, “If she who owns the scarf wants this back, she must bring me some thorns.” On hearing this, the girl to whom the scarf belonged collected some thorns and gave them to the man. And lo! She turned into a thorny bush. Her sisters saw what had happened and ran away in fright. A magician seeing the plight of the girl brought her back to her earlier form. “I am sure one of my errant students has done this. Don’t worry; I’ll teach him a lesson,” said he. The magician told all the sisters to go to the river again and leave their scarves on the riverbank. This time when the man was about to pick up a scarf, the magician appeared and said, “There you are! You need to be taught a lesson.” Saying this, he held out his wand and cried, “Hocus pocus” and the man turned into a thorny bush.

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