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Monday, February 21, 2011


The Day That The Magician Did Me In!

The first birthday party that I remember was when I was five.

Since I had started dancing classes when I was three, I knew all of the girls in my class. And as my mother worked, my grandmother planned the party. It was held in the same room where we all took dancing. I remember that I had on a blue velvet dress [my birthday is in January] and had a blue velvet ribbon in my hair. But I sure was shocked to see a magician appear right before us!

All of us sat there spellbound. It was my very first time seeing a magician and my eyes must have burned holes in him. Hypnotized was I as I watched him take a pile of newspapers and proceed to cut them into a million strips. He then produced a large kettle and threw the strips of paper into it, covered it with a lid and waved his magic wand three times over that kettle. What was happening I wondered?

After that third waving of the wand, he took off the lid and pulled out a white rabbit! I was enthralled. I was in disbelief! How did he do that? Of course there was no way he was going to tell an audience of five year olds how he did this trick nor any adults present. He did several more not memorable tricks and then he left.

My birthday cake was brought out as well as drinks for everyone.

We ate, laughed and I opened my presents. And thought it was the best time ever—that is till I got back to my grandparents’ home.

That magician couldn’t be the only one to perform such a trick; I just knew it. Still dressed up but still reflecting on that trick and the rabbit, I got the newspaper and the scissors. My grandmother knew what I was up to but didn’t say a word. She went on cooking dinner pretending not to notice me. I cut strip after strip of paper and got her big kettle and lid [I knew where she kept it] and must have put tons of paper strips in the kettle.

I had no magic wand! What to do? I got a big wooden cooking spoon, waved it over the kettle that had on its lid and those tons of paper strips inside. Waved that spoon three times just like the magician had, took the lid off the kettle and…all I saw was paper strips!

My heart sunk. I go that sick in the gut feeling and just knew I had done something wrong. Where was the rabbit?

I repeated all of the above again, only to find those crummy paper strips and no rabbit. If my grandmother were looking, I didn’t notice for I was intent on producing a rabbit! And once again, I got that sick in the gut feeling and gave up.

I remember asking her why I couldn’t get a rabbit to come out of the kettle and she replied, “Guess you’ll just have to learn more magic!”

Well, I never did but by the time I was seven, I knew that the magician had tricked not only me but all of the other girls at that party. And he had done me in! I never did try any more magic tricks that involved cutting up paper strips ever in my life. But I have been known to “pull a few rabbits out of a hat” as a teacher and that was a lot easier than using a kettle!

Sherry Hill

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