The Magic Message


“Mother, may I have some wax paper!” Luis called as he ran onto the sunny patio. “I want to write a magic message to Pepe.”

“A magic message?” Mother questioned. She snipped another bright hibiscus before she stepped into the cool house.

“Yes, I’ll show you.” Luis placed a sheet of blank paper on the kitchen table. “A sheet of wax paper goes on top of the paper,” he explained.

In neat letters Luis printed on the wax paper.

Dear Pepe,

Please come over.

Aunt Marian gave me a …

Worry clouded his brown eyes. Luis looked up.

“P-a-r-r-o-t,” Mother spelled for him.

Luis repeated the letters as he wrote. Then he carefully added his name to the bottom of the message.

“I don’t need the wax paper anymore,” Luis announced as he dropped it into the wastebasket. The paper still looked blank.

“May I go over to Pepe’s and give him my message?” he asked.

“Of course, Luis,” Mother smiled, “but there’s nothing on your paper. How can Pepe read your message?”

“It’s magic,” Luis replied.

Chuckling to himself, Luis scurried out the door, pausing a moment by the gnarled olive tree to examine a large cage. Then he hurried on to Pepe’s house.

Soon Luis was back, flushed with excitement and waving another blank sheet of paper.

“I taught Pepe how to write a magic message,” Luis bubbled. “Here’s his answer.”

Mother set the white bowl filled with hibiscus blossoms on the table and looked at the blank paper. Luis took a pencil and began covering the sheet of paper with black marks. Soon the sheet was all black except where Pepe had written over wax paper. Those spots remained white.

Luis read:

Dear Luis,

I can come. What did you name your parrot?

Pepe

From the patio door a timid voice called, “Luis, have you read my magic answer?”

“Yes!” Luis called.

Pepe beamed.

“My parrot’s name is Geronimo,” Luis confided.

And together the two friends ran across the patio to the cage by the olive tree.

[illustrations] Illustrated by JaNeanne Webster