Jenny Finds Her Magic by Irene Davis
Illustrated by Rosemarie Gillen
“Honey,” said Mom as she twirled Jenny through the air, “to celebrate your tenth birthday you and Dad and I will go to the circus on Saturday.”
“Yay!” said Jenny, giving herself a couple of extra twirls. Unfortunately she twirled herself right into the kitchen cabinets and thumped onto the floor.
Mom was smiling. " The trick is to focus on what you want to do and concentrate. You’ll get it; just keep practising.”
Saturday was bright and warm. Mom and Dad each held one of Jenny’s arms and off they flew to the circus.
At the gate, a clown was handing out balloons.
“Hey little girl, can I interest you in a balloon?” he said .
“Sure,” replied Jenny. “I’d like a red one, please. And can I ride that elephant?”
The clown boosted her onto the elephant’s back. “There you go,” he replied.
Jenny tied the balloon around her waist and put her arms around the elephant.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were riding through the air! she thought.
“C’mon, Elephant, let’s fly,” she whispered into the elephant’s ear.
The elephant rose a metre, shook its trunk in amazement, and crashed into the tent, knocking over one of the poles, before landing with a thump on its belly. Jenny slid off and thumped on her bottom, which had been thumped so many times it felt permanently sore.
“Whatever’s the matter with that elephant,” said the elephant trainer in astonishment.
Tears were running down Jenny’s face, partly because her bottom hurt but mostly because she had messed up the magic again.
Mom gave her a quick hug. “Come on, let’s go into the tent.”
Dad bought her a big pink candy floss swirl to help her feel better. They found seats right in the front row, where Jenny could see everything without having to peer around people’s heads.
It was time for the circus to begin. With a roll of drums and cascade of flashing lights, the ringmaster appeared. Beside him was the elephant, who seemed none the worse for his flying escapade.
“Say welcome to Maximilius,” shouted the ringmaster.
The crowd roared.
“Maximilius has a few tricks up his sleeve - er, trunk. He can lie down.”
With much heaving and stretching, Maximilius lay down on the wooden floor.
“He can roll over.”
The elephant's huge legs described a wide arc through the air, coming to rest with a thump that shook the tent.
“But today, he has a special trick for a special birthday girl.”
The elephant’s trunk snaked out, wrapped around Jenny's waist and twirled her onto his back. Then he shook his magnificent head and slowly paraded around the ring. Jenny was ecstatic. Who could ask for a better birthday present?
Suddenly Maximilius roared, reared up on his hind legs, and shot out of the ring. People scattered every which way, screaming. Jenny hung on for dear life.
On went Maximilius, through the tent, through the field beyond, into the woods beyond the field, and still he went.
What’s the matter with him? thought Jenny. Then she noticed that he was holding one leg in the air and barrelling along on the other three.
Why, he’s hurt, Jenny realized.
Suddenly she was no longer afraid.
“It’s okay," she whispered, as she concentrated on making his legs move more slowly." Let’s stop now.” If ever her magic was going to work, it had better work now. And slowly, it did work. Maximilius shook his great head, snorted, and stopped.
Jenny slid down, patted the elephant's trunk, then carefully picked his leg up to look at the bottom of his foot.
“Oh, you’ve got a nail in it,” she gasped. “You poor thing!”
She had to help. Would her magic be up to it?
Just focus on what you want to do and concentrate, said Mom's voice in Jenny's head.
Holding the elephant’s foot as gently as she could, she focused on making the nail come out. When at last it did, Jenny was exhausted, but she knew she couldn’t stop now. Blood was trickling out of a deep narrow hole. She had to get that fixed, or Maximilius might get really sick.
Pushing her tiredness away, Jenny concentrated hard. A blue tray appeared, holding a bowl of warm soapy water and a large white cloth. Jenny gently washed the elephant’s foot. Next came an antiseptic cream, which she smeared on the wound. Finally she materialized a large white bandage and carefully wrapped it around the huge foot. Through it all, Maximilius lay quietly.
Now they had to get back to the circus. But where was back?
We have to fly up to see where we are, thought Jenny.
She climbed onto the elephant’s back and said, “Let’s fly, Maximilius.”
They rose a metre and crashed. Again they rose, a little farther this time before crashing once again. A third time they tried, and made it almost to the top of the trees. Then down they came, landing with a big thump.
Maximilius was tossing his head and whimpering; Jenny was crying.
Exhausted, she let the elephant lie down and lay down herself, resting her head on Maximilius. If only Mom and Dad were here, they’d fix this in no time, thought Jenny, tears running down her face. Then once again she heard Mom in her head. Just focus on what you want to do and concentrate.
Okay, she thought. What I want to do is get back to the circus.
She climbed onto Maximilius’ back, fixed a picture of the circus tent firmly in her head and concentrated on getting there. Slowly they rose, higher and higher, until at last there was blue sky around them. Maximilius swung majestically around until they were facing the opposite way to before. The forest beneath them disappeared. Then they were flying over the field and there was the circus tent in the middle of it. And there were Mom and Dad, waiting.
Jenny landed, a huge grin on her face.
“I did it!” she shouted. “I can do good magic now.”
Then Jenny and Maximilius walked into the tent.
Round the ring they paraded as the crowd stood up and cheered.
Author Bio: Irene Davis is an award-winning writer, and a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC). She also teaches an online grammar course, which she developed, focusing on common problems.
Irene is primary editor of an anthology of personal essays, titled Prose To Go: Tales From a Private List. She also contributed three essays to the anthology.
She writes children's stories to please her inner child.
Illustrator Bio: Rosemarie Gillen is a professional Children’s Book Illustrator who has won several awards for her illustration work. She enjoys working with authors, taking inspiration from their work and making their stories come to life. She believes in a wonderful partnership between author and illustrator who work together to create something special a child will want to read over and over. Visit her website at www.rosemariegillen.com