“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

When I was a kid, I believed in magic and magical creatures. I also knew Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny were real. That a bunny brought eggs didn’t seem at all strange. I never wondered how the Tooth Fairy carried all those coins and what she did with the teeth. I figured Santa stashed piles of toys all over so he could replenish his supply. A sleigh with eight tiny reindeer flying in the heavens made perfect sense. How else would Santa get around? I knew trolls needed to be duped or as a last resort avoided. The Three Billy Goats Gruff taught me that. Witches ate little children. I really didn’t believe the princess felt that pea under all those the mattresses. I loved the story Chicken Little. The rhythmic names of all the animals have stayed with me all these years. Henny Penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey and the villain of the piece, Foxy Loxy. That the fox ate all of the animals never bothered me. It was silly Henny Penny who did, “The sky is falling!” My mother read Chicken Little to me just about every night.

I don’t know when skepticism crept in followed by disbelief, when I knew Santa Claus and the rest weren’t real. I wasn’t devastated with the revelation. I had two little sisters, and I never told them. I didn’t want to spoil the joy and the magic.

Even now I still cling to magic. I’m awed by fireflies. I watch them blinking and flitting across the backyard. When the first star appears, the nursery rhyme immediately comes to mind, and I make my wish, “Star light, star bright, The first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight.” I see creatures in clouds and the smile on the face of the man in the moon.

I don’t have to see something to know it’s there. I just have to keep believing. I figure a life without magic is dull indeed.

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10 Comments on ““The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.””

  1. Richard Says:

    Don’t all kids believe in Majickal and Mystikal Creatures … ? I did. Still do. Why, it wasn’t so long ago I saw a Unicorn behind the wheel of a ’65 Dodge Dart. There was also the Leprechaun sporting brand-new tight jeans and a stylish hipster hairstyle at the shoe store. Why, they’re EVERYwhere, I tell ya … !

    It’s a long trip from the Baby Days and Childhood to the vagaries of Real Life and the stripping away of pleasant unrealities we learn in our youth. Down deep, we probably all questioned how reindeer could fly – and that’s without knowing anything about fluid dynamics, the First or Second Law of Motion, Angular Momentum, and the rest of the ‘Hard Science’ factualities we’d learn about as we ‘grew up.’ I much preferred the halcyon days of Make-Believe while they existed, even tho’ there was always a nagging suspicion that there was a ‘Man Behind the Curtain’ writing the script for the things that teased our imagination. Sure enough, there was – and still is.

    Damned shame, that.

    Ever since the YUUUUUGE Revelation that Trolls Aren’t Real and Reindeer Can’t Fly, I’ve been skeptical of everything else. My operative philosophy is now Verify, Then Trust. I did the ‘Trust First’ routine already and know how that ended up.

    Despite the unavoidable ‘gruntling’ (as in ‘disgruntled’) created by the knowledge that my rationally-unsupported beliefs of childhood were a mere frothy fiction designed to impart a series of lessons which, in reality, are a form of behavior modification, I still willingly choose to allow myself those rare moments known as the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. When I watch ‘The Carbonaro Effect’ or David Blaine’s ‘Street Magic,’ or any of the programming that uses the art of illusion to make things appear as they aren’t, I’m whisked back to the Time of Childhood when Majick was real and those stories really could have taken place.

    There’s a difference between being deceived and being a willing and knowledgeable participant in the art of deception. If I’m the one who knows down deep that it’s all just an act, there’s no problem. The problem only arises when people confuse the ‘magic’ with reality. There’s a difference.

    As you said, Kat, I have no need to see something to know it’s there. I’ve finally arrived at the point in life where I get to decide what’s ‘magic’ and what’s not. There’s nothing worse than being unable to make the distinction between the two, and the people who can’t will believe anything and everything.

    I’m off now to watch the always-entertaining ‘Tourette’s Karaoke’ contest down at ‘the usual spot.’ Like Mr Robert Zimmerman (a/k/a ‘Bob Dylan’) once advised us: “Free your mind and your ass will follow.” True dat …

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      I think kids today gave up on magic much earlier than we did. My sister’s grandson watched one of the 50’s B&W scifi movies and all he did was laugh it. He wanted CGI and all that it brings. He didn’t want real places and real people.

      I still believe in magic. It doesn’t have to be sleight of hand. It can be something so beautiful you can’t believe it is real.

      I never felt deceived when I found out the icons were not real, and I never knew any people who confused realty and magic. At a certain age we all start to find out what is real and what isn’t. I never felt that magic had been forcefully taken away. What I perceived as magic changed and evolved as I grew older. It never disappeared.

  2. Richard Says:

    Just as an aside: The chemical responsible for the glow of the firefly is ‘luciferase’ …

    • katry Says:

      Richard.
      At first the lucifer part threw me until I looked up the word. Lucifer’s is derived from Lucifer, the root of which means ‘light-bearer’.

  3. olof1 Says:

    I never had to think about the reindeers since the Yule Gnome comes with a horse or goat pulling the carriage 🙂 and none of them flew.

    I hadn’t heard of Chicken little until I was quite old and I guess the movie isn’t much like the story but I dolike the movie 🙂 Mountain trolls had to be duped or fled from but the other trolls were much like us but of course very clever and one had to be even more clever to not be fooled by them.

    But as You know our fairy tales are rather dark so if one would meet any of those beings the best was to just run away, unless one could help them because then they made sure the helper got a great life. The Tooth Fairy wasn’t that well known here either but wad does she do with all those teeth 🙂 🙂

    Living close to the bog really helps keeping that belief in magic, seeing those lights out there, blinking luring unsuspecting people to follow them to their death is proof enough that the Lantern Man still walks around looking for peace in his soul 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I love all of the legends and creatures in Swedish folklore. I like the goat pulling the carriage. Ghana had a lot of goat wagons.

      Chicken Little was my favorite kid book when I was a toddler. My mother said having to read it so many times drove her crazy. I never really did think about all this characters being eaten.

      I love your dark fairy tales, and I too can’t imagine what the tooth fairy does with ll the teeth.

      Swamp lights happen here and they have people spooked. Who is carrying the lights? No one wants to go and find out.

      Have a great evening!

  4. Bob Says:

    I gave up on believing in the triplets of nonsense, Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, at an early age. I did extort money from my parents when my teeth fell out even though I knew the tooth fairy was ridicules. Since we are Jewish the other two didn’t fit into our religious holidays. Someone came up with “The Mench on the Bench”, which is a rip off of another silliness, “The Elf on The Shelf”. Hopefully, no one will come up with a Passover Camel who brings matzo to the Sedar. 🙂

    Peter Pan was all the rage when I was a kid along with Davy Crockett and the Disney cartoon characters on the Wonderful World of Disney TV show. In 1955 we drove out to Los Angeles to go to Disney Land which was the first year it was open. I went back to Disneyland for my 40th birthday. Everything looked much smaller the second visit. 🙂

    Yet another day of cloudy, cool and rainy weather.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I feel a bit bad that you see them as nonsense. They were fun to believe in. I think I was around 8 when I realized that everything just didn’t add up. It was my parents who told me about the tooth fairy so I never thought of it as extortion and obviously neither did they. I was happy for the quarter, a wealth of money back then.

      I haven’t ever been to Disney Land, but I did love Davy Crockett. I remember Mary Martin was Peter on TV. It was wonderful.

      40’s here today, 10˚ lower than Boston.

      • Bob Says:

        Back then every kid had a coon skin cap. Unfortunately, my baby teeth were stubborn and had to be extracted by the dentist so the whole tooth fairy thing was to get me to the dentist. Yes a quarter was a lot of money back then.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I remember those Davy Crockett hats with the raccoon tails. Yikes, I’d been really unhappy to be dragged to a dentist when I was that young. I guess a quarter would have helped.


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