I know I prayed for a little brother, but does Heavenly Father accept returns?
Marianne and Charlie were doing their weekly craft project. It looked like it involved yarn and big round plastic looms. Apparently this project was meant to be a secret. The moment the looms came out, Charlie said, “Dad, I think you need a long walk. Come back in an hour or so, but not less than an hour.”
Isaac liked walks, and he was pretty sure that the secret was meant to be a nice surprise, so he didn’t really mind. He put on his coat, changed his shoes, and left. It was a lovely day. The sun was shining and the plants were green and flowering.
He tried to whistle along with the bird songs. Wouldn’t it be nice to arrange a composition nearly entirely from bird songs? You could list them as the co-authors. How would it be to have written a song alongside robins and blue jays and crows and sparrows? It would be awesome.
Unfortunately, Isaac wasn’t really sure how to write music. He would need to spend some time figuring that part out. Mentally, he tucked the idea into his to-do list. The list was getting rather long. He’d need to transfer it all to paper soon before he started forgetting things.
Isaac turned the corner so that he could pass by the park. He hoped that the lilacs were still blooming. He paused when a little brown bird darted close, landed right in front of him, and looked up at him, waiting.
“Hello,” Isaac said. “Isn’t it a beautiful day?”
The bird bobbed it’s head.
“I don’t have any food to share with you. Next time I’ll remember to bring crackers.”
The bird fluttered its wings and hopped back. Then it launched itself in the air. It flew forward, following the sidewalk, and Isaac watched it go, expecting to see it turn and land in a tree nearby. Instead, it turned and flew back, landing at his feet again. It chirped at him.
“Hello again. Did you forget to tell me something?”
The bird fluttered its wings again, and then turned and hopped away a few feet. It turned and chirped. It hopped and turned and chirped once more. It waited and looked up at Isaac.
“Do you want me to follow you?” He asked, feeling a little uncertain.
The bird bobbed its head.
“Then lead the way.”
The bird flew into the park and Isaac followed it. He had to jog to keep up. He was feeling rather out of shape, and hoped that the bird didn’t need to go very far. How long had it been since he last went running? Too long.
The bird followed the path and stopped at the empty basketball courts. There was a lone basketball sitting at the edge of one of the courts. The bird hopped up to perch on the ball. It chirped at him.
“Is this ball in your way?”
The bird fluttered its wings and chirped at him.
“Do you know who it belongs to?”
The bird bobbed its head.
“Do you need me to look for them?”
“Do they need help?”
The bird bobbed its head.
Isaac looked at the bird closely. “Is this your ball?” The bird bobbed its head twice. “Are you a person that was changed into a bird?” The bird hopped and bobbed its head. “I’m going to need to call for help.”
Luckily, in his wallet he still had the business card for Wendell, Wizard Extraordinaire. He called, and Wendell agreed to come right away. In moments, the air unzipped itself and Wendell stepped out. He looked at the little bird perched on the basketball and the bird looked back.
“Oh, good. It’s just a childhood wish,” he said.
“That’s good? Is it easy to fix?” Isaac looked at the little bird, feeling hopeful.
“Of course. It would probably fix itself in a few minutes. But, since you’re both feeling anxious, I’ll fix it now.” Wendell wiggled his fingers and muttered something. Suddenly, there was a little boy standing on the basketball.
The ball started to roll and the boy jumped backwards. He looked at Isaac and Wendell with his eyes opened wide. Then he darted forwards, grabbed his ball, and ran away. “Thanks, mister,” he called over his shoulder.
“He probably caught a falling leaf and made a wish,” Wendell said. “It happens all the time.”
“Will he be okay?” Isaac asked.
“Of course. He’ll forget that it really happened by the time he’s home and think it was all a daydream. Childhood wishes are like that.”
Isaac smiled and wondered about some of his childhood daydreams. “I really appreciate your help. I wasn’t sure what to do. Thank you so much for coming.”
Wendell smiled and shrugged. “That’s what I do. I’m happy to help. It was good to see you.”
“It was good to see you too.” Isaac chuckled. “Even though I only see you when there’s a problem I need help with, I’m always glad to see you, because that means the problem will be solved. Well, I won’t keep you away from whatever you were doing. Please send me your bill when you get a chance.”
“Thank you. Stay well,” Wendell said. He unzipped the air and waved as he stepped through. Isaac waved back and the air zipped back up.
Isaac checked his watch. He still had another half hour of walking to do. Where would he go next?
What do you want for Christmas?
A long nap.
What a coincidence. Me too.
What did you do to your brother?
I didn’t think it would work!
What do you want for breakfast?
Can I wish for a million wishes?
This story was originally posted on July 25, 2017. I like the idea of this story. I think it would be even better as a longer story with more explanation and such. (For example, how does the alligator talk to everyone? Is he a normal alligator?) Maybe someday I’ll sit down and write that story.
The alligator swam as quickly as he could. The rainbow was fading. “Wait,” he said. Instead of waiting, the rainbow started to fade a little faster. Fortunately, alligators are faster in water than on land, and this rainbow ended over water.
With a final burst of speed, he dove under the water and sat on the pot of gold. A few seconds later, a leprechaun popped into view. It flailed its arms and legs for a moment, and then surrounded itself and the alligator and the gold in a bubble of air.
“Give me back my gold, you big lizard,” the leprechaun said. “What would you do with gold anyway?”
“Maybe I’m turning into a dragon and need to build a hoard,” the alligator said.
The leprechaun’s mouth dropped open. “You can do that?” he asked in a squeaky voice.
The alligator snorted. “No, of course not. I just want a wish. Grant me a wish and you can have your gold back.”
The leprechaun shut his mouth and scowled. “I won’t be granting a wish to something with teeth like that. Keep the gold. It will do you no good.” The leprechaun folded its arms and disappeared with a crack. The bubble of air disappeared with him.
The alligator waited another half hour underwater and then gave in. Even he would need to go up to breathe eventually. Once he left, the leprechaun would come for the gold. He could take it with him, but what was the point? He didn’t want the gold. He wanted the wish. And the leprechaun made it clear how he felt about that.
This was not the first time or the second or third time the alligator had been denied a chance for a wish. He’d wished on the first star. He’d found a stray campfire to blow out on his birthday. He caught a leaf as it fell. He held his breath as he ran through a tunnel.
Every time, a fairy popped in front of him and told him that their wishes were not for alligators and to stop wasting their time. No one asked him what his wish was or told him how alligators could get wishes. It just wasn’t fair.
However, alligators are stubborn, and this one wasn’t any different. He had a wish, and he was going to find a way to get it. It wasn’t one he could work towards on his own, so he needed to find help. Well, he’d just keep looking.
He caught a fish and let it go. The fish laughed at him and swam away. He rubbed a camping lantern with his paws. The genie popped out, grabbed the lantern and vanished. He blew the seeds off a white puffy dandelion. A fairy appeared, gathered all the scattered seeds and blew a raspberry at him. “If you try this one more time, I’ll send the fairy princess to stop you. She’ll turn you into a beetle,” the fairy said.
The alligator did not give up. There had to be a way for alligators to get wishes. And then one morning, he heard a faint cry for help. He rushed towards the voice. He found a frog cornered by a snake. The alligator knocked the snake out of the way.
The snake looked up, and his expression went from angry and annoyed to terrified. The alligator grinned to show all his teeth, and the snake slithered away. “I’m doomed,” the frog said. “I’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire.”
“Nonsense,” the alligator said. “Did you know that you are speaking in English and not Frog?”
“I am?” the frog said. “That would have made things a little easier, I suppose. If I wasn’t about to be eaten.”
“You have a feel of magic around you, and you don’t talk Frog. I’m not going to eat you,” the alligator said. “So, tell me your story.”
“I’m an inventor. I invented a self-flying broom. It made the witches’ guild angry, and they turned me into a frog. I can only become human again if a princess kisses me. In this day and age, I think that’s a near impossibility.” The frog sighed.
“Does it have to be a human princess?” the alligator asked.
“They didn’t say,” the frog said.
“Then it doesn’t. Follow me,” the alligator said. He went to the meadow and picked a white, fluffy dandelion and blew. A majestic, angry looking fairy appeared.
She glared at the alligator. “You were warned,” she said. She lifted her arm.
“Wait,” the alligator said. “This human needs your help.”
The fairy princess turned and looked at the frog. Her eyes narrowed. “He looks like a frog, but there is magic surrounding him. Tell me, frog, how did this happen?”
“I was cursed by witches. I can turn back if a princess kisses me.” His voice shook.
“Oh, very well. I never did like witches, so I wouldn’t mind spoiling their plans,” the fairy princess said. She blew a kiss at the frog, and in a swirl of light he became human again. “There,” she said. “Now their spells won’t work on you.”
Then the fairy princess turned and glared at the alligator again. “As for you, knock it off.” She disappeared in a clap of thunder.
“What was that about?” the inventor asked.
“The fairies refuse to give wishes to alligators,” the alligator said. “It isn’t fair.”
“What is your wish?” the inventor asked.
“I want to fly,” the alligator said.
“So that it’s easier to catch and eat things?” the inventor asked.
“No. So I can fly. I mostly eat fish, and flying wouldn’t make it any easier to catch them,” the alligator said.
“Well then,” the inventor said. “I think I can help you.”
A few months later, the alligator was darting around in a rocket-propelled suit. It was as amazing as he’d always dreamed it would be.