A Tiny Drop of Magic

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Story File


Putting off rewards.

Main Lesson

The ability to put off rewards and overcome impulsiveness allows much more valuable long-term goals to be achieved


Two oases in the middle of a desert


Two young wizard apprentices

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A Tiny Drop of Magic

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Cuento para aprender a tener paciencia y aplazar las recompensas

There were once two young wizard apprentices called IPlant and IEat, who trained for years to go and charge their wands in the mysterious fountain of magic. When they were finally ready, they travelled by sea to the island of A Thousand Deserts, crossed its endless sand dunes, climbed the great rock mountain and finally found the fountain.

But the fountain was dry. So dry that they could only fill their wands with a tiny drop of magic. And when the magic of the fountain was drained, the island was transformed into an immense desert that no one could cross. Only two small oases remained and, to give themselves the best chance at survival, IPlant and IEat decided to go their separate ways, each to their own tiny oasis.

Life then became very hard for both of them. Although the oasis provided them with plenty of water, their only food were the dates from the few palm trees that had grown at the water’s edge. Although they waved their wands in an attempt to obtain food, they had so little magic that nothing ever happened.

Several weeks later, however, IEat waved his wand and a huge, tasty tomato appeared before him.

“Lucky me! If I eat it now, it will make me happy today.

And that day was IEat's best since he had gone to live in the oasis.

A few days later, something similar happened to IPlant, when his wand produced a small potato.

“Lucky me! If I plant the potato and take care of it, it will make me happy for many days.”

That day, IPlant was just as hungry as before but he also had to work to prepare the soil and plant the potato. Sometime later the wand gave IEat a chubby songbird.

“Lucky me! If I eat it now, it will make me happy today.

The bird tasted so good that the day turned out to be his best in the oasis. Around that time also, IPlant’s wand gave him a skinny songbird.

“Lucky me! If I feed the bird and take care of it, it will make me happy for many days.”

For many days after that, IPlant shared the little food he had with the bird, to get the bird to return and wake him up every morning with beautiful songs.

Every now and again, the two wizards received new little gifts from their wands. IEat used them at once to enjoy a special day, while IPlant put up with hunger and tiredness to turn each gift into something that might be useful in future. That way, it didn’t take him long to grow a small garden with fruit, which he shared with more and more animals who provided him with assistance, food and company. Eventually he felt so happy and comfortable, and had so many things, that he finally dared to go out and find IEat to try and cross the desert and escape.

However, IEat wanted nothing to do with him. Hearing how IPlant had achieved so much and thinking that he could have done the same, he was filled with anger and jealousy. Convinced that everything was because of the little magic in his own wand, he switched it with IPlant’s when he wasn’t looking. Impatient to try his new wand, he ordered his old friend to leave. But the wand had even less magic than the one he already had, and the jealous and impatient magician was stuck in his oasis for years and years, unable to escape.

IPlant left IEat’s oasis determined to cross the desert. He had only been travelling for a few hours when a strong gust wind dragged his friend, the little bird, away. The wizard ran after him to save him, but the wind turned into a tornado that lifted the little bird, the wizard and all his things, up into the air. They flew and flew for so many hours that they crossed the desert and then crossed the sea. Finally, the wind dropped and IPlant landed softly in a peaceful green valley, next to a beautiful fountain. The bird then took Iplant’s wand in his beak and carried it to the fountain.

The young wizard felt the wand and himself fill with the purest magic and the deepest wisdom. He realised that this was the true fountain of magic and that the bird was its faithful guardian, entrusted with the job of saving such great powers for wizards who had sufficient wisdom, patience and willpower to achieve big things with just a tiny drop of magic.

(Story translated by Lauren Flannery / Abbey Glen at Manchester Metropolitan University)

Average: 9.1 (3 votes)
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