The Wizard's Hat

story & illustration © 2001 Bruce Van Patter

"Y
ou think this is a real wizard's hat?" asked Peter.
Gina put her backpack down on the sidewalk outside her school and took the pointed hat back from her friend. It was a cone of indigo blue, sparkling with stars and moons. "The guy I won this from sure thought it was," she said.

"So what was the riddle you used to win the riddle contest against him?"

"This one: what always ends everything?"

"I dunno. THE END?"

"Nope. The guy said, 'Death.' But the answer is: the letter g! Get it? The word 'everything' ends in 'g.' Then I took the hat and ran."

"You are one amazing riddler," laughed Peter. "That must have made him so mad." Gina laughed too and put the hat in her backpack.

Just then, the school bus pulled up. As they climbed on, the bus driver was behind a large map of the town. "Another new driver," whispered Peter. "We keep driving them off!" Once all the kids were seated, the driver put down the map and shut the door. He looked up into the large mirror over his head. Gina gasped. The round face, the bushy eyebrows, the strange blue-green eyes were so familiar. The wizard!

The man smiled. "Now that you have my hat, let's have another contest, Gina," he said loudly. He paused for effect. "A magic contest!" The bus lurched forward, then lifted into the air.

The kids screamed. Peter grabbed Gina. "Do something!" he cried.


It's Your Story - up,up, and away! Now I need you to write what comes next!

What magic thing can Gina do to stop the bus? Can you write an ending where they trick the wizard, or will he get back his hat? And... why do wizards have stars and moons on their hat, anyway? (They just want some personal space!)

Have fun -- finish the story -- be creative! And why don't you email me your story!

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