Which Wizard?

story & illustration © 2001 Bruce Van Patter

H
is real name was Prince Tamron Hightower, the thirteenth of the king's thirteen sons. His brothers all called him Runt.
Being the youngest son of a king meant doing all the chores nobody else wanted to do. But today was different. It was his thirteenth birthday. Tradition said he could choose a task to do for his father. Runt wanted to pick the new castle wizard. The king unhappily agreed -- rules being rules -- and sent the boy off to the Academy of St. Merlin's in the Field. But he also sent a note.
As he waited in the courtyard of the school, row upon row of newly trained wizards trotted out of the great stone building, their robes swishing.

Runt read the note again. It said: murtafindel. That was the wizard he was to choose.

The Academy Master came forward leading three students. The first was a tall, thin, dark-haired man. The second was a dwarf with a bristly beard. A shy girl with long, wavy brown hair was the third. "Let me introduce them," said the Master. "Martin Frendall." The tall man bowed. "Mortal Finden." The dwarf touched one knee to the ground. "And, ah..." he seemed embarrassed,"...Murta Findel." The girl lowered her head.

The prince blinked. What was that name again? He faked a long series of coughs, turned, fumbled in his cloak. He brought out the paper. It was blank! How could that be? He turned it over and over. No writing.

He gulped. It was now his choice, but he had better not goof. Studying the three, he kept coming back to the tall man. Very wizardly, he thought. "I choose," he pointed, "him."

"A fine choice," agreed the chairman. Martin Frendall bowed and smiled. No one even saw the wand he had just used slide back up his sleeve.


It's Your Story - Ooo, that sneak! Just think of the adventure you can write...

What will happen when Runt brings the wrong wizard to the castle? What if the other two wizards follow? Can you write an exciting scene where the girl wizard challenges that evil tricker? And... what else does Martin Frendall have up his sleeve?

Have fun -- finish the story -- and be creative! And when you're done, email me it to me!

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