‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Second Vow

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:


The Second Vow

(Containing a realistic tale of a world without magic.)


The following is Al the Average’s first tale of his second journey to the planet Earth.

John the Cute, Al the Average began, years passed between my first voyage to the mysterious planet and my second voyage there. Since I did not know how to get there, I returned to the wheat fields and waited and waited for hours, and sometimes for days. Sometimes I waited with my eyes closed, sometimes I waited with my eyes open; but always I waited without success.

Then one day, when I went to sleep, I closed my eyes, and recalled my first journey. I remembered Gladys and her son Charley and I longed to see them.

Suddenly, I heard a honk. I looked around, and I saw that I was no longer in my bed. I was lying down in the middle of a road, and strange steel horseless carriages they call ‘cars’ were going back and forth.

I was happy to return to this world, and once more I began to wander hither and thither. I enjoyed the sun’s different color, for it is much yellower in our world and much mellower in that world. This other world, John the Cute, has riches beyond imaginings. While we hardly have one or two dozen books that recall our tales, they have stores with thousands upon thousands of books. They have stores with books that have pictures. They have books for the young and books for the old. They have books for women and books for men. Their stores store food for hundreds. They have stores for sporting clothes, they have stores for braids. They have stores for curtains, they have stores for balloons. If you can think of it, they have a store for it.

When I was walking out of my one hundred and eleventh store, I accidentally bumped into a woman. I quickly saw that the woman was my old friend, Gladys. Holding her hand was her son, Charley.

“My goodness! Al! What a surprise!” she exclaimed. “Oh, how you’ve grown!”

We hugged and kissed, and she told me some of the things that have happened in her life and in Charley’s life during my absence. At the end, she said, “But how could you possibly have grown so much? Only a year has passed!”

“A year? Seven years have passed for me in my world,” I said.

“Seven years? Don’t be ridiculous, Al. It is true that you look seven years older, but time doesn’t pass differently for different people. That can’t happen.”

“Why not?” I said. “It could be magic.”

Gladys laughed. “Oh, Al. There’s no such thing as magic in the world. Magic doesn’t exist.”

“Gladys, where I come from, magic is something you see every day. Witches and spells, magicians and curses. I see magic at least five times a week.”

Gladys laughed again. “Oh, Al, Al, Al, you’re so funny.”

“Gladys,” I said, afraid that what she said about her world was true. “Last time I showed you that there are happy endings in this world. Will you not believe me that there is magic, as well?”

“Al, Al, Al. This world is dry and grey. There are strict laws here – laws of physics and laws of nature, laws of man and laws of state. And these laws cannot be bypassed. We must live by the rules and we cannot escape them. Magic does not and cannot exist.”

I was horrified, John the Cute, to think that there is no such thing as magic in that strange world. Horrified, absolutely wholeheartedly horrified!

And so I vowed right there and then to never rest and to never stop until I could prove to Gladys and to myself that magic exists in her world.

This has been the realistic story, John the Cute, of a world without magic. But it was only the beginning of my second magical journey. Shall I continue?

King John the Cute nodded. “Continue, Al the Average.”



(To be continued on Sunday…)

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