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“Tell them I came, and no one answered,That I kept my word,” he said.– Walter de la Mare, The Listeners.
Ted and Fiona soon found that Mr J’s magic was not easily classifiable in the different types described in academia of magic. His magic had a mystic quality to it. He never used prestidigitation to manipulate objects such as cards and coins secretly. It was always on a scale that one associated with miracles.
One day Mr J informed him that there was a garage sale next day in a nearby village and all of them would go for it may be a good learning opportunity.
Next day they trekked to the garage sale. It took them half a day. On their own they would have got lost in the woods that separated the village from the castle. Mr J pointed out many a natural wonders, besides unperceived beings like elves, pixies and goblins.
Finally, they reached their destination. The items were displayed but there was no one to welcome them or any other customer.
While Ted and Fiona looked at the items displayed, Mr J closed his eyes as if in prayer. He opened his eyes after a few minutes and there was a very serene expression on his face as if his prayers had been answered.
‘What were you doing Mr J?’ Asked Ted.
‘Calling the owner of all this’.
‘Is he coming?’ Fiona queried.
‘Coz she is dead!’
‘Did you know her, sir?’ Fiona was curious.
‘What did she die off?’ Ted interjected.
‘Everybody dies of Death! Just Death. As soon as one has completed one’s time here.’
Ted and Fiona looked confused.
Mr J smiled and said, ‘I shall tell you an ancient story. There was no death till there was only vegetable kingdom. Death was born when the vegetable spirit evolved to animal spirit and acquired individuality. Death is a phenomenon to which only the observer reacts’
Ted and Fiona contemplated and kept quiet.
Mr J continued, ‘when the death was assigned this task, it was not happy and felt that it would be blamed for the departure of each one; however, the supreme being assured it that such would not happen as each death would have a cause – that would be blamed. Even the death certificate records the cause of death.’
‘So true, we die of injuries, accidents, diseases et al but never of death’. Fiona wondered aloud.
‘I am happy you chose not to come,’ Mr J mumbled inaudibly.
‘Was the dead woman also a magician, Mr J?’ inquired Fiona.
‘Yes and a very good one’, replied Mr J.
‘Are there any magical object in the sale’, asked Fiona.
‘The magic of a magician follows its master; a dead magician’s wand is just dead wood.’ Mr J explained. ‘No shoes here that may help you fly!’
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To read the previous adventures of little Ted just click the link below.