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Wanda the Fairy Godmother

Wanda, the neighborhood witch, was a good witch and had been one for about 221 years. Her fondest dream was to become a fairy godmother. She had been going to the Fairy Godmother Academy for 103 years, learning fairy godmother magic: how to turn pumpkins into coaches, how to make things vanish in clouds of smoke, even how to change mice into horses and footmen.

Just that very morning the principal of the Academy had said Wanda was ready for her final test. She was to change the first animal she met into something else. The animal was to be so happy at becoming whatever it became that it would say, "Oh, happy day! I'm a..." If it did, Wanda would pass the test. She would become a fairy godmother, with a sparkling pink dress, a golden crown, and a magic wand(魔杖) tipped with a shining star.

However, if she failed, she would have to start school all over again—all 103 years of it.

"Good luck," the principal said as Wanda left the Academy.

The very first animal Wanda bumped into was Charley, a little green frog who sat in a pond by the side of the road catching bugs with his long, sticky tongue and croaking "Baroomp! Baroomp!"

When Charley saw Wanda he jumped onto a lily pad(睡莲叶子) . "Hi," he cried. "Witch way are you going? Ha, ha. That's a joke, Wanda. ‘Witch way are you going?’ Get it?"

"I get it, Charley," replied Wanda, "but it's not much of a joke. Anyway, I'm glad you're here. I have a surprise for you. You'll be so happy." Then, without even an"if you please," Wanda waved her wand, said a magic word, and poof! Charley, the little green frog, turned into a prince!

He was a handsome prince but a wet one. The lily pad had collapsed under his weight and dumped him into the water. Charley-turned-prince stood up and looked at his reflection in the water. "Hey!" he cried. "You turned me into a prince! It's a surprise all right, but I don't want to be a prince. I want to be a frog! Change me back right now!"

"Oh, dear," Wanda said. "You know I don't like to be yelled at, Charley. Now you've made me forget the reverse spell. But who wouldn't rather be a prince than a frog?"

"I wouldn't!" cried Charley. "I want to be a frog!" He stuck out his tongue, missing a bug flying by the end of his nose. "Look at that, Wanda! I was such a good fly catcher. And I had eyes on top of my head, too. I could see forward and backward and sideways all at once, but look at me now. With my eyes in front of my face, I can only see one direction at a time. I don't even have a castle, Wanda. What kind of prince is that? I'd really rather be a frog. Please change me back!"

"I can't, Charley. But you'll learn to be happy as a prince. As for a castle, I can take care of that." She waved her wand, and suddenly a castle appeared by the banks of the pond. It had stone walls, oaken doors, and pennants(三角旗) waving from its turrets. "Your very own palace, Charley! You'll have servants, eat fancy foods and ice cream."

"Bah!" Charley interrupted. "Who wants servants, or ice cream and fancy foods? I want bugs!" He stuck out his tongue and looked down his nose at it, cross-eyed. "This tongue is no good—it's too short!" he cried. "I can't even see it."

Again Wanda waved her wand. "Look, Charley, musicians," she said. Out of the castle marched dozens of musicians blowing trumpets, tootling flutes, and banging drums. "See? Your own band. They'll play music, and you can sing and dance and snap your fingers to your heart's content."

"I don't want to sing and dance!" Charley cried. "And why would I do something as silly as snapping my fingers?"

"Snapping fingers!" exclaimed Wanda. "That's it, Charley. That's what I forgot!" She snapped her fingers, cried "Upsi-doodle!" and poof! the castle and musicians disappeared and the prince became a little green frog.

Charley hopped onto a lily pad. He looked at himself in the water. "You did it, Wanda. Oh, happy day! I'm a frog."

Wanda smiled and thought to herself, "So I have to go back to school for another 103 years. Who cares? Charley's happy, and that's what really counts."

Well, it wasn't exactly ‘Oh, happy day! I'm a prince,’ but the principal of the Fairy Godmother Academy decided that ‘Oh, happy day! I'm a frog’ was close enough. Wanda hadn't thought about herself. She had only wanted to make Charley happy. Thinking about others was the most important thing fairy godmothers had to do.

The principal waved her magic wand. Lo and behold, Wanda the Witch became Wanda the Fairy Godmother...sparkling pink dress, magic wand with a star, and all.


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