William and Sissy were walking home from school when Sissy saw something duck behind a tree up ahead.
“What’s that?” she asked, pointing at the tree.
“That’s a tree silly,” said William.
“No, I mean behind the tree. I saw something duck behind the tree. It looked like a ghost.”
“Don’t be silly,” William said. “There’s no such thing as ghosts.”
“Look! There it is again.”
Sissy pointed up in the air, above the branches of the tree. William looked up and there, floating above the tree was a white cloud shaped like a woman. The cloud had wings. When he looked a little closer, William noticed it also had a halo. They stopped walking and William’s mouth fell open.
“What is it?” asked Sissy.
“It’s an angel,” said William.
William was two years older than Sissy, who was in kindergarten at the Molly Springs Elementary School. The magic angel hovered over them for a minute then floated closer. William almost turned to run, but was intrigued enough to watch the magic angel at she lowered herself to eye level.
William tried to speak, but no words came out.
“Who are you?” Sissy blurted.
“I’m Corinna,” the magic angel said, smiling. Sissy thought the magic angel had the prettiest smile she’d ever seen.
“So what do you want?”
Just as Sissy asked the question, William came out of his trance. He took a deep breath and pinched himself to see if he was dreaming.
“I came to grant you each one wish,” Corinna said.
Sissy got excited. No one had ever offered to grant her a wish before.
“Did you hear that, William? The magic angel is granting us a wish.”
“I heard it,” William said, “but I don’t know what to wish for.”
“I do,” Sissy jumped as she talked. “Can I wish for a whole month off from school?”
“No, I’m sorry. Your wish has to be an unselfish one. It has to benefit someone else.”
“Well, what good would that kind of wish be?” asked Sissy.
“Oh, it’s a lot of good,” Corinna said. “If you help someone else, then that always comes back around to you. Good things happen to people who do good things for others.”
Sissy thought about it for a minute. William thought about it too. He wasn’t sure what he should ask for if he couldn’t wish for something he wanted. Who could he help?
“I know,” he said, snapping his fingers. “I wish for Mr. Pendleton to get his lawn mower fixed. That way his grass won’t grow too tall and Mrs. Flanders won’t scream at him.”
“That’s a good wish, Williams. So granted.”
“So how will I know the wish came true?” William asked.
“You’ll know soon enough,” said Corinna. “Just wait and it will materialize.”
Sissy took a deep breath. She knew what she wanted to wish for, but she didn’t want to say it out loud. She stepped closer to Corinna and motioned for the magic angel to put her ear to Sissy’s mouth. The Magic Angel leaned over and listened to Sissy whisper in her ear.
“That’s a great wish, Sissy! I can make sure that happens before sun up tomorrow.”
“What? What’s going to happen?” asked William.
“It’s a surprise,” said Sissy.
“That’s right,” said Corinna. “I am bound by your sister’s desire not to reveal to you what she wished for. But you will know it before the sun comes up tomorrow.”
William could not sleep all night. He lay awake wondering what Sissy could have wished for. It must have been for him since it was a big secret. It seemed like forever before the sun came up. When it did, William lay in bed wondering what Sissy had wished for. He got up out of bed and looked around, but there didn’t seem to be anything different, so he went down stairs. When he walked into the kitchen he found everyone in the family sitting around the table enjoying breakfast. They were smiling and having fun. William thought he must be in the wrong house, then he realized what Sissy’s wish must have been.
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