Short Stories

The magic nut

Sara and Flávio are two children living in adjoining apartments. They do almost everything together: play and sing, laugh and cry, make up stories and dream. One day a week they go to the fair. But they cannot buy anything because they have no money.

Today they found an old woman sitting on a small bench with a basket of walnuts on her knees. Big and good nuts! Flavio thinks to himself: “If she gave me a nut, only one …”.

At that moment, the old lady takes a walnut from the basket and offers it to Flavio.

– Thank you very much! Says the boy in wonder.

When they get home, Flavio peels the nut. From inside it comes out, flying, a bird.

– Look, this nut is magic! Exclaims Flavius.

The children are amazed. The bird will land on Sara’s shoulder.

– I remembered something! – says Flavio. – Let’s offer it to my grandmother. That way you won’t feel so lonely.

It is then that, before the wonder of the children, the bird begins to grow.

The grandmother welcomes the unexpected gift with joy. The bird flies contentedly and is allowed to feed.

It’s fair day, again. Sara and Flavio look for the old lady of the nuts. There she is, on her stool, with the basket of walnuts on her knees. Sara also longs for a magic nut. Without saying a word, the old lady offers her one. Full of joy, Sara receives the nut and thanks.

Already at home, peel the nut. And out of it comes a little violin.

– Look, a magic violin! Exclaims Sara.

The children are amazed. In the street there is a walking musician who plays a worn violin.

– I remembered something! – says Sara. – The musician can have this magic violin.

At this moment, the violin begins to grow before the amazed gaze of the children.

Sara will take you to the walking musician, who is happy with the unexpected offer. And then it picks up wonderful sounds from the violin that many people stop hearing.

It’s again fair day. Sara and Flavio look for the old lady again. Both want a magic nut. There she is sitting. Recognize the children, signal them and say:

– Today is the last time I come to the fair.

And put a nut on each one’s hand.

“I hope you know how to use my nuts well,” he adds in a parting way.

Sara and Flavio thank him and return home. Since Flavius ​​does not want to lose his last magic nut, he sows it, hoping that soon a little walnut will emerge. He thinks, “When it’s big, the tree will give magic nuts. So I sell them and get rich.”

A few years pass. Sara moved house and Flavio lost sight of her. The walnut tree has grown. Now every week Flavio sells his nuts in the square. Only they don’t contain magic gifts. Many are even chochas and it is increasingly difficult to sell them.

Within days it will be Christmas. Sitting in the square, Flavio rubs his hands with cold. As he sadly recalls the magic nuts of his childhood, a woman approaches him, who stops looking at the nuts.

“These nuts remind me of times past,” he says.

He reaches into his pocket and takes out a walnut, which he gives to Flavius:

– It’s for you. I kept it for years.

– Oh! So you are Sara! Exclaims Flavius.

The young woman smiles. Flavio opens the nut carefully. Both are amazed to leave a tiny tree that then begins to grow in Flavius’s hands. Right there is a potted earth, and they both plant the tree in it, which always grows before their eyes. Then Flavius ​​points to his nuts and confesses:

“I never had magic nuts again!”

“Magic nuts don’t abound,” Sara whispers. – You cannot buy or sell. It is freely given and freely given.

“Now I understand,” says Flavius.

They both look back at the tree and are surprised that it has covered with flowers in the middle of winter. Marbeth Reif The Magic Nudity Madrid, SM, 1989 (Translation and Adaptation)

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