Gather around children for the storyteller has arrived.
It was a cool day in Pulinka when the children gathered about a woman and her cat.
“Long ago," she began, as she settled in to tell her tale, "when the mountains rose high above the seas and the Magi ruled from the ancient forests of Perinthia to the fertile plains of Gatheria and even down to the desert of Drithia, a little girl discovered she was a Magi at the age of five.”
“That’s young,” one of the children gasped.
“It was fall,” the storyteller continued, “and her mother had sent her and her brother to pick peas to be preserved for winter. Her brother was eight, and he had other things on his mind. He wanted to fish with his friends down by the river. Knowing that if he caught enough for supper their mother would forgive him, he left his sister to pick peas all by herself.”
“No,” echoed from more than one of the children. The woman smiled.
“All morning the girl picked by herself, not really minding that her bossy brother was gone, but as the day progressed it became hotter and hotter. Normally, her brother would have run off to fetch drink and water for them, but she didn’t want to leave for fear she’d never finish picking all the peas. They were to pick them all by the end of the day so that tomorrow, when the rains came, they could preserve them for winter. Afraid of what might happen if she left her post the little girl persevered, but by noon all she wanted to do was rest. Glaring at the peas, hands upon her hips, she cried out at them, 'Why can't you just pick yourselves!'”
Another gasp of shock ran around the group as hands covered mouths turned into Os.
“Suddenly,” the storyteller sat up, “a surge of energy flowed through the girl and the peas started doing as she asked. Mouth agape she watched as the pods jumped from the vine into her basket. At first it was fun and she found she could direct which peas popped off, but little by little her energy began to fade and she felt faint.”
“She should tell them to stop!” a child cried.
“Ah, but the girl is so entranced by what she’s doing, she doesn’t think to stop it. And as she worked her brother came back. He hadn’t caught any fish, but the moment he realized what was happening he stopped, his own mouth open in shock. Soon too much of her energy has been used and the girl fainted. With a start, her brother begins to shout. ‘Mama, Mama the peas are picking themselves!’ But he has to run to find her, for their mother didn't answer.”
“It’s not until the brother had tugged the mother out to the field that she believed his words. Stunned by the sight of peas popping off the vine and into her daughter's basket, she was silent. Finding her voice at last, she commanded the boy to fetch the nearest Magi teacher, along with food and water. Gently picking up the girl, she lent her own strength to the spell. ‘Wake up Tabby,’ she cried, ‘wake up and stop your spell.’”
“Does she live?” a girl asked.
“I bet she doesn’t wake up and her source is consumed and she dies,” a boy jeered.
“If that happened," the woman took off her cloak revealing a lush gown of red, orange and yellow, "then who do you think became Queen Tabitha?”
It was the youngest who found her voice first. “Was that really you?”