The Round-Headed Boy and the Magic Sheet
by Amber Polo
Once upon a time (that’s fairy tale talk for over 50 years ago) there was a round-headed boy (no, not Charlie Brown). This RHB lived with his beautiful older sister above a toystore. One Christmas their parents, busy preparing toys, hung a magic sheet across the door of one room and warned their children to never, never look behind the sheet. For, if they did, Santa would give the tree and all their presents to less fortunate boys and girls.
As Christmas came closer and closer, their excitement grew. Finally, three days before Christmas, the two children stared at the magic sheet, imagining a tinsely tree and glorious presents.
“I want to look!” said the RHB.
“No!” replied his very good, beautiful sister.
“I can’t wait.” He reached one pudgy hand toward the sheet.
“Nooooooooo!” she cried.
He jumped, grabbed a fistful of cloth, and pulled hard on the magic sheet. The sheet cascaded down. She squeezed her eyes shut. His bugged out. She screamed.
Their mother ran up the stairs.
“I didn’t look,” cried the little girl, tears streaming down her face. “It was him,” she sniffed. “I told him not to do it.”
The RHB planted his legs as his mother towered over him. “I wanted to look.”
“I didn’t want to look. He made me do it,” his sister moaned. “I didn’t see the tree or any presents. Not one.”
“You let him do it,” her mother scolded.
“Right!” the RHB said. “It’s all her fault.”
His sister lurched towards him and their mother scooped him up. “Leave him alone. You’re bigger.”
The girl crossed her arms, imagining a Christmas morning with no presents, no tree, and not one Christmas cookie. The RHB grinned a round-faced grin. He’d seen he had more presents than his sister.
Previously published in Story Circle Journal, vol 13, no 4 (December, 2009)
This is one of a series of simple stories I wrote for my brother at I time when he needed a happy reinventing of family history. He called the stories the second best Christmas present he ever received (his first two-wheeler stayed in number one). I am so happy I shared this with him before his unexpected death. I’d like to think this is an example of how we each can use our writing skills in healing ways.