My grandtwins, fruit of the fruit of my womb, don’t like my magic. I had high hopes for the egg bag trick. One of them refused to watch, and the other one grabbed the pretty wooden box that I keep it in, and tried to break it. Okay, I admit it is a puzzle box. It is designed to prevent opening by the impatient. And my grandtwins are nothing if not impatient.
I’ve bought them simpler puzzle boxes. They know the art of gentle pushing and sliding will eventually open the box. But my grand daughter was not gentle. My daughter was not willing to stop her, so I had to stop the trick and take the box from her. Then I felt the need to apologize and promise never to bring anything breakable again. Then she tried to rip the egg bag.
I don’t just do the trick. I tell a story. I thought it was a good story about the woman who sewed the bag and her pet goose who wants any egg that goes into the bag. The goose even has magic words. “Oh-wah Ta-goo Siam” that make the egg disappear. The assistant must say her own magic words “honk honk” pretending she is a goose, to get the egg back.
It was a dud. I wondered if maybe I should give up on magic.
But on the way home, at the airport, I saw a screaming five-year-old. I offered to do magic with him. He was curious and cooperative. He needed a bit of cajoling to say “honk, honk,” but when he said it and the egg appeared, he was thrilled. “I didn’t even need a secret pocket! How did it work?”
“You did it,” I told him. “You did magic.”
He restored my faith in chidren.