Written by Susan Browne, illustrated by Maggie Waters.
Merlin and the Unicorn
Makai wanted to be a wizard. He read about wizards, watched TV programmes and movies about wizards, drew and painted pictures of wizards and even played computer games that were about wizards. And he spent a lot of time day dreaming about what it would be like to be able to do magic. He imagined what it would be like to magically have your homework done, magically tidy your room and wash your dirty clothes and hang them out, magically make his Dad have more money so he didn’t have to sell the house, and after watching a nature programme at school one day he imagined what it would be like to magically clean up all the worlds pollution and make people want to take better care not to mess it up again. He got into trouble at school because in class it was far more interesting to Makai to daydream about magic and wizardry than it was to pay attention to what any teachers were talking about.
The only subject he liked was art, because the art teacher really loved his wizardly drawings. But the other teachers called his Dad into school for meetings, and his Dad always came home and said ‘Makai, you need to get your head out of the clouds.’ Makai nodded but was busy imagining silently what it would be like to have a neck so long that it really was up in the clouds. But he tried to reassure his Dad by saying ‘okay sorry Dad, I’ll try harder.
One day Makai had had a really tough day at school. A boy in his class called Rick who was always calling out and making fun of people called him ‘weirdo’. What made things even worse was that his best friend Matt was off school and he was sitting alone when it happened. Makai was walking home, feeling angry about how humiliated he felt. Wondering who had heard. He imagined having magical powers, and casting a humiliating spell on Rick to pay him back. Then after a while he began to wonder if Rick was right. What if he was weird? Then he felt cross with himself that he was different from boys like Rick.
The biting October air was making his fingers and cheeks red but he decided to go to straight to his favourite place which was a small copse of trees at the bottom of the garden. He threw his schoolbag down on the damp multicoloured leaves and sat down on a mossy log bench. He was still turning around in his mind what had happened in class. Then the shock of somebody walking up beside him gave him such a fright he sat bolt upright. A very tall figure appeared before him, taller than anyone he had ever seen before. He wore a navy blue robe with spangly silver stars on it and had a tall pointy hat. His hair and beard were white.
‘Hello Makai,’ he said, with a warm smile. His eyes were so twinkly they almost looked like glitter.
‘Who are you?’ Makai asked. His fear immediately dissolved.
‘I am Merlin. You may have heard of me. I am a wizard.’
‘Yes, I’ve heard of you. In books and games and stuff.’ he said.
‘That’s good. I have come to show you how to use your magic. You have been waiting for a long time it seems.’ Makai didn’t answer. He was quite gobsmacked, and wondered if he was dreaming. ‘Makai, you have had magical powers all along, you just never knew how to use them.’
‘But I have tried everything,’ Makai insisted.
‘You have been looking in the wrong places,’ Merlin told him. ‘I am going to teach you about your amazing powers, which in fact every human possesses, but most of them don’t use them. They think that they are just like leaves tumbling down the stream,’ he had a smile in his voice as he spoke.
‘Show me then,’ said Makai eagerly.
‘Well, what would you like to work on today?’ he said.
Makai thought for a moment. ‘I want the boy in class Rick to be nicer and I want to feel good about myself.’
‘You’re no first timer. You know the first rule, which is:
*NEVER STATE WHAT YOU DON’T WANT, ALWAYS WHAT YOU DO WANT*
If you say what you don’t want, you attract this to you because you have drawn a picture of it in your mind, which is as powerful as the picture you draw in your mind about what you do want. The second rule is:
*IT MUST BE FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL INVOLVED*
Which means, your wish must be good for everyone involved, not just you. Sometimes the things we wish for aren’t actually good for us or others; and the magic won’t work if that is the case. Let me show you somebody who can also help,’ he pulled back some branches and welcomed in what Makai thought was a dazzling white horse but he realised it was a unicorn when he saw the beautiful silver horn spiralling out from its forehead. When he saw the unicorn he felt a really happy feeling that worked its way around all over his body. The feeling made him laugh with joy. The unicorn radiated rainbow light and looked straight at him.
‘That’s amazing!’ he said to Merlin.
‘And so are you, Makai. Totally amazing,’ Merlin said. ‘Now, tell the unicorn what you would be the ideal situation between you and the boy Rick?’
Makai thought for a moment. It was actually hard to remember the frightening feeling when he was looking at the unicorn. It was as though its power melted it away. ‘I know,’ he said, ‘if Rick could see the unicorn then he wouldn’t be mean to people. I know it. He just wouldn’t want to,’ he told the unicorn, looking back at Merlin for approval.
Merlin laughed and his eyes twinkled even brighter. ‘You are a wise one,’ he said. ‘You seem to know a lot.’
‘I know if Rick was able to feel this way he wouldn’t want to call people names or make fun of them. I don’t know how I know this, but I feel sure.’
‘That’s right. People behave in a bullyish way because they feel bad about themselves. And you can quite literally send them a unicorn to help them to change their behaviour. And at the same time ask your unicorn to come closer and help you.’
‘My unicorn? I don’t have one,’ he said, puzzled.
‘But this is your unicorn,’ he said, gesturing towards the great white horse in front of them.
When he heard that Makai rushed towards his unicorn and hugged him around his great strong neck. ‘I can’t believe I never met him before,’ he said.
‘You have met him many times Makai, in your dream time, but you don’t remember.’
‘So is this a dream then? And will I wake up and it will all be forgotten?’
‘Not at all, Makai. This is real. You are ready to use your powers now. So you know what to do…’
Makai nodded, closed his eyes and imagined his classroom full of unicorns. Every person in class, even the teacher had a unicorn. The class was bursting with rainbow light and everyone was laughing, even the teacher. Rick was enjoying his unicorn and his face looked happy and relaxed. Makai felt that by simply imagining this he had done some good and helped Rick and everyone in the class feel closer to their unicorns.
‘That’s brilliant Makai. You are a human wizard, after all. But you need to balance this big imagination of yours with some other magic also.’
‘What magic is that?’
‘The magic of earth energy. If you daydream a lot you can become ungrounded, which is not healthy for any wizard, or human. You can connect to earth energy by switching on your roots. They grow thick and strong out from the soles of your feet, reaching down through the ground and into the earth. Try it now.’
Makai did so, and he could feel golden roots growing deeper and deeper into the earth. It made him feel safe and secure.
‘That’s right, send the roots all the way to a great crystal at the centre of the earth, and let them wrap around it.’
Makai loved the feeling this gave him, and the thought of a great crystal. His unicorn nudged him with velvety whiskered lips and breathed hot air onto his head which made him laugh and his eyes flew open. ‘I feel better when I do this,’ he told Merlin.
‘Of course, Makai. It’s easier to enjoy the human experience when you are grounded, and when you know how to use your manifestation magic.
Makai said bye for now to Merlin and his amazing unicorn, who whispered to him that he was actually always with him even if he couldn’t always see him. The next day at school Makai was amazed when Rick came over in art class and asked to see his wizard drawings. He said he was sorry for calling him names yesterday and that he felt envious that Makai could draw so well.
Merlin & Unicorn Magic Exercises:
- Try closing your eyes and switching on your roots, like the roots of a tree, growing down from the bottom of your feet right into the earth. Give the roots your favourite colour or colours. Allow the roots to travel all the way to a big crystal in the centre of the earth. Afterwards, draw a picture.
Ask your unicorn to help you with something, imagining what you want.