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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Stories for Younger Children
McTavish and the Magic Mushroom

McTavish, a Scottish elf, lived in the woods. He wore a black hat and dark green boots. His pants were red, green, yellow and black tartan. A white shirt tucked inside his pants made him a dashing elf. Each morning he went to find mushrooms. They grew around the roots of old oak trees. When he found one, he put it in a leather bag. One day when he went into the woods, he spotted another elf. She stood next to some delicious looking mushrooms. “Who are you?” McTavish asked.

“I am Miss Spell. I live in the woods too,” she said.

“I haven’t seen you in the woods before. I am here to pick a few mushrooms,” he said.

“Do not pick this one,” Miss Spell said. “This is a magic mushroom. You can have all the rest of the mushrooms but don’t pick this one, or you will turn into a frog.”

“A frog? How silly. I won’t turn into a frog if I pick that mushroom. Go away, silly Miss Spell,”  McTavish said.

He picked a lot of mushrooms in put them in his bag, but he didn’t pick the magic mushroom. “If I pick this, I may turn into a frog, so I won’t pick it, just in case.” He put the bag over his shoulder and ran home.

 The next day he went for a walk in the woods and once again saw Miss Spell. “I am glad  you didn’t pick the magic mushroom. You’d be a frog right now. I warn you again, do not pick this mushroom either,” she said, pointing to another. “It’s magic. If you pick it you will turn into a pig.”

McTavish laughed. “I will not turn into a pig if I pick that mushroom, just like I won’t turn into a frog if I pick the other mushroom. You’re a silly elf.”

“Then go and pick it. You’ll see. You’ll be a frog, or a pig, and not an elf any more,” Miss Spell said.

McTavish bent over and picked the first magic mushroom. “See, I didn’t turn into a frog!” he said. His body started to shake. He dropped the bag in the dirt. His hat fell off his head. His feet got big and his skin went green. “Help! I am a frog!” He jumped into the woods. “Croak! Croak! Croak! I am a frog. Croak!”

Miss Spell picked up McTavish’s bag of mushrooms. “I told him not to pick the magic mushroom, but he didn’t listen to me. Now he’s a frog,” she said. A snail crept by. “You used to be an elf like McTavish, didn’t you, Malcolm. You ate one of the magic mushrooms too. I told you not to eat it like I told McTavish not to eat it.”

Miss Spell giggled and took the bag of mushrooms home. The next day she just might find an elf that will listen!

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