Polly Cat lived in a small brick home that sat on a small piece of land in the heart of a very small town in the Midwest. While this story occurred in the 20th century, many of the roads in Polly’s hometown were still caked with dirt; the main means of transportation --- a kitty cat’s four legs.
Like many young cats her age, Polly had her responsibilities. She was in charge of washing dishes, sweeping the floor, dusting the furniture and picking up her toys. Almost all of the townspeople who knew her believed that Polly was an average cat but she held a big secret --- she wanted to live in the big town and play with the big cats.
You see, Polly lived in Whiskerton, a rural region, just outside of the much larger community of Purrville. Whiskerton had no restaurants, no arcades, no movie theaters, and no playground. Yes, you heard me correctly --- a small town with no playground. Polly and her brother, Kenny, spent their days going to school, coming home; doing their chores and watching the world pass by from a big window in the living room. Sure, Polly and Kenny could play kickball and chase field mice and birds but after a while, the same old routine, day in and out, became quite boring. Polly wanted a change and she wanted that change to come in the form of a move to the big city life that Purrville had to offer.
For many days and many nights, Polly would sit by her bedroom window, look out to the stars and pray for a miracle to bring her closer to her goal of living in the big city. Yet, for many days and many nights, Polly awakened and then fell asleep with her dreams and prayers unanswered.
Then, one day, Polly saw a sign on a telephone pole that read:
Talent Show in Whiskerton:
Polly became so excited. Ever since she had received her magic trick set for Christmas, the year before, Polly had been practicing and she knew she could charm the judges with her trademark “Now you see it; now you don’t” card tricks. So, Polly ran back to her house and began practicing.
As fast as lightning, the week flew and Saturday brought a tremendous thunderstorm. Polly’s Mother, Pat, did not want her children to walk in the poor weather to the bingo hall where the Talent Show was being held. Polly, however, was determined. She sat up straight in her chair with her front feet touching the table.
“Polly, you stop that this second!” Polly’s Mother exclaimed.
“Not until Kenny and I can leave for the Talent Show.” Polly shouted back, fluffing her long white tail as she spoke.
After fifteen minutes to staring at each other, Polly’s Mother agreed to allow the trip and soon thereafter, Polly and Kenny were carrying their tables and magic tricks through the mud puddles along the dirt roads that ran between the their home and the bingo hall.
Polly and Kenny arrived, just as the show was about to start. They quickly set up their table and were told that they were third in line to perform. The first act was a sing-along with Crystal Calico, a thrill-seeking feline with a big meow but no heart. The second act was by Peter Persian who dazzled the crowd by balancing a can of chicken-flavored food on his flat nose for fifteen seconds.
“We have this in the bag.” Kenny told Polly, just as they were taking to the stage.
Polly began to speak with the crowd, explaining what they were going to do.
“For our first trick....” Polly began. “...we are going to place a figurine on the table, build a small house of cards around it and when we are finished, you will see that the bird figure is no longer there.”
This was a trick that Polly and Kenny had practiced for nearly nine months. Just as the plan had stated, Polly set a tattered canary figurine on the table and after taking a deck of blue cards from a bag, Kenny began constructing the house around the bird. The two siblings worked on building the house around the canary for nearly five minutes. Then, Polly closed her eyes, bowed her head and paused. The two finished their design in record time but when they opened the little card door, the canary figurine was still on the table.
“It didn’t work.” Kenny said to Polly. “It did not work”. Polly and Kenny looked to the crowd, awaiting their snickers and sneers. Those snickers and sneers never happened, though. Instead, from the crowd, the siblings heard cheers and applause. The budding magicians, as they bowed, looked into their house of cards again to see that the canary figurine was gone.
“How did that happen?” Kenny asked Polly, who knew the answer right away.
“Kenny, the secret to this trick is not a trap door in the card design or the skill involved in the building of the house or the placement of the figurine; the secret to this trick is prayer.”
“Prayer?” Kenny asked.
“Yes. Prayer.” Polly said. “Each time, as we are performing this trick, I bow my head, close my eyes, and pray for things to work out okay. The trick has always worked.”
Kenny stood frozen in his amazement. With his sister, he had performed this trick many times and yet, he never realized the true magic behind the action.
When the evening’s awards were handed down, Crystal finished third, Polly and Kenny’s performance, then noted as Heaven’s Magic Trick, won second place and Peter Persian's food trick won first prize. While Polly and Kenny did not receive the $2,000 prize, they returned to their small home on their family’s small piece of land with a reward more precious than any amount of money.
Although Polly had always wanted to live in the big city of Purrton, that night she and her brother learned a lesson more fulfilling than the enjoyment of a playground or movie theater; they learned about the power of prayer.
While Polly’s prayers for a big city life were not answered, she learned that everything in life has purpose and meaning and that all things which are meant to be, happen in the proper moment and in the proper time, just as in the magic trick.
The moral of this story: Never lose sight of your dreams, never lose faith in your beliefs and in due time, we will always find what we need, even if those things are not quite as we expected them to be. Everything in life happens for a reason and your magic trick may only be one card away. With prayer, all things are possible.
© 2006 – Jill Eisnaugle. All rights reserved.