Catching Magic

Shereen Sawalha August 15, 2017
Kids, Magic
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Three mice on bicycles? How could this be? One, two, yes three mice on bicycles holding umbrellas! Then where are their coats? If they’re holding umbrellas, shouldn’t they be wearing coats? I must be dreaming…for there are two following one or rather one after one and another one peddling! Swish! Here! Now there! Swishing past my bus bench and active puddles! Of course I follow! Fast.

Honks. Stuffed sidewalks. Rainbows of just Yellow, Red, Green. Everything else is still normal. And I would normally say “excuse me,” but what if I’m pushing past a friend and not a stranger? A “How are you?” and a “How are you?” is how I’ll lose my mice. How does one say “I can’t say, I’m chasing mice?”

Between business feet, they’re whizzing. And I’m sliding through our city to keep catch. Forget my bus. Forget just walking too. Am I the only one that can see them? If they’re lightning then I’m sound right after. Curiosity fuels me! Curiosity has my sight locked on these cycling wheels speeding over and around shoes. They zoom. Tails wrapped around their little umbrellas. I zoom. Books on my back flutter in the seam of my school zipper.

Going we’re going! The irony of still going. Clouds drag out my mouth as I’m running. I’m happy I’m wearing gloves. Vendors fog in overturned hot dogs and puffed pizza. There’s tinging and clanging from the opening of and open shop doors. And these little mice that are heading straight towards the busiest intersection are making me nervous!

All paused feet on cemented edges. TRAFFIC. There’s rules! Taking and making of turns! Yet Zoop! Eclat electric! They scrape pant edges onto the street. Without fear, as if without presence, they traverse a most alive metal jungle. Their bicycle handles must have pulled as motor strings; the way their leaps did exhaust versed mechanics. Oh! With hunched cars and tall boxed cars quartering circles my way, my feet reluctantly must oh but don’t want to pause too, they do.

I roar in wait. I feel like a cat that evolved into a lion in this hunt. They’re crossing a second lane and I’m behind as if I’ve never begun. Impatiently following the rules, when will the crosswalk let me run?


I leap, they loop. My mice are excited brown dots by the farther gutter. Are they playing? Doing tricks. A jump! A dive! A mouse! Three minus one, I see just one. I’m here! But now none…

Hinging knees. Horizontal head. I’m shining my reading light in metal cracks for sum. The small dolphin from “No Dumping Drains to Ocean” is here, but not the mice. “Helloooooo” is ghostly. “Helloo!!!” with no goodbyes. I pick the rest of myself up but leave my head down. A glimmer. A gleam! A little umbrella. GASP.

Excited hope. They were real. They are real. Special is true of holding a magical mouse’s umbrella. It twinkles. It glitters. A tangible wish I chased and caught.

And up home steps and before I close the gate, I unpocket my treasure and spin it. It’s when I unsuspend its webbed flaps does a ladybug fall down the plastic stick. “Dream awake” it sings. It flies to my cheek, “magic is everywhere,” and kisses it.

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