Fosuaa And The Thief





The magician waved his wand.

There was a little puff of smoke, and then the magician began to pull shiny twenty cedi notes out of thin air!

It was a Friday afternoon, and the magician was performing for the school children.

He had performed amazing feats with his wand!

He had conjured food from thin air, pulled toys from a very small handkerchief, changed a rusty metal box into a shiny bicycle, pulled a monkey from his hat, made a desk disappear into a bottle, and he had even been able to float in the air!

the magician's wand
The Magician performing with his wand

“I’m going to borrow the magician’s wand,” Ato said to Bawa.

“Oh, no, Ato!” Bawa said, aghast. “Don’t tell me you want to steal the magician’s wand!”

Ato Jacobson and Bawa Ahmed were both thirteen years old, and they were friends.

They lived in Ghetto Town.

The people who lived in Ghetto Town were poor people.

Bawa lived with his mother; she sold millet porridge, known as Hausa Koko

Ato lived with his father in a kiosk. His father was a tailor.

Ato and Bawa attended the Government school, and their parents struggled every term to pay their fees because they were poor.

“Are you calling me a thief?” Ato asked angrily.

“No, I’m not!” Bawa said. “What do you mean by you’re going to borrow the magician’s wand?”

Ato drew closer to Bawa.

“Bawa, have you seen all the incredible things the magician is doing with his wand?”

Ato nodded.

“Good!” Bawa said. “So, think about it! If we get our hands on that wand, we can do anything we want. Our parents have not paid our school fees this term, and we can’t write our examinations if our fees aren’t paid!  Look at how the magician was taking money out of the air! When we get his wand, we would also be able to pull money from the air and pay our fees! With the magician’s wand, we can easily conjure up shiny bicycles, huge houses, and nice sports cars! Oh, think about it, free money for the rest of our lives!”

“You don’t have to steal the magician’s wand just because your father can’t pay your school fees!” Bawa said indignantly. “Didn’t you hear what the Sunday school teacher said? When in need you must pray to God, and God will make a way!”

“How many years have you been praying?” Ato asked. “I don’t think you really understand how God works! You and your mother have been praying all these years. Has God ever answered your prayers?”

“Stop it!” Ato almost shouted. “God always makes a way!”

“That’s what you told me when I said I wanted a bicycle!” Ato said. “I prayed and prayed and prayed, and nothing happened! For almost one year I kept on praying, until I realized God doesn’t work that way!”

“And how, if I may ask, does God work?” Ato asked.

“See, I’ve been thinking about it, and I finally found the answer!” Ato said with a serious face. “If you need something, don’t pray for it, because God will never answer you. Instead, take it, and pray for forgiveness, and God will forgive you!”

“Oh, that’s shameful!” Bawa exclaimed.  “Ato Jacobson, stop this!”

“It is no use reasoning with you,” Ato said and turned his back on his friend.

The magic show came to an end soon after that, and deafening applause filled the Assembly Hall. The magician and his assistants beamed with joy and bowed.

Ato inched ever closer to the raised platform where the magician was standing. The magician had placed his wand on a small stool near the edge of the platform.

Quick as a flash, Ato reached out and took the magician’s wand.

He pretended to slip and fall, and as he lay down on his stomach, he pushed the long wand into the waistband of his school shorts and pulled his shirt over it.

When he stood up again, he began to move quickly towards the entrance, feeling so exhilarated that he could hear his heart thumping in his chest.

Later, when they were walking home, Bawa noticed that Ato was not walking well.

the magician's wand
Ato is not walking well

“What’s wrong with you, Ato?” Bawa asked. “Do you have a boil on your buttocks again?”

“And what kind of silly question is that?” Ato asked angrily.

“Well, you’re walking in a funny way, like you used to walk when you had that boil on your left buttock two terms ago.”



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