Your Hair Will Be Your Fortune!
YOUR HAIR WILL BE YOUR FORTUNE!
This next story and routine arose out of an experience that I had in the early nineteen-eighties. It was in the ballroom of a large hotel in Aviemore, up in the Scottish Cairngorms. I was performing a magic show for about forty children. They were sitting on the ballroom floor and their parents and other adults were at tables around the sides.
Five minutes into the act, a pretty little girl of about four or five years got up and stood right in front of me – just looking and smiling! She wasn’t being naughty but she was a distraction. I managed to handle the situation without too much trouble but I later spent the journey home considering how I might better have turned the incident into my favour. This type of interruption occurs from time to time and it would have been nice to have had something prepared.
What follows is the result of my continued deliberations. It has stood me in good stead on subsequent occasions similar to that described and the magic trick at the end produces a reaction out of all proportion to the simplicity of its execution.
If I am booked as a storyteller, then I often include the presentation in my repertoire. If it’s a magic show, then I usually wait until a similar situation arises to the one which is earlier mentioned.
So here it is in storyteller’s mode:
Look around for a suitable candidate (A pretty girl as near alike as you can find to the one in the story) and speak to her. She remains in her seat. “Hello, and what’s your name? Amy! what a nice name. I know a story about a little girl called Amy, would you like to hear it?”
Once upon a time there was a little girl called Amy. She had beautiful long golden hair that hung right down to her ankles, every morning, her mother would brush it a hundred times until each hair shone like a thread of pure gold!
People would compliment Amy about her hair; "Amy", they would say, "You have beautiful hair and one day your hair will be your fortune". Amy knew that they were being nice but didn't really understand what they meant.
Amy was a kind girl who always tried to help people and one day she saw a cat that had no tail! The cat was very unhappy because all of the other cats in the neighbourhood would laugh at it - and you know how cats can laugh!
When Amy saw the cat with no tail she felt very sorry for it and without a seconds thought, took a pair of scissors and cut off a length of her own beautiful hair and stuck it to the cat's back with super-glue!
The cat now had the most wonderful tail in the district! He was very proud and very grateful. He looked up at Amy and said, "Thank you, Amy, You are a kind and clever girl and one day, your hair will be your fortune!". But Amy didn't know what the cat meant.
Later on, she saw a little old man carrying a big heavy suitcase. It was nearly as big as he was.
Suddenly, the suitcase flew open and all of the little old man's belongings fell onto the pavement! Other people in the street laughed, but not Amy. She ran over to the little old man and helped him pack all of his things back into the suitcase. But then they found that the suitcase fasteners had broken and it wouldn't stay closed.
Quick as flash, Amy cut off two lengths of her beautiful hair, plaited them both into ropes and tied them together to make one long rope. She then wound it twice around the suitcase and tied the two ends together to make it secure. "There you are, Sir", she said, "That should hold it until you get to wherever you're going!".
The little old man was very grateful. "Thank you, Amy", he said, "You are a kind and clever girl and one day, your hair will be your fortune!". But Amy didn't know what he meant.
Another thing that Amy didn't know was that the little old man was a wizard who had fallen on hard times. But he still knew a trick or two and Amy was quite unaware of the spell that he cast as she walked home.
When she arrived home, her mother was on the doorstep, waiting for her. "Where have you been Amy?" she asked, "and what on earth has happened to your hair?". Amy explained how she had met the cat with no tail and the little old man with the suitcase and how she had helped them both.
"Well you are a kind and clever girl", said her mother, "but your hair is a mess! sit down on a chair while I cut it and make it tidy". Amy sat down and her mother trimmed her hair until she looked her usual pretty self once again. Although her hair was now much shorter.
Her mother looked at all the hair trimmings laid on the floor under Amy's chair and had an idea. "I was going to make some cushions", she said. "I will use all these soft hair clippings for filling!" She got a pillow-slip from the airing-cupboard and picked up all of Amy's hair clippings and filled the pillow-slip. "I'll start in the morning", she said, putting the bag of clippings back in the airing cupboard.
But through the night, the little old wizard's magic began to work and in the morning, when Amy's mother lifted out the pillow-slip, she discovered that all of the hair clippings had turned into gold coins! And from then on, every time Amy had her hair cut, all of the clippings turned to gold!
So you see, Amy's hair really did become her fortune!
(At the end of the story, the performer picks up a length of gold silken cord). –“Now what I haven’t told you Amy, is that the little old wizard was actually my great-uncle and that this rope is a piece of the rope that was tied around his suitcase! Yes! - Cut from the hair of Amy in the story! I wonder if IT has magic powers – shall we see if it has?"
(The performer now takes up a pencil and invites the little girl out to the front)."You take this pencil and pretend that it is a magic wand and I will tell you what to do". (The girl takes the pencil and the performer ties a knot into the centre of the rope).
"I’m going to count One, Two, Three and on Three, I want you to touch the knot with your magic pencil, ready? One, Two Three!" (On 'Three', the girl touches the knot with the pencil and the performer ‘plucks’ the knot from the rope, tosses it gently into the air, catching it on its descent). "Look at that!" (He hands the knot to the little girl)
You will be wanting to know how to ‘pluck’ the knot from the rope. All the information is in my book, "Magictales! - The Definitive Book on Storytelling Magic!"
For purchasing details.
The book includes a very funny bit of business at the end of the trick, which will produce a great response from the girl’s parents and other adults watching! - N.B. This bit of business alone is worth the cost of the book! Because you will be able to use it at other times with other magical presentations!
By the way, you can hear this tale being presented to a live audience of primary schoolchildren on my C.D. "The Adventures of a Lucky Bean and Other Tales for Children"
for more information.
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