"Colin? Did you clean your room yet?" said Mother’s voice traveling up the stairs. The words slid under Colin’s bedroom door, like a ghostly mist.
He was busy watching a new bird at his feeder. Colin’s Nature guide displayed a bright red bird’s head. And the body had fluffy white and black feathers.
Suddenly, like a Ninja warrior, mom stood in the doorway.
"Still in your pajamas?" she gasped. "No breakfast treats for you young man; unless you get your room tidied up, pronto."
"Mom, I just saw a Hairy Woodpecker," said Colin.
"I’ll have a 'hairy’ if you don’t get dressed for school," she huffed.
Maybe blueberry pancakes, his favorite breakfast. Did he have time to put everything away first?
A messy shirt flopped across Colin’s cool racing car. And hiding under the bed were schoolbooks. "Oops, couldn't find them last night," he said.
Sneakers waited in the corner. And yesterday’s socks hung from the windowsill. Shirts and pants lay in piles around the room. Why did he need so many clothes anyway?
A stack of hockey cards lay scattered on his desk.
Colin threw himself on the bed, and nibbled on his thumbnail. If only he was a magician, he could wish everything away. Then he could get dressed, run downstairs. And eat a mountain of blueberry pancakes.
Why not practice on his dirty sock pile? Devan closed his eyes, wished with all his might, pointed and said, “GONE!”
The smelly socks disappeared!
Now the same magic word for his shirts hanging in the closet. GONE! This was fun. Then Colin couldn’t stop himself.
Next to go were toys and games. GONE! Then everything on the floor, under the bed and on the dresser fizzled into thin air.
Colin ran around the room, pointing and zapping. Nothing escaped. “GONE! GONE!” He was an acrobat, jumping from floor to bed and back again.
He circled the room, unable to stop. “GONE! GONE!” and “GONE!” Pictures on the wall, blankets and shoes simply evaporated.
Colin finally stopped and looked around. His bare feet were cold.
“OH-MI-GOSH!” He had forgotten to get dressed for school. All his clothes were ZAPPED! What was he going to wear? There were no socks left. No T-shirt, nor shoes. And not even one shirt or pair of pants.
"Colin. You did a great job,” mom said from the doorway. “Hurry. Your favorite breakfast is ready, pancakes and sausages."
Didn't she notice he was still in pajamas and bare feet? His tummy grumbled, "Time to eat." Colin rushed into his parent's room, and pulled on a pair of dad's socks, pants and a shirt.
His shoes were more like rowboats.
No one noticed anything different about Colin at breakfast. It was as if he dressed like this everyday. And no funny remarks from his sister, either.
"Okay," mom said, "time for school."
In the car, no one said anything about his large sized clothing. Or that he was tripping over his clumpy shoes.
No one noticed anything different at school, either. He kept pulling up his socks and pant legs. And such a bother as his shirttail dragged along the floor.
At gym, Colin kept falling out of dad's shoes. And it was difficult playing basketball without at least one hand to 'dribble.' If only he could wear his own clothes. Especially the shirt grandma bought him last week.
During Social Studies he learned about a boy his age in Haiti.
"He has to do chores and work hard on the family farm,” Miss Silver said. “And he has so little of anything."
Devan knew that boy didn’t have nice clothes like he did. Or even fun toys. “I bet he's not silly like me,” he thought. Maybe he could be like that boy. And keep his room tidy more often.
During school lunch, he closed his eyes. And wished everything would go back to the way it was. He knew he could change. Yes, he would.
Finally, it was time to go home. Colin’s arms seemed longer from pulling up dad’s pants all day. And walking around in rowboats shoes was not easy. Devan slowly climbed upstairs, to his room. Aha! His wish did come true! His room was back to messy.
Everything that happened seemed like a dream.
Right after supper, he returned and put everything away neatly. That included checking under his bed, dresser drawers and closet. Later when mom came to say goodnight Devan was very quiet. He wasn’t his noisy self, kicking a ball around. Or, singing along with his radio.
She saw how spotless the room was. Shoes and sneakers lined up like soldiers beside the wall. Even toys, were in a neat line at the edge of his bed. Simply amazing, she thought.
His closet door was open, and shirts on hangers! For a moment, Colin's mom was confused. Now she noticed he looked larger than normal under his blankets. His head popped up as he waited for a goodnight hug.
Noticing he had on two shirts, mom asked, "Are you cold?" Colin just smiled. How could he explain he also had on two pair of pants? And he was wearing dad’s best sneakers.
Colin had to be prepared for tomorrow.
In case he acted silly again.
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© Richard & Esther Provencher