The Magician's Assistant

Long ago, a foolish boy named Gilroy became the servant of a very smart man.

The man’s name was Wallace. He spoke many languages and knew all the secrets of the universe. He also owned magic objects and could cast powerful spells.


Wallace had a big leather book. It was locked shut and chained to a table. When he wanted to read the book, he unlocked it with an iron key.

“This book contains magic secrets and spells,” Wallace told the boy. “I am the only one who should open it.”


One day, when Wallace was away, Gilroy quietly entered Wallace’s special room. He wanted to perform some spells on his own.

Using one of Wallace’s wands, Gilroy tried—and failed—to turn copper into gold.


Next, Gilroy looked into a special mirror. When Wallace stood before it, he could see any location in the world. Gilroy saw only swirling smoke.

Then he held to his ear the shell that spoke wise words to Wallace. Gilroy heard only the sound of the sea.


“I don’t know the magic words to make these work,” Gilroy said. “Those words are locked in the master’s book.”

He looked at the book. It was open! The master forgot to lock it before he went out!


Trembling, the boy looked at the open pages.

He could not understand the words. They were written in a language he did not know. He ran his finger along a line and sounded out the letters.


The room darkened. The house shook. A clap of thunder rolled through the room.

Before him stood a horrible, dark form with eyes like burning lamps.

It was a demon!


“Give me a task,” the demon roared. Gilroy stood trembling. He couldn’t speak.

The evil spirit stepped closer to the boy. “Give me a task,” it repeated.


The boy looked around the room. “Water the flowers in that pot,” he whispered.

The demon left the room and returned with a bucket of water. It poured the water on the flowerpot.


Again, the demon went outside, filled the bucket, and emptied it on the flowers.

Gilroy did not understand why the demon did it twice. But, he was too scared to ask.


After the demon had dumped out the second bucket of water, it went to get more water again. And again.

Soon, the water was up to the boy’s ankles.

“Stop! That’s enough!” Gilroy yelled.


The demon continued to pour the water.

Gilroy knew then that only words from the book would make the demon stop. But the book was now underwater.

The water rose to the boy’s chest. He climbed onto a table. The water swirled around his feet and kept rising.


Just as the boy was about to sink under the water, the door burst open. The water rushed around Wallace as he forced himself into the room.

In a loud voice, he spoke a few strange words. The room darkened. The house shook. A clap of thunder rolled through the room. The demon disappeared.


Wallace looked angrily at Gilroy. “Foolish boy,” Wallace said. “It is not wise to play with things you don’t understand. You could have drowned.”

The man looked around at the water-soaked room and sighed. “Now, clean up this mess.”


FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 480
Word Count 543

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