“Magic Muffins,” Friend, Jan. 1993, 44
Jay stood proudly at the front of the classroom, holding a big box full of golden-brown raisin bran muffins. “I brought a treat for everyone,” he announced. “They’re magic muffins.”
“How can muffins be magic?” Jenny asked.
“They can’t be,” Glenn scoffed. “He’s only saying that because he knows we’d rather have chocolate cupcakes.”
“No!” Jay protested. “My grandad made them. He makes magic muffins.”
“I don’t believe it,” Glenn said.
“You’ll see.” Jay passed out the muffins.
“What’s the magic?” Stacy asked. “I won’t shrink, will I?”
Glenn laughed. He took a big bite of muffin. “The magic is,” he said, crumbs dribbling down his chin, “when you eat one, it disappears.”
Others laughed, too, but Jay shook his head. “The magic is that after you eat one of Grandad’s muffins, something good happens.”
Jay seemed so certain of this that the muffins were gobbled up. Everyone looked around as if expecting something good to walk in.
“Nothing happened,” Glenn said, “but it tasted OK. May I have another one?”
“Will the muffins make something happen, Mrs. Martin?” Jenny asked.
“We’ll list all of today’s good things,” Mrs. Martin said. “Maybe then we’ll be able to decide if the muffins are magic. Now it’s time for addition problems.”
A few minutes later Robert raised his hand. “Mrs. Martin, my last piece of paper ripped when I was erasing, and Stacy gave me another piece before I even asked. That was a good thing, wasn’t it?”
“It was,” Mrs. Martin agreed, printing on the blackboard: Stacy gave Robert a piece of paper.
“I broke my pencil, and Ted is letting me use one of his,” Mark said. “That’s just as good a thing.”
“That’s a very good thing, too,” Mrs. Martin said, printing: Ted lent Mark a pencil. “It would be good,” she said, “if everyone finished this assignment quickly so that we can go outside.”
“That would be a great thing!” Glenn shouted.
“Including you, Glenn,” Mrs. Martin added.
The class, even Glenn, worked quietly, and soon they were outside, where good things continued to happen: Carrie let Robert have the swing, although she had it first. Ted asked Mike to play catch, even though Mike was the worst catcher in the second grade. Mark found some smooth stones for the girls who were playing hopscotch. Those same girls gave their chalk to Glenn so that he could draw monsters all around the hopscotch game.
There was already plenty of proof that Grandad’s muffins were “magic.” Jay wanted his name on the list, too, however, and now they were marching back into the classroom. The school day was almost over. The only subject left was science. Nothing goodwill happen in science, he thought.
“Yesterday,” Mrs. Martin said, “we talked about animals sleeping through the winter. Does anyone remember the word for this?”
Jay’s eyes were on the clock. “Hibernation,” he called out, wanting to hurry along science and go on to something better.
“Name some animals that hibernate,” Mrs. Martin said. Again Jay answered quickly and surely.
“Why do they hibernate?” Mrs. Martin asked him.
“It helps them get through the winter, when there isn’t much food and when they would be too cold.”
“Jay,” Mrs. Martin said, “you don’t usually answer many science questions. Today you’re our star pupil—congratulations!” She handed him a gold star.
“Something good happened!” Jay declared. “Can we add it to the list?”
Mrs. Martin printed: Jay is the science star. She said, “Let’s look at this list. What do you think? Are the muffins magic?”
“Jay knew the answers,” Glenn protested. “It wasn’t the muffins.”
“But Jay never talks in science,” Jenny said. “It was special that he did.”
“Everybody did all those other things on purpose,” Glenn argued.
“Maybe the ‘magic’ is that if you look for good things, you find them,” Stacy said.
“You also try to do good things,” Jay added. “That’s probably what Grandad meant by making magic.”
“I still don’t think that they were magic,” Glenn said as the bell rang, “but I know my name is on a good list for a change. Maybe we should have ‘magic’ muffins every day.”