Once upon a time, in a far, far away land, there lived an ancient man called Ewizz the Wise. He lived alone in a castle on the top of a small hill and spent most of his time reading. And when he was writing a book of his own and needed to find something that was not to be found among the books in his library, he could magically make the consulting books appear and disappear after he had finished with them.

Ewizz was very learned but no one knew much about him. Some believed he was some kind of a teacher while many others were convinced that he was really a wizard. No one could, with any certainty, guess his true age but it did not seem to be of any great consequence as he was greatly loved by everyone in the land because of his profound wisdom and generous nature. And whenever anyone would get into a dispute or be in some trouble, they would go to him and always come away with a useful solution.

At the time this story is set, there were three little children who lived in that land. There was Gotta, who was a brave boy and always looking for adventures and sometimes getting into trouble. His two greatest friends in the world were Wanna and Win, who were twins. The brother, Win, was strong and kind and funny. Wanna, the sister, was a pretty child and the cleverest of the three. Gotta, Wanna, and Win studied and played together and, being inseparable, spent almost all their waking hours with one another.

Chapter 1

One day, the three little children had finished their studies and were feeling bored as they did not want to play the same games every day. So, what were they going to do now? There were still a few hours left before they had to go home. Suddenly Wanna had a bright idea!

“How about we go for a small adventure?” she said.

“Yeah,” said her brother, “it has to be a small one as we will not have time for a big one. We have to get back home on time. Remember Mommy is making her special meatloaf tonight?”

“And will there be apple pie too, for dessert?” Gotta could not help asking.

“No idea. But you can see it for yourself. Mommy had asked to invite you for dinner,” Wanna replied.

“Yeah,” piped in Win. “I heard her this morning talking to your mother. Everything is arranged. We will have a sleepover too and lots of fun!”

The three children momentarily forgot everything else as their minds filled with happy visions of the evening to come. Then, like the true leader of the band, Gotta had the duty to stop his friends and himself too from getting distracted.

“Friends, other things can wait” he declared. “Let us focus on the urgent matter we have in hand now. So, this adventure we are planning must be done in two hours so that we can get back home on time.”

Wanna wanted to plan everything first, but Win had this brilliant idea that it was a plain waste of time to think too much about it beforehand. They could make the adventure last longer if they started then and there. Gotta immediately agreed, so Wanna had to fall in line although she did not like her brother’s idea very much.

“But where will we go? At least we have to decide that,” she pointed out.

Gotta came up with the answer in no time.

“Let us climb up the hill from the west side and see what old Ewizz is up to in that castle of his.”

Wanna had to admit it was a wonderful and grand plan, and very suitable for a good adventure. She had always wanted to visit the wizard (or was the old man really a professor?) ever since she had heard her parents and their friends talk about him and his wisdom and magical powers. She especially wanted to see what books there were and why anyone would need to bring more books out of thin air when there already was probably a large library full of them. She came out of her daydream as she heard Win suggesting that they should climb up the east side to avoid the forest.

“But that is the longer and more difficult way and we can save time if we go by the west side which is easier to climb,” Wanna explained to him as they hurried after Gotta who had already started walking.

Soon the three of them reached the edge of the forest that covered some distance up to the foot of the hill. They had never come this far before on their own, although their parents had not specifically forbidden them from playing here. Adventure beckoned them now, but the unknown forest stood before them unwelcome.

Chapter 2

For a moment, Gotta hesitated and thought of abandoning their adventure. Maybe they could try it another day with more time in hand and go by the east side as Win had said. Both Wanna and Win could sense his indecision. They were unsure of what to do or say, so they kept quiet. But soon Gotta had overcome the uncertain moment and briskly led the way.

It was not a big forest, maybe a mile or so. But it seemed to the three little children that they had been walking for ages and could not reach halfway yet. Suddenly, the sky became overcast and the forest grew darker than usual. And then they heard something. A threatening growl from behind the thick bushes ahead of them which then parted to reveal a pair of glowing eyes. It froze Gotta, Wanna, and Win in their tracks as a chill ran down their spine!

All three children were at their wits’ end. Surely, they could not go on anymore. But would they be safe if they turned their back and tried to retrace their steps? Should they walk or run? Win was ready to bolt. Wanna wanted a few quiet moments to think of some plan. Gotta looked around to see if there were any trees they could climb.

“If only Ewizz was here, he would save us from this danger,” sighed Wanna. “He is full of magic and always helps everyone.”

“What if we try to scare the creature away? There are three of us and only one of it, after all,” said Gotta.

“But it might attack us and it is foolish to put ourselves in more danger,” was Win’s opinion.

They all had to agree that not provoking the creature in any way made the most sense. Suddenly, out of the blue, a large figure appeared in front of the three frightened children! He asked them to stand behind him and make no noise.

“It is the wizard,” Gotta gasped with a sense of awe.

Ewizz started to clap his hands and speak in a low, soothing voice to the menacing figure behind the bush in a language that the children could not understand. After a minute or two, the creature, which turned out to be a bear, calmed down, stopped growling, and sat quietly.

“Magic!” whispered Wanna while Win could not hide the admiration from his voice as he exclaimed, “Wicked cool!”

Chapter 3

“So, children, quite an adventure!” said Ewizz.

His voice was warm, soft, and kind and his eyes twinkled. Gotta, Wanna, and Win did not know what to say.

“So, now that you have met me like you planned to do, why don’t you have some of these excellent chocolates while I help you make friends with this poor bear whom you scared so much?”

They could see that the old wizard was not angry with them and was actually smiling. The chocolates, which he produced at the wave of his fingers, were wrapped in golden packets and tasted more delicious than any they had ever had. And while they ate, their confidence grew and they found their voice all at once.

“How did you know we were coming to see you?” Win asked.

“ Isn’t the bear dangerous? We were afraid he was going to attack us,” Gotta said with a shudder.

“Look, how quietly he is sitting there now. He will not attack us,” Win interjected. “He was only trying to frighten us because he himself was feeling afraid. Isn’t it so?”

As they were talking, the bear ambled towards them and put out his big, wet nose to sniff at the children in a friendly manner. Feeling bold with Ewizz standing beside them protectively, they patted him like a giant teddy while he stood by their side harmlessly and enjoying all the petting.

“Do you know the language of animals? Can you teach us?” Wanna wanted to know as she caressed the soft fur on the bear’s back.

The wizard smiled and nodded. And in doing so, he seemed to confirm the thought that had come into their little heads all at the same time. His amazing powers of magic and knowledge impressed the three little children greatly and they looked at him with respect. They felt so comfortable with him that they chattered like he had been their friend forever. It was they who did most of the talking which mainly consisted of them asking endless questions that Ewizz answered in a simple way they could understand. To Gotta’s query, if it was by his magic that he knew they needed him, he replied that it was really Wanna’s strong wish for his help that had made him aware of their danger and he came instantly.

The children had a hundred other questions in mind. They were ready to spend the night standing there, talking. And they would happily have done that without food or sleep if it was up to them. But Ewizz was both old and wise and knew it was time for them to go back now.

Chapter 4

It was growing late. Their adventure had already taken more time than they had thought. And they had quite some distance to walk back, so they had to start without any delay. But when Ewizz saw their anxious, disappointed faces at the shortness of the meeting, he felt kindly towards the three little children.

He told them they could visit him again if they would first get permission from their parents and promised to take the east side next time and not the shortcut through the forest. Then they could also come up to the castle.

“But it takes longer to go that way, and it is also difficult to climb up and down that side,” protested Gotta.

The clever Wanna seemed to know the answer to this dilemma.

“But if we really want to come, we should not let that stop us. And even if a shortcut seems to be easy at first, it can be dangerous.”

“Right,” agreed Win. “We must not decide anything because it is easy or difficult. We should only follow the way which is right.”

“Very good, children,” beamed Ewizz at their capacity to learn from their experiences.

Wanna was lost in thoughts as the wizard guided them through the way out of the forest. Their new friend, the bear, also walked with them to the edge of the forest and then, with a friendly grunt, bid them goodbye, turned, and disappeared into the woods again.

The children had been taught and encouraged to look for things to learn not only from books but also from whatever happenings they took part in. So, when Wanna spoke, it was clear that she had been reflecting on their adventure and now she tried to put into words the learning from it.

“I learned that easy is not always the best option and from now on, I plan to think before deciding what to do and which way to go,” she said.

Both Gotta and Win knew what Wanna was doing and they also chimed in.

“I learned it is ok to be afraid when facing danger and it is foolish to go looking for trouble pretending it to be an adventure,” Gotta stated.

Win took longer to say anything but when he did, he summed everything up beautifully.

“I learned that plans or no plans, easy or difficult, there may still be things that turn out not right and there may be some danger too. But as long as friends stay together, there will always be some way out and help can come in most unexpected ways.”

“Yes, because there is a lot of magic all around us,” his sister had the final word. “And if we do not quit doing what we really want to, there are rewards in the end too.”

All of them thought of how the bear had become their friend and the good time they had had that day. They also remembered that next time they might be able to visit Ewizz in his castle up the hill. Wanna then started thinking wistfully about the library up there and the books in it and how much there was to learn from the old wizard (or maybe he was really a professor, she still did not know and would like to find out).

Gotta too thought dreamily of the castle and all its rooms waiting to be explored and what a swell adventure it would be. Win could not say which he thought was best – reading books or embarking on adventures. He decided he liked and wanted both and did not need to choose one or the other.


Ewizz had been silent while they spoke and he also knew what they were thinking and wishing. The children became quiet as they reached the end of their walk. Promising they would see each other again soon, Ewizz left them outside the lane where they lived and vanished! The children looked at one another for a few seconds but they knew magic to be both mysterious and natural.

They now looked through the window into the dining room with the table laden with food and the delicious smell wafting towards them. And they suddenly realized how tired and hungry they all were. Gotta followed Wanna and Win inside where a sumptuous meal and well-earned rest awaited the three little children.