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In the far land on the other side of the city, lived a little boy whose name was Brandon. Brandon was a happy little boy most of the time, but one day he missed his Poppy and felt sad. So he decided to go visit him.  He wasn't sure how to get to Poppy's house though, so he asked his big sister to go with him.   Nicole was five years old and she knew a lot of things already.

"Nicole, I want to go visit Poppy, but I don't know the way. Will you go with me?"

"Oh Brandon, it's too far to walk."   Nicole stood with her hands on her hips thinking how much she had to put up with a baby brother. "Anyway we don't have walking shoes"she said.

"Well, let's ride the pony Grandma left here. She said we could ride him sometime." suggested Brandon.

Nicole wasn't sure they could both get on the horse. It was a small pony.

She said, "Let's see if we both fit on it."

So Brandon got on, then Nicole got on behind him. It was a tight fit. Maybe we can take 

turns riding, she thought.

So they decided to go.

"I wish I knew how far it was to Poppy's house." Nicole said.

"When I talked to Poppy on the phone, he didn't sound very far away." Brandon said. "He sounded real close!"

"O.K., let's go then." said Nicole.

So they both climbed on the pony and held on. They sat there and waited. And waited.

"How do you get it to go?" asked Brandon.

"Don't ask me!" answered Nicole. "It's Grandma's pony. Gosh!"

They tried moving it with their legs. They pushed their bodies forward, but all that pony would do was rock back and forth.

"Let's call Grandma and ask her how to make it go." said Brandon.

"Do you know how to call Grandma?" asked Nicole.

"No I can't. Can't you do it? You're bigger than me."

"I never called anybody, Brandon. Mama or Daddy always do that part."

"Oh. Well, let's ask Mama to call Grandma."

"If we ask Mama, she might find out we're going to Grandma's and she might not let us go." Nicole reminded him.

"She don't care. I already told her I wanted to go see Poppy. I told her I was going to ride the pony to Poppy's house, and she said O.K."

"She did?"

"Mama!  Mama! they both called loudly.

"Will you call Grandma for us? We have to ask her a question."

"It's real important!"

So Mama called Grandma for them.

Brandon asked, "Grandma, how do we make the pony go?"

"Doesn't it go anymore, Brandon?" asked Grandma.

"No, it still rocks, but it won't GO anywhere! I want to go see Poppy. How come the pony won't take me?"

"Oh, I see." Grandma laughed. "Well, you have to say the magic words. Didn't I tell you about the magic words?"

"No. You forgot, Grandma. What are the magic words?"

"Well, I don't know if I can remember them right now. Sometimes they are hard to remember. Let's see. I'll try."   


                 PONY, PONY - MADE OF WOOD



              TAKE US TO POPPY'S TODAY

"Try that, it might work." said Grandma.

 "Oh boy! "Bye Grandma."

So they both got back onto the pony and Brandon said the magic words.

But, Pony didn't go. Again.

They worked with the words a long time.

Nicole tried a verse, then Brandon tried a verse. They tried new words. They could not get that pony to move an inch!

Nicole got tired and decided since they weren't going to Poppy's house, she would take her Bunny out of the visiting bag.   "Come here, Bunny. We're not going after all, the pony won't start."  She played with her Bunny and pretty soon they were both taking a nap in Mama's blue chair.

Not Brandon though. He was determined to visit his Poppy. He would keep trying.

He used up all the words he knew. He was little, so he didn't know all the words yet. He wished he did, 'cause he sure wanted to go.

When Daddy came into the house, he asked Brandon what he was doing.

Brandon told him about going to Poppy's house.

"I have tried all the magic words Grandma told me, but the pony still won't go. Can you make it go, Daddy?"

"Well, I used to when I was your age, but I don't know if I can anymore." he said.

"I used to know some magic words. Let's see if I can remember."





"Try that. It might work." Daddy said, as he went back outside to work.

So Brandon tried that. He thought he felt the pony move a little bit, but he wasn't sure.

Pretty soon, Mama said it was time for supper. Brandon was so disappointed!  There were tears in his eyes. He had to stop trying for today. Tomorrow he would go for sure!

During the night when everyone was sleeping, a noise woke him up.  It was the pony's voice. The pony was talking to him!

"Pony, I didn't know you could talk!"

"You are the only one that can hear me, Brandon. I want to tell you about the magic words. Listen carefully. Listen well.

"You can't use anyone else's magic words. You have to use your very own."

"I don't know any." said Brandon. "I used up all the words I could remember. They weren't magic though. I really, really want to visit Poppy.  Can you tell me some magic words? Can you take me to visit Poppy?"

"When you say your very own magic words, I can."  And the pony didn't say anything more.

Brandon really wanted to visit Poppy, so he thought and he thought. How can I know which words are magic?   Pretty soon some words were trying to come out of his mouth.  He didn't know what the words were going to say, but he knew they were going to be MAGIC!



And off they went! Whiz Zipping through the night!

The pony was going so fast!

"Oh, look! There's Poppy!"

"Hi Poppy!"

"Hi Brandon!"

They hugged each other and admired the pony.

They visited for a long time. Brandon was so happy because Poppy always made him laugh and laugh! 

Pretty soon, he heard Mama calling.  He didn't want to go yet, but Mama kept calling his name.

"Brandon, Brandon?"

"Huh? Wait Mama."

"It's time to get up."

"But I'm not through visiting Poppy yet, Mama."

Mama left the room laughing about something.

March 18, 1997