THE BIT OF MAGIC PAPER
" I haven't I " squealed Gobby. " Where are they coming from—oh, where are they coming from? "
Peterkin looked—and saw that they were streaming down the stalks of the black-currant sprays in dozens. He began to look- scared.
" Gobby! Look! They are growing on those sprays! I don't believe that was a spell for black currants after all—I beHeve it was for black beetles. Oh, goodness, whatever shall we do? '
Gobby stared in horror, and saw that what Peterkin had said was right. He had grown black beetles instead of black currants! How dreadful!
" Oh, take those sprays into the garden, quick, and burn them!" he begged Peterkin. But Peterkin wouldn't touch them. He suddenly opened the door and ran home. He didn't like being mixed up with strange spells that went wrong. You never knew what might happen next.
Gobby began to cry. He rushed out and went to Witch Heyho's. He told her what had happened, and begged her to make a spell to get rid of all the black beetles.
At first Witch Heyho looked stern when she heard how Gobby had picked up her bit of magic paper and had read it and used it—but then, as she caught sight of the black beetles wandering out of Gobby's kitchen door into the garden, she began to laugh.
" Oh dear, dear me! " she laughed; " what a shock for you to get black beetles instead of black currants! Never mind, Gobby, I won't punish you—but I really don't in the least know how to stop the spell. You'll just have to put up with the beetles."
And that was all the comfort poor Gobby got from the witch. But she told him that hedgehogs love a good meal of beetles, so he is going to buy one from the pet-shop, and keep him in the kitchen. Then perhaps he won't have them eating the food out of the larder, and sleeping in his bed, and crawling into his shoes. Poor Gobby!
It's always best to make sure of a spell before you use it—so do be careful of magic, won't you, just in case you make a mistake like Gobby!