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The Sorcerer's Apprentice

An old sorcerer lived in a musty room at the top of a tall crooked wizard’s tower, that stretched high into the starry night sky. His table was covered with baffling contraptions, strange-coloured potions, and jars full of all sorts of things too ghastly to mention. Disgusting mixtures filled the air with horrible smells. The walls of the tower were lined with shelves, stuffed with dusty old books. These were the sorcerer's precious spell books and he wouldn’t let anyone look inside them, ever!

The sorcerer had a young apprentice called Otto. He was a fairly lazy boy whose greatest wish was to be able to do magic. He just wasn’t really interested in the hard work required to study magic.

“I wish I could cast spells!” he thought, “Imagine, I could levitate! I could turn people into frogs! I could turn pebbles into gold!”

The sorcerer had promised Otto, “Young man, I will teach you everything I know, but only when you are ready.”

“Yes sir!” saluted Otto.

One day the sorcerer had to go out. “I’m going to visit a dear old friend of mine,” he said, “the finest witch in the land, Granny Gertrude.”

The sorcerer had never left Otto unsupervised in the tower.

“I don’t entirely trust him,” he thought.

Looking very fierce, the sorcerer gave Otto his instructions.

"I have a very important spell to cast when I return, so I need the cauldron filled with fresh water from the well downstairs," he said. "When you have filled the cauldron, you can sweep the floor. After that, you must light the fire."

Otto was less than impressed.

“I’ll have to go up and down the steps of the tower again and again and again and again just to fill this stupid cauldron. Really?!”

The sorcerer unrolled an ornate carpet, stood on it, and uttered the words…..

“Squiddly popsy!”

And up it rose into the air. As he drifted out the window he turned to Otto and grimly said, “Now be careful. Don’t touch anything you’re not supposed to!” and off he flew into the night.

Maybe the sorcerer had ESP! That stands for Extra Sensory Perception – when you can read peoples minds! And naughty young Otto’s mind was full of naughty thoughts!

Once the sorcerer was out of sight, Otto climbed up a rickety ladder and took down one of the old dusty spellbooks.

“Who needs cauldrons when you’ve got real magic spells?” he thought.

Otto searched through book after book and eventually found what he was looking for.

“AHA! Got it! a spell to make a flying broomstick!”.

Otto didn't hesitate. He forgot that magic can be very, VERY dangerous. He took a broomstick in one hand and the spellbook in the other, and, slightly unsure of himself, nervously read out the spell….

“Wazakazizi Wazakazoo

Make this broom do what I tell it to do”

And the broom….

…..did nothing!

He’d missed a line! Again he tried….

Wazakazizi Wazakazoo

Make this broom do what I tell it to do

Ying tong ying tong tiddle my toes

Make it move where I want it to go

The broomstick sprang up into the air. Instantly it hooked a bucket and went zipping down the stairs. Soon it was back, with a bucket full to the brim of water which it tipped into the cauldron.

“I’ve done it! I’ve done it! I cast a spell!” cried Otto.

He clapped his hands in delight! The broomstick set off down the stairs again, and came up with more water, again and again until the cauldron was full. But, it didn’t stop there! Soon the bucket was overflowing onto the floor of the tower!

"Stop, stop!" shouted Otto, but the broomstick was determined, and carried on fetching water. Soon the room was up to Otto’s knees with water, potion bottles were bobbing and papers and books getting drenched!

“Broomstick! I order you to stop this minute! Stoooop!”

Nothing Otto could say would stop the broomstick! Desperate, Otto grabbed an axe from near the fireplace and chopped the broomstick into pieces. To his complete and utter horror, all the pieces of wood turned into new broomsticks!

“Oh you can’t be serious!” he cried, and the new BABY brooms hurtled off downstairs to the well, with new baby buckets magically appearing to be filled with more water.

“NOOOOOOOO!” cried Otto.

By now the water was nearly up to the ceiling. Otto swam around in a panic, trying to rescue the floating collection of precious magical items.

“PLEASE STOP ! PLEASE! The sorcerer will certainly do something dreadful to me. He’ll probably turn me into a frog. Or a potato! Or a smelly old sock!”

Tired and exhausted, Otto clung to a bookshelf and gave up.

Suddenly, there was a whoosh of magical wind. The sorcerer flew in through the window at lightning speed! In an angry voice he shouted, “STOOOOOOOP!”

The broomsticks stopped.

They turned to face the sorcerer in silence, expectantly, who raised his hands and chanted…..

“Broomstick, Shroomblick! Stop at once! Clean the mess of this ridiculous dunce!”

With amazing speed, the broomsticks gathered the water, whizzing up and down the stairs, and soon the tower was back to normal. The sorcerer clicked his fingers, and the broomsticks flew into each other, and with a loud ZAP, they became one broomstick again, leaning against the side of the fireplace!

Then the sorcerer turned to Otto, his eyes burning with anger. Otto cringed, waiting to be turned into something dreadful, a frog! A snail! Or even an old pair of socks!

“Boy!” he roared, “The work of a master is not at all easy. It takes years of practice to do something well; respect learning, respect experience, and never meddle in matters that you do not understand.”

The sorcerer did not punish Otto because he knew that this was one lesson he had learned very well indeed.


  1. Where did the sorcerer go, leaving Otto alone in the tower? Answer: A. To visit his grandmother

  • A. To visit his grandmother

  • B. To fetch more spellbooks

  • C. To attend a magic conference

  • D. To explore a distant land

  1. What did Otto do when the sorcerer left? Answer: C. Read the forbidden spellbooks

  • A. Cleaned the tower

  • B. Played with potions

  • C. Read the forbidden spellbooks

  • D. Went for a walk

  1. What spell did Otto attempt to cast first with the broomstick? Answer: A. Levitation spell

  • A. Levitation spell

  • B. Invisibility spell

  • C. Frog transformation spell

  • D. Fire-breathing spell

  1. Why did Otto have to chop the broomstick into pieces? Answer: B. It was causing a flood

  • A. It refused to move

  • B. It was causing a flood

  • C. It started flying too high

  • D. It turned into other broomsticks

  1. How did the sorcerer finally stop the chaos caused by the broomsticks? Answer: B. He cast a powerful spell

  • A. He destroyed all the broomsticks

  • B. He cast a powerful spell

  • C. He pleaded with Otto

  • D. He turned Otto into a frog

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