"The Magic Finger" story was posted through Johnacus Success Partners on Facebook. Here is an adapted version illustrating the value of self-improvement, among other themes.

Many, many, many years ago in ancient Persia, there lived an intelligent, lively boy. He was eight years old, and every Saturday, his parents allowed him to go into the town bazaar.

Usually, he would admire the mouth-watering fares, beautiful gems, and dazzling clothes, but his family was impoverished, and he didn't even have a coin in his pocket.

So, all he could do was look. Then he'd go home after about an hour.

But on this day, after seeing the beautiful things on display, he glanced across the street.

He saw a group of people seemingly watching an event. He moved closer and saw that the vast crowd had formed a big circle. Curious, he strove his way to the front.

For the first time in his life, he saw a mage.

The mage made rabbits appear out of thin air and disappear into hats. The boy was mesmerized.

Then the mage said, "I will do one last illusion."

He pointed his right index finger pointing toward the sky.

Everybody gasped.

His finger became red-orange. When the mage bent over, everything he touched turned to pure gold. And then he gave away all the gold pieces.

Everybody applauded and left, but the boy remained there, transfixed. 

As the mage put away his props, he asked, "Boy, did you like my magic?"

Boy: "Oh yes!" 

Mage: "Do you want some gold?" 

Boy: "Oh yes, please, please!" 

The mage put his right index finger in the air. It glowed, and he touched a pebble and gave it to the boy. The golden pebble was still hot, and the boy enthused, "Oh, thank you! Thank you! But..." 

The magician asked, "But what?" 

"I want more!"  the boy answered.

The mage laughed and put his finger in the air. It glowed again, and he touched a stick. He gave the golden stick to the boy.

And the boy gushed, "Oh, thank you! Thank you so much!"


The magician asked, "But what?" 

"I want moooorre!" 

The mage waved his hand in the air and pointed toward a brick one more time. He touched the brick, but now, he had to touch it for a longer time. The brick transformed into gold.

He gave it to the boy, admonishing, "Boy, bring that home to your parents. They will be able to eat for years." 

The boy replied, "Thank you! Thank you! But..."

"But what? I've given you a golden pebble, I've given you a golden stick, and I've given you a brick of gold. What more can I give you?"  countered the mage in irritation.

The boy said, "I want the magic finger."

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The Magic Finger

"The Magic Finger" is an adapted story illustrating the value of self-improvement.