Magic Wishes

It is hard to contend against one's heart's desire; for whatever it wishes to have it buys at the cost of soul. -Heraclitus

Lester was given a magic wish

By the goblin who lives in the banyan tree,

And with his wish he wished for two more wishes--

So now instead of just one wish, he cleverly had three.

And with each one of these

He simply wished for three more wishes,

Which gave him three old wishes, plus nine new.

And with each of these twelve

He slyly wished for three more wishes,

Which added up to forty-six--or is it fifty-two?

Well anyway, he used each wish

To wish for wishes 'til he had

Five billion, seven million, eighteen thousand thirty-four.

And then he spread them on the ground

And clapped his hands and danced around

And skipped and sang, and then sat down

And wished for more.

And more...and more...they multiplied

While other people smiled and cried

And loved and reached and touched and felt.

Lester sat amid his wealth

Stacked mountain-high like stacks of gold,

Sat and counted--and grew old.

And then one Thursday night they found him

Dead--with his wishes piled around him.

And they counted the lot and found that not

A single one was missing.

All shiny and new--here, take a few

And think of Lester as you do.

In a world of apples and kisses and shoes

He wasted his wishes on wishing.

-Shel Silverstein

Thanks for reading Magic Wishes

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