Ahmad and His Magic Carpet
by William Szczepanek
Chapter Five: The Finish
Ahmad glanced at the other racers. They looked confident and experienced. They smiled at each other and nodded their respect for one another and then focused on the final 2 laps of the race. They were all flying at around 25 feet, so the barriers were no longer a factor. They exchanged places numerous times as they passed from both the side and from below. As they gained height they seemed to slow a bit, so their focus was to maintain as low an altitude as possible without having to adjust for the barriers.
Ahmad continued to trail the competitors as they swooped through the turns. The leader tried to bump the second carpet, but the racer was adept enough to avoid the bump and pulled into first place. The racers seemed to be ignoring Ahmad and not taking him seriously, until the racer in front of him pulled to the inside and tried to push Ahmad out. Ahmad needed to do something quickly and countered the push with one of his own. The inside racer was very surprised by the move. Very seldom can a racer on the outside have enough power to counter a successful bump or push. The inside racer tried again and Ahmad countered. The racer tried again and Ahmad leaned back and the racer missed Ahmad and fell into last place. While the move helped Ahmad into fifth place, he was now further behind the leaders. They entered the final lap and Ahmad looked down at his father as he passed. His father again pointed upward.
“UP!!!” commanded Ahmad. The carpet responded soaring another 20 to 30 feet into the sky. The crowd cheered wildly. No one had attempted a move like that in the last 100 years. The racers came out of the final turn and Ahmad dove downward accelerating over the heads of the other racers. He passed them one at a time until he was just overhead of the leader. The leader looked up in astonishment and in doing so slowed down. Ahmad passed him with a flash of golden sparks exiting the back of his carpet.
Ahmad had won. He was the champion. He flew his carpet around the stadium in celebration. Then he ran and hugged his parents.
“Maybe the prize money will help us,” Ahmad said.
“It will,” replied his father. “But, we really don’t need it.
“What do you mean?” asked Ahmad looking very confused.
“I spoke with one of the people from the museum before the race. They inspected the carpet and have no doubts that it is the lost carpet of Princess Kamile. She lived in the region more than one hundred years ago, disappeared in a sandstorm and has not been seen since. The museum curator will give us enough money for the carpet for us to live comfortably for the rest of our lives. But, the important thing is the lesson you have learned today. We are very proud of you and remember, you can accomplish much if you only believe in what you’re doing and continue to persevere.
“The carpet... but the carpet was magic. It was
better than the others,” Ahmad blurted.
“It’s not magic,” his father smiled, “It’s beautiful and it gave you the confidence to overcome obstacles. It is your talent, your positive thoughts, your ability to adapt and your persistent effort that won the race.”
In the coming days Ahmad and his family settled in the city and Ahmad went on to become a leader of his country.
"Children's readings can be fun for adults, too"