Carlton heaved a sigh as his teenaged son suddenly queried about the magic pot. “Dad, you were the greatest magician of your times, you never knew of it”, his son enquired.
Carlton never wanted his son to know anything about the magic pot. It was a story, he desired to disremember and wipe off his memory.
As a young budding magician, Carlton had always been very ambitious. He had learnt his trade practicing for hours together and had become quite adept at it. With new tricks up his sleeve every time he performed he was gaining in popularity, but he always yearned for a thing which had eluded him so far, which he knew would make him the most powerful magician in the world.
Carlton had read and heard a lot about the magic pot. Though many in his profession had dismissed it as just magic folklore, he was quite sure that such a thing did exist. Though no one had ever seen it so far, and no one knew what it contained, the sealed magic pot was believed to give the owner, whatever wish he asked for.
Carlton was sure that the magic pot was the only means to his salvation and once he got it, no power in this world could stop him in his ambition to become the most authoritative man in this world, someone whose wish would be a command to the entire mankind.
Carlton travelled far and wide and overcame all obstacles and eliminating the ones which warned him of the perils, in his implacable quest to obtain the magic pot and one day he found it. Lying inside the deep woods, where few dared to venture, was this pot, smeared with dirt and dust as if no one really wanted it. He could recognise it the moment he saw it, for he had done whatever he could in his quest to get to it.
Surprisingly, the magic pot wasn’t behaving the way Carlton expected it to be. He was sure that he had researched enough about it to know that it was a wish-granter but the reality was totally different.
Ever since Carlton was in possession of the magic pot, he found it to be very repulsive to his commands. Every time he asked the pot for a wish, it would moan and yell, as if it came to life. Far from granting him what he asked for, the pot would seem to become violent, quivering and shuddering as if it has been threatened.
Exasperated and disenchanted but still not willing to disclose to anyone the magical powers of the pot that he seemed to have falsely assumed, Carlton decided to dump it but surprisingly his every attempt to throw it away turned futile. He would throw it in the debris but the garbage collector seemed to locate it and return it back to him. He tried convincing people to take the pot and keep it to themselves but strangely no one seemed to fancy a dirty pot.
Disappointed, Carlton decided to sell off the pot, informing the buyers of the powers that it beholds. Many illusionists and conjurers tried to bargain, but retracted realising that far from granting their wishes, the pot would start behaving the same way in their hands too. The way the pot behaved totally different from what was known about it in legend was beyond his comprehension.
There lived an old man in the same town who was known for his kindness and magnanimity and Carlton knew that he never refused to oblige anyone who went to him for help. Carlton was sure that the old man would certainly buy the pot from him.
The old man agreed to purchase the pot but said that he didn’t have too much money to pay for it. Carlton was more than willing to dispose the pot at any cost since he knew that was the only way to finally get rid of this troublesome possession.
The considerate old man took the pot in his hands and wished it for the money that he had promised Carlton in exchange. Lo and behold, to Carlton’s surprise, the lid opened and out came from the pot what the owner asked for, which he gladly handed over to Carlton. Once the price for the pot had been paid for, the old man wished for a little water to quench his thirst and then a small meal to feed his hunger. Carlton was surprised that the pot obediently was granting the wishes to the old man.
Overcome by surprise, Carlton snatched the pot back from the hands of the old man, throwing the few soiled currency for which he had bartered the pot a few moments ago, back at him.
Holding the pot in his hands, Carlton wished for a million, but the pot had turned aggressive yet again in his hands, while the old man just stood there smiling, his face reflecting pity for Carlton.
Raging with anger, Carlton ripped the lid open and flung the pot on the ground. Out from the pot emerged little figurines, replicas of Carlton, hundreds of them, all alive and lay scattered on the ground, sadness and dejection written large on their faces.
The old man bent down to pick up the pot and as he did it, the little figurines magically turned themselves as facsimiles of the old man and happily started hopping and jumping. As Carlton looked on flabbergasted, all of the tiny statuettes ran back into the pot, as the old man picked up the lid and closed it back.
Carlton realised that there was nothing in the magic pot which had not already been within himself. The magic pot which he had so much aspired for and had eliminated so many in his quest to acquire it was nothing but his own self. He realised that instead of wasting his life in his pursuit for the magic pot, he would have been so much more successful, had he set off in a mission to improve himself.
The conversation was cut short by the doorbell ringing and the son sprang towards the door to open it. “Someone’s there to see you, Dad”, the son bellowed and left as Carlton walked up to the door to see a frail old man standing on the doorstep with a worn out pot covered with dirt and dust, held out in his hand.
Carlton could recognise the face after almost a decade. The frail old man held out the pot to Carlton as if gesturing him to take it. Carlton pushed the pot back to the old man, held his hands tightly and smiled.