There is a carpet I have which came from my grandfather’s house.
It’s mostly red with green and orange flowers, and looks like a kind of relic from Victorian times.
This kind of carpet used to be quite common but now it seems to be rare.
Grandpa said he brought it back from The Orient; a vast and magical place. He said it was a gift from a queen, Queen Sheba, he said.
Once almost everyone who wanted a carpet like this one could have one because grandpa said that going to The Orient in search of these carpets was what everyone did.
But you had to be careful to find the magi who tended his sheep in the mountains. He was the only one you could buy this sort of carpet from. But as soon as people figured out the tinsiest bit of magic, practically every one tried their luck with the carpets. And it worked! It worked a treat! Soon everyone was packaging their carpets carefully and shipping them to their home countries and started to show them off. Tricks were turned, freedom gained.
But not everyone had the knack to make these kinds of carpets properly and, while a good carpet, well cared for, can show a lot of wear and tear over hundreds of years and still function, pretty soon these carpets began to disintegrate. Then accidents began to happen. People died! It became apparent that not all the carpets were alike and that’s when the hunt began. Money exchanged hands like crazy. Fortunes were made. Fortunes were lost.
Finally the accidents began to take a toll on families and that’s when a world-wide eradication happened, grandpa said. Everyone was ordered to bundle up their carpets and burn them. There were huge bonfires set up in every village. For the good of our citizens! People shouted, while the bonfires burned into weeks and weeks consuming every last magical thread.
So now most of the carpets are gone. Grandpa is gone too, and so is the magi on the mountain. He took his sheep and walked right out of The Orient and no one ever saw him again.
All that’s left is this treasured carpet here on my floor…and quite possibly a couple, maybe three, more I heard rumours about. Let me assure you that you will probably never find them unless they want to be found. And I don’t think they do because they’re so old now.
And just to make doubly sure mine will never lift off the ground again, I have two enormous oak desks weighing it down.
It mutters a disagreement once in a while, but it knows it is a bit old and a bit moth-eaten, and knows it probably couldn’t get far, but just to make sure it stays happy, on all warm, dry nights I open the skylight and the windows, and let the warm cross breeze caress it so it can flutter at the edges and feel like it’s in flight, and it happily rests under the stars.
Postcard: The magic formula. Black card stock, pencils, ink, chalks.