The Magic Finger Summary

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  • 0:00 The Magic Finger
  • 0:52 The Hunting Trip
  • 2:03 New Way of Thinking
  • 2:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Audrey Akins

Audrey has more than a decade of experience teaching elementary. She has a bachelor's in journalism and a master's in education.

Have you ever wanted to change what other people are doing to the point that you wished you could use magic on them? In 'The Magic Finger,' a young girl uses magic on her neighbors to change their way of thinking about hunting.

The Magic Finger

Could you imagine being turned into a bird? In 'The Magic Finger,' that's exactly what happens to one family. The main character, a little girl who never reveals her name, has a magic index finger that causes things to happen when she gets mad.

'It always happens when I get cross, when I see red. . . Then the tip of the forefinger of my right hand begins to tingle most terribly. . . And suddenly a sort of flash comes out of me, a quick flash, like something electric. It jumps out and touches the person who has made me cross and very mad. . . And after that the Magic Finger is upon him or her, and things begin to happen.'

The girl lives on a farm next to the Gregg farm. Mr. and Mrs. Gregg have two boys, Phillip and William. Phillip is eight years old, like the girl, and William is eleven. The Gregg family likes to spend their spare time hunting ducks and deer.

The Hunting Trip

The Gregg family goes hunting every Saturday, which bothers the girl in the story. She doesn't like hunting and tries to convince the family that it's wrong, but they don't listen. She says, 'It doesn't seem right to me that men and boys should kill animals for the fun they get out of it.'

One Saturday, the little girl sees them bring home a deer they had killed while hunting. She gets very mad and uses her magic finger. Later the same afternoon, Mr. Gregg and his boys go hunting and get sixteen birds. Toward the end of the trip, when they're hunting four more birds, the birds are never hit by their bullets, and instead follow the boys and their father back home.

The next morning, the effects of the little girl's magic finger are first seen when Mr. and Mrs. Gregg wake up with wings instead of arms and are the size of birds. The same has happened to their two sons! The family then experiences life as birds.

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