No one seems to know when Wanna Be A Wizard first came to live in the magical hut just inside the Crystal Forest, but all agreed he was young and seemed sadly lacking in skills needed for would-be magicians.
He didn't own stacks of dollars, or even pennies, and he had no idea how to make them appear. Yet, he believed he was destined to become a great money wizard and refused to leave until his dream came true.
For years, he tripped through the forest in wizard robes sizes too large, his sleeves always slipping over his magic wand when he was ready to turn a rock to gold.
At first, the forest creatures ran from his spells, fearing life as a bag of quarters or shiny dimes. But the only thing W.B. Wizard's shouted spells made was a lot of noise. Soon all his shouting woke Hootie Owl from his daytime naps.
"W.B., why do you keep making so much noise?" Hootie Owl asked one day. "You're not a wizard and never will be able to make it rain gold coins from the sky like the old wizard who once lived here."
W.B. was shocked by Hootie's question. Not because the owl could talk. All owls can talk when they have something important to say. W.B. was shocked because Hootie had trouble seeing the magic just oozing out of his pores.
"I AM a wizard," he shouted at Hootie. "You just wait. Someday I will be able to stack gold bricks up to the sky."
"Humph," Hootie said, then flew deeper into the Crystal Forest, searching for a quieter place to nap.
And so it went for years, until one sunny afternoon when W.B. was trying to pull something out of the old black hat he'd found in the hut. A rabbit hopped up and said, "You'll never get anything out of it that way."
W.B. looked at the rabbit and scowled.
"Don't you have a hat someplace you should be popping out of? Go find it. You're bothering me," W.B. said.
But the rabbit didn't leave.
"You can't make something out of nothing, you know," the rabbit said, then hopped on to a nearby log and dropped a gold coin in the hat.
"What are you doing?" W.B. shouted. "You'll ruin my spell!"
But the rabbit ignored W.B.'s protests.
"Say 'dividends,'" the rabbit said.
"Dividends?!" W.B. shouted. "I will not say dividends."
But when he reached into the hat to remove the rabbit's coin, he found three gold coins in what he was certain had been an empty hat-before the rabbit had tossed in the single gold coin, that is.
Shocked, W.B. looked at the rabbit with eyes and mouth open wide.
"How did you do that?" W.B. asked. "For years, I've been trying to make that spell work, but each time I've failed."
W.B.'s shoulders slumped, and the too-large pointed hat on his head slipped down on his face, hiding the tears welling up in his eyes. Maybe he really wasn't a wizard, he thought.
"It wasn't me," the rabbit said. "You make the spell work. You could have made it work long ago, if you had just put something into the hat before you tried to take something out. You can't pull gold out of thin air."
The rabbit hopped down from the log and over to W.B.
"My name's Reginald Rabbit, but you can call me Reggie," he said. "And although I don't have a magical bone in my body, I can help you build your powers-if you want me to, that is."
W.B. blinked back the tears, pushed the hat away from his face and looked at the coins in his hand. Three coins, when he'd been working for years just to produce a speck of gold dust.
"OK, it's a deal, Reggie," W.B. said.
As W.B. grew into his purple wizard robes and hat, Reggie helped him grow into his powers, turning pennies into dollars that soon filled a treasure chest he locked safely in the nearby Castle Credit Union.
It had taken some doing for Reggie to convince W.B. not to hide the fruits of his labors under his bed, or worse yet, spend all of it on a new magic wand. But W.B. trusted Reggie's advice, and made regular trips to the Castle Credit Union to deposit his latest pile of coins.
As the years passed and the size of W.B.'s account grew, so did his power.
"What happened to the old wizard who lived here before I came?" W.B. asked one day.
Reggie, who had been scratching a spot behind one of his long ears with his back foot, stopped and looked into W.B's face.
"I wondered how long it would take you to ask that question," he said. "When the old wizard had learned how to build his financial powers, he left the forest to search out children to share what he had learned. I think you're ready now."
The two left the next day and for years traveled from town to town, teaching children to make single coins grow to two, three and more.
The wizard and the rabbit started Club Oz in each town they came to, so the children could continue their financial wizard training after the two moved on.
W.B. and Reggie left town yesterday, but if you missed them, you can still join Club Oz and learn the ways of wizards.