Published on 2013/07/07

The Magic of Coconut’s Island

Mia Dixon

Coconut woke up to a yapping sound. He had not heard this animal sound before, but he thought it sounded in distress. He swung out of the tree he had been sleeping in and made his way toward the sound.

The sun had not risen yet, and it was hard to forge his way through the jungle in the dark. Large foliage slapped his face a dozen times before he arrived at the sandy opening of the beach. He spotted something shining in the moonlight just at the edge of the water. It was smooth and the same silvery color of ocean under a full moon. He was just strong enough to pull it ashore.

There were small holes around the top of the thing and he thought he heard breathing. He put one eye next to one of the small holes and peered inside. Yap, yap, yap! Something was inside all right.

Coconut scratched his head in concentration trying to figure out how to release the yapping thing. He went around to the back and found something he could hold on to. He pulled up, down, out and then click, the door swung open.

Just then, the sun came up and lit up the inside of that thing and in it was a wet, hairy animal the likes he had never seen. It was black all over and stood on four legs and was about the size of, well, a coconut. They looked at each other for a long moment and then the little thing ran straight for him. It jumped on his chest and they fell to the ground. Coconut regained himself by sitting up. The little thing was sitting on his outstretched legs and wagging his tail back and forth looking up at him.

“Poor little fella, are you hungry?” Coconut wasn’t sure what it would want to eat but knew that he would need to lead him to the clear water lake in the middle of the island to drink. He set off immediately not knowing when the last time the little guy drank fresh water.

Along the way, Coconut reminisced. He remembered the huge boat that he was on sinking and his mother being unable to escape due to her large size. She had urged Coconut to swim up to the surface and reluctantly he did so. He floated on a water barrel for days. There was a cracked plank on the side of the barrel just large enough for him to fit his hand into for dips of fresh water. Finally, he had landed here just like the little guy following him through the jungle now. As he walked, he could see his shadow hopping along in front of him. That’s what I will call you, Shadow since you are so dark, I almost can’t tell the difference between you and our shadows.

A couple of days passed and all sorts of interesting things began to wash up on the beach. There wasn’t much an ape and a puppy could use or figure out what to do with. Early one morning, Shadow came running in from the beach where he had been chasing and eating crabs. He had a stick in his mouth. It was an unusually straight stick. As Shadow approached, his head dipped to the left, tapping the stick against a small stone, and the stone…disappeared!

Coconut had never seen anything like this. He did however, recall a story his mother had told him about the man that travelled with them in the circus that could make people disappear from boxes and reappear back stage. But this seemed different. This was...what was that word…magic! This was truly magic!

“Shadow, bring me that stick!” Coconut cried.

Coconut turned the smooth stick around in his hands. He tapped a rock near him and it became a bunch of bananas! What is this? He tapped another rock and it became a handful of kiwis! He didn’t know that whatever he was thinking was what the rock would turn into, at least not yet. An ape alone so long on an island just didn’t know about very much. He had only needed food and water and he didn’t even know he needed a companion until now. Nor that the feelings he had experienced were loneliness before Shadow had drifted ashore. Well, now they would never want for food or water. They could change useless things into useful things.

Being with Shadow made Coconut long for other beings like his mother. One day, he was walking along with Shadow and carrying the magic stick. He was wishing someone would come to the island that could help him get off it. At that moment, he tripped on a root and stumbled. The tip of the stick tapped Shadow’s little head as Coconut fell to the ground. Coconut stood up and turned looking for Shadow. Instead, he was face to face with a man, like one of the ones that took care of the animals in the circus boat. The man had scruffy dark hair and dark eyes.

The man said, “What’s happened? I don’t feel quite like myself. One minute, I was running on all fours and now I am standing on my two back legs and I’m so high above things!”

Coconut could not believe it! “Shadow? Shadow, you’re a man!”

Shadow held his long slim arms out and marveled at his hands with fingers and all. He looked down at his tall thin frame and saw his feet and everything in between. “I can’t believe it! I’m human! Let’s make you human, too!”

Shadow grabbed the magic wand and tapped Coconut on the head, and right before his very eyes, Coconut transformed into a man. Coconut had brown hair and brown eyes and all the same body parts as Shadow but he was a little thinner and a little shorter. The two men suddenly felt ashamed that they were not clothed so they walked along the beach and found some sail cloth that had washed ashore and fashioned it into coverings for their bodies.

Not only had their bodies changed but their minds had changed too. They thought differently. It wasn’t just about eating and drinking for sustenance. They thought about improving how they lived. Even though they still had the same information stored in their brains as before, they perceived it differently now. They could talk, but they couldn’t read or write.

They decided to build a tree house to live in. It wasn’t very hard. After all, they only needed to tap a rock and change it into bamboo or palm leaves for construction material.

Before long, they had a decent tree house built on the interior of the island next to the clear lake. They made hammocks to sleep in and vessels to hold their food and water. By day, they would hike to the highest point of the island and look out over the ocean that surrounded them or they would swim and fish in that same ocean. By night, they played music with instruments they had created from coconuts, sticks, and bamboo. They didn’t use the magic stick much anymore as they had everything that they needed.

One day, Coconut asked Shadow, “Do you ever think about your mother?”

Shadow stared off into the distance. “I don’t really remember much about her. I remember others like me and fighting them off for something to eat.”

“I remember my mother”, Coconut said. “I remember her well. She had loving arms and eyes. She would carry me on her strong back as she climbed up the poles in the circus tent, then I would sit and wait on the platform while she performed tricks for the people. Then when she was finished, she would pick me up and we would go back to our home on the circus boat and the man would give us lots of fruit that would last for days. I was with my mother when the boat sank. She couldn’t get out of her cage. None of them could. I was the only one small enough. My mother told me to swim to the surface so I slipped between the bars of the cage and out of a portal and up to the surface. I didn’t see man or beast. I was just glad to find something to float on, and luckily, it was a water barrel. My mother saved me. If not for her, I would have stayed and gone down with the ship.”

Shadow thought that was really sad. He thought about his own story. “I wasn’t on a ship or boat. I was in the belly of a large bird. Some men loaded me into the belly and then it was dark. There was a lot of noise and bouncing around, then the belly of the large bird split open, water poured in, and I floated out and woke up here when you found me. I don’t know where I was going or why. I just know that I didn’t have to fight for food or water anymore and I was alone.”

Coconut was deep in thought and then suddenly said, “I don’t think we should get off this island. It is terrible out there! We haven’t had anything bad happen here. We should stay here. I feel like we should start a family though.”

“How do we do that?” Shadow asked.

“Well, I came from a mother and you came from a mother so it would stand to reason that we need a mother!” Coconut answered.

“What will we turn into a mother? There aren’t any other animals on the island. There is only sea life,” replied Shadow.

“No, not just sea life,” said Coconut.

Just then, a beautiful bird cawed above them. It was large and colorful with big black eyes. Coconut and Shadow jumped up at the same time, ran into each other, and fell down trying to go to the tree house and get to the magic wand first. It only made sense that the one that turned the beautiful bird would get to claim her.

Coconut reached it first. He and Shadow were best friends, so Shadow could only congratulate him as they walked back to the place they had seen the bird. She was still there preening her perfect feathers. Coconut snuck up the tree and shimmied up the limb she was perched on and his arm was just long enough with the length of the magic stick to tap her tail feathers as he thought of a mother.


Down they went from the weight of two people—one regular person and one very large person.

“I think you asked the wrong question!” Shadow couldn’t contain his giggles.

There in the jungle, brushing herself off as she stood was a large, ugly woman and she looked mad. Thank goodness she was already fully clothed! Her dress was long and as colorful as her feathers had been. “How dare you!” she shouted at Coconut. “I was the most beautiful bird on the island and you have taken away my beautiful colors and my wings. I can no longer fly. This is terrible!”

Coconut stammered, “I will change you back, stand still.” He tapped her head but nothing happened. Come to think of it, they had never tried to change anything back to its original form. There had been no need.

“Oh dear, my feet hurt from standing so long,” said the woman. “Well, we might as well go home. You will have to lead me there. I have only flown over your tree house so I’m afraid I do not know the way on foot.”

They all went home to think about what had happened.

The next day, Mother asked, “Why did you change me?”

Coconut explained that they wanted to start a family and they knew that they had both had mothers so they figured they needed one.

Mother started to laugh and that laugh turned into a roar. When she finally got herself under control she said, “You should not have wished for a mother, you should have wished for a wife or girlfriend. You wished for a mother so you got a mother in human form similar to what you had in ape form. Look, I wasn’t always on this island either. I used to sail the seas on a pirate ship! I would sit perched on the shoulder of the one-eyed captain. I was only parted from him by nasty storms that caused the waves to crash into my cabin and expel me out the window and into the wind where I blew around and landed here. I’m going to have to find you both a woman since you have never really seen one and one will not be enough. Last week I saw a couple of doves on the other side of the island. Who’s up for a hike?”

They filled their water vessels, Mother took the magic wand, and they headed south to the sunny side of the island. It took them from the sun coming up to it being directly overhead to get there. They heard some cooing and humming in the trees. Mother softly whistled and two white doves flew down and lit on her shoulders. She placed them both on the ground with gentle fingers and tapped one and then the other with the magic stick. They transformed before their eyes into two young women about their same age. They were almost identical. Both had light hair the color of the moon. It was long and ran down their backs. They had curves everywhere that Shadow and Coconut did not. They too transformed fully clothed in long white dresses that mimicked their feathers.

“Hi”, one of the girls said shyly. “I am called Olivia and my sister is called Aloma”.

Shadow was enamored by Olivia and Coconut besotted by Aloma. They grew to love each other over the next several weeks. Mother kept everyone in line. The magic stick had been put away for safekeeping. There was no need for it anymore. Love had a magic of its own.

After many months, Olivia’s belly had grown like a ripening fruit. Mother said she was going to have a baby.

Finally, the day arrived and Olivia gave birth to a baby girl with a human face whose body was covered in silky black fur with a short wagging tail and angelic white wings.

Coconut said he was going to get the magic stick, but Shadow stopped him.

“No, she is perfect.”

Mia Dixon is a mother of four, living in Central Arkansas with her husband and two teenage boys—her two daughters live away from home, her eldest daughter a married writer expecting her first child, and the youngest still trying to figure out her calling. Mia works full time, but occasionally, she finds time to do other things, like write stories. This is her second publication with Hogglepot.