Not so long ago in a time when there was still a little magic in the world, an old countess lived alone in the ancient castle of Karneid. Her family had moved far away many years before and most of the castle was abandoned, slowly falling into ruin.

Sometimes in the summer months the kindly old countess would be visited by members of her family and she especially enjoyed it when her grandchildren came to stay. The old countess would allow the children to explore the whole castle except the library where she kept her precious old books and a beautiful old golden typewriter. This typewriter was used by the countess to write stories that she would tell her grandchildren in the long summer evenings and these stories Were so beautiful that the children were sure that the typewriter must be magic. 

One day the countess's mischievous little grandson Otto snuck into the library to take a closer look at the typewriter. As his grandmother lay dozing in the midday heat in her armchair nearby, the young boy quietly sat down in front of the shining gold machine which was nearly as big as he was and began to carefully press down first one key and then another. As he pressed each key the little arm to which it was attached swung forward and pressed the shape of a letter on to a sheet of thick paper loaded into the machine. As Otto pressed key after key, words began to appear on the paper as if by magic. Otto could tell they were words because he recognised some of the letters but he couldn't tell what they said because he hadn't yet learnt to read. Otto happily carried on pressing the different keys, watching as the sheet of paper filled with letters and words until looking around, he saw his grandmother sitting in her armchair looking at him.

 

"Otto" the countess said smiling

"You have been a naughty boy sneaking into my library and playing with my things"

"I'm sorry" Otto said

"I wanted to try out your magic typewriter and couldn't resist"

"So, Otto have you discovered what the magic is?"

"I think so. If you press the keys on the machine then letters and words appear on the paper."

"That's right Otto and what do you think the words say?"

"I don't know, do they tell a story?"

"Shall we have a look and see?"

The old lady got up and gently pulled the sheet of paper from the typewriter which was covered in the jumble of random letters that Otto had happily typed. She sat down next to Otto, pulled on her glasses and with a twinkle in her eye began to read,

 

"Once upon a time, in land far, far away....."

Otto listened happily to his grandmother tell another of her beautiful stories, very pleased that he had finally discovered the secret of the magic typewriter.