The entire city had already gone to sleep, except for a small light shimmering in one window. It was in an attic room. There, beneath the covers, a small boy named Carlton was hiding. He was shining a flashlight at the book he was reading. He was supposed to have been asleep for a long time now. He liked books and reading so much that he couldn’t tear himself away from them. Right now, he was reading about two friends saving a koala bear from poachers. Both boys were in danger and their koala too. It was very suspenseful. Carlton was literally devouring each word. When he turned the page, something strange appeared instead of the next part of the story. A sort of a magical incantation – words written in a different font.
First, Carlton ran his finger over the words, and then read them in a whisper. “Don’t sit there that way, like a bird fly away. Live out this story too, it will welcome you.” And at that moment, the covers under which he’d been hiding rose into the air. The book started glowing and ascended from the bed. Slowly but surely, it started circling around him. Then it started moving so fast that it created a vortex. Carlton wasn’t even visible in its center anymore. He was looking around himself, not sure what was happening. Then suddenly, everything stopped, and he found himself in a deep forest. There were trees all around him and birds were flying past him. He realized that he was in a book. Actually, he was inside the story he’d been reading. It must have happened when he read the incantation.
He was looking around himself when suddenly he heard: “Quickly! Run! We have to shake them off, hide from them, and get this koala to safety!” The two friends about which he’d been merely reading a little while ago were calling out to him. They were holding the koala bear, running as quickly as they could. Two men were pursuing them. Poachers. Carlton realized that the boys were talking to him and quickly ran to join them. They zigzagged through the dense forest, grasses and branches whipping them, but they didn’t slow down. They had to save the koala.
A little while later, Carlton spotted a light up ahead among trees. It belonged to a rescue station for endangered animals. It looked like just a small hut, but it was their only chance right now. “Over there! We must follow the light. We can hide in there!” Carlton called to the friends.
They quickly turned and soon reached the small house which was built from tree branches. As they approached, they started shouting: “Help! We’re being chased by poachers, we have a koala with us!” A man stepped out of the hut, looking like a woodsman. He quickly hid them in the safety of his modest house.
Then he went back outside and yelled: “Askan, Igor, go get them and bring them to me!” Two huge dogs emerged from behind the house and ran after the poachers. Soon they dragged them by their pant legs toward the manager of the rescue station. He tied them up and called the police. They would know what to do with them. Then the manager checked the koala and of course the three boys as well, to make sure everyone was alright. Everything ended well. The koala was unharmed. As soon as it was possible, the manager returned the animal to its home in the forest. He praised the boys for their bravery and courage.
A little while later, the manager gave Carlton a piece of paper with an incantation written on it. “When you read this aloud, you will be able to return back home.” “And can I come back again sometime?” Carlton asked. “You can, whenever you’d like. Just read the incantation. But now you must return home. Be well and don’t stop reading. Books are stories that will always give you something. Life would be sad without them.”
Carlton promised he wouldn’t stop reading. Then he took the paper with the incantation. He read it out loud and immediately appeared back in his bed, the book in his hand. It was the best adventure he’d ever had. Today, Carlton is all grown up, but he still likes books. And even though he doesn’t go inside their pages anymore, he devours the stories in them eagerly.