Ibbitty Bibbitty

by Bryan Hansen -

Jackson anxiously awaited the arrival of his best friend, his grandpa . The moment the door opened, a warm smile, big arms, and a jolly belly greeted Jackson with a welcome hug. The next few moments always included Jackson happily pleading to hear those magic words again.

His grandpa always tried to prolong the waiting while he talked to Jackson’s mom and shared a few funny stories about his day, all the while Jackson begged him like a puppy pawing for a treat.

When his grandpa couldn’t hold out any longer, he bent down by Jackson, looked him in the eyes, and said, “Are you ready? Now how does it begin again…hmm?”

Jackson laughed. “Grandpa, you know the words!”

His Grandpa whispered softly, “Ibbitty Bibbitty, Sibbitty Sab, Ibbitty Bibbitty, Canogo, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down.”  Then he twirled his fingers around Jackson’s ear, “and Snap!” Magical gold dust sprinkles burst from his finger tips into the air as a shiny new quarter was mysteriously pulled out of Jackson’s ear.

His grandpa grinned as he gently placed the new treasure into Jackson’s outreached hands.

With his eyes full of amazement, Jackson asked, “Grandpa, how did you do it? Can you do it one more time, please?”

His grandpa always replied, “Sorry, only enough magic to do one trick a day” and then with a wink of his eye, he secretly disappeared out the door.

As Jackson lay in his bed that night, those magical words kept tumbling through his mind. “Ibbitty Bibbitty, Sibbitty Sab, Ibbitty Bibbitty, Canogo, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, and Snap!” He thought, “What is the secret power that comes from these words? Is it the words or is it the snap that does the magic? How did that quarter get in my ear anyway? Hmm… maybe you have to be a grandpa to make the magic happen?” Whatever it was, Jackson was determined to find out how it worked.

The next day, Jackson repeated the magic words over and over again, sometimes softly, “Ibbitty Bibbitty, Sibbitty Sab, Ibbitty Bibbitty, Canogo, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down and Snap!”

Sometimes he said it like a jazzy song, “Ibbitty Bibbitty, Sibbitty Sab, Ibbitty Bibbitty, Canogo, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down and Snap!”

Other times he shouted them at the top of his lungs, “IBBITTY BIBBITTY, SIBBITTY SAB, IBBITTY BIBBITTY, CANOGO, THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN and SNAP!” but nothing magical ever happened. He couldn’t pull anything out of his ear… except for a little bit of ear wax. “Ewww!”

Later, while eating a slice of juicy watermelon on the back porch and spitting the seeds out on the golden flowers below, Jackson got a great idea. “Maybe you have to put something in your ear first before you can take it out.”

Jackson’s Mom had always told him not to eat watermelon seeds because a watermelon would grow in his stomach, but maybe he could use the magic words to turn a watermelon seed into a watermelon? Jackson winced as he carefully tucked a slimy watermelon seed into his ear. He then focused very hard on the magic words, saying them slowly and with purpose. “Ibbitty Bibbitty…Sibbitty Sab…Ibbitty Bibbitty…Canogo…Thumbs Up… Thumbs Down and Snap!”

He reached as far into his ear as he could with his stubby little fingers, but nothing came out. “Those magic words just don’t work for me.” He sighed. Then he tried a little harder to reach in his ear and get that watermelon seed out, but try as he might, he couldn’t pull the little seed out of his ear...

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