A SNIFF IN TIME by Susan Saunders


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Not much ado about a young, medieval-looking farmer named James who is bored because ""Life holds no surprises."" He is visited one evening by an old wizard who foretells that James will spend his life on a boat. The wizard also offers James himself the gift of seeing into the future, in exchange for a hot bowl of soup. But all James has to offer is turnips, and, says the wizard, ""Smell into the future is all that deserves."" So James, smelling spring, storm, and fire when none exist, bumbles his farming until he learns to control the gift. Then he uses it, once, to help the king--and takes his reward, a boat, home on wheels, choosing to live out his life on the farm. But the story has become anticlimactic before this ironic fulfillment of the prophecy. ""Smell into the future"" may be a good line, but, as the wizard recognized, there's not much you can do with it.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1982
Publisher: Atheneum