something, even if it’s only stamps. Or dreams.
stamps. His big brother, Wilbur, collected dreams.
That made it hard to
know what to get Wilbur for his birthday. He would be twelve
Then Orville saw the
magazine: Wonder Tales for Boys. The perfect thing for a
“Happy Birthday,” he
* * *
Wilbur loved it. It
was filled with stories about submarines and flying machines. He
hoped he could get his little brother, Orville, something half
so nice. He would be eight in a few months.
through the little ads in the back of the magazine. They were
for novelties of all kinds: invisible ink; handshake buzzers;
secret signal whistles.
Then he saw the ad
for STAMPS FROM THE FUTURE.
“Perfect,” he said
to himself. He ordered them for Orville’s birthday—which was in
the future, after all!
They came just in
time. “Happy birthday,” Wilbur said.
Orville tried to
hide his disappointment. He only liked real stamps, and these
were just gag fakes. Plus there were only four of them.
One stamp showed a
man called Elvis. He was pouting like a girl.
Another showed a
Negro with a baseball bat. Nobody ever put Negroes on stamps.
Another was of a
woman without a crown. Real stamps only showed women when they
Another showed . . .
“Hey, this is neat!”
said Orville. Suddenly he was excited. “How did you do this?”
“Do what?” asked
Orville handed him
the stamp. It showed two grown men in stiff collars with a box
kite behind them.
The two men looked
Underneath them, it
said: The Wright Brothers.
“I didn’t do it,”
said Wilbur. “I just sent for STAMPS FROM THE FUTURE. It was a
novelty ad. I didn’t tell them what to send.”
really from the future,” said Orville. His voice sounded spooky.
“You always told me that nothing was impossible,” he said.
“Maybe you and I are famous in the future.”
“Don’t be silly,”
said Wilbur. “For what?”
Then Wilbur looked
at the stamp more closely.
There was a man
lying flat on the box kite behind the grown-up Wilbur and
Oliver. He was flying through the air.
Maybe I was right,
thought Wilbur. Maybe nothing is impossible, after all.
“I can’t wait to
show this to my friends,” said Orville.
“Not yet,” said
Wilbur. “Put it away for a few years. You and I have work to