A gang of boys chase Willie through school. When they catch him, they complain that he's too smart and accuse him of being a freak. Willie seems distracted by a little girl walking away and he goes after her. He notes he hasn't seen her before and she introduces herself as Charlotte. Willie knows that it's her mother's name too. They arrive at Charlotte's house and her mother seems to recognize Willie. He mutters knowing and loving her once, and then tries to run away. The bullies are waiting for him and he runs off...Read the full recap
Host: Here lie my first magic sets given to me when I was 10 years old, when I thought by magic I could control the world around me. My parents gave me sweaters and socks for Christmas. I rebelled, I wanted to stay young, a kid with a magic set forever. I wish somehow I could smoke the proper cigars to stunt my growth. Out of those Christmases and my secret desire to scrunch down and be 10 years old forever, the story that follows was born.
Willie: Newspaper every day, full of lost people and empty houses.
Old Woman: I look at a lot of faces passing by and I think, "What a shame all those flowers have to be cut, all those bright fires put out. What a shame they have to grow tall and wrinkle up and gray out in blizzards like me." They're so eager for everything.
Changes from the short story:
* The Charlotte/Charlotte's Mother romance subplot is manufactured for the episode.
* The carnival subplot is played out in much more detail, rather than a single paragraph in the original short story.