Once upon a time there was a young girl named Maggie, who found out she had a very terrible disease and probably would never be well again.
She was very, very sad, and although she had many friends, all of them were afraid to visit her because they feared they might catch the disease.
So the little girl sat in her bed all by herself and was very lonely.
One day she heard a knock on her door. “Come in,” she said and in walked three of her friends. One was a doctor, one was a minister, and one was a magician. Maggie was very glad to see them for no one else had been brave enough to visit her.
“Hello, Maggie,” said her friends as they sat down around her bed. “We came to tell you something. Each one of us is going to try to find a cure for your disease.”
“Yes,” said the doctor, “I’m going to go into my laboratory and do experiments until I discover a medicine that will cure your disease.”
“And I,” said the minister, “am going to pray every day that you will be healed of this terrible disease.”
“And I,” said the magician, “am going to look through my books of magic until I discover a potion or spell that will rid you of your disease.”
Maggie smiled and was happy because she saw how much her friends cared for her.
“Thanks,” she said.
“We’re sorry that we can’t stay long to visit,” said her friends, “but we must rush off and begin our search for a cure. We’ll return in three days and surely by then one of us will have found a way to cure your disease.”
And so her friends went away in search of a cure, and once again Maggie was very lonely.
For three days Maggie’s friends did everything they could to find a cure for the disease. The doctor worked hard in the laboratory but couldn’t discover any medicine that could help the little girl. The minister prayed every day and every night that Maggie would be healed of her disease, but the little girl was still sick. The magician looked through all the magic books, but there were no spells or potions that could cure Maggie's disease. All three of Maggie's friends were very sad for they felt that they had failed.
After the three days were over, the doctor, the minister, and the magician returned to Maggie's house and told her the bad news. “We’re sorry,” they said, “but we couldn’t find a cure. We did our best.” And the three friends began to cry.
“Don’t cry,” said Maggie. “Before I was sick I had many friends, but now they’re all afraid to visit me. This disease I have is a terrible one, but it’s nothing compared to the loneliness I’ve felt these last few days. I now know loneliness is the worse disease of all.
“Right now the medicine I need most is your friendship.
“The prayer I need most is for you to simply be with me.
“And the magic I need most is your love.”
And so the doctor, the minister, and the magician gathered around the little girl and laid their hands upon her. In the silence that followed, it is said that they found the cure.