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Rated: E · Short Story · Children's · #1568471
The reason why witches became so wicked.
"The Witch and the Fix for Tricky Wikks.

In which Professor Proot teaches:

The real reason Witches are wicked

How Wikks were taught to pick up their toys

How to trick a wicked Wikk

Do you like secrets? Of course, you do; I cannot imagine anybody not liking secrets. In this tale, I will let you in on one of Professor Proot’s Extra Fantastic Secrets of Avalon. It is a most wonderful secret that will help you get out of trouble when mischievous imps are causing you to be blamed for all manner of things.

First, I need to ask you a most important question, although I imagine it will not seem very important at first. Quite the contrary, I expect those of you with notebooks to place this under the heading of “Things that Make Children Roll their Eyes,” or “One Hundred Things Heard One Hundred Times Each Day.” However, if I am to share the Extra Fantastic Secrets of Avalon with you, then you ought to answer this one question for me. After reading this tale, I am sure you will agree that the trade is most fair.

Did you pick up your toys today?

If you are like all good children, I am sure you did, just as I am sure it was not you who pulled Jenny Smith’s ponytail. Some of you, however, might be the victim of a tricky Wikk, which is why this story is a Most Important Tale.

Would you like to learn how to fix a tricky Wikk?

Before you answer, or before you do a doodle of Professor Proot with loony eyes and a befuddled smile, let me tell you the tale of the Witch and the Wicked Wikks. Now, I am sure most of you know what a Witch is. This particular Witch, however, was the very first Witch, and her name was Asmoranna. Asmoranna was not the same as the Witches who came after her. She was a kindly woman, fair of face and willing to use her potions and spells to help heal all manner of ailments. Most important of all, however, was that she did not eat children under any circumstances. You can read it again, but Asmoranna the Witch did not eat children. This is not to say that she did not make gingerbread houses, but these she gave to the children who lived in the villages around her woods. Her gingerbread houses were the kind that children were happy to find.

One day, Asmoranna heard a knock at the door. She opened it to find a wicker basket of Wikks with a note, addressed to the Witch, which said:

“Please take care of the Wikks.”

What is a Wikk you wonder? A Wikk is an imp that never outgrows his mischievous ways.  However, because they are tiny, even for imps, they are the cutest of critters. They cuddle, snuggle and coo, and their big, sad eyes and toothless smiles melt even the coldest hearts. When the heart is warm, such as Asmoranna’s, why, the Wikks can fill it with such a feeling of joy as to be almost indescribably bubbly. This is a good thing, because the Witch quickly forgot that the Wikks were still baby imps.

As kindly mothers do, Asmoranna showered the Wikks with gifts. Balls, bats, buggies and bugles soon filled her small cottage. Often, the Witch would trip over the Wikks’ gifts. She would cry “Wicked Wikks, pick up your gifts,” but they would skitter away to play. If she were exceptionally upset, they would gather around her with their big, sad eyes and pouty mouths, snuggling against her until she forgot what had gotten her so distraught. Still, the daily duel between the Witch and the Wikks soon creased her kindly face with lines.

Now, it was known in Avalon that the Emperor Oberon had set his heart on marrying Mab, the Faery Queen. Mab, however, pretended not to be interested, and so she shied away from the Emperor’s proposal. Oberon, in desperation, sent a messenger to ask Asmoranna for a poultice and potion of the most powerful sorts. He asked for a love potion and, should the potion fail, also requested a poultice for a broken heart. For this he was willing to pay ten pounds of gold, which as any Witch knows is a great sum of money, even in Avalon. With ten pounds of gold, Asmoranna might move from her humble hut to a fine town house where she would have more room for the Wikks and their gifts.

“Wikks,” she said, “pick up your gifts while I fix Oberon’s potion and poultice.” She set about her work immediately, but the Wikks waddled and wasted away the day with play.

Asmoranna poured her magic into the potion and the poultice, digging to the depths of her knowledge for the right recipe. At the end of an exhausting day, Asmoranna had done her duty. When the messenger returned for Oberon’s order, the Witch, weary from work, was unaware that the wicked Wikks had not picked up their gifts. As she crossed the kitchen to present her potions, Asmoranna tripped on a trumpet, slid on a sled, and finally fell over a football. The Wikks watched the Witch trip, chattering and skipping with glee to see the potions flip into the air. Before Asmoranna could act, the love potion landed with a flop atop her head. Of course, when this happened, Asmoranna lost all sense of anger and ire at the wicked Wikks. At that moment, she loved them as only one under the power of a love potion could, which is to say, as a mother would her own children.

Now, a love potion is powerful magic, but a poultice to mend a broken heart is the more potent of the two. Love, for those of you who do not know, is like a fine crystal bell. It is devilishly difficult to design, but once done, is able to make the most magical of music. Nevertheless, as hard as they are to make, if you break the bell…why, it is near impossible to put it together again, unless you have Asmoranna’s poultice. You cannot, however, with any magic, both make and mend the bell of love.

Therefore, when the poultice plopped atop her head, a most fearful fate befell the Witch. The poultice unfixed the love that gripped her. Where love had held her heart only moments before, it was replaced with the exact opposite of love which, as any who know will tell, is a void as wide as the sky and twice as deep. A person without love in their life will shrivel and shrink, and so Asmoranna changed, becoming bent and bitter. Warts and boils bubbled upon her skin, and her fingernails grew to gruesome lengths.

The Witch wailed at the Wikks. “Look what you’ve done to me, wicked, wicked Wikks. All for folly of not picking up your gifts have I been so undone.” The Witch fixed the Wikks with a fearsome glare, and pointed a warped and warty finger at them. “For this, I will curse you and all wicked Wikks. Drawing on all her magic, the Witch wove a powerful spell.

“The Wikks, forever bound shall be,

To toil and bend in misery,

And he who spills the seed at sup

Will find a Wikk must pick them up.

For they must stoop and they must bend

‘Til every grain is found again,

And only, only then may they

Return to mischief and to play”

The spell leapt from Asmoranna’s finger and struck the Wikks, but such was the depth of her despair and anger, it bound itself to all Wikks from that day forward. Oberon's messenger, fearing for his own safety, fled the cottage. The Wikks followed, flying to the trees in an effort to escape the Witch.

Now, it is said that Witches eat children and, I am sad to say, this is true. It is delightful to know that the attentive amongst you will recall that I had told you Asmoranna did not. That, however, was before the wicked Wikks unfixed the Witch. In Avalon, it is whispered that the reason for this is that all Witches suffer Asmoranna’s Abyss, which is to say, they have a void left by the lack of love. Only children can fill this hole, and so they eat them. Of course, since Witches live in Avalon, there is little for you to fear. Should you meet one, however, it would be prudent to run away as fast as you can, would you not agree?

But that, of course, is not the Extra Fantastic Secret of Avalon I promised you. Just like all secrets, however, I must whisper this to you for fear that the Wikks will hear me. It is a most useful Extra Fantastic Secret. So lean in a little closer, and I will tell you how to deal with Wikks and imps.

This is the Extra Fantastic Secret. As you might know from reading Professor Proot’s Tales and Fables of Avalon, Wikks and imps can be a most troublesome problem. They will doodle on your homework; put extra helpings of cabbage on your plate, or tip over a cup of cocoa just as you walk by. Why, I have even heard of Wikks who pull the ponytails of little girls when boys are close. Of course, the girls think the boy pulled them and get extremely upset. The boys are left to shrugging and claiming it was not they who did it. This is most unfair. Those of you who read the words of Asmoranna’s Curse closely will smartly conclude the way to deal with Wikks, but for the rest of you, I will tell it to you straight. If you scatter a handful of seeds about the ground, a Wikk will be bound to stop what he is doing and pick up every last grain. So, if you carry a pocket full of flax seeds, and spy a wicked Wikk musing mischief, throw the seeds to the ground. The Wikk has to work until every last seed is collected, which gives you plenty of time to switch places with your best friend so that he gets blamed for pulling pony tails instead of you.

Jenny Smith, I am sure, does not share her sweets with boys who pull her hair.

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