Fear and Witches and Tea

Fear's a funny thing when it comes to witches. Witches don't fear much. But people fear them. It comes down to toads. More specifically, being turned into them. People don't much like getting turned into toads. And people don't much like witches. 

    This particular witch was an interesting sort. Oh, she had all the things; the crone-like stature, the scrawny build, the broom, the magic spells, and the kind of voice that made crows flock to her as though she were one of their own. But she was a neat, small person. And so, that was different from some of the things you hear about witches.

    A long time ago, she had been haunted and heckled, spat on and kicked. But she turned that guy into a toad. So that stopped. The village didn't invite her to tea for awhile, though — on account of the witchiness. That took the saving of a child who took a bad turn in the night. There's nothing worse than taking a bad turn in the night unless it's a child taking it. And fear does funny things to a person when their child takes a turn in the night. It makes them wish for witches. The witch came quickly, then — a witch knows when she's needed. And she sat with the child and bartered successfully with Death. People have a humble respect for someone who can barter successfully with Death. Needless to say, tea invitations were offered. 

    Not many were accepted, though. 

    No one likes to be feared all the way through teatime.


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