Frivolous Magic – ‘When There Were Witches’ concludes

When There Were Witches continues from yesterday:

***

The twins stayed up half the night changing the colour of everything in the house. They put different coloured floorboards in every room, with ceilings to match. They made the roof tiles blue to match the sky, and the outside walls green to match the grass. They changed the colours of their clothes and their bed sheets and both umbrellas. They tried to change their hair colours but that didn’t work. Their hair was essential to who they were. Bertha was red, Brynja was yellow. Nothing could change that.

A little after 4am they collapsed on Brynja’s bed, exhausted and happy.

“I see why you like doing it.” Bertha smiled, “It feels really nice.”

Really nice,” agreed Brynja, “but you’re right, it is a bit frivolous.” They both laughed. “Tomorrow, we should do spells from the Garden chapter!”

*

By the anniversary of their mother’s departure, the twins were not only proficient at many of the spells in the book, they had learned to make up their own. They wrote a spell to do the dishes, another to sweep the floor. They used magic to plant seeds and water them. They used magic to pick the fruit. They even used magic to cook the dinner. Whatever needed to be done when they didn’t feel like doing it, was done with magic. That left them with a lot of time on their hands.

“I’m bored,” said Brynja.

“Do some painting. It’s fun!” Bertha was painting a portrait of one of their frequent visitors, a pig called Alfred. “Alfred. Alfred, tt-tt-tt – look at me please darling, I’m trying to do your eyes.”

Brynja scrunched up her nose. “Naa. I don’t see the point. I could do it better with magic.”

“Well it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact I think it’s nicer if …”

Circumlinisti stibio verus Alfred!”

Alfred vanished.

Bertha gasped. “Alfred! … Where did he go?”

“Here he is!” Brynja, grinning, held up a beautifully framed painting of Alfred which was faultlessly realistic.

Bertha was stunned. “That’s amaz-ing … did he just blink?” Her sister laughed. “Is that Alfred? Did you turn him into a painting?!” Bertha did not think it was funny. “Change him back! You’re frightening him!”

“He’s fine.”

“Change him back! Now!”

Brynja muttered a few more words in Latin and Alfred was back on the armchair momentarily before dropping to the floor and leaving the house.

“How could you do that?” Bertha was really angry.

“He’ll be back tomorrow, you can finish your painting then.”

“I don’t care about the painting! How could you do that to Alfred? He must have been petrified! How would you like it if …?”

“Oh will you, chill, out!”

Bertha glared.

“I didn’t hurt him. He probably doesn’t even have any memory of it. He’s fine!” Brynja left the room and slammed the door behind her.

The following morning at breakfast the atmosphere was still frosty. Both witches ate their toast in silence.

Refresh!” Bertha opened the window.

Clausa fenestrae.” Brynja closed it.

Bertha scowled. “You’re such a … witch!”

“Ha! Good one!”

Bertha took another bite of toast and tried to take the high road. But the low road beckoned. “What’s with the Latin all of a sudden? You’re such a show off!”

Brynja smiled coldly. “Just wanted a new challenge I guess, since I’ve mastered the magic.” There was a wicked glint in her eye as she slowly pushed the toast rack across the table. “You can have this, I don’t want any more,” and she left the room.

They didn’t speak to each other for the rest of the day. The next morning Brynja slept in so Bertha had breakfast on her own. Brynja had hers a couple of hours later which meant they weren’t ready for lunch at the same time, or dinner. The distance between them expanded. Eventually, almost a week after the painting incident, Alfred came back to see Bertha.

She could tell right away that he was troubled and, with a swift and gentle magic word, “Speak,” she enabled him to tell her exactly what was on his mind. He warned her that Brynja was upsetting the balance of nature. For her own amusement, she had taken possession of the forest and filled it with plants and animals who didn’t belong there, forcing out those who had always called it home. He feared for the future and told her what she already knew – that Brynja must be stopped.

Bertha finally understood why her mother had kept the spell book from them. Magic had made Brynja arrogant and selfish. She had separated herself from nature and the other beings with whom she shared the world. Magic had made her think she was better than everyone else. But what was more worrying was that Bertha had not been sent the pain when Brynja broke the law. The one law, do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain, did not apply to witches.

Bertha rushed upstairs to find the spell book and turned straight to the last chapter: Discipline Spells. There was the spell Ermendrud had taught them, To Punish A Law Breaker, and one other – A Last Resort. The spell’s introduction explained that a witch without self-control was the most dangerous threat a world could face and must be stopped at all costs. Bertha was sickened by detailed descriptions of horrors which had happened on other worlds where errant witches had gone unchecked. Only she could protect her world from such an outcome.

With heavy heart she collected the ingredients needed for the spell: a lock of Brynja’s hair from Mother’s locket, and a black rose. Then she went to find her sister.

Brynja was in the meadow, using magic to make a herd of deer run races for her amusement.

“Please don’t do that,” Bertha tried one more time to appeal to her sister’s better nature.

Brynja turned and scowled. “I want to do it, so I will!”

Bertha was sad. “Why are you doing this? You never used to be like this. Magic’s made you mean.”

“What do you know about magic? You’ve only just dipped your toe in the water. If you embraced it like I have you’d know how small your life is.”

“My life is full. It’s balanced. Yours is dangerous. You are dangerous, and if you don’t stop now, I’ll be forced to stop you.”

“Will you?” Brynja asked with a smirk.

“Yes,” said Bertha sadly, “if you won’t stop now I’ll stop you permanently.”

Brynja threw back her head and laughed. “I’m bored of listening to you now,” and, with a flourish, “Silence!”

In the second before Brynja’s spell hit her, Bertha rubbed a handful of her own hair against the black rose behind her back and whispered the magic word, “Sacrifice!” A moment later she was nothing but a scattering of poppy seeds in the grass.

“Nooo!” Brynja’s heart-rending cry filled the sky. “Bertha! Come back! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do it!” She dropped to her knees and sobbed. “Please Bertha, please come back. I’ll be good – I promise! Pleease Bertha, please come back!” With her prayer left unanswered, she tried desperately to resurrect Bertha with magic. “Veni domum! Come back! Revive! Resurrect! Revivesco!

Bertha, unable to bring herself to take her sister’s life, had sacrificed herself in a way that she hoped would fill Brynja with such regret that she would, ever after, restrain her own excessive and frivolous use of magic. What she didn’t anticipate was just how damaging that regret would be.

Thinking that her own selfish and unnecessary abuse of magic had killed her sister, Brynja tore into her house in a violent rage against all magic. Unable to find the spell book where she’d left it, she commanded it to appear before her.

Ego legere magicae ex hoc mundo!” In that moment the spell book was banished and with it all of Brynja’s magic.

She still feels the pain every time someone breaks the law, but she can’t cast the spell to punish them.  So the world has been left to the mercy of people who no longer fear the wrath of a benevolent witch and often don’t take care to do as they would be done by.  I’m sure you know what kind of a world that is.

A sad ending 😦 I’m sorry,

but if you want a happy ending check out the other stories on the fairy tales page 😀

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Three months later …

Big Blue Sky continues:

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

Oh no Luca! Wake up!

Big Blue Sky continues tomorrow but if you can’t wait to find out if Luca’s ok, you can finish it now 🙂

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vegan, vegan Christmas, turkeys, Christmas story, children’s story, vegan children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, animals, birds,

Are you sure there’s a way out?

Clarence’s story continues:

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

Will Clarence get to see the Big Blue Sky?

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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vegan, vegan Christmas, turkeys, Christmas story, children’s story, vegan children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, animals, birds,

Clarence’s story begins today

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

 

vegan Christmas story***************************************************************

Clarence’s story continues tomorrow

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“We’re doomed!”

The End 😀

If you missed the beginning you can read the whole story here

And if you like rhyming stories generally, there are more on this page 😀

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“We’re doomed!  We’re doomed!”  cried a pink panicked pig.

The other was mute in distress.

“Listen to me,” came a voice down a tree,

“I’ll get you both out of this mess.”

***

“The answer is simple, you need to be brave,

Keep going, walk on, don’t look back.

The forest will feed you and shelter you too.

You will find that for nothing you’ll lack.”

***

So the two little pigs changed direction at last

As they chose to live and be free.

Their salty tears dried on their pink rosy cheeks,

Ever after they lived happily.

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vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan children’s story, rhyming story, poem, animals, animal rights, pigs, birds, magpies, illustration, drawing

 

At last they found it!

The story of The Two Little Pigs continues:

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Oh no!  Poor piggies 😦

Join us tomorrow to see how the story ends 😀

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At last the pigs found it, the place of their dreams,

Their home with the farmer they loved.

But their joy was short-lived when they saw what she did.

Just in time her true face was revealed.

***

“What’s wrong?” asked a magpie who watched with her mate,

“Tell us what makes you so sad.”

“The farmer,” said one pig with tears in his eyes,

“We thought she was good but she’s bad.”

***

“Ah yes,” said the magpie, “we’ve seen it before.

She’s lovely to piggies like you.

She keeps them well fed and happy and fat

Till she sends them to him, two by two.”

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vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan children’s story, rhyming story, poem, animals, animal rights, pigs, birds, magpies, illustration, drawing

Before long the two pigs met two robins

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Join us on Monday to find out what happens next 😀

Have a great weekend ❤

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Before long the two pigs met two robins

Sitting atop a green bush.

“Help us please, to find our way home,

We can’t stand here long so please rush!”

***

“I wouldn’t do that, oh no, oh no,”

The robins were both in agreement.

“You should look for a place of your own,

Unless you want more of this treatment.”

***

The pigs were confused but could not wait,

The butcher was still close behind them.

The big bad butcher still huffed and still puffed,

Still annoyed that he still couldn’t find them.

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vegan, animals, birds, animal rights, pigs, children’s story, rhyming story, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s books, vegetarian,

A Handsome Fellow

Here is the fellow

I met yesterday,

I don’t know his name,

He didn’t say.

But he was so handsome,

So elegant was he,

I quietly admired him,

Or was he a she?

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Can somebody tell me – is he a partridge?  And is he a he or a she?

Such a beauty 😀

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bird, birds, animals, wild animals, wildlife, garden, garden birds, poem, poetry

Snow White and Rose Red remembered.

children's story

Once upon a time there were two beautiful girls called Snow White and Rose Red.  They were very unhappy because they were imprisoned in a large windowless shed with thousands of others like them.  They were cramped and miserable; they never saw daylight or felt the wind on their faces;  and the prison guards were rough and cruel.  Then one night, everything changed.

children's story

As the wind blew and the rain poured down, someone came and lifted them out of their prison and carried them out into the night.

children's story

The beautiful girls were scared at first.  They tried to shelter their heads from the wind and rain, instinctively ducking under the chin of the person carrying them.  What was this cold, dark, wet outside world?  They had never seen it before and didn’t know what to think.

children's story

After hours and hours of jostling and jolting in the wind and rain; after feeling cold and wet and very very nervous; they arrived somewhere.  Somewhere new.  Somewhere unfamiliar.

children's story

They explored with care.  They didn’t know what to make of it.  They didn’t know who to trust.  But they were curious.  They weren’t so desperate to get away anymore.  They started to wonder if this was, after all, something good.

children's story

As they settled in to their new surroundings they were approached by other individuals.  One of whom in particular, Mrs Teapot, became their devoted friend.

children's story

children's story

children's story

children's story

And so they lived happily ever after 😀

F is for Falcon

F is for falcon

Falcon    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Small hawk trained to hunt.

Our definition:  A falcon is any one of 37 species of raptor in the genus Falco, widely distributed on all continents of the world except Antarctica.

Adult falcons have thin tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and to change direction rapidly.  Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which makes their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a broadwing.  This makes it easier to fly while learning the exceptional skills required to be effective hunters as adults.

Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth.  Other falcons include the gyrfalcon, lanner falcon, and the merlin.  Some small falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover while hunting are called kestrels.

As is the case with many birds of prey, falcons have exceptional powers of vision; the visual acuity of one species has been measured at 2.6 times that of a normal human.

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Click on the pic for the F page of our vegan dictionary, or see the link in the sidebar to your right

Click on the pic for the F page of our vegan dictionary, or see the link in the sidebar to your right

Chickens Are People Just Like Dogs

chickens are people

Chickens are people

Just like dogs.

They enjoy dust baths

And jumping on logs.

  chickens are people

Chickens will play games

Like ‘chase’ and ‘steal your smalls’.

They’ll splash you in the paddling pool,

Though not keen on fetching balls.

chickens are people

Some of them are gentle, 

Some of them are tough.

Some of them are bossy, 

Some timid and soft as fluff.

  chickens are people

They all have personality

And every one is different.

Just like Rover and Fido and Max

They might be quiet or exuberant.

chickens are people

The Ravens Watch

vegan poem

The gamekeeper walks, shotgun in hand,

A frown on his face, he litters the land

With barrels and bags of game bird feed,

With cages and wire, and bodies that bleed.

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The bodies of animals killed by his gun

Are hung on the tree, one by one.

With hardness of heart, and misery of soul,

The gamekeeper’s is a grotesque role.

****

Day after day, and year after year

He does his job with no guilt and no fear.

What he doesn’t know is that someone is watching

And when the storm comes … his clock will stop ticking.

****

Land Rover won’t start, the engine’s kaput,

The storm closes in as he trudges on foot.

He strides for the castle, to find some shelter,

He’s whipped by debris as the wind rises higher.

****

It’s darker now as the rain lashes down.

The ravens watch the sinister clown.

He’s soaked and he’s angry, he yells at the sky,

And the lightening yells back “And now you must die!”

Dear Giovanni

img082

“Dear Giovanni wouldn’t eat a bird.”

“He wouldn’t eat a bird?”

“No, haven’t you heard?

Lovely Giovanni wouldn’t eat a bird,

Because he loves them dearly.”

****

“Dear Giovanni wouldn’t cook a bird.

He wouldn’t cook a bird

In his restaurant, take my word!

Kind-hearted Giovanni, beloved restauranteur,

Wouldn’t cook a bird, no sir!”

****

“Giovanni has a motto,

I don’t know if you’ve heard it,

He says ‘Don’t hurt friends,

Or friends of friends,

Because none of them deserve it.'”

****

I had fun painting this cityscape and the name for the restaurant, Giovanni’s, just popped into my head.  Then, because I wanted to make a post in keeping with this week’s theme – birds – I wrote a quirky poem to go with it.  Then I thought – wouldn’t it be great if there really was a vegan restaurant called Giovanni’s?  So I googled and, guess what – there is!  What are the chances???

Giovanni's Pizza Grill, Rock City Rd and Tinker St Woodstock, NY 12498 United States

Giovanni’s Pizza Grill, 100% Vegan Organic Restaurant, Rock City Rd and Tinker St, Woodstock, NY 12498, United States

The Margherita

The Margherita

The Benedetta

The Benedetta

Poppy’s Potato Croquettes

Poppy’s Potato Croquettes

"meatballs" (made with whole grains and seeds) covered in a flavourful tomato sauce with onions

“meatballs” (made with whole grains and seeds) covered in a flavourful tomato sauce with onions

Sausage with peppers and onions

Sausage with peppers and onions

Fantastic tantalising pictures pinched from The V Word.

Click here to read the full restaurant review.  Ooh, I wish I lived near Woodstock right now 😉

Thanks Rhea 🙂

STOP PRESS:

Since posting this, Rhea has been in touch (see comments below) and she, in turn, told Giovanni who also dropped us a line (see comments again).  Anyway, I thought you might be interested in Giovanni’s fascinating story about how he became a vegan chef  which is revealed in his interview with Green Door Magazine, so click here

“Pay, I say pay attention boy!”

Hey boy!  Pay attention to me when I'm talkin' to ya!

Hey boy! Pay attention to me when I’m talkin’ to ya!

What, I say what's the big idea?  Don't stand there gawkin' woman!

What, I say what’s the big idea? Don’t stand there gawkin’ sister!

Nice girl, but more mixed up than a feather in a whirlwind!

Nice girl, but more mixed up than a feather in a whirlwind!

Pay attention to me boy!  I'm not just talkin' to hear my head roar!  Get down, I say get down to Raystede and support the good work they're doin'!  Any of this sinkin' in???

Pay attention to me boy! I’m not just talkin’ to hear my head roar! Get down, I say get down to Raystede and support the good work they’re doin’! Any of this sinkin’ in???

Raystede: Giving animals a better life.

Last but not least …. ‘Big Blue Sky’ Giveaway!

vegan children's story

It seemed appropriate to leave this one ’til now because inevitably people will start thinking ahead to Christmas once September gets here.  And really, Big Blue Sky is a pre-Christmas story as opposed to a Christmas story because, since people tend to order their turkeys early, if they’re buying direct from the farmer, it would be good if they read this beforehand.

Anyway, if you fancy a copy for yourself or someone else, why not enter the Goodreads Giveaway?

Good luck 🙂