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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vegan, vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, juvenile fiction,

‘When There Were Witches’ continues …..

When There Were Witches continues from yesterday:

In the subsequent weeks a few more people broke the law, and each time, Brynja cast the spell to punish them. Before long the whole world knew that Brynja was as powerful as her mother and they took care not to break the law.

After six months of no one breaking the law, Brynja missed the euphoria that came with casting a spell.

“Maybe I should cast a different spell,” she wondered aloud.

“Why?” asked Bertha.

“Maybe something needs fixing. Or improving.”

Bertha shook her head. “You know what Mother used to say – you can’t improve on nature.”

“Well,” Brynja felt mischievous, “maybe I can.”

Bertha raised her eyebrows. “Mother couldn’t but you can?”

Brynja grinned. “I’ve found Mother’s spell book.”

“You have?” asked Bertha eagerly. “No, I don’t think you should use it. I don’t think she wanted us to … I mean, she never showed it to us when she was here.”

“You can’t draw any conclusions from that. Maybe she just didn’t get around to it.”

She should have known Bertha wouldn’t be onboard. Bertha liked to play it safe. Bertha had no sense of adventure. What did Bertha know? She wasn’t even a real witch. You couldn’t call yourself a witch if you were too scared to cast a spell. Brynja wasn’t scared. Brynja was powerful. Brynja could definitely improve on nature!

When Bertha went outside to pick the apples, Brynja fetched the spell book, went into her bedroom and locked the door. She sat on the floor behind her bed and began leafing through the book. It was divided into sections. Colour Spells, Garden Spells, Healing Spells, Mood Spells and Discipline Spells. She decided to start at the beginning and successfully turned her fingernails green and her Spider Plant blue. They were only little spells so they didn’t give her quite the exhilaration she was looking for, but it was a nice little buzz. Next she decided to try something more challenging – changing the colour of her eyes.

She collected the necessary ingredients: a pinch of salt, a handful of earth, a single mint leaf and, since she wanted her eyes to be gold like her mother’s, two dandelion blooms. She put them all in the granite mortar and pounded them with the pestle. Then she scooped up the mixture with wet hands and smeared it around her neck.

Brynja laughed. “Yuck. Yuck yuck yuck yuck!” She took care not to drip any of the muddy sludge on the book as she read the spell.

“I pick this colour from this bloom
To be my eyes’ new bright costume.
From birth was green behind my sight
Now make gold while day becomes night.”

She closed her eyes and waited for the buzz, but none came. She went to the mirror and met the same green eyes she always met. In a rage of disappointment she picked up the pestle and threw it across the room, smashing the pink rose vase and spilling its contents onto the floor. Brynja let out a furious squeal and stomped into the bathroom to wash her neck.

That evening at supper, she was less than talkative.

“D’you want some more pie?” asked Bertha.

Brynja shook her head.

“All the more for me!” Bertha grinned as she cut another slice. “The apples are so good this year!”

“Mm.”

“Brynja?”

“What?”

“What’s the matter?”

“Nothing.”

“Something’s put you in a bad mood.”

“Fine. I’m in a bad mood.” Brynja continued to push her half-eaten pie around the plate.

Bertha finished her pie and proceeded to clear the table. “Are you going to eat that?”

Brynja sighed and leaned back in her chair. “No, you can take it.” She looked grumpily at Bertha and pushed the plate towards her.

“Thank you.” Bertha paused to look at her sister.

“What?”

“Your eyes. They’re not green anymore.”

“They’re not?” Brynja was excited. “What colour are they?”

Bertha peered a little closer. “They’re pinkish … with gold around the edges. No, hang on, the gold is spreading.” Brynja tried not to blink. “The gold is nearly covering …. now they’re completely gold! Wow! Your eyes are just like Mother’s! I wonder if mine will change too!” She hurried to the bathroom to look in the mirror.

Brynja grinned. A new tingling sensation in her toes rose through her body. Through the window she noticed the red and orange sky. The sun had just set. Day was slipping into night and it reminded her of the words of the spell – while day becomes night. That’s why the colour didn’t change right away. It needed the sunset to finish the spell. The spell had worked!

Bertha came back into the room a little disappointed. “My eyes are still blue.”

Brynja smiled. “I can make them gold if you like. Or yellow or purple or any colour you want.”

You did it? With a spell?”

“Yes,” Brynja was glowing. “Don’t look so shocked. I am a witch after all. You should try it.”

“You’re not supposed to use magic for frivolous things.”

“Then why is there a section in the book for colour spells?” Brynja was determined not to let her sister spoil it.

“I don’t know. Maybe for things that need to be changed like … erm,”

“Changing the colour of your fingernails?” She held up her hands to show her green nails. “Or maybe changing the colour of a plant?”

“You changed a plant?”

“Yeah. My Spider Plant’s blue now. It was easy.”

“How many spells have you done?”

“D’you want to see my Spider Plant?”

Bertha smiled nervously. “Erm, okay.”

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Fairy Tale concludes tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole story here 😀

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Eye illustration by Daniel Hannah of Pixabay

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vegan fairy tale

 

 

Vegan Story Time #8: The Two Little Pigs

Listen to The Two Little Pigs 😀

Want more stories?  Check out the Story Time page 😀

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vegan, vegan story, vegan story books, vegan children’s story, read aloud, audio books, books, children’s books, animals, pigs,

The two little pigs met a heron

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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The two little pigs met a heron,

A wise and dignified bird,

“Help us please, to find our way home,”

And she listened to every word.

***

“That’s not what I’d do,” said the heron,

“If I had a dilemma like yours.

If I were you I’d get off by myself,

Don’t get stuck behind closed doors.”

***

The butcher was near so the pigs ran on

While the heron tried to distract him.

He paused for breath, returning her gaze

And she prayed he would never catch them.

Everything changed

Story continues from yesterday:

😀

For the whole story, and the background and sources that informed it, click here

Let the dogs out is also available in paperback 🙂

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vegan, juvenile fiction, anti-vivisection, animals, dogs, illustration, animal rights, vegan story, vegan children’s story

So many families

Today is World Day for Laboratory Animals.  Please take action for laboratory animals now.  It’ll only take a couple of minutes.  Thank you 🙂

Story continues from yesterday:

story continues tomorrow

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dogs, animals, anti-vivisection, vegan, vegetarian, illustration, vegan story, animal rights story

Protect and Retrieve

the rebel gang and the number ciphers

the rebel gang and the number ciphers

the rebel gang and the number ciphers

😀

Click here to read the whole story 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan story, vegan conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory, mystery, code-cracking, juvenile fiction, children’s story, vegan children’s story, the rebel gang and the number ciphers, art, collage, creative writing

Stay above suspicion

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

Gasp! 😮

Story concludes tomorrow but if you’ve missed any of it you’d better catch up now!

Here’s the whole thing 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan story, vegan conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory, mystery, code-cracking, juvenile fiction, children’s story, vegan children’s story, the rebel gang and the number ciphers, art, collage, creative writing

“All of this benefits the ones in charge”

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

😮 Continues tomorrow 🙂

Or read to the end now 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan story, vegan conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory, mystery, code-cracking, juvenile fiction, children’s story, vegan children’s story, the rebel gang and the number ciphers, art, collage, creative writing

Unprotected minds

 vegan children's story

vegan children's story

vegan children's story

vegan children's story

vegan children's story

vegan children's story

What a daring investigator she is – caring not about her own safety, doing whatever it takes to bring the rebels to justice 😮

Next instalment tomorrow, or read the whole story now 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan story, vegan children’s story, humour, art, collage, suspense, mystery, conspiracy theory

“DO NOT TRUST ANYONE”

 vegan children's story

 vegan children's story

 vegan children's story

Rejoin Apostrophe Blackett et al on Monday 🙂

Have a good weekend 😀

If you don’t want to wait you can read the whole code-cracking story now 😮

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vegan, vegan story, vegetarian, vegan children’s story, conspiracy, mystery, codes, ciphers, art, craft, collage, paper crafts, humour

The End?

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

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Oh dear, it’s not looking good for planet Earth and all its inhabitants.  If you’d like to try to help the bewitched break the spell you could do as Maud suggests and share this story far and wide.  The children of non-vegan parents who are caught up in the spell could be helped to snap out of it if they found this book in their library – it’s worth a try, isn’t it?

The colour version, with Beatrice Wilberforce’s illustrations, is only £3.90

Wicked Witch

and Maud’s original Wicked Wicked Witch and the Ruinous Manipulation, being entirely black and white, is only £2.80.

cover-reduced-for-website

And, by the way, it’s surprisingly fun how easy it is to make a book look like a real bona fide library book with simple, easily edited, or not, photocopies stuck on the first page.

img199

and maybe even one of those removable plastic book jackets they often have, which come in different sizes and are often on discarded library books 🙂

It’s just harmless fun 😉

Have a good weekend 😀

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Gruesome Hocus Pocus

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

Story concludes tomorrow but, if you don’t want to wait,

find it now on the Fairy Tales page 🙂

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Time to revitalize

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow, but if you want to read the whole fairy tale now, just pop over to the Fairy Tales page 😀

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Out of the mouths of babes

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

16

continues tomorrow but if you want to go to the Fairy Tales page and read the whole story now, you can 🙂

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

The Spell

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues Monday but if you don’t want to wait, you know what to do 😉

What? Oh, it’s on the Fairy Tales page 😮

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Manipulation

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow

but if you don’t want to wait you can find the whole story on the fairy tales page 🙂

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

Her plan was working so well

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you can’t wait and want to read the whole story now,

go to the Fairy Tales page 😀

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, vegan, vegetarian, environment, wicked witch, global warming, animals, animal rights

The Wicked Witch’s Plan To Get Rid Of Everyone begins here

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

continues tomorrow … 😀

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Once upon a time, high on a mountain peak, surrounded by fog night and day, lived a wicked wicked witch. She was tall and thin and had long bony fingers. Her fingernails were green and she had a hard heart from which her purple blood ran cold.

She awoke when the crow cawed and slowly creaked to her feet. She cooked her breakfast of four slices of freshly butchered piglet and two sheep intestine tubes filled with finely minced calf flesh and fried tomatoes and toast. She consumed it all with relish and washed it down with a tall glass of baby growth fluid squeezed from a cow.

After breakfast the witch wiped her greasy mouth with the back of her hand and put the dishes in the sink. It was time to go to work.

For many hundreds of years the witch had been working on her plan to turn the world into a dry, desolate, poisonous place, somewhere only she and the cockroaches could thrive. That may seem like a long time to you and me but to the witch, who had lived in her castle for over ten thousand years, it was nothing.

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vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story

And the Maddicts winner is …

Maddicts draw

wait for it ….

Maddicts winner

Animalista Untamed!

Congratulations – a copy of Maddicts will be on its way to you as soon as you give me your address (you can contact me privately using the contact form on the About page)

And for those not so lucky, don’t worry – you too can have your own copy of Maddicts if you order it from Amazon 😉

There’ll be another giveaway next week 😀

vegan graphic novel

This Week’s Giveaway: Maddicts

vegan graphic novel

This week’s giveaway is a copy of Maddicts and you’ve got until Friday to enter.

Maddicts is not for young children.  We don’t recommend it for under 12s.  It’s a vegan graphic novel; a dark satire; a piece of self-indulgent wishful thinking (on my part); it is humorous speculation about what might happen if the natural world fought back and all the animals simultaneously turned on their oppressors and escaped.

Of course you are free to read it in full here, but if you’d like your own copy, comment on this post and your name will be entered into Friday’s draw.

The clock is ticking my friends.  Good luck 😀

Up before dawn …

For the story so far click here

vegan comic for children

I was up before dawn on the morrow and found a strangled vixen outside my door, the poor wee lass was intended to teach me a lesson.  I knew they wouldn’t stop killing whatever I did so, for the sake of their future victims, I still had to try to save those I could.  Leaving Donnan at home to protect the others, I made my way to the Viscount’s estate and tried to scare as many grouse away as I could, before the “sport” began.  I saw his guests arriving and said a prayer for the innocents who would cross their paths.  I stayed out of sight and got ahead of them to the woods.

vegan comic for children

Such brave and noble men who would, five of them, gang up to slaughter a little bird.

vegan comic for children

I tried to stay out of sight whilst rushing to pick up the injured before their dogs got to them, but I’m sure it was inevitable that someone would see me.

“Miss Allaway, I thought my man had spoken to you about this.  Ah well, I suppose if you want something done right you have to do it yourself – isn’t that what they say?” The Viscount himself stood over me but I didn’t look up.  I couldn’t take my eyes off the bird whose tail had been clipped by a shot which almost missed him.  He was flapping and gasping and panicking.  I reached out to him as the Viscount spoke again.

“Miss Allaway, I see you cannot be reasoned with.”  I heard a click and that was it.  That was the end of me.

To be continued …

26 Verses of Deidra

rhyming children's story

Where are you going Deidra? is one of our favourite, and one of the most popular, stories on this site so when we decided to publish a compilation of short stories and rhymes for little ones we really wanted to include it.  Unfortunately the new book – entitled “Why are you a vegan?” And other wacky verse for kids – is full of rhyming stories (of course), and Deidra is not one of those.

So, we made it into one – and here it is, the true-ish story of Deidra the dairy cow, in rhyme, in case you’re interested.

This is how it begins:

rhyming children's story

Once there was a dairy farm

With fifty lovely cows.

Most of them were black and white

But some of them were brown.

***

Gripping stuff I know! 😉

 Where are you going Deidra? – In Rhyme