Reach for the Light

Story

The Old Warty Green Witch

witch holding a jack o lantern

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

There once was an old warty green witch,
she was jolly and merry all day.
She had three cauldrons,
of potions and spells.
She took orders from knights
and from ne’er-de-wells.

Customers came to her day and night
for help to solve their plight.
She helped all and sundry,
regardless of their intent.
She never cared if someone came to a nasty end.
“He-he he-haw, you asked for my help!” she would cackle and say.
No matter what anyone pleaded; her they could not sway.

Once a golden-haired Prince,
came to her to convince,
her to help him win the heart,
of the fair Lady of Greynebart.

The Witch happily agreed, and listed her fee.
The prince was delighted,
his yearning excited, for his wish to succeed.
The Witch granted his wish,
the prince held the Lady’s bleeding heart,
in the palm of his hand.

He clasped the Lady to his breast,
wailing and sobbing,
he cried to the Witch,
“Why did you do this?!”

“Now, now my Prince, this was at your behest.
I handed you her heart, is not my sorcery the best?”
She cackled sinisterly.

The Prince grew angry,
Black with fury, he faced the witch
“For you this may be all fine and dandy,
but my love I will avenge!”
Unsheathed his sword, his scabbard he flung.

Alas, the Witch was nimble and swift,
attack and defend
she cackled and dodged
crowed and fired.

The Prince fought and perspired,
to no avail.
The witch was having fun,
heeing and hawing,
and cackling a ton.

At last gave up the golden Prince
With heavy heart and a trembling wince,
He fell off a cliff nearby
Tumbling end over end
through the sky.

Into deep and rushing water
He fell, washing ashore near a hut
Unwell and hurt, with many a cut.

A crofter’s daughter found him there
His regalia patched and threadbare
She thought him a wandering hedge-knight
And nursed him to health all night

Awoke he, and sobbed for his lost love,
Spilling his tale to the hard-working peasant lass,
Sympathetic was she, and fed him a glass
Of soup and vittles warm.

Soon, recovered he, and thanked his savior
Wishing to repay her,
He asked her, “Oh fair maiden, how could I ever thank thee?”
“Pray give me a task, so I may repay your generosity!”
She refused, yet he insisted she charge him.

Reluctantly, she had him do chores
She asked him just one,
But he was not satisfied, until he had done scores.
She fell for his charm
Secretly smitten and disarmed.

Moved by his chivalry,
Swore the lass
To help him harass
The mean witch until,
He had been avenged his fill.

They set out together,
Walking to and fro,
The Prince and the peasant lass,
To defeat their nasty foe.
They came across a merchant stuck on a path
The witch had cursed the man in a fit o wrath.

To be ever lost,
Unable to find his home
At hearing their quest, he came to request
To join them and accost
Their mutual enemy.

Once again they set off,
Through a fantastic, fair, forest path
On it they found, a unicorn bereft,
Bemoaning the evil theft
Of his horn
By the witch over yon.

Upon hearing their tale
He swished is tail
And hopped up to join them,
Ad so they went on,
ever gathering companions
United by scorn
Of the witch and her wicked, wicked ways

Each of the companions
Contributed their gifts to the quest.
The Price fought and hunted
The lass cooked and tended
While the merchant traded goods
And added to their comforts
Along with the unicorn’s magic helping them to rest.

They travelled for an epoch
A seemingly endless time,
Learning to become friends,
Fighting foes and reaching ends
Finding new confidants and comrades.

They finally returned to the witch’s hut
Armed and armoured, prepped and prepared
With hate in their hearts, save one
Still not knowing what
They would end the witch with.

The merchant went forward first,
As had been planned,
He called to the witch
“Oh, I have a dear wish…”
Luring her out of her fortified niche.

Hungry for mayhem,
the witch was delighted,
she wielded her staff, topped with a gem
and popped out above them and sighted
their ready arms.

“He-he, he-haw, the itty bitty Prince tries again!”
she crowed in a voice that cracked.
Swooping down without futher ado, she attacked
“Fresh meat, how divine!” she cackled in glee.
The Prince and his companions tried to counteract.
But nimble was she and quick to flee.

From afar she hit them with blasts
Their attacks missing her by miles,
They fought and fought and tired at last
All but the lass
Who stayed behind and nurtured the injured.

When all hope seemed lost and the witch was to win
She had the Prince in her grip with a grin
“I’ll make yee a deal, my pretties,” she leered.
“One of you take his place and he shall be spared!”
Silence there was and it rung out in the glade.

“I’ll take his place!” shouted the lass.
“No!” yelled the Prince, his throat filled with glass
The witch was astonished, almost dropping her quarry
“Very well, very well, you die and I’ll give him a pass!” she taunted.
The lass never hesitated, and before any could stop her, she pulled a dagger, undaunted
She pointed it at her heart and got ready to stab.

Before she could do so, the Prince said,
“I surrender, so stop! Enough blood has been shed.”
“No more shall those I care for tread upon this path of revenge.”
He uttered solemnly and dropped his sword at the witch’s feet.
“No longer shall I strive to defeat.”

“Spare my companions, I beg you, oh vile witch”
“I shall pay any fee, no matter how rich,
For they be more important than any revenge,”
Pleaded the noble Prince,
Discarding his hate and his pride.

“He-he, he-haw, I see you have learned!
Selfish and greedy you were at first,
Hateful and prideful with a nasty thirst
Demanding, never bending, now you have
Changed and gained much and more.”

Said the witch gently,
Studying him intently, and with a wave of her hand
She reversed all their fates,
The prince again got to stand
In front of his lost love, to win whose heart
This whole journey had begun,
the fair Lady of Greynebart.

“Search your heart, golden-haired one,”
Advised the ugly, warty green witch.
“If your love is true, you may still have won.”
Looking at the Lady Greynenbart, anew
The Prince’s eyes instead flew

Toward the one who
Had stood with him in his foolishness
Stepping away from the Lady,
He extended his hand,
Taking instead the warm peasant lass
Whose beauty and loveliness seemed now far more grand.

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