One fine morning, The Everyday Witch got to her kitchen to find a pair of heavy, mud-caked boots sitting inside her porch door. So covered with drying cement, these boots could not enter her home a step further.
“I can’t get going to work,” the boots said. “I just can’t seem to move. I am stuck”
“You are depressed,” said the Everyday Witch, and she asked her helpmates, Monty Dog and Storm the Rescue cat, to help her pull out the right ingredients to make a potion in her Official Ketttle.
She got out her wooden spoon, and stirred in a quart of strong black coffee. Then, she rattled around her jars and bottles and boxes and sacks of this and that and boiled together the following ingredients:
1. (2) small whirlpools of Motion;
2. An infusion of 5 things of beauty;
3. The Thought of someone worse off than you;
4. (1) Pickled Plan to do something nice for that person;
5. (5) dried seeds of new things to learn;
6. Half a jigger of Reason To Live.
She swirled these around in the kettle until they came to a boil. She poured the potion into the boots and when the cement and dried mud had dissolved, and the leather was soft and supple and the heels had a bounce, she waved her wooden spoon and ordered a kitchen dance. A polka. And then, between the four of them, a square dance.
And off went the boots, ready to face the day.
That evening, a quaking aspen walking stick appeared at her porch door. Monty Dog had to carry it in, so trembly was this stick that it could not walk itself.
“Whatever is so wrong?” cried the Everyday Witch.
“I’m scared.” said the walking stick. “I’m so scared of everything. I can hardly go outside my front door I am so afraid.”
“Afraid?” asked the Everyday Witch. “Afraid of what?”
“I don’t know. There is nothing to be afraid of. But I am. All over. It’s all over me like a pokey jacket. See how I quake and try to shrink.”
“You have anxiety,” said the Everyday Witch, and she opened a kitchen drawer that was filled with the softest, finest ribbons made from gossamer wings and the chest feathers of willing doves.
These ribbons were of all colors — some vibrant and strong, some colors subdued and quiet. Some had powders that glimmered and smelled sweet and pleasant.
The EveryDay Witch wrapped these ribbons around and around the quaking aspen stick, and then asked Storm the Rescue Cat to open the kitchen window and snag down the moon just a little bit.
Storm reached up into the darkening sky and pulled down the moon — it was a perfect half moon, and bright orange as the season was changing to Fall.
The EveryDay Witch asked the quaking aspen stick to breathe in so deep, so very deep, that when he blew out, the moon would float back up high in the sky.
It took several tries — because blowing out is so much harder than blowing in. But the moon did indeed bounce back into the night sky. This made the walking stick feel so much better, No more quaking. And the pokie coat had been replaced with flowing confidence.
Off went the walking stick, taking the long way home.
Early the next morning, before Monty and Storm had woken up to the breakfast sausages starting on the grill, there came a small but sharp knock on the kitchen porch door.
When the EveryDay Witch answered the door, she found, sagging on her porch, a little boy. Dressed for school, wearing a backback as droopy as his sad long face.
She had seen this child around a bit, but had never known his name.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. “What is your name?”
“Davari.” Came the downcast reply. “It’s the first day of school. I can’t go. The bus is coming, but I can’t go. Can I watch your dog for the day?”
Monty and Storm appeared and let Davari pat their fur. The sausages had begun to sizzle.
“Tell me why you can’t go to school.” said EveryDay Witch.
A tear unleashed itself down Davari’s cheek. “I’m not cool. I don’t have a new back pack like everybody else. Mine is the one I used last year. It’s all gross. And it hardly has anything in it I’m supposed to have. Everybody will laugh at me.”
“Well,” said Everyday Witch, brightly, “the good news is that the problem isn’t you. Your problem is gear!”
She clapped her hands at Monty and Storm and said to them, “Quick, you two! Open up and empty out the Gear Closet! Hurry now — the schoolbus will be here soon!”
Monty and Storm flew into action and The EveryDay Witch put the raggedy pack onto the kitchen counter, which served as a surgery table.
While Davari feasted on a plate of hot sausages, she got to work.
She patched the holes on the pack with International Space Station Reflector badges. She inserted helicopter wings and a pop-out umbrella into the top shoulder space. She plugged rocket boosters in at the bottom of the pack. But none of these were going to be necessary, she told Davari, because what she tucked in the middle off the pack — very securely, was a drone.
Davari choked on his orange juice.
“Now, keep that down,” said EveryDay Witch, “you’ll need that vitamin C for this next item — ” and into the side pocket of the backpack she sewed a GPS locator device. “This GPS will map out — with a series of beeping dots — where your parents are, and where your friends are. The yellow dots are the best friends you have yet to meet. That’s your job today. To find the yellow dots and make new friends.”
And with lightening speed — for they could all hear the rumble of the big yellow bus coming up the road — The EveryDay Witch emptied out her kitchen drawer of office supplies — post-it notes, colored pens, a variety of glues and tapes and notepads and pencils and glittery things and stickers and tiny staplers and pull-out rulers and stuffed them into the remaining pocket of the bulging backpack.
She pushed Davari out the door and stufffed his pocket with power bars.
“Thank you,” Davari started to cry again, this time, in happiness, but there was no time.
“Go — go, you’re welcome — don’t be late for the bus!” she pushed him out the door with a quick shoulder squeeze.
The EveryDay Witch shut the door and leaned against it, sighed, and viewed her kitchen. Strewn up and down with tapes and scissors and glues and sewing items and spilled potions and the lingering smell of breakfast.
She looked at Monty and Storm, who shook their heads while licking their lips before she even got the question out: “Any more sausages left?”
Not a one.
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