Can’t We Play Nice?

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Tabitha gaveled in the annual meeting of WG&G (Witches, Ghosts, and Goblins.) “In all the years that I’ve chaired this meeting, there’s never been a time like this.”

Casper Ghost interrupted her. “You always look on the dark side. What about the Salem witchcraft trials? How about Attila the Hun?”

“You think this is better?” Tabitha sniffed. “Anyway, how would you know? You’re on World of Warcraft constantly. You need to be more serious.”

Casper turned pink. “Play calms our fears. Think Halloween. A chance at make believe might distract people from their feuds. Use your words, I say, “Trick or treat.”

Men In Heels

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“I simply must have those glass slippers.” The Prince was confident they would fit. The dancing lady was nervous.

As the clock struck midnight, as he led her to take a seat and remove the heels, as the spell began to reverse, Cinderella ran. She was oblivious to everything but getting away before her riches turned to rags.

The Prince was dumbfounded. He chased her from the hall, stopping only to retrieve the first fallen pump. When he looked up, a charlady met his gaze.

“Where did she go?”

What he didn’t see was one glinting shoe on her foot.

Supply Side Magic

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“Your cupboard is bare, Mother, and yours, too, Dame,” The Old Woman passed her teabag around the table.

The dog, the cat, and the children climbed up the shoe-house.

Old Mother Hubbard shouted. “What with the high price of kibble, I fear the dog will eat me.”

“Don’t even mention canned fish,” Dame Trot stirred her plain tea. “How do you manage with all those mouths to feed?”

The Old Woman opened her pantry for inspection. It was full of cereal, canned goods, and dry beans. “A charm for the cupboard and a curse on the Tory’s trickle down tricksters.”

Fish Story

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“You threw it back? Then wish us supper.”

To please his sister, the fisherman did exactly that. Voila! A table laden with delicacies appeared.

She sated herself. “Foolish man, we could have had a different life for that wish. Ask for a fine house and all that would sustain us in it.”

“Would that make you happy?”

“You”ll have one wish left if it doesn’t”

Without the posh accent, education, and manners to go with the lifestyle, she was miserable.

Her brother asked the fish for happiness. He was six again. She was five. Valued equally by society, they thrived.

Calaveras Frog Prince and the Three Wishes

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Daisy stood at the starting line and kissed her frog for luck. A long-legged young man arose from the dusty line-up and cleared his throat.

“Are you a princess?” Cedric worried he was lost.

“Daddy calls me Princess.”

The jumping contest official told them they’d need to move.

Daisy took Cedric’s hand. “Daddy’ll know what to do.” She pulled him into the chaos of the county fair.

Cedric slipped through her fingers and disappeared into a fortuneteller’s booth. She handed Cedric a tarnished lamp. When he rubbed the dust away, a genie appeared and Cedric found himself in another story.

Pro Bono Magic

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A dusty sign in a hidden alley advertised, “Magic Wand: Party needs instantly.” A bell tinkled; Cinderella opened the door.

A wizened woman with a sharp face greeted her.

“You take charity cases,” Cinderella asked.

“We’re swamped. Can it wait?”

“The ball, isn’t it. Everyone’s been invited. But I can’t go like this.” Cinderella pointed to her rags.

“No family support?” The woman waved a hand over a crystal ball. “Guess not. A rat to drive the coach. Mice, lizards, transformed to assist. Glass slippers and a diaphanous gown.”

“A rat?” 

“They never get lost. Get you back on time.”

The Customer is Wildly Wrong

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The boat salesman overheard three men planning a rafting trip. When they approached the register, he estimated their combined weight at six hundred pounds and knew that the tub they’d picked would not make it through the calms, let alone the rapids.

“This one’s rated at two hundred fifty pounds. Two small women. Three children at most.”

He didn’t add that even one of these gentlemen would be enough to sink it.

“Well now, I reckon we can read,” said the ginger-haired man.

The mutton-chopped guy put down a credit card. “Customer’s always right.”

The salesman thought, Not this time.

Spinning the Proposal

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“The spinning wheel’s two hundred. The spell’s another five hundred.”

“That’s outrageous,” the queen said pulling the hood of her cape to cover her widow’s peak. She took a card from her purse. “You do take Visa.”

He did. “How about a CosPlay evil fairy for the christening.”

“CosPlay? I want a professional.”

“Who’s gonna know?”

“You horrible dwarf. You have no idea. It’s hard to marry off a princess. You start as soon as they’re born. Then there’s preschool, private school, etiquette… They need skilled help and compelling stories to get to a happily-ever-after.”

“Like spinning straw into gold?”

Spinning Wool

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The cottage was set back from the street, not at all gingerbread as you might expect. No dwarfs or princesses resided in the bright kitchen where a woman with waist-length crone gray hair, sat at a rhythmically circling wheel. “I need to spin. Someone’s collecting the skeins tomorrow.”

I asked about doctor’s visits for a study of healthcare options at Stanford. She answered, skeptical that yearly physicals made much difference. All the while her fingers moved in a subtle dance pulling the fluff of wool into ivory yarn.

“This is what keeps me healthy,” she said. “This magic wheel heals.”

Rescue Gnome

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We suspect there is a magic passage under our redwood because the garden gnome who guards the tree by day disappears at night. Important forest matters require his attention. Animals trapped in fire ravaged landscapes. Small fawns and mountain lions equally threatened, equally important to the health of a recovering ecosystem. He treats them all with the utmost care.

By daybreak, our gnome has returned. We see an article in the morning paper. Ten small pumas rescued. Feet wrapped in gauze socks. You wonder how they keep from biting through. Probably the influence of our gnome. His voice is hypnotic.