William and the Witch

Once upon a time was a little boy named William who lived in the forest with his family. William had a very special gift – he was able to grow any kind of plant. When he was a baby, he would crawl along and poke his finger in the dirt, then put a seed in the hole. And everywhere he did this a plant would grow with no help at all. As he grew older, he was in charge of the family garden, which became the most amazing garden in the world. Tomatoes grew to be the size of your head! The strawberry plants had so much fruit that his sister Zoe would pick half of the strawberries and sell them in town for enough money for the family to live comfortably all year! And still they had more than they could eat, so they made gallons of strawberry jam, strawberry preserves, and dried strawberry chews. They always had plenty of fruits and vegetable to eat and were very happy.

One day, while they were sitting down to a delicious dinner of butternut squash soup and fresh salad, they heard a knock at the door. John, the oldest son, got up to see who it was. He opened the door and saw a little, old lady.

“Please kind sir,” she said “please let me in and give me a bit to eat as I am very hungry and tired.” John was a good boy and knew it was important to be kind, so he let her in and set a place at the table for her, and made up a bed so she might stay the night. The old witch (for she was indeed a witch) sat at the table eating the delicious food and wondering aloud at the bounty the family had at the table. The mother and father told her of William’s ability to make plants grow and promised to send her along with as much food and strawberry preserves as she could carry. But the witch was selfish and wanted William’s magic for herself.

So when all were asleep, she crept into the children’s room and sprinkled magic dust on John’s and Zoe’s faces to make sure they slept deeply until morning. Then she snatched up William, stuffed him in a sack, and ran away.

William woke up in the sack and was very afraid. He started to cry but then he remembered his brother John and how one time when they were the laying on the woods a bear had come and John had stayed calm and used his cape to frighten the bear away. And he remembered how he had fallen in the pond and his sister Zoe had stayed calm and gave him a stick to grab onto and had pulled him to safety. And he remembered all the times his parents had made scary or dangerous things be ok by staying calm and using their brains. So he calmed down and thought. In his pocket were some seeds and a little knife that his father had given him on his 4th birthday. He felt through the seeds and found one for a butternut squash. He held it in his hand and concentrated very hard. At first nothing happened, then, it began to wiggle and grow! It grew so fast that soon he had a ripe butternut squash as big as he was! The witch started to get tired not realizing she was carrying a boy and a squash. She put down the sack to rest a moment. He used his knife to make hole in the sack and very carefully crept out, then tied it back up, leaving the squash inside. When the witch picked up the sack, William ran away back home.

The witch ran all the way to her home not knowing she had naught but a squash inside her sack. When she got home, she opened the sack and peered inside. Now, she was a very old and wicked witch and her eyesight was very poor. As soon as she cut it, she could not tell that it was a squash inside her sack. She pulled it out and yelled at it that in the morning it would make her garden grow. Then she set it down by the fireplace and went to bed. In the morning she took up the squash and admonished it to make her garden grow before she came home. She then set the squash that never said a word by the garden and left. When she came home, nothing had grown and she was very angry. She screamed and yelled at the squash and set it down by the cold hearth to sleep without any supper. The next day, she again took up the squash and admonished it to make her garden grow before she came home. She then set the squash that never said a word by the garden andleft. When she came home nothing had grown and she was very extremely angry. She screamed and yelled at the squash and set it down by the cold hearth to sleep without any supper. The third day she took up the squash and again admonished it to make her garden grow before she came home. She then set the squash that never said a word by the garden an left. When she came home nothing had grown and she flew by into a rage. She picked up the squash and threw it against a tree where it broke into 5 pieces. The witch was immediately sorry she had killed the boy (or so she thought) and gathered up the pieces and buried them in the wood hoping no one would find them.Months passed and the place where the squash was buried started to sprout and grow. But this was no ordinary plant as it was full of William’s magic. It grew huge and high – more like a tree than a vine. One day the old witch was in the forest and came to the strange plant wondering a loud from whence it had come.

The plant spoke to her saying “Do you not recognize me old mother?” And the witch was very afraid and ran back to her house and bolted the door. But the plant had put a little twig in her pocket and as she slept the twig sprouted and grew and grew binding her fast to her bed. And still it grew more filling the cabinets and drawers, lifting up the floorboards and finally the whole house into the sky. And no one ever heard from the wicked witch again.