January 1, 2015

2014-12-25 11.43.56

Ragwen, a California mountain elf maiden, lived comfortably in a set of spacious rooms under three boulders in the meadow. Unfortunately she was just the ornament the giant witch from the land of giants was looking for to display in a cage on the window sill close by the giant witch’s favorite cauldron. I say unfortunately because Ragwen was captured and delivered to the giant witch by a free lance ogre that knew of the witch’s ornamental desire and happened to wander through Ragwen’s meadow when Ragwen was napping on the largest of the three boulders.

The witch, humming out of tune and cackling now and again for no reason Ragwen could see, often paused to peer at Ragwen in the little cage on the window sill and say, ‘Oh, dearie, isn’t it smokejoy?’ Not having the slightest idea how to respond to such nonsense, Ragwen merely shrugged. This seemed to satisfy the giant witch.

One day a spark jay, a bird with red wings and a blue head, landed on the window sill. The jay, smarter than two whips, had watched the witch fly off on her giant broom minutes earlier. Bending down to the tiny cage, the jay said, ‘So you’re the ornament they’re all talking about. Puny, aren’t you? But I do like your sash. May I have it?’

Ragwen, smarter than three whips, answered, ‘Of course. All you have to do is bend the bars of the cage, free me, and fly me back to my meadow in California.’

‘Well, I don’t know. California’s a long way from from here,’ mused the jay.

‘I’ll throw in my green cap. It’s made of satin,’ bargained Ragwen.

It’s a deal,’ said the spark jay, and before anyone knew anything, the bars were parted, Ragwen was aboard the bird, and they were off and winging.

Unfortunately, yes, again unfortunately, the giant witch had seen all with her far sight eye and was in hot pursuit. More than hot, flaming was the pursuit. Luckily, yes luckily and not unfortunately, the spark jay, smarter than two whips, led the chase with many a zig and a zag and cleverly climbed higher than high after reaching Ragwen’s meadow. Then, with a swift turn, the spark jay plunged straight down toward the earth, and the raging witch plunged after, drawing nearer and nearer. The spark jay turned aside with a double whip smart twist a bare instant before the bird would have crashed into the ground and been smashed to a pulverine. Unfortunately and luckily, depending on whether you were the witch or Ragwen and the spark jay, the giant witch was unable to make the turn.

Often, for years after, when the spark jay would visit Ragwen, they would sit by the three boulders and gaze out at the brushy end of the giant witch’s giant broom, all that was left to remind them of that time long ago when Ragwen had escaped the window sill of the giant witch.

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