November 28, 2017

‘Describe the pain in your knee. Is it sharp? Dull? Does it throb?’ said the witch doctor.

‘Yes,’ said the witch. ‘It starts every Tuesday as a kind of long stabbing. Then it dulls on Wednesday and Thursday, throbs Friday, retreats until I think it’s gone on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Then Tuesday. Stab, stab, stab. I’ve tried every single potion I know and some I don’t know. I’m desperate. Can you do something? Anything?’

‘How is the knee feeling right now?’ asked the witch doctor.

‘It’s Friday,’ said the witch, left eye twitching.

‘Ah, yes. So it is. Throb then. It’s clear to me that you are suffering from invisible penguins,’ said the witch doctor.

The witch grimaced, revealing her favorite fang. She contemplated turning the witch doctor into an empty bucket and throwing him down the well. Taking a deep breath, she set aside the urge for the moment.

‘So. Invisible penguins. Can you do anything to help me?’ said the witch.

‘Oh, certainly,’ said the witch doctor. ‘You need to mix a potion of hen’s ears, two elbow hairs plucked from an ogre, 3 apple seeds divided and conquered, a thimble of rainbow mist, and a clutch of candleberry beads. Heat the potion in a medium cauldron and drink it with your eyes closed. The invisible penguins will beat the hastiest of retreats. I guarantee it.’

‘I have everything you said there except candleberry beads. What are they and where can I find them?’ said the witch.

‘Candleberry beads grow in clusters on the sanch trees found in Hidden Discovered Valley. The beads are purplish or bluish. Get some of both. No need to pay me until you’re free of pain and invisible penguins,’ said the witch doctor.

‘Paying without getting results was never in the cards. Empty buckets, on the other hand … Oh, never mind,’ said the witch, and off she flew directly to Hidden Discovered Valley, where she quickly found and gathered the candleberry beads.

Returned home, her knee throbbed as she limped about the cottage assembling the potion’s ingredients. She stirred the ugly sludge in the medium cauldron until it was warm. She closed her eyes and drank. Instantly, the throbbing in her knee ceased. She tried a few tentative knee bends. No pain. She hopped. No pain. She grimaced in pleasure, revealing her favorite fang.

‘The invisible penguins are gone,’ she murmured. ‘What shall I do to celebrate? Hmmm. I think I’ll change that witch doctor into an empty bucket and throw him down the well after all. I mean, why not?’

And so she did.

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