Children · Fantasy · Humor

Caution: Witch in Progress by Lynne North


Gertie was a witch. At least, she was supposed to be. As her mother had told her at a very early age, she came from a long line of witches. A fairly crooked line maybe, but a long one all the same. Gertie’s mother was a witch, of course.
“So is my mother,” Ma Grimthorpe told her. “And her mother and grandmother were before her. So it goes, back through the ages. The Grimthorpes have always been witches.”
So, what was wrong with Gertie?
In truth, Gertie had been named Gertrude. She soon got it into her head however that she really didn’t like the rude bit, so she persuaded everyone to leave it out. This was one of her many whims.
Unfortunately, poor Gertie had been something of a disappointment since birth. As her eager mother and grandmother had hovered over the new baby, the smiles had left their faces as quick as a flash of lightning.
“She looks … normal …” Granny Grimthorpe said in disbelief.
“Where’s the Grimthorpe wart?” Ma asked in shock.
They all had one, right there in the middle of their rather long chins. (Or in some cases ONE of their rather large, long, chins). To not have a hair or two growing out of it could possibly be forgiven.
“After all, look at Great Aunt Mildred. She hadn’t a hair in sight,” Granny reminded Gertrude’s mother. “Not on her wart, that is. Actually, she hadn’t much on her head either, come to think of it. But that’s beside the point. Anyway, as I was saying, she proved to be one of the most powerful witches in the family.”
“But NO wart?” Ma added with a sigh.
This had never been heard of before. Granny rubbed the end of her wrinkled finger over the baby’s smooth chin.
“It’s true,” she croaked, shaking her head in horror. “No wart. Not even a pimple. A blackhead would have done for a start. It could have got worse. But nothing.”
“I don’t think her nose looks hooked either,” Gertie’s mother replied with tears in her eyes.
“Give it time,” Granny consoled with a grimace. “It might grow crooked. It’s too early to tell yet.”
“I hope so,” replied the now not so proud mum, looking at the pretty little pink bundle in front of her. “I certainly hope so.”
It didn’t.
Ma and Granny Grimthorpe loved the baby dearly. After all, it wasn’t her fault she was normal. But still, they lived in hope that one day, soon, Gertie would show signs of being worthy to live in their exclusive village.