The Old Woman in the Woods

Jenna Myers

I used to be a beautiful young witch. Unlike my sister, I didn't turn enough men into toads to get a face that looks like one. She always fell in love with the wrong men. Sure, they were handsome and could use a witch to turn their enemies into toads, but the second that they got the favors that they wanted, they left, or tried to. Then she would turn them into the toads that they really were.

At some point, she fell in love with the prince of the kingdom. Of course, he did what all of the others did. He had all his enemies turned into toads, then tried to leave. She turned him into a frog. Then I had to reverse it. I hunted down the toad-prince and turned him back into the prince. The brat should have been grateful. After all, I could have just left him the way he was. Instead, he turned to me and gave me a nice little smirk right before he told his father that I was the one who turned him into the toad. I was banished from the kingdom, and one of the wizards who served the king turned me into an old woman.

I decided to live in the forest. It was a comfortable life and I was fairly happy. Then one day, the prince came onto my land. He thought he was so high and mighty, and he decided to wreck my flowerbeds and destroy my trees. I went out and yelled at him, but he didn't yell back. He must have learned some lesson from my sister after all. A witch needs something from the person she's cursing. The easiest thing to do is get them talking and capture a bit of their voice. Then we can curse them. Since I wasn't able to get him to speak, I did the next best thing. I took his ring. Then I turned the boy and all his men into trees. As long as I had that ring, I had an unending curse.

Unfortunately, there's always a catch to every curse. In this case, the prince could spend two hours of every day as a dove. This wasn't so bad. Without thumbs, he couldn't get my door and windows open, and he couldn't get into the birdcage either, which is where I kept the ring.

One day, this carriage was driving through my forest. I was ready to turn the people in it into trees, but they didn't bother anything, so I left them alone. The local robbers took care of them anyway. They only missed the girl, and she would be of no harm to me, or so I thought.

The stupid dove talked to her. He always has to ruin everything. He convinced her to come after the ring. She walked right into the house like she owned the place. She didn't even knock! I tried to be polite before catching a bit of her voice, but she didn't answer me. She wasn't taught any manners. I tried to shake some sense into her, but she wouldn't listen. She just kept walking back to the room where I kept all the rings.

This was great for me. She didn't know that the ring wasn't in that room. It was in the bird's beak. I took the bird and started to sneak away, but she saw me. She ran back with the birdcage to the tree. The girl apparently gave the prince the ring, because all my trees left.

I bet right now you're wondering why I didn't curse the girl. I could have stolen something from her. After all, that would have stopped her, right? Well, even a witch has some values. If I had cursed the girl, I would have gone against the one that is the most important: a witch should never curse her own sister.