The Thicket Witch

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Within a thorny thicket wood, beyond a twisting river, stood a humble cottage, worn but good, home to a lonesome witch. The life and strife of a solitary witch. No matter what good intentions, there will be those who revile us.

Poetry / Fantasy
Sprigs Of Valerian
Age Rating:

Chapter 1


Within a thorny thicket wood,

beyond a twisting river, stood

a humble cottage, worn but good,

home to a lonesome witch.

Of orphic craft she was endowed,

to Man and Beast she went unbowed,

and all who knew her knew her proud

yet neither vain nor kitsch.


A garden grew around her home,

a restive ring of fruitful loam,

that’s scented sweet like honeycomb,

where oft she spent her days.

Within her parlor she did hold

a troves of treasures, new and old,

of trinkets set in artful mold,

her tools all on display.


This dame was hailed a worker of

all crafts, from metalwork to love,

but all who knew her knew, above

all else she prized true grit.

What use was there for ‘bravery’,

of pompous, ill-thought knavery

that led to deeds unsavory,

when one was wont to quit?


And so this witch rebuffed all whom

that came to her in search of boon

of such to grant them elbowroom

to flee from paltry woes.

Thereby she came to be known as

a stringent hag, hard as topaz,

that never spares aught what she has

despite who comes and goes.


Petitioners of craven cast

spread lies in hopes to flabbergast

away the few souls yet steadfast

in friendship with the dame.

Regretfully, it came to be

that many spurned her company

as if such ties were felony

despite her great acclaim.


“Forswear all ties yet held with her!”

urged baleful prophets with each slur.

“To keep such congress would incur

a loathsome, wicked end!

“Did ye not hear of what she’s done

to fathers, brothers, and to sons,

and e’en to daughters! Anyone

lacks wit to call her friend!”


But she was not one to complain

of fickle lots, nor did she blame

a one of those that now did feign

that she caused them offense.

To all, she said, “Do as you will!

’Tis not my way to linger still

when others say they’ve had their fill.

Be free! I’ll get me hence!”


And so unto her home did she

return. And little sympathy

was shown — nor any villainy,

despite what all was said —

to those yet eager supplicants

who still sought out her supplements

that they might do with confidence

the tasks they ever dread.


Quoth she, “It is an irksome lot

to be the one who’s ever sought

by greedy fools without a thought

beyond what they can gain.

Oh, whither have the worthy gone?

The distant lands of the Beyond?

Across the seas, in far Gabon?

I long for them amain!”


Thereon she had no kindly smile

nor gentle words of any style

for those who hoped to reconcile

her to a clement code

in place of her strict principles.

They thought her harsh and cynical,

but even then she thought little

of all duress bestowed.


Thenceforth she shied from fellowship,

her tokens locked in iron grip,

and nevermore did she let slip

one benedicite.

The greensward wreathed ’round her demesne

grew perilous to all campaigns

of rovers — entreaters became

lost maleficially.

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