In a realm of magic, in a time of heroes; lived an old cantankerous wizard named Myrka. Despite living in an ideal little village, close enough to the castle to buy anything she needed but far enough not to be disturbed, she hated people. Wanting nothing more than to be left alone in her small, comfortable cottage, to drink tea and read her books.
Unfortunately, as a Wizard, people always seemed to need her to heal something, fix something, find something, or just stop some ultimate evil.
Because of the drain on her time, people were constantly touching her things. They’d come into her home begging to turn their children back from frogs. (Despite the fact that those same children had been warned that kissing an enchanted frog was a terribly dangerous idea. She’d even done a very informative talk at the local schoolhouse.) While they were inside they’d start touching things. Leaving fingermarks all over the wizard’s books, paintings, or teapots.
One day, after one of the ungrateful townsfolk had a second head removed (How’d she get the second head? That’s another story and the wizard didn’t care to ask.) they touched her favourite teapot, a dainty little china number with pastel blue flowers. The dark black smears on the spout of the teapot made the wizard’s stomach roil and she had to throw out a perfectly good pot of tea.
The wizard finally had enough and decided to enchant the teapot. She took her time in deciding how, but finally settled on making the teapot turn into a chicken when touched by anyone but the wizard or her family.
Why a chicken you ask? Well they’re both cuddly and vicious at the same time. Like tiny dragons, with feathers. She named the teapot Tina and could be seen absentmindedly stroking its spout and lid while reading.
One day the ruler of the land decided she wanted something from the wizard. Despite the wizard doing everything in her power to make people think she wasn’t powerful, word had gone around and Queen Renelle the Sixth needed something.
The Queen didn’t send a messenger or a knight to bring the wizard to her, no; she and her personal guard, court wizard, royal band, and half her court, showed up one morning on poor Myrka the wizard’s doorstep.
The small cottage was only able to accommodate the Queen and two of her guards.
“Would you like some tea Your Majesty?” Myrka asked forgetting the rituals of the court. She had always been more interested in the workings of the magical universe, so it’s understandable that she not know that, in that queendom, when the Queen visits, she must serve her host.
Before anyone could say anything, the queen picked up the teapot, yes that one, and started to serve tea. The events that followed saw the Queen soaked in scalding tea regurgitated by an angry chicken, and the wizard imprisoned for attacking the Queen. Tina hovered off in a huff, pecking several guards on her way out.
The Queen promptly forgot about the Wizard, who was placed in the deepest part of the dungeons. So deep as to have no guards, light, food, or drink. Just a rotting smell from the other prisoners.
Thankfully for the wizard, Tina the teapot was fond of her. The little teapot forced herself into chicken form and made her way to the dungeons. It’s amazing how little attention people will pay to a random chicken and how a strong peck to the nose will dissuade predators.
The valiant teapot freed the wizard from the dungeons and the two headed back to their little cottage.
The thought of cursing the Queen came to the wizard’s mind, but in the end she decided that wherever there was a curse there was always a pesky hero trying to break it. Instead she cast a spell making everyone in the castle forget that she existed.
To avoid the same situation happening again, the wizard enchanted her cottage. The next time a royal knocked on her cottage, the entire thing sprouted legs and ran away.
The moral of this story is simple: Always warn your guests about spells placed on your dishware. Also, don’t bother a wizard while they’re relaxing with a cup of tea and reading.
Heroes, Legends, Fairies, and other Absurdities are the expanded versions of stories I’ve told my children at night before bed. They’re short, silly, and were completely improvised in the telling.