A children's story by RIC President Nancy Carriuolo

The following is RIC President Nancy Carriuolo's writing exercise from the National Day on Writing 2009, which she read to 3-5 year-olds from the Co-op for Halloween. Her story is a sequel to the picture book, "Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Witches Are Beautiful, Too

Grizilla was a happy witch. She was especially happy about the new broom she had just created through a spell.

“Zoom, Zoom, on my new broom, “she sang as she and her friends – the dog, the cat, and the frog – sailed through the sky on her four-seater broom.

“Where to go? What to do? We cannot go to see the human children until Halloween. It’s forbidden between now and then to be seen. What can we do for fun while we wait for Halloween?”

Grizilla thought for a while and then said, “Shall we go visit my witch friend, Hermione? I have not seen her for nearly a year. We could tell her about our adventure with the mean fire-breathing dragon.”

Dog, cat, and frog nodded their heads in agreement.

Grizilla leaned over the side of the broom and spotted the big hollow tree in which her friend lives.

Grizilla aimed the broom down, lost control, and landed in a nearby tree.

“Oops, sorry,” she said. “I don’t know where the brakes are on this new broomstick.”

The dog started to howl, the cat started to yowl, and the frog croaked loudly. They all looked scared as they dangled from tree branches.

“Oh, come on now,” said Grizilla. “Don’t be afraid. It’s just a little tree. Cat, help Dog climb down. Frog, hang onto Cat’s neck. I will use a mini-spell to wish myself onto the ground. I will wait for you.”

Grizilla shook her head and muttered, “Such cry babies. Hurry now, my young friend Hermione will be waiting for us. Witches always know when company is arriving.”

Hermione met them at the entrance to the hollow tree and put a spell on them so that they would be small enough to fit inside the tree with her. She waved her wand and “poof” they were as small as a thumbnail.

Grizilla, who had not seen Hermione since last Halloween, asked why Hermione had been staying alone in her tree house. Why did she look so sad?

“I am not pretty,” she said.

“Not pretty,” asked Grizilla? Who told you that,” she said, stamping her foot so hard that the sparkles fell from her skirt and her hat fell over one eye
“No one told me,” said Hermione. “I looked at the pictures of all the other witches on Facebook. Everyone has a wart on her face except me.”

Grizilla patted her wart happily and thought how much it looked like a human’s beauty mark.”

She could see Hermione ‘s look even sadder, so she said, “Well, warts are nice, but you don’t need a wart. It is ok to be different.”

“I have lots of warts,” said the frog, “but no one thinks I am pretty – or at least no one has said so.” Now frog was starting to look sad. The cat yawned, and the dog started to go to sleep. Neither thought all this talk about warts and being pretty made much sense.

Grizilla said that she thought they all looked pretty good. Dog and cat did not have any warts, but they seemed happy. Hermione now looked as if she was about to cry.

Grizilla patted her friend on the hand and said that she was going to make a spell so that Hermione could have one of Frog’s warts, and Frog would have one less wart. Hermione and Frog looked instantly happy.

Grizilla got a big pot and threw in leaves and a hair from the first-breathing dragon she had met earlier in the day, and some water, and a little spit for good measure.

Then she said her spell:

Boil, boil make a spell,
Not the one that makes feet smell.
Put a spell over
Hermione and Frog.
Do not change the way they look at all.
Change the way they think and feel.
When they awake, they will know and show
That they are beautiful to a friend.
Put this nonsense to an end.
Boil, boil, make that spell,
And all will be well.

Then good witch Grizilla snapped her fingers. No one looked any different, but they all felt happy because they were friends and each saw the inner beauty of the other.

Grizilla asked Cat and Dog to share one seat on the broom to make room for their new friend Hermione, and they all flew off into the sky together to visit the children on Halloween.

– Nancy Carriuolo, Oct. 20, 2009