While Hansel and Gretel struggled with the wicked witch in the gingerbread house across the way and down a few streets lived the gingerbread house witches sister Marge.
Now Marge had made it her mission in life to do most things the opposite to her sister. After all the gingerbread house took an awful lot of maintenance what with hungry children, mice and the hordes of ants that seemed to favour gingerbread over most other substances.
Marge lived in a small house made entirely of old tyres. There was something about the smell of rubber that did things to her and she lived in splendid isolation inside her rubber house.
Marge was also a rather clever magician and travelled a lot on her broom, a Cleansweeper 85, top of its range with an air speed that meant she had to tie her hat on very securely.
Marge did conjuring tricks, levitation tricks and scams of a variety of forms that no one ever seemed to cotton on to until she was well out of ear shot.
What worked so well for Marge was that she always appeared to be well dressed, refined and always courteous to all and anyone who came in contact with her.
She had a tendency to lull you into a false sense of security right before fleecing you of whatever money you might have had in your wallet. Her favourite scam was selling cockatoo urine, or as she marketed it as, Cocky’s Cure.
Cocky’s Cure could cure anything. One teaspoon of the vile tasting stuff was said to be enough to cure everything from the common cold to cancer to warts.
Cocky’s Cure was her own invention and being a witch meant she knew just the stuff to put in it to send you off into a lather of perspiration which lasted a good twenty-four hours before you realised you’d been duped.
By the time you woke up with a hangover to beat all past hangovers Marge was well away and lining up her next village of suckers.
It was in the village of False Teeth that she met her match. Here in this tiny hamlet lived another witch but a benevolent one called Hilda the Sower. Now Marge didn’t know about Hilda as Hilda never featured in the Wicked Witch Weekly and so meeting her came as an unpleasant surprise to her.
Hilda made things, sewed and knitted things such as jumpers for the poor, baby bonnets and booties, scarves and beanies for the workers and generally was much loved and revered.
When Marge set up and started espousing the virtues of her Cocky’s Cure Hilda happened to be in the crowd and volunteered to try the Cure out for herself.
Now Hilda was a cunning and wise old witch and she could spot a shyster a mile off and she saw immediately that Marge was as dodgy as they come. Hilda had a few tricks of her own and took a good gulp of her all-purpose anti rat potion before she sampled Marges brew.
The two concoctions mixed together in Hilda’s gut, the town’s folk stood back as Hilda’s rotund girth, gurgled and growled, hicked and then it hupped, contracted then expanded and finally a very large and totally unlady like burp erupted and the most unpleasant of breath spewed out of her mouth.
Everyone dived for cover, or rather fresh air including Marge who was not all impressed with what she had just witnessed.
‘It’s poison,’ shouted Hilda, ‘don’t go near it, this witch is out to rip you off, take your money and leave you more penniless than you already are.’
Immediately the town’s folk backed away, not one was game to try Marge’s Cocky’s Cure. Marge was furious and was about to throw a paralysing spell at Hilda when she felt her arm go limp, her knees buckle and her eyes water over.
Hilda had used one of her own crippling spells, one she hadn’t used in years but was pleased she still remember the formula.
Marge lay on the ground helpless as the townsfolk gathered round. There were calls for her head, the stocks and variety of other punishments that surprised Hilda in there apparent brutality.
So Hilda summoned Marge’s broom, revved it up with a warm knitted broom handle cover and gave it instructions to return Marge to her rubber tyre house forthwith.
Marge was never the same again. Word spread that she had received her comeuppance in False Teeth and was never really seen again.
As one town wit expressed the air had been well and truly let out of her tyres.