Miss Marble, of 46 Grimace, witch extraordinaire, was used to receiving unusual requests for potions to fix all manner of situations and ailments.
The one she received from Winnie Foster, of 19 Grimace Street did set her mind ticking.
Winnie needed a potion to help her smile more. Her grandchildren were planning a visit, and she wanted to show them a more congenial side to herself than she might normally do so.
You could never say Winnie was a happy person. She acknowledged she was, for the most part, a grump of the highest order. It was that Winnie never saw the good in life. It probably reflected her childhood for as a child her parents slogged day in and day out in the mines and the workhouse. Life was a constant struggle against poverty and starvation and as such Winnie grew up in an environment where survival was more luck than anything else.
Miss Marble had known Winnie for a long time; they were, in fact, good friends and when times had been tough in the neighbourhood when death or illness had struck one of their neighbours Winnie had always stepped up in offering help. She did so willingly, she just had a hard time displaying her compassion, you always felt she was there, but you were happiest when she wasn’t as Winnie had a presence you always felt you could do without.
Now that her grandchildren were visiting Winnie decided it was time for her to step up. She even went to the local bookshop and purchased a copy of “Grand-parenting for Dummies”. But despite all the good advice, the book contained she felt she needed that little bit extra one of Miss Marble’s potions might afford her.
So Miss Marble set to work, every potion was always tailor-made for the user, and Winnie was no open book when it came to finding the right potion. Miss Marble consulted her ancient book of potions, and as she had a good week before the grandchildren arrived, she thought there was time for research and experimentation.
Finally, she hit upon the right measurements, a potion, which as she later said, would bridge the distance between two people, namely Winnie and her grandchildren, there being two grandchildren was a bonus in terms of the potion she concocted.
A drop in her tea the night before they arrived should do the trick.
And it did. Winnie’s son couldn’t believe the mother he found when he opened the door to her house. He had warned his children that their grandmother was not always the most pleasant of people to be around, but the Grandmother who entertained them that weekend was simply wonderful. She conversed with her grandchildren, she played with them, she listened to them, and most importantly, she radiated a smile that filled them with love.
Miss Marble heard about it the following Monday when Winnie stopped by to thank Miss Marble and tell her of her wonderful weekend and that the grandchildren were planning a visit during the next school holidays.
Miss Marble suggested making enough potion so she could take a drop each night as a way of being safe.
Winnie surprised her though by saying she didn’t think she’d need any potion as the weekend had taught her the value of smiling even though her face muscles were tight from doing something she didn’t normally do.
That said Miss Marble as they sipped their tea was a far better potion than anything she might conjure up.