Fistle Witch’s Christmas
Fistle pushed her nose against the window. She watched the other children walking or riding past her crazy garden. None of them looked in, they never looked at the Witch’s house.
Out on the street it was bright and cheerful with all the sparkling decorations on every house but hers. The children laughed and waved to each other.
Fistle narrowed her eyes.
“Mother!” Fistle planted her fists firmly at her waist and stood with feet sturdily apart. “Mother! I want a Christmas tree. I want decorations and I want to have a Christmas like the other children in the street.”
“Do you now?” Fistle’s mother looked up from the huge pan she was cooking in and wiped her hands on the vast apron around her. “And how do you propose to make that happen?”
“You’re a witch, you can magic it.” Fistle lifted her chin determinedly.
“You think so do you? Well if I am a witch and can magic it for you, then you must also be a witch with magic, so if you want it then make it happen. Now off you go love I am very busy.”
Fistle frowned and stomped out into the tangled garden. There were all sorts of herbs in pots. There were fruit trees, flower beds and big trees for summer shade, a hedge for a fence and roses galore, well there would be roses except it was winter. It was not a neat and tidy garden it was a bare and intertwined garden. Fistle knew all the plants by name and what her mother used each and every one for and none of them would be any use for a Christmas tree. Fistle wandered around the paths and sheds searching until she discovered a small evergreen in a terracotta pot. It was stuck behind a wagon wheel and a potting table.
Fistle huffed and puffed, tugged and pulled, rolled and sweated and finally dragged the terracotta pot out into a little clear area of the path. She stood back and looked at it.
“Not bad but what am I going to decorate it with?” She scratched her head and rubbed her chin and thought really hard. “I know just the thing for a witch’s tree.”
Fistle rummaged in the shed and scrummaged in the woodpile. She scrambled up a tree and scurried through the garden. She rustled in the hedgerow and raided the scarecrow and finally had everything she needed.
On the tree she let loose twelve spindly spiders who immediately ran from branch to branch. She placed eleven downy feathers from the dove hutch, ten acorns dangling from thin wire from the shed, nine dried leaves sprayed with paint, eight smooth pebbles looped in green garden ties, seven sea shells from an old mosaic, six bits of broken mirror to catch the sunlight, five shiny brass nuts from the tool box, four cicada casings from last summer, three blue egg shells, two tiny bird nests blown from a tree last spring and on the very top she places a dehydrated starfish.
She stood back and surveyed her work then dragged her mother out to see it.
“You may put it on the front porch, Fistle, but it is not coming inside.” She helped Fistle lift the pot onto the little red barrow then returned to her cooking.
Fistle was disappointed. She liked the tree but it was not shiny and bright like the ones the other children had. After dinner Fistle hung up her stocking on the verandah post, then brushed her teeth and went to bed.
She looked through her window at a crisp clear sky and one shining star in particular caught her eye.
“I wish I wish for a Christmas tree as bright as shining as can be. Please.”
Next morning Fistle woke up feeling very excited. She wasn’t sure why. She ran to the kitchen and hugged her mother.
“Merry Christmas Mother.”
“Merry Meet Fistle. Did you make a wish last night?”
“I sure did. Do you think it came true?”
“Well you had best go see.”
Fistle flung open the door. There on the porch the tree was festooned with spider silk with the feathers, shells and acorns woven amongst it. The sunlight peeped over the hedge striking the frozen dewdrops on every thread. The tree flashed and sparkled sending out rainbows and glowing brightly.
“You were right Mother, I made my own magic.” Fistle hugged her mother and they both smiled at the sparkling tree.
“Everything is magic this time of year, you just have to believe.”
“It’s the perfect tree for a witch’s daughter. It’s the shiniest tree ever.”