Welcome to The Study where I will take an aspect of the most recent ‘Just the Facts‘ and delve in to it in a deep and meaningful way in order to bring further clarity to that aspect.
I would hope that you leave here having had confusion and uncertainty wiped from your brain and carry instead a full understanding of exactly what is going on here.
This week, to carry on the Halloween-themed theme, I will delve into Witches a little deeper, although not too deep just in case they curse me.
Witches got their name from developing a habit of suddenly disappearing.
When someone was warning people in the street how an old woman in black and a pointy hat had just made them buy some lucky rabbits feet and turned to point out the woman, she’d disappear and the people would ask ‘Which woman?”
It was no good setting their sniffer rabbits on the trail either, they all seemed have plaster on the one shorter leg and couldn’t run very fast on their crutches either.
Originally Witches were very respected members of the community, often making herbal teas to cure common ailments ranging from arrow-in-the-eye and dropped-off foot to curried guts and soggy bottom, as well as carrying a vast knowledge of the boiling points of various creatures.
In most towns though, and backed by big money, competition had arrived in the form of churches. People began flocking to the church – they did offer similar magical devices but had more room for parking and there were benches in-store – and Witches gradually ended up renting small low-footfall property away from town and in the woods.
Finally the church drowned any competition for magic by persuading their customers that great deals could be had, especially if they went for the ‘Kill a Witch, Get a Luxury Afterlife Free!’ offer.
The people were indeed gullible enough and they enthusiastically took up this offer in many inventive ways involving ponds, rudimentary cranes and stools. When they found that too complicated and time consuming to do they just went back to a rock and a bit of string tied around the feet.
Inevitably some even tried to game the system by presenting their grans and mothers, or any old women they could find, and dress them up appropriately, this being all in black, tall pointy hat and as many stick-on warts as they could afford.
Generally no one checked too much – and the church seemingly had plenty of vouchers – but most didn’t stop to think that in fact the Witches were getting to the luxury afterlife first and there would probably be none left by the time they’d had a free run of the place.
Anyway, a few Witches survived this onslaught and remained a niche outlet for the more specialist potions they knew how to do and stocked some you couldn’t get from the big brands. Generally they were the only distribution channel for the famous Cripple Cock Cure All as normally customers wouldn’t be tempted to try it in-store.
They kept themselves to themselves, only occasionally eating small children lost in the woods and strictly flying only at night. Generally this worked very well apart from minor errors in putting out the wrong bones in the recycling bags and occasionally flying in front of a full moon.
Now Witches are only seen entertaining in public on Halloween but are available in private at any time to high ranking Government officials for holding seances, crystal ball gazing, foreign policy advice and election meddling.