The Witch Kantrina turned my wife, Frieda, into a pony. Most people in the village are referring to it as an evil curse and I suppose it was meant to be just that. The truth is our three children have always wanted a pony, and to show their appreciation they’ve begun helping with the household chores and shoveling up their mother’s poop.
I have no idea why my wife thought it was a good idea to fight with a witch over the last sweater on sale at Slattery’s Department Store. Frieda already owned two sweaters. Who needs more than two sweaters?
So now she’s a pony and the children ride her around the yard. I don’t think they’ve ever felt so close to their mother. Frieda used to complain every day about having to cook and clean for me and the youngsters. Now she doesn’t have to. You might say it’s a wish come true for her.
Friends and neighbors console, “You must miss her something awful at night.” But the truth is we rarely made love anymore. Plus, Frieda’s feet were always cold under the covers and her snoring kept me awake.
The Witch Kantrina came by late yesterday and said she was beginning to regret losing her temper and turning Frieda into a pony.
“You shouldn’t blame yourself,” I assured her. “My wife was the one who tried to grab the last sweater out from under you. And it was Slattery’s biggest sale of the year. Between you and me, Frieda already owned two sweaters. I believe the real sin in this case was my wife’s avarice, and if she could speak, I’m sure she’d agree with me.”
We both looked over at Frieda who was tied to a tree in the front yard. She was neighing and snorting and stomping her hooves in a decidedly negative manner.
“She doesn’t look like she’s agreeing.”
“She’s probably just anxious for her evening hay,” I said, hoping to avoid any further animosity.
“I suppose you want me to lift the spell and change her back.”
A lengthy silence ensued while I pondered the question. “I wouldn’t feel right asking you to go against your convictions on our account,” I answered, finally. “Perhaps as a compromise, you could turn our storage shed over there into a stable.” I’d been feeling ashamed that I hadn’t provided Frieda proper shelter from the weather. We certainly couldn’t allow her in the house.
Kantrina displayed a benevolent smile and nodded. Reciting some sort of Latin incantation, she pointed her wand at the storage shed. In a blinding flash, the small, modest shed enlarged into a fine structure complete with a loft of hay.
I thanked Kantrina profusely, and as she walked away, the children rushed out onto the lawn and joyously untied their mother to lead her into her new home. Frieda got caught up in the excitement and tried to break free but my oldest boy, Timothy, held fast to the rope. His mother bucked ferociously and pulled toward me with her two forelegs flailing in the air.
“Down, Frieda!” I shouted. “No need to thank me.” Finally, she calmed down and allowed the children to lead her into the stable where she enjoyed a delicious feast of magically produced hay.
As is so often the case when people look to do the right thing, everyone gained from this challenging situation. The Witch Kantrina showed the neighbors that, while she should be feared for her power, she should also be admired for her kindness. My wife, Frieda, has a nice comfortable stable with plenty of hay and fewer responsibilities. The children have a wonderful pony to ride. And me, I enjoy the satisfaction of a man who has seen to the happiness of his family.
Father of two wonderful daughters, Kelly and Erin, Garry McNulty has four longer humorous works of fiction e-published at UntreedReads.com, Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and other websites. He has more ebooks scheduled for release in the upcoming months.
In addition, Untied Shoelaces of the Mind included one of Garry’s flash fiction stories in their last anthology and two of his movie screenplays placed as finalists in national scriptwriting contests. He currently resides along the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia.
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