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The Outback Witch & My Dreams of Being a Children’s Author

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It is with much trepidation and fluttery butterflies in my stomach that I share today’s post with you. 

What I am about to show with you *gulp* is one of three (in a series) of stories that I wrote a few years ago, when Foghorn was a tiny baby and the Woo was a wee toddler, and long before we had any inclination that there would also be a Bubble in our not so distant future.

I am nervous to share it, but also kind of grateful that I have so many loyal readers who I hope I can rely on for some honest feedback…both positive and negative.

I literally have my heart in my mouth as I hit the publish button.

It is one of the pieces of writing I am most proud of, but also most hesitant to share…possibly because I have always imagined it, since it popped out of my head and onto the paper one morning in bed, as a children’s picture book.

Alas though, my efforts to find a publisher for it ran aground, and without an agent (and absolutely no idea how else to approach it) I ran out of steam.

So…instead of letting it sit, idly forevermore in the memory of my computer, I have decided to share it…and with it another vestige of my brain!  (If that is what you can still call it after three glasses of wine!)

I do ask one thing though…if you do manage to get passed this long winded and boring introduction and actually read the story, please leave me a comment…a truthful comment to let me know what you thought.

I’m a big girl…I can take it…honestly, and I am all in favour of constructive criticism.

 halloween-children-story-humour-australian

 

Sheila was a forgetful witch.

In her tumble-down old shack,

She lived with her familiars

In the Australian Outback.

 

One morning over breakfast

Sipping bush tea with Big-Red,

She felt something important

Was missing from her head.

 

‘There’s something I’ve forgotten,

And I tell you, I’ll be glad

When I remember what it is.

It’s driving me quite mad!’

 

Frog pointed a webbed finger

At the calendar on the wall.

‘The thirty first of October

Is The Annual Witch’s Ball.’

 

 The witch let out a wail

Almost choking on her toast.

That’s right!  Now she remembered.

It was her turn to host!

 

The witch was panic-stricken

‘Now what will I do?’

‘We’ll all muck in and help you,’

Said her trusty kangaroo.

 

So the witch and her familiars

With unexpected flair

Whipped up the most amazing

And delicious party fare.

 

For entrée they prepared

Jellied eels in plastic tubs

And spiky handpicked spinifex

With crunchy witchetty grubs.

 

 There was wattle macaroni

For the vegetarian crew

And tasty Kakadu plums

And native rock fig stew.

 

She made individual cream cakes

From Desert-Nardoo flour

And marinated, pan-fried ants

Arranged into a tower.

 

Sheila was delighted,

So they took a break for lunch.

‘We just need to put the tent up

And concoct the party punch!’

 

The marquee was erected.

Everything was almost set.

‘It’s party time for witch-folk

How could I forget?’

 

 The bilby brought the cauldron

And into it they put,

A bunch of bush bananas

And an alligator foot.

 

Sheila slowly added nectar

From a honey corkwood flower

And a handful of acacia seed.

The brew was sweet and sour.

 

‘This punch is just delicious,’

She said sipping from a spoon.

‘Now I’d better get my cloak on

My guests will be here soon.’

 

‘A cloak?’ Big Red retorted.

‘Sheila!  Where’s your cozzy?

Don’t tell me you forgot?

 You have to come dressed as an Aussie?’

 

 ‘Fair dinkum!  I’d forgotten!

It completely slipped my mind.

It shall have to be someone like me

Who’s beautiful and kind.

 

‘I think I’ll come as Kylie.

I’ll make something to wear.

We really are quite similar

If I do something with my hair.’

 

The witch pulled out a book of spells

‘I want sequins and some glitter.’

‘She’ll be lucky’ whispered Big-Red

‘If there’s a dress there that’ll fit her!

 

‘The cauldron’s being used now

So I’ll use this iron pail.’

And into it she cheerfully dropped

A bearded dragon’s tail.

 

Next she clipped her toe-nails

And dropped them all in too

And a handful of fresh droppings

From her friend, the kangaroo.

 

She closed her eyes to concentrate

But the spell was far too long.

She couldn’t quite remember it

And the words all came out wrong.

 

The wand that she was holding

Flew into the cane-toad trifle.

Alas! Her magic wand had turned

Into a plastic rifle.

 

She stamped her feet in fury

Tripping over Big-Red’s tail

And fell and got her head stuck

Inside the rusty pail.

 

 The witch let out a mournful cry.

‘This party’s a disaster!

Help me get this bucket off.

Come on!  Pull it faster!’

 

‘My guests will all be here soon

And everywhere ‘s a mess.

And I will be the only one

Who’s not in fancy-dress!’

 

But the bucket was stuck fast.

So she made a hole to see.

Just then they heard a phut-phut-bang!

Oh no!  What could it be?

 

Hilda had come early

In her beaten-up old ute

She parked it in the garden

And gave the horn a toot.

 

 ‘How wonderful,’ her old friend said

(She was dressed as old Dame Nellie)

‘Whatever gave you that idea

To come dressed as Ned Kelly?’

 

Just then the clock struck seven

And the sky was thick with witches

In silly hats and fancy wigs

And different coloured britches.

 

Most of them came on broomsticks,

But others came on land.

Not all witches like to fly

As you may understand.

 

They all loved Sheila’s costume

She looked just like dear Ned.

‘It must have taken ages?’

‘Oh, it was nothing,’ Sheila said.

 

 

They all exclaimed they were impressed

With such a tasty spread.

And many of them wished they’d thought

To come dressed up as Ned.

 

So the witches partied all night long

They sang and danced and ate

And none of them suspected

She’d almost forgot’ the date.

 

Sheila and her familiars

Were the happiest they’d been

And wished their friends a very –

Happy Outback Halloween!

 

You can also read The Outback Witch Part One

and A Special Outback Christmas

Jolene

Jolene

Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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