Boil the cauldron till it sings,
then add a pair of spider wings,
leaf of toad and bud of newt,
heart of fungus, rabbit’s root —
Throw them in and mix them up
to make a wicked witches cup.

Worm’s left leg and fishes foot,
frozen flame and snow-cap soot —
add a pinch of ghoulish youth,
a silent laugh, a liar’s truth,
hemlock toenails, adder’s hair —
fling them in without a care.

Eye of creeping pondweed slime
and other stuff that makes a rhyme
will finish off the recipe,
now stir it gently just for me.
Mash it up and make a paste —
not a drop must go to waste.

Now try this recipe on all
insurance men who come to call.
Smear it thickly on your face —
they’ll run away without a trace,
then wash it off, and you will see
your skin will glow more healthily.

Oh! what a foolish girl she is
that she should vainly take notice
of a stepmother like me,
and make my toxic recipe.
Her former beauteous, smiling face
now melts beneath a gruesome paste.

And what a clever witch am I,
I didn’t need tell a single lie;
The silly salesman ran away
to see her glowing green and grey,
and now the mirror will agree;
there’s no-one prettier than me.

Β©Jane Paterson Basil

20 thoughts on “Trickery

    1. Hmm – my brew may be a bit lacking in the finer ingredients, but unfortunately we don’t have those animals around these parts. You’re very welcome to adapt it let me know how it works (do you have an unlovable relative or a noisy neighbour?) but I’m pretty sure that you’re far to nice to do that…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The ingredients are only to be found in the deepest corner of Blinkanutsgon, in the sunless county of Havinuon πŸ™‚
      I think there may be a story in those names… maybe Blinkanitsgon is somewhere beyond Harfinsane… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I try to avoid formal rhyme but it gets stuck in my head sometimes – I see it as an aberration more than anything. I’ve just bin and gawn and writ another one.
      I’m glad you showed up again. I’d like to explain why I haven’t been reading your posts. It’s because I got you mixed up with someone of a totally different name, who writes posts that are totally unrelated to yours and are no fun. I don’t know how this happened, but I think it was quite a while ago. My plan is to check out your posts more often and shit. I mean; my plan is to check out your posts more often and – shit, I spilt coffee over myself – laugh a lot more as a result.
      You’ve caught me at a bad time; I should be in bed as I have an early start tomorrow morning (before 11 am!!! God’s teeth!!!! and similar shocked utterances, followed by an excess!!! of exclamation marks!!!!). See, when it comes to bedtime I rebel and find any excuse to stay up, so someone like you comes along and gets a lengthy and meaningless monologue. Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree if having to read my ramblings hasn’t done your head in.
      I’m going to behave myself and get to bed now… possibly.


      1. Hello again. Hey don’t feel bad about wether you read my posts or not. There’s no law that says you have to. Maybe there should be? πŸ™‚ If I read every post in the reader, I’d have no time for anything else. I’m still “finding my writing voice” so my style is flip-flopping all over the place at the moment. Thanks for reading and dropping a line. A bien tΓ΄t.


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