“Drat,” the witch said. “I’ve been eaten out of house and home again. Perhaps it’s a bad idea to build my home out of candy and gingerbread. Even when I built my house in the middle of woods, children still found me and ate holes in my walls.”
“I still say you should have eaten them, see how they liked it,” her magic staff said.
“Oh hush,” the witch said. She paused and looked over her shoulder. She could just see the candy-shingled roof over the tree line. “If I listened to you, their parents would hunt me down and hang me in the town square. You have absolutely no common sense.”
“Yes, and I have wood for brains. You’ve said all this before,” the staff said. “So, what now?” They both watched from the shadows as another noisy crowd of children rushed past them.
“Can’t we make our house out of something else?” the witch asked. She turned and watched as the roof suddenly tilted at an odd angle.
“I really think you should put that culinary degree to use. You defied your parents and ran away from home to get it.” The staff hummed. “Perhaps you could make your home out of vegetables?”
“Most vegetables aren’t sturdy enough, and all the local wildlife would come and eat holes in the walls. There’s lots more animals than children in the woods,” the witch said. The roof disappeared. She turned and adjusted the strap of her small bag. She started walking again.
“You could eat them, and their angry parents too,” the staff said.
“I’d still have holes in my walls,” the witch said. “When I use all my magic on patching my walls, I don’t have any left for starting my magic mail-order pastry business.” She pushed through some bushes and used her staff as a shield to avoid the thorns.
“Hey watch it. Use your magic. Here, let me.” The staff sent out a pulse of magic that parted the vines. “Maybe it’s a good thing that you haven’t had a chance to start your business yet. We could go home and go back to magic school. I have so much potential. I could be doing so much more with my life.”
“Maybe I’ll make my next house out of wood,” the witch said. “You’re using my magic when you do that, you know?”
“That was harsh. Really, really harsh. I would never suggest you build anything out of human flesh, you know,” the staff said. “Besides, you started it when you used my sensitive wooden self as a shield without asking. I think you might have scratched my finish.”
“I’m sorry. How do you feel about rock as a building material?” the witch asked.
“Rock candy? It has a high sugar content and flavor is practically nonexistent, but it sparkles nicely. It’s a little too transparent for house building, though. Let’s leave it for windows,” the staff said.
“No, building a house out of stone,” the witch said.
“Inorganic matter isn’t something I’m good at,” the staff said. “Hey, where are we going? I don’t recognize this place at all. What if there are bears? Or worse, termites? Let’s go back to the city. You can start your business on weekends while you’re going to school.”
“They won’t let me use the ovens,” the witch said. “Hey, is that a house?”
“What, here? Let me check it out before you get to close.” The staff said. The witch nodded. “Hmmm. Empty, stone, no roof. The well is dry, but I can fix that. No bears or termites. This looks good. Candy shingles?”
“How about straw? Then we can clean up and unshrink the furniture,” the witch said. She set her bag down and pulled out a spell book.”
“Thatching? I suppose that would be all right. I think we could use the spell on page thirty.” The staff began to hum.
“Thanks,” the witch said. “Maybe I could finish my magic schooling by correspondence. I wouldn’t want you to waste your potential after all.”
The humming grew brighter, and happier. The witch began to wave the staff around in spirals and figure eights, and then she started chanting. Thus finally began the career of the witch of the deep woods bakery. And her magic staff.