Twenty-three minutes later, the four witches were standing in the kitchen gathered round a large, black cauldron that steamed weird, blue smoke. Karen stirred, Bill muttered strange words under her breath, Hilda swished her wand and Joey cackled, until Hilda told her to be quiet, as she was beginning to get on her nerves.
The Bonfire Spell was no ordinary spell. It was a special, joint effort. The power of four witches together on Bonfire Night was infinitely greater than any one witch on her own.
They had prepared the ingredients together and were now brewing it up as one witch.
“Do you think it’s ready yet?” queried Karen.
“Put some of the potion in that glass, and we’ll have a look,” said Hilda, in charge as usual.
Karen obediently ladled out some of the liquid from the cauldron. It was a dull orange colour, quite thick.
“Yes, I think that’ll do,” said Hilda peering at it dubiously.
Joey, cackling quietly, so as not to annoy Hilda and become their guinea pig, went over to Bill’s cow and began to try and drag it over to the cauldron.
“Stop that Joey, we’ll bring the potion over” commanded Karen. Bill looked like she was about to protest at this new use for her cow, then thought better of it.
Hilda poured the unappetising contents of the glass into the cow’s open mouth, then stood back.
All four witches stood in a semi circle together and watched the cow, waiting. The cow watched them, puzzled.
Then something began to happen. The cow started to vibrate. Its feet wobbled, its ears quivered, its tail wagged. Blue and orange smoke began to drift out of its ears and mouth. The cow closed its eyes and groaned. Bill looked worried.
The cow then let out an enormous burp and there was a loud bang that rattled all the kitchen cupboards, filled the whole room with blue and orange smoke, and made Bill, Karen and Joey almost jump out of their skins. Hilda didn’t even flinch, of course.
Gradually the smoke faded away and where the cow had lain there was now…a small neat creature, with an extremely short fluffy tail. It blinked up at them, slightly bewildered. Then it daintily adjusted its long, rather floppy, ears and twitched its whiskers.
The witches had fallen silent, but the peace was broken by Bill.
“My…cow!” stuttered Bill.
The creature paused in the act of smoothing down its soft, brown fur, which was understandably a little rumpled, and looked up at her. “Who are you calling a cow?”
“A talking rabbit!” said Joey, “How on earth will you keep an eye on Mary-Lou?!”
“Easy,” said Hilda before anyone else even had time to think, the rabbit included. “I will introduce “Pets” again. Hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs…although we’ll know who the real guinea pig is.”
Joey addressed the rabbit, “Got any special talents then?”
The rabbit pondered this question for a minute before replying, “Not really. Just the usual.”
“What’s “the usual”?” queried Karen.
“Oh you know,” continued the rabbit, nonchalantly, “Just the normal surveillance skills and temporary invisibility, plus photographic memory and the ability to communicate telepathically with bats. By the way, my friend in the cupboard over there just communicated to me he’s a bit bored & hungry, but someone called “Matey” is still fast asleep.”
The witches looked at each other. The Spell did seem to have worked, although exactly how effective a young cow/rabbit could be remained to be seen.
Joey’s eyes flashed. “Well,” she said, picking up her cup of nectar, “here’s to the Bonfire Spell and let’s hope this creature is more effective as a surveillance rabbit than it ever was as a cow!”
The witches all raised their cups together, and chorused “Watch out Mary-Lou!”
The room was filled with cackles, the loudest being not Joey’s but Hilda’s.