Anonymous said: Whom do you hate and what favor is owed?
Once upon a time in a far away land, there lived a well-known seamstress and her daughter. One day, the seamstress became very sick, and her daughter could not find enough money to pay for a doctor because a thief had made off with their fortune the night before. Instead, the girl went into the woods in search of St. John’s Wort, hoping that it might cure her mother’s ailment.
When the seamstress’ daughter cut a sprig from the ground with her mother’s sewing scissors and began her journey home, she heard a voice beckon to her from the trees.
"Your mother is ill, my child?" It warbled lyrically through the stale night air. The girl stopped short in fear.
"Who are you?" The girl called out, "and how did you know that my mother was sick?"
"Well, my pretty, those scissors in you hand once belonged to me," the voice said. Out of the corner of her eye, the seamstress’ daughter saw a hunchbacked shadowy figure emerge from behind the trees. When the moonlight hit the figure’s face, the seamstress’ daughter was repulsed. The voice belonged to a witch!
"My mother is a good seamstress- she does not need magic to make dresses!" The girl protested.
"But the scissors are enchanted, my dear- and he contract is nearly up. You must return them to me!" The girl held the scissors to her chest, and shook hear head.
"We’ll never be able to make a living if you take these from us!"
"A deal is a deal- unless you’d like to trade something?"
The girl looked at the ornate golden scissors that lay in her hand.
"My mother is very ill… but… if I give you the scissors… will you make her well again?"
"Oh, dear," the witch sighed. "I’m afraid I can’t do THAT."
"Why ever not?" The girl demanded.
"Because the contract ends when she dies, and I need them back now.”
The girl’s eyes widened, and she gasped taking off through the trees, but by the time she reached the house, the fire in the hearth had faded, and her mother lay cold and despondent in her bed.
The seamstress had passed away while the witch was talking to her. The girl grieved and cried over the body of her mother until an unsettling cold fell into her limbs. The girl lifted her head with a start, the golden scissors still clutched in her hands.
The old witch stood in the doorway of her mother’s room- like a despicable omen of death, “I made your mother rich beyond measure with those scissors, and yet you refuse to hold up her end of the bargain?”
"The money was taken yesterday night. We no longer have any riches!"
"Then you should have hidden your money better, that isn’t my fault! The scissors, or else I’ll turn you into a bullfrog!"
The seamstress’ daughter dropped the scissors on the ground as if they were red hot, and as the witch stooped to collect the scissors, the girl reached into her pocket for a spool of thread and with one swift movement, she strangled the witch with a single strand.