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The Sociable Sand Witch

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
Of all the witches that may be found in all the fairy tales ever told there is none more delightfully sociable than the Sand Witch. This Witch, who lives underneath the heaps of sand at the ocean's edge, where, in the summertime, you dig with your shovel, is not at all like other witches. She never rides on a broomstick, and she never goes down chimneys. In the first place there are no broomsticks or chimneys on the beach at the sea-shore, and in the second place she would not know how to ride on a broomstick or climb down a chimney, if there were. All the Sand Witch knows how to do is to sink into the sand when anything scares her, and to come up through the sand when she sees a chance to get acquainted with a person she never was acquainted with before. So now you know what a Sand Witch is. And if Junior Jenks, seven years old, and dreadfully sunburnt, had known what you know, he would have been much better prepared to face the one that came up right under his nose all of a sudden one hot July morning. Junior was supposed to be in bathing. His mother, and his father, and his sister were in among the breakers having a fine time, but Junior, although he was wearing a bathing suit just like they were, preferred the good old sandy, sunny beach where foam-crested waves could not tumble you over and over, and fill your mouth with salt water when you yelled. He had tried bathing once, and no amount of coaxing could induce him to try it again, so his folks left him to play by himself while they took their dip. The first Junior knew about the Sand Witch was when the tip end of a steeple hat began to come up through the sand in front of him. Up, up it came until the whole hat was showing; then followed a long nose, two big, black eyes, a big mouth, and a sharp pointed chin; after that the rest of the Sand Witch followed very quickly, until at last she stood before him as cool as a cucumber. "Well," she said, not paying the slightest attention to the way Junior's hair was standing up, "here I am. I've heard you digging for some days. I suppose you thought you'd never find me." "Find you?" said Junior, staring with all his might. "I wasn't trying to find you. I never knew there was such a person. I wasn't trying to find anything."