A Week with Madame Saucepan

I chose a warm and comfortable corner at the broken-down old pub. But, it’s rather difficult for a cedar tree to fit on a stool that keeps trying to shake you off and at times rolls on the ground to get rid of you. “It’s difficult…” whispered a crabby old witch who had seven black cats on her shoulder sitting so close to each other that any onlooker may have mistaken them as one giant fur ball with ten green eyes. “Yea it’s difficult! Those stools beneath you are allergic to human negativity and are not very fond of a doubtful mind.” She said. I was startled. But, aren’t the wizards supposed to be above the distorting reality?

The witch looked thoughtful for a brief moment. By this time, my eyes had become accustomed to the dimly lit pub, and I noticed, all the cats on her shoulders looked thoughtful too. I have never seen a cat pondering over something before. “Lookie here Cedar, maybe… maybe you have been with humans with messy minds and evil tongues, you still carry that smell which those stools are confusing as yours.” That’s true, I smiled. I have been with all sorts of humans in the last few months and been to places where wizards are not supposed to be. Like… I hesitated for a moment looking at the strange glow in her eyes, as if she was keen and excited to know my whereabouts… so do the cats! “You see Cedar, I’m one from the dark arts department and sometimes I travel beyond the boundaries of the wizardry world to collect ingredients for my potions. You look like someone who can be trusted and to be particular I’m fond of trees with human smells all over them, she winked.” All the cats winked too! I was always cautious about witches, they master the art of riddles and half-truths, make us think the unthinkable by filling a sense of false security in our mind. They do these in stages.

It seems you are not very experienced of our kind, Cedar. The old witch had a friendly smile on her face. The cats looked amused too. Not all witches are like that, just like not every cedar you come across these days lets you pee on them. She burst out laughing. I was dumbfounded and embarrassed at the mention of this. That dog in the park… it was her! “I think… I will look around for a more comfortable and less annoyed seat.” She was laughing hysterically from the look of embarrassment on my face and the seven cats fell down from her shoulders like domino blocks. Her hand gesture seemed to have something to do with: wait up! Finally she managed to put the brakes on her laughter and after a few staggering breaths, she swallowed and heaved a sigh. Her eyes were filled with tears and just as she was catching her breath, she blew her nose into an old embroidered napkin and smiled.

“Don’t worry Cedar.” She made a face slightly chagrined. “Take my words, no more shenanigans.” She put up her fingers in a Girl Scout salute. “Oh how rude of me, I almost forgot to introduce you to my kitties, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.” At the mention of their names, the seven cats crawled up her leg and nestled in where it’s warm and cozy. It’s the best way to travel. “That’s a week you have there.” I smiled. “And wizards here know me as Madame Saucepan. I was given that name because of the way I would stick to a saucepan over low heat, my favorite game as a child.”

A Week with Madame Saucepan

The Wizard is Back

It turns out, the wizard always returns. He dies and he resurrects. Nothing much can be done about it though, most wizards are like that. They love to make dramatic comebacks. They are so obsessed about comebacks that people often overlook that they were gone. Some of them have grown mature with time and are no longer fascinated about dramatic comebacks and letting others know that they have arrived. They rather make a comical entry through the half open windowpanes of the kitchen and step on the furry carpet only to find out it was the sleeping cat. Wizards can be catastrophic sometimes!

What happened to the past then? Asked the stray dog with its hind leg lifted in front of the old cedar tree at the neighborhood park. Shoo dog! Said the tree, don’t pee on me! Don’t you see I’m the wizard? We love to stay low key and hide from people, especially from stray dogs with exceptional bladders. Shoo! “But what happened to the past?” Asked the dog again, sniffing around the cedar tree cautiously. The past, my boy, is never real. It’s long gone and all that is left is me and my wand from the Ollivanders in Diagon Alley. Now, you can close your mouth, stop balancing on three legs and go sniff that chestnut tree over there. I would rather appreciate some solitude at this time. Perhaps later we can rendezvous? Wizards can be dogmatic sometimes!

“Excuse me, Sir would you happen to have these ingredients in your store?” Asked the wizard. The grouchy little man looked over his glasses to the cedar tree in front and started reading the ingredients. “A mandrake root, bubblegum, dragon nails, poison ivy, octopus powder, moondew, syrup of Hellebore… ah so you’re a wizard! Come on in and join us for a drink, you look like someone who’s making a comeback!” The grouchy man had a strange smile on his face and led the old cedar through a shabby lane to a broken-down old pub. “Look here boys; we have another comeback story today!” The cedar was introduced to a dingy room full of weird but friendly people. It’s an ideal spot to catch up with the latest wizarding gossips in town in case you live a long way or making a comeback. “Hey Joe, why don’t you tell us your comeback story?” Asked the storekeeper. “After all, there’s nothing like a butterbeer and a comeback story while it’s raining whales and dragons! Put your money away, gentleman, this round is on the house.” The announcement was followed by a long round of cheers and cries of excitement. Toasts were raised again and again, congratulations were passed. You see, wizards can be unbearable sometimes!

The Wizard is Back