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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Hag of Nith

Once upon a time there lived an old hag. Some people called her a witch. She wore a black skirt, a green scarf and a purple robe. Her shoes had holes in them and her hair was a mess.

All around her house grew thistle, briars and thorns. Spiderwebs clung to the bushes and snakes slithered by.

One day she went out to her thistle patch and a long black and orange snake hissed at her. “Are you the hag of Nith?”

The witch cackled and scratched her wart-covered nose. “I am.”

“I want you to turn me into a boy. I am tired of being on the ground all the time, crawling on my belly.” The snake hissed again.

“Why should I turn you into a boy? What will you give me in return?”

The snake moved closer to the witch. “Oh, hag of Night,” its forked tongue came out of its mouth, “If you turn me into a boy I will cook for you every day and be your companion.”

Now the hag of Nith was lonely and she ate nothing but rat tails and lizard toes. She thought it would be nice to have someone cook for her and be her companion. She took her cane and touched the snake. Poof! The snake turned into a boy.

The boy took one look at the hag and saw how ugly she really was and ran away, never to be seen again.

The hag was angry, but what could she do. The next day she was in her thistle garden and she saw another snake. She picked up her cane and killed it.

The moral of the story – never trust anything that slithers on its belly.

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