Canto Twenty-Seven – Begging for Counter Spells
Valerie-squirrel scurried through the cat door in the back of Mazie Haire’s Gingerbread House. Once inside the house, she searched all around the downstairs for Miss Haire. Not finding her anywhere around the kitchen cauldron and fireplace, or the sitting room and reading area, or even the bathroom, the little blond squirrel finally found the witch upstairs, watching something through the telescope.
“So, you still aren’t practicing your natural skills of seeing and knowing, I see,” Miss Haire said to the squirrel at the top of the stairs.
“Chit Chitter Chit-it-it!” said Valerie-squirrel angrily, even though she meant to say, “I need help, I’ve been changed into a squirrel!”
“You don’t have to talk like that, you know. Just say it in regular people words.”
“Chit-chitter… do I use regular people words?”
“Just like that, girl. You have to use the acuity of your own intelligent mind to see through the fog the spell put on your brain.”
“Well, that’s what a witch calls it, of course. But it is more like a bit of chemistry in gaseous form, I believe. Did you not come in contact with a cloud of purple smoke at one point or another?”
“Yes. The Tiki idol filled Mary’s basement with purple smoke right before Mary, Pidney, and I all turned into squirrels.”
“Yes, and somehow you were given some sort of powerful suggestion right before that, I believe.”
“Ideas were placed in your head prior to inhaling the gas, I believe. Someone talking, or chanting, or telling a story perhaps.”
“There was… some chanting… yes.”
“So, that was the trick of it.”
“Can you…? Can you cure me? Or reverse the spell? I don’t want to be a squirrel, Miss Haire.”
“You are not a squirrel, child. You are a rather stupid and completely naked girl. I can’t cure stupid, but you can.”
“What do you mean?”
“You will continue to think you are a squirrel until you take control of your own mind and convince yourself that you are not.”
Valerie-squirrel looked down at her own paws and golden-blond fur. How exactly was that done? Everything she saw, heard, and smelled told her that she was really a squirrel. A human girl in her mind, but definitely a squirrel in all her body parts.
“So, what do I do?”
“Obviously, me telling you that you are not a squirrel is not enough. So, you are going to have to go back out there and find for yourself the proof you need to turn yourself back into a beautiful young lady, and not a silly, naked squirrel.
“Go back… out there? Where the cat is? And that dog, Barky Bill?”
“Yes. Go back out there and find the focus, find the part of your brain that reminds you that are not what somebody else says you are. Go out and find the part of Valerie Clarke that is not a squirrel.” Valerie-squirrel swallowed hard and looked back down the staircase. This was going to be hard.