Once there lived a powerful witch. Everyone knew that by a wave of her birch wand she could do just about anything. Everyone also knew she was a very good witch. She would never lie and was always honest with her dealings with her sister witches. She was as ethical as could be and lived by president Kimball’s teaching that a lie was any communication sent to deceive. She never lied.
One day she invited the village to her cottage for dinner. It was a feast of delicacy and delight. A celebration of all the senses. A harvest of luscious plants of such variety as to stager the imagination in their combination; rare herbs and precious spices were combined in new ways creating tastes never before experienced. There were sweet and savory meats, sauces beyond compare, pies, pilafs, soufflés, creams, pastries of such artistry that some villagers wept at the flavor—their life having been worth living if only for this moment of single magnificent repast. It was a meal of stunning perfection. At the feast’s conclusion the village toasted the meal’s resplendence and artistry.
But just as belts had been loosened and chairs pushed back to settle into content conversation the witch was called away on witchy business. Grabbing her wand she fled the door and uttered a mysterious assertion “Remember there was no food before the meal.”
And the guests were left alone to ponder her last queer declaration. The Mayor opined that it was clear that she used her wand to bring the meal suddenly into existence. ‘What else could she mean?’ He said. Many sagely wagged their head and repeated, ‘What else could she mean?”
But one young lady peeked into the kitchen. It was a frightful sight. There were messes everywhere. The stove had obviously boiled over at one point. The remnants of potato peels, carrot and radish tops, empty milk bottles, piles of refuge. The sink was filled with dirty pots with some of the sauces still stuck to the bottom. The oven was still warm and the bottom of several pastries were stuck to the baking pan that might have been left in the oven too long and burned a bit.
When she showed the mayor the mess, he said, “The witch said there was no food before the meal and that’s what she meant. End of story.”
“What about all this?” The girl said.
“Who knows? Remnants from other meals. Or Maybe she just wanted it to look like she cooked it and waved her wand and made all this too.” The mayor said.
“She would never deceive us.” The girl shook her head. “She’s a good witch.”
The gathering crowd behind the mayor muttered in unison, “Who knows? Who knows?” The mayor smiled approvingly at the villagers. “We don’t know why the mess. We know only that she used her wand to make the meal suddenly. That at least is clear. ‘No food before the meal’ means no food before the meal.” The mayor shouted with real feeling. So the rest of the guests joined in. Chanting the mantra they left the house.
So the little girl closed the door and went about exploring the kitchen to see if she could discover some recipes that might have been left laying around. “Maybe we just don’t know what she meant.” She whispered with a sigh as she started to help wash up a bit.