Monday, August 15, 2016

Bristol Witches Like to Think They're Scary

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there were three sisters. The Normyl sisters lived in the town of Bristol, England, in the year 1574 (at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin, actually). The sisters' names were Esma, Mildred, and Beatrix. 



Have you ever met a witch? Have you ever wanted to meet a witch? If you are lucky enough to go to the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin, you just might catch a glimpse of the Normyl sisters while you are there.

They try hard not to laugh, but they think they are hilarious, and then they just can't help themselves.

Maybe you are afraid of witches. Just between you and me, I think the Normyl sisters try to be scary, but most of the time, they forget, and they just make people laugh, and then they start laughing, and when they laugh, they're just not that scary. Laughing isn't scary, is it? No, of course, it's not. 

The ladies grumble and mumble if you ask to take their picture, but they will muster up a smile for the camera. (Well, not this time, but occasionally.) 

A couple weeks ago, the sisters had a very busy day at the faire. Not only did they spend their entire day walking around the village, they pushed their way on to the stage at Shakespeare's Corner, giving a rousing rendition of Double, Double Toil, and Trouble, much to the dismay of the regular actors there, and to the great delight of the audience. 

"Double, double toil and trouble..."

They were seen baiting children with a small, stuffed toy dangling from a line on a makeshift fishing pole. Only the bravest of children dared to come close enough to touch the bait. 

A brave, brave child.

During that hot, summer afternoon, two of the Normyl sisters, Beatrix and Mildred, ambled across the wooden footbridge that leads to the Nobles' Glen and the Guild of Saint Michael. Mistress Maggie Ollyver and the good Lord Mayor's sister, Hattie Brimm noticed the witches were carrying a sign that looked very familiar. 

Everyone who knows Bristol knows the sign used to be in the Kids' Kingdom. Something seemed a little fishy. There had been some changes made to the lettering, so that now it no longer read "Please do not leave children unattended." Now, it seems, the sign encouraged parents to LEAVE their children unattended, if the sign were to be believed.

"Have you been in the Kids' Kingdom?" Mistress Maggie asked Beatrix and Mildred.

"May-be..." Beatrix said.

"Are any children missing from the kingdom?" Hattie wanted to know.

"NO!" Beatrix quickly responded. "Well, only one." Beatrix thought a moment. "Okay. Maybe two." Pause. "More or less." 

"Who gave you a sign?" Hattie asked Mildred.

Without missing a beat, Mildred answered, "God."

At this point, Mildred did her version of the witches' happy dance, so proud of her quick wit was she. "Score one for Mildred!" she cackled.

After Mildred was done with her celebratory jig, a little blonde girl timidly approached the witches.

"Do you like soup?" Beatrix asked the child. 

"Yes," came the soft answer.

"Well, what kind of soup do you want to be?" Beatrix wanted to know. Beatrix smiled brightly, and the child just looked confused. 

In case you're wondering how that ended, the little girl walked back to her parents, and they all lived happily ever after. 

Parents, don't believe every sign you see. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on your children, and never leave them unattended, especially at the faire. The witches aren't too scary, but they are witches, after all. 


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