The Witch Who Got into Trouble at School
It was summer. The school year had almost come to an end, and everyone was looking forward to the long holidays. In fact, everyone would have been really, really happy, except for one thing. Before the holidays, they had to do exams. And nobody likes to do exams, unless they are the swottiest of swots. And Katie didn’t think that exams were at all nice. No matter how good you are at magic, you still have to remember things for yourself. And Katie had twice as much to learn as all the other children. She had to do the witch exams as well as the ordinary school exams. She did the witch exams in the evenings – and her mum gave her four and a half stars for her work. But then she had to get ready for the tests at her school. “Mum, it’s not fair,” she complained. “I have to learn so many magic spells. And I have to learn all the school lessons too.” “Well, just think yourself lucky,” said Mum. “Other children have to tidy their rooms, but you can just say a magic spell and it’s done just like that!” So Katie sat in her room and tried to read her school books. But to tell you the truth, she also looked out of the window and made up fairy tales about herself. Only in the stories, she wasn’t a witch. She was a beautiful princess who could also do magic tricks. When exam week came, the first test was spelling. If it had been magic spelling, Katie would have been alright. But in this test the teacher read out words like “accommodation” and “Mississippi” and other words that are really tricky to spell. Katie was really cross. She thought the teacher had chosen the most difficult words just to be mean. That wasn’t fair. So, she tried a little magic. She couldn’t say a spell out loud, because everyone would hear. So she just thought the words in her head really hard – and Wow! It worked. Her pen wrote the correct spelling all by itself. Next, they had to do maths problems. Katie could do the first few – because they were easy-peasy – but then there was a mean question about a monkey and some bananas. So she thought up another magic spell, and again her pen wrote down the right answer. In history, she had to remember all the names of the gods of ancient Egypt. And in geography she had to remember the capital cities of Europe. And in french she had to remember some really, really tricky words like, “le singe est sur la branche” which means “the monkey is on the branch.” All the exams had mean questions in them. And in every case, a little magic spell came in handy. The magic worked so well for Katie that she thought to herself: “Why should I bother learning all these stupid things? I can just say a magic spell and my pen will write the answer.” The week after that, the teacher finished marking all the papers. She told the class that they had all done very well, especially Katie who had scored top marks in every exam. In fact, she hadn’t got a single answer wrong. “Wow Katie,” said Julie. “You’re a genius.” The teacher said: “Congratulations, Katie. You certainly did very well. Maybe too well. I think that you and I should go and have a little talk with Mrs Hepworth.” And Katie felt just a bit worried. Because Mrs Hepworth is the head mistress. And when you go to have a little talk with Mrs Hepworth, that usually means that you are in trouble. Big trouble! At lunchtime, the teacher took Katie to see Mrs Hepworth. She explained that Katie had got top marks in all her exams and hadn’t got a single question wrong. “You are a very naughty girl,” said Mrs Hepworth. And Katie started to cry. And to cry. And to cry. And the teacher dried her tears with a handkerchief. “There, there,” she said. Eventually Katie stopped crying. “Do you know why you are a naughty girl?” asked Mrs Hepworth. Katie said, “You’re just cross with me because I’m a witch, and I know how to do magic. That’s really mean of you because I can’t help being a witch. I was born that way.” “Now you are talking nonsense!” said Mrs Hepworth. “There are no such things as witches or magic. You are in trouble because you cheated in the exams.” “I did not! NOT!” said Katie. “Just tell us how you did it, and we will let you off – this time,” said the teacher. Katie knew that she was in big trouble. She just wanted to run out of the study and all the way back home to her mum. But she couldn’t do that, so she thought she had better own up. “Well, I did do a few magic spells,” she said. “Just little ones.” But they didn’t believe her. “Oh dear. What are we going to do with this problem child?” said the teacher. “Katie,” said Mrs Hepworth. “You are in big, big trouble. You have till the end of term to tell us how you cheated in the exams. If you don’t tell the truth by then, you won’t be coming back to school next term. We don’t have girls who make up stories about witches and magic in this school. Goodness gracious! You’ll be frightening all the other children with these silly stories!” And Katie was really very sad about that, because she was telling the truth about being a witch. And it wasn’t fair. It was the last week of term. And before the holidays, the school always had a special treat. This term, Katie’s class went on a trip to the safari park. It was a big park full of wild animals from places like Africa. There were giraffes, and elephants, and long-legged deer called gazelles. Katie’s class were all safe inside the bus, and they looked out of the window at all the animals. It was ever so cool. Everyone was really excited, and happy. Except for Katie. She was sad because she was still in big, big trouble. The best animals were the chimpanzees. They climbed all over the bus. The driver got really cross when they stole his windscreen wipers. Everyone else thought that was ever so funny. And the lions were good too. Even if they were a bit scary. They had lunch in a restaurant on top of a tall rock. The rock was on a big island surrounded by water. And in the water there were crocodiles. And the crocodiles were really scary. Even more scary than the lions. There was boy in Katie’s class called Clive. Clive was always doing silly things. But the teachers didn’t seem to mind. Clive never got into trouble, however silly he was. But then, he didn’t know how to do magic. So that was probably why he was always getting away with things. In the restaurant, Clive did something very silly indeed. He asked to go to the loo, and on the way back, he went through a door that said: “Staff Only.” And from there he went down a corridor and found a special room. It was the room which they used to feed the crocodiles. It had a window and the keepers threw meat out of it, down into the river. And somebody had left the window open.Clive climbed up to look through the window. Only he slipped on a banana skin left by a monkey. Then, he fell down the rocks and broke his ankle. Fortunately, one of the keepers saw him and sounded the alarm. Everyone in the restaurant rushed to the window to look out, and they saw Clive lying on a rock near the river. A crocodile was waddling slowly towards him. Its face had a sort of a smile on it, and its tail was swishing. Then he saw that if you climbed out of the window, you could get onto the rocks. He thought it would be really cool to walk around the rocks, and look in at the other children eating their lunch. They would get a really big surprise to see him out there. So that’s what he did. Everyone screamed. Except for Katie and Wendy. Wendy knew that Katie was a witch because she had turned her into a toad for a short time. “Katie. Do something. You’re the only one who can save poor Clive. Just say a magic spell. Quick!!!!” Mrs Hepworth heard this. But she was too frightened to tell off either Wendy or Katie. After all, poor Clive was looking into the jaws of a crocodile. Katie thought really hard what would be the best magic spell to do. And then she decided: “I know. I will make Clive fly.” Fortunately, she knew the spell to make somebody fly off by heart. She had learned it when she was getting ready for her witch exams. Now she shouted it out at the top of her voice. I can’t tell you what she said, because it’s a secret. But it worked well, because everyone saw Clive rise up in the air, and gently fly back up to the restaurant. Even the crocodile was impressed. Then Katie said another spell to make everyone forget what they had just seen. Except for the crocodile. And Mrs Hepworth. And after that, Katie wasn’t in trouble any more. Because Mrs Hepworth now knew that she was telling the truth when she said she was a witch. And Katie was glad that she had worked very hard that term to learn all her magic spells. And when she got home and told her family what had happened, her mum gave her another half star for passing her witch exams. So now Katie was a Five Star Witch!