Two beautiful little girls, Blanche and Rose, lived with their mother at the edge of a very dark and mysterious forest. "Rose, you look just like me," their mother often said. Rose thought this meant she was grown, so she did just what she wanted and refused to help with the chores.
One day while their mother was sweeping the floor, she said, "Girls, we need some water. Please go out to the well and fill the bucket." Blanche jumped up, glad to go to the well, but Rose, pretending she did not hear her mother, sat rocking in her chair, playing with her bear.
Blanche went to the well and let her bucket down to get some water. Out of nowhere an old woman appeared. "Come here, little girl," she said, "and give me a drink of water." Blanche was a bit scared, but then she remembered that she always obeyed her elders, so she gave the old woman a drink of water.
"You are a good girl," the old woman said, and then she disappeared into thin air.
When Blanche went back to the well the next day, the old woman came again. "Follow me," the woman said. "You'll be safe."
Blanche followed the old woman deep into the forest. Startled by a noise, she turned, and right in front of her were two axe heads battling. "This is very strange," Blanche said, hurrying to get around them. Just then, out of nowhere, came two arms boxing each other. Blanche was afraid, but the old woman just laughed and said, "Come on, you are a good little girl!"
Just when Blanche thought she had all she could take, right in front of her, hanging in the middle of the air, were two witches riding on broomsticks.
Blanche was terrified.
She followed the old woman into the cabin and watched as the woman put a bone into a pot of water that was boiling inside the fireplace. The woman then put the pot on a table.
Blanche watched as the pot filled with a thick stew of meat, potatoes, and gravy. She turned in amazement to see the old woman and her chair begin to rise off the floor!
To find out about the old woman's magic surprise for Blanche, go to the next page.
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