"The Tale of a Lazy Little Witch" was a poem composed by Miranda Goshawk and published in the Book of Spells as the conundrum accompanying the book's first chapter. The poem tells the tale of Isodora Rose, a witch who believed a wand would solve all her problems with little effort on her part, only to find that this was not the case.
When little Isodora Rose
(A sweet young witch - that button nose!)
Was bought a wand, she thought it grand;
It shone so brightly in her hand!
'Now here's an end to all my woes!'
The charming girl told friends and foes.
'I'll never, ever need to work!'
(In truth, she'd always liked to shirk).
'If anybody makes me cross
my wand will show them who is boss,
And if they go and treat me worse
I'll fix them with a single curse!
And everything I want I'll get
With this, my darling little pet!'
With that, she waved her brand new wand
And turned her black hair brassy blonde.
But as the days and weeks went by
That lazy girl refused to try
To master new spells; truth to tell
She didn't do the old ones well:
Her hair turned blonde, but then fell out
Her curses never had much clout
Her wand began to wilt, poor thing,
As boredom took away its zing.
And naturally she blamed the wand
And threw it in the old duck pond
But you know better, you can see
What caused her mediocrity.
What must you do, that she did not?
What must you do, and do a lot?
Answer this, and do it loads
Or I will turn you all to toads.