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A saviour cat

A saviour cat
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First Published: Fri, Dec 05 2008. 11 01 PM IST

Gobsmacked: RB (left) is not enthused by the witch’s scheme.
Gobsmacked: RB (left) is not enthused by the witch’s scheme.
Updated: Fri, Dec 05 2008. 11 01 PM IST
My Unwilling Witch Starts a Fun Park is the eighth and latest book in the series to land on bookshelves in India, but each instalment of Hiawyn Oram’s Rumblewick’s Diaries is a delight.
Gobsmacked: RB (left) is not enthused by the witch’s scheme.
Rumblewick Spellwacker Mortimer B, or RB for short, is Witch Hagatha Agatha’s—or Haggy Aggy for short, or HA if you want it shorter—Familiar (i.e. a cat which performs secretarial duties for a witch). According to the seven-year contract agreed upon between a Witch and a Familiar, RB has to serve HA, obey her every whim and at all times assist her in the ways of being a true and proper witch. A proper witch must “scare at least one child on the Other Side” and “invent a new spell useful for every purpose and every occasion in the Witches Calendar”. In return for services rendered, RB will get an unlimited supply of Slime Buns for breakfast, a cracked mirror for luck, a log basket to sleep in and free use of HA’s broomsticks (outside of peak brooming hours).
All fine so far except that HA is far from being a normal witch. She is more interested in the happenings in the human world than in being a true witch. And RB has his hands full keeping things under control. He has to stretch his wits to ensure that HA does not get carried away by her longing to be on the human side of things.
Soon, HA chances upon an amusement park where she spots children taking scary rides and— to her surprise—loving every minute of being scared witless. Conclusion: Children love to be scared.
The next thought that strikes her is that she could start an amusement park herself. Using her spells, she can create far scarier rides and she thinks the park will be a great success. She decides to check out the park again with RB.
At the park, the duo is tailed by a man, Goldtooth. He flatters HA so much that she falls for his spiel and agrees to marry him. The two of them decide to set up a new fun park to outdo all other fun parks. HA abandons the witches’ country and goes off with Goldtooth.
This raises RB’s suspicions and he discovers Goldtooth just wants to use HA’s skills to run his own park. He intends to keep her under lock and key. Goldtooth and his girlfriend plan to mint money out of the new fun park they are going to set up with HA’s unwilling cooperation. Following the trail, RB stumbles upon HA, who has been locked up in a trunk.
RB has to think on “his paw” to rescue his mistress. How can he take her back to the witches’ country? Are his limited magic skills enough to help HA? Read the book to find out. Narrated in a diary format, the My Unwilling Witch series is a fun read. The illustrations, too, tell their own story.
The writer is the editor of Heek, a children’s magazine.
Write to lounge@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Dec 05 2008. 11 01 PM IST