Near 500 words: The day the wizards lost it.

Wizards were common in my younger days. Now you don’t see them much. Once a year, they showed up in the forest near the house and had a Wizarding poker game. For some reason, they seemed to love poker. Instead of chips, they used bags of Old Toby. While they played their game, a bard came and sat by the fire near them and sang songs of the olden days and the wars between the black arts and the white magicians.

The wizards were not always a gentle folk. One year one wizard, the one with the gray beret, lost every one of his bags. He was not too thrilled about that. Had a real surly attitude when he left. It was said that dragon puff spat from his ears. If you’ve never seen a wizard with dragon puff coming out of his ears, take my my word for it. It is not a pretty sight. You’d just better get out of the way.

The next year Gray Beret showed up and cleaned everybody out. The others thought he might have cheated but he proved them wrong. He showed them he had nothing up his sleeves and they believed. They believed they were not as good at poker as they had thought.

Well, those wizards didn’t take well to losing their bags of Old Toby. No, sirree. Talk about surly. They pointed their wizard wands and zapped just about everything in sight. In case, you’ve wondered about Humpty Dumpty. He was a victim of those wizards. In case, you haven’t seen the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy lately. They too came down with a bad case of wizarding wand flu. Thank the gods that the Queen of the Fairies heard all the ruckus. She showed up and kicked some wizarding butt. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been any forest left.

Unfortunately, that was the last year the wizards came to the forest. Oh, sure we heard rumors. Rumors about rings and something about the One Ring. There was even stories about Hobbits. How they went adventurin’ and journeyin’ with dwarves and with rangers. There were stories about elvin folk helping those Hobbits and rangers and wizards and dwarves and men out.

Me, I’ve never been much for rings but give me a good pipe and a good bag of Old Toby and I’m in Hobbit Heaven.