Old Mother Tattersley’s dappled hand gripped the willow twig. As she stirred, she hummed steadily. Not a tune, more the score of a bumble bee.
The acrid steam spiralled, its droplets pocking the gnarled beam; simultaneously, the left shoelace of Reginald Tait unwound serpent-like.
Mother Tattersley’s drone strengthened. Miniature wings flashed in the steam, disappearing like falling glitter.
Inkblot wound around her, purring. Leaning over the pan, she drew in a lungful of magic and blew.
Outside, Reginald Tait stooped towards his shoelace. The icicle in the eaves plummeted down.
No road would be built through Mother Tattersley’s house.