I was woken by a massive CRASH.
“DRATTED TADPOLES” I shouted, “What’s going on? Zanzibar, Zanzibar!” But I couldn’t see my cat anywhere. There was another crash – smaller this time, and a hole appeared in the roof of my cave – where the chimney had been over the cauldron. The fire under the cauldron was crackling merrily and otherwise everything looked normal.
“Zanzibar?” I called – as though his name was a question. “Is that you? And where’s my chimney?”
Zanzibar’s face appeared through the hole in the roof. He was covered in dust, and his normally white face was almost completely black. He coughed. And spluttered. And coughed again. Then he disappeared, there was a scrabbling sort of sound and there he was, standing in the open doorway of the cave, completely black and with dust and ash falling off him.
“Whatever happened?” I asked him.
Zanzibar looked at me – and even though he was now covered in soot I could see he was squirming and looking awfully embarrassed.
“I thought I’d get the cauldron ready for you,” he said. “But the fire didn’t light properly and the cave was starting to get smokey. So I thought I’d get up on the roof of the cave to see if the chimney was blocked. It was. It was thick with sticky soot from the experiment with the eels, molasses and tires that we tried last week. So I tried to clean it. It is spring you know. And I thought it needed spring cleaning….”
Zanzibar looked miserable. “What sort of a witch’s cat am I if I can’t stay up on the roof of the cave to clean out the chimney?” he whined. “And while I was up there, and the chimney was getting cleaner and cleaner, the fire was working better and better, and the roof was getting hotter and hotter until….I dropped the chimney, and broke it.”
He handed me the pieces of still warm chimney.
“Don’t worry, Zanz,” I said. “I’ll magic us a new one.”
I put the pieces of the chimney into the cauldron and tried to think of a spell to fix it.
“Mend my chimney, fix my flue
Do it all with witch’s glue,
Flunkadee – a spell on cue!
And now my flue’s as good as new!”
There was a flash, a bang and a strange crooked chimney rose out of the cauldron, spun around three times before flying up to the hole on the roof and wedging itself in place.
“Brilliant,” Zanzibar squealed.
“Oh Heckerty you ARE clever.”
“Oh Zanz,” I said. “It was all done for you. After all, what witch would allow her cat to go up on a hot, tin roof.”