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The Wizard That Forgot
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Many many years ago there lived a kindly wizard named Accabus.
Most wizards and witches live in secret, secluded places away from mortal beings.
But Accabus liked mortals and travelled around the country from village to village helping them whenever he could.
His robes, which had once been a deep rich purple laced with gold, were now faded and worn, as was his wizard's hat.
But his long white beard, which almost reached his waist, was as grand as ever.
One early spring he came upon a new village that he hadn't seen before.
He knew something was wrong as soon as he saw the unhappy faces of the villagers.
They looked afraid of him until they realised who he was, his kindness and name were known to all
The field that surrounded the village was bare of the wheat and vegetables that most villagers grew to feed themselves.
Accabus stood on the edge of the field and watched as rabbits, hedgehogs and even dogs walked around it, never once stepping on the soil.
Accabus turned to the farmer and said, "Your field is cursed."
"We didn't know that when we settled here," the farmer explained.
"We haven't been able to grow a single thing."
Accabus patted the farmer on the shoulder and told him not to worry.
"Stand back." he advised.
Lifting his wooden staff high in the air, Accabus shouted,
"BAD SPIRITS OF HATE CALLED FORTH BY MAN, LEAVE THIS LAND AND GO BACK WHENCE YOU CAME!"
He then struck the ground hard three times.
The ground started to shake and a ripple flowed across the field.
Suddenly a rabbit ran from behind a tree and started to dig a hole in the middle of the field.
He was soon followed by a dog chasing a cat.
"I think you can plant your crops now." Accabus said with a chuckle.
The next time he passed through that way there were corn and potatoes growing in the rich soil.
As the years passed, a rumour began to spread from village to village that something was wrong with Accabus.
Very few people saw him now and those that did said he was no longer friendly and helpful, in fact he looked sad and lonely.
One day a young boy saw him sitting by the roadside with his head in his hands as though crying.
"You alright mister?" he asked.
Accabus didn't answer.
"If you're that sad," the boy said cheekily, "go into the Forrest of Sorrow."
He then ran down the road laughing.
Most people knew about the Forest of Sorrow and Accabus decided he might as well give it a try because his own sadness was all he felt now.
Wizards can help cure other people but they can't cure themselves.
The power of the forest only works once a month when the moon is full.
Dark pink berries appear on the top most branches of the trees. They send out a sweet sickly aroma that when breathed in take away a person's sadness.
What Accabus didn't know was that you must never spend more than an hour in the forest when the moon is full.
He had been travelling all day and was very tired.
When he reached the middle of the forest, he sat at the base of a tree and fell fast asleep.
He wandered out of the forest the next morning feeling happy and relaxed.
Whatever his problem had been, it had gone away, unfortunately so had his memory.
It soon became clear that besides not knowing his own name, he also didn't realise that he was a wizard.
He could no longer help people because he didn't know any spells or how to use his wooden staff.
An old woman realised by the happy but blank look on his face that he had been to the Forest of Sorrow and stayed too long. She had seen that look before.
She told Accabus that if he wanted to remember who he was and regain his powers he would have to find the Yellow Spotted Mungus bug and eat its heart.
"You can only find them in the woods near Hollow Point, but be careful because they have a long sharp stinger that is said to be poisonous."
The wizard wasn't sure he wanted to regain his memory because he felt very happy the way he was.
In the end it was a young child that changed his mind.
The little girl looked up at him with pleading eyes that were constantly running, the same as her nose.
She had what everyone had thought was a cold but it never ended.
She had been this way for six months.
"Don't worry my child," Accabus said patting the girls head. "I will be back in a few days to help you."
Accabus entered the woods but it took him two days to find one of the rare Yellow Spotted Mungus bugs.
He held it gently in his hand, but it was such a beautiful creature that he knew he couldn't do it.
"Don't worry my little friend," he told the bug, "I'm not going to kill you."
The bug suddenly sunk his stinger into the wizard's hand.
"Hey," Accabus said in surprise. "I told you I wouldn't hurt you."
"It's because you mean me no harm that I have given you what you seek," the bug answered.
"The cure is in our venom, so there is no need to kill us and eat our hearts."
The wizard began to feel light headed and his memories started to flood back. "Thank you, is there anything I can do for you in return?" he asked the bug.
"Maybe you could spread the word amongst the other witches and wizards to stop hunting us for their potions," the bug replied sadly. "There are very few of us left, you know."
"I will do what I can," Accabus promised.
He made his way back to the village where the child with the never ending cold lived.
She ran up to him with hope in her eyes, he gently placed his hand on her head and said,
"COLD WITHIN THIS CHILD GO AWAY AND FIND ANOTHER TO TORMENT."
Her eyes and nose stopped running and he was rewarded with the biggest smile he had ever seen.
The wizard Accabus never did remember why he had gone into the Forest of Sorrow but alas the forest is no longer there.
Over the years it absorbed so much sadness and sorrow that it gradually died.
The other witches and wizards took no notice of his pleas to leave the Yellow Spotted Mungus bug alone because they too have disappeared just like the forest, but the legend of Accabus,the kindly wizard, still lives on.
A Short Story by Sheila Helliwell
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