SCENE I: A Forest Road.
There is no Thunder or Lightning
First Witch (Shona):
When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Second Witch (Glenda):
When the hurly burly's done.
When the battles lost and won.
But also, let's not meet in thunder, lightning, or in rain. We could just meet at that nice looking tavern house we saw on the way here.
Third Witch (Morag):
That will be the 'Setting Sun'.
Oooh, yes, that was the place.
Upon the heath?
No, past the bridge and turn left.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair
Hover through the fog and filthy air
Fourth Witch (Mary):
Why don't I get any lines? I never get any lines. This trip is rubbish. "Learn German, you said. Go to Prussia, you said." Well, we should never have left Eccelfechan.
I know, I know. I realise that this trip hasn't been as successful as we had hoped. Prussia, sadly, has too much embraced the Age of Reason for our particular abilities to be in much demand. But I'm convinced that in Mittelheim our fortunes will be restored. Such a place as this surely will be receptive to our skills. It's backwards, prejudiced, poorly educated, and the toads seem to be very reasonably priced.
Yes, that's all very well. But with Mary here now there's four of us. It's really quite integral to the whole "three witches" thing that we should number three. Otherwise, it just doesn't work. No one is going to take seriously predictions from the "The Roughly Numbered Three Witches." I mean, if we can't get our own numbers accurate, who's going to take our foretellings seriously? How is it going to sound if we say "All hail insert name, king it is not implausible ye might be given the favourable machinations of a number of key variables that we haven't quite put our fingers on." No - four witches won't work. And in any case, Mary hasn't really bought into the spirit of our coven.
Come now, we're a "group" not a "coven," remember?
Morag looks at her own gown, which is black and ragged, and then gestures to Mary. Mary pokes out her tongue. Glenda sighs. 'You see Mary, Morag has a point. Witches ... well, black generally is our thing.'
'All hail Hunschmausen, for breakfast
eggs ye might have!'
'And the warts,' adds Glenda
'And the cauldron,' says Shona.
'That was really heavy,' admits Mary. 'And the problems it caused with portion sizes. I put on at least half a stone.'
'And,' adds Morag, 'I'm not against adding some discrete lace detail around the hems. It's just the ...' she gestures at Mary's clothes, '... the purple silk brocade, yellow dress, fan, elaborate wig and jewellery.'
'I'm not wearing black,' says Mary with finality. 'It's so seventeenth century.'
'Couldn't you just wear the basic black dress,' says Glenda, 'and then ... accessorise?'
Mary snorts. 'What, add a ducking stool and a restless village lynch-mob?'
Suddenly, from the west comes the gentle sound of a horse's hooves.
'Look,' says Glenda. 'Come on. This is what we do. It'll cheer you all up.'
SCENE II: A Forest and not a Heath
There is no sound of thunder. Enter a Horseman
Where hast thou been, sister?
Sister, where thou?
A sailor's wife had chestnuts on her lap,
And munch'd, and munch'd, and munch'd:
'Give me,' quoth I:
'Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed ronyon cries,
Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the tiger:
But in a sieve I'll thither sail,
And, like a rat without a tail,
I'll do, I'll do, I'll do
What's a ronyon? And what happens when one gets arointed?
A ronyon? Well it's ... it's not unlike an onion. Probably.
And an arointing?
Look, I don't think that the actual specifics of an arointing are strictly relevant. I think that one can just assume that being arointed is something best avoided.
I myself have all the other,
And the very ports they blow
Well, you strangely-dressed apparitions. That is all very well, but name yourselves! Why have you waylaid me?
|'All hail Hunschmausen, lunch is a distinct|
possibility at some time around twelve!'
Well, we're witches and we have come to comment upon your fate!
Yes, indeed. With speed because we don't want to be ... er... too late!
Stop improvising, Mary!
But I never get any lines!
Out of my way, oddly dressed crones (though I exclude from that last description the youngest of your number who has a most comely ensemble). For I am Baron Munch ... I mean Baron, um ... Hunchmausen, and I am on my way to Mittelheim for some perfectly ordinary reason that no one need pay any attention to.
Nay, for by the pricking of my thumb,
Something wicked has this way come!
Thank you sir: the purples and yellows of my dress do look well, I think.
For pity's sake Mary. Look Herr Mister Hunchmausen Horseman, hear now our visions for your future ....