Once upon a time there was a forest, and in this forest there was a village, and in this village there lived a mage.
The mage loved to make potions for the rest of the village. Potions for happiness, potions for healing, potions to help with stinky feet. All kinds of potions. And to create these potions, he had to go hunting in the forest for ingredients.
One day as the mage was wandering among the trees looking for flowers and moss and herbs, he noticed a beautiful broom leaning against a fat oak. The handle was smooth with a slight bend in the middle and a carved spiral at the top, and there were crystals around the bottom where the bristles were tied.
The mage looked around, wondering who this beautiful broom belonged to, but there was no one in sight. Not a footprint. Not a trace. So the mage did the most natural thing in the world: he picked it up and took it home.
Gently he used the broom to sweep flour out of his kitchen and bits of leaf out of his work room. It was a good broom and did its job well. When the mage was done, he leaned it against the wall by the front door, and went about the rest of his day.
The next morning the broom was gone.
The mage was bewildered. The windows were shut. The door was locked. If it hadn’t been stolen, where could it have gone? What had happened? He shook his head and decided not to think about it, because strange things sometimes occurred and it wasn’t his place to question.
On his next trip into the forest, the mage passed by the fat oak tree again and lo and behold! There was the beautiful broom right where it had been before. He took it home again, and later that day his neighbor the baker stopped by for a chat.
“What a lovely broom!” the baker said when he noticed it leaning against the wall. “I would love to borrow it to show my wife. May I?”
The mage saw no reason to say no, and allowed the baker to borrow the broom. The next morning there was a glass ornament sitting near the door, and the mage raised an eyebrow. It sat exactly where he’d put the broom when he’d brought it home. He hung the ornament in the window to catch the light, then quickly went to see the baker.
“Do you still have that beautiful broom?” he asked.
“Of course!” the baker replied and retrieved it from the next room. “My wife enjoyed it very much. It’s truly a work of art, and it sweeps well, too!” He handed the broom over along with a hot and crusty loaf of fresh bread. “Here, take this with you, with our compliments!”
Curious that it hadn’t disappeared this time, the mage thanked the baker and took the broom home again. He put it in the same place, against the wall by the front door, and went about his day.
But the following morning, the broom was gone again! Another ornament was in its place. As the mage headed out into the forest toward the fat oak tree, he noticed a shiny glass ornament hanging in the window of the baker’s home, as well. “Interesting,” he thought. “So very interesting.”
The beautiful broom was, of course, leaning against the oak as though it had never left. The mage took it back to the village, but not to his own cottage. He knocked at the door of his other neighbor, the weaver, and when she answered he handed her the broom.
“Take this,” he said, “and borrow it for a couple of days. It’s a good broom and pretty to look at, I hope you enjoy it!”
The weaver smiled as she looked at the carving at the top and the crystals at the bottom. “Thank you, I will!” The mage went home with his mind in a whirlwind, wondering what would happen over the next couple of days.
One day later he discovered a third ornament near his door.
Two days later he went back to visit the weaver and, as a last minute thought, brought her a potion for creative inspiration as a gift. He noticed a glass ornament in her window, and asked her if she still had the broom. She shook her head. “Why no, I’m sorry, I let my sister borrow it yesterday.”
The mage reassured her that it was quite alright to have lent it to her sister, and asked about the ornament. The weaver beamed and explained, “Isn’t it lovely? I found it near my door this morning, and I’m not sure where it came from but just look how it catches the light!”
The pieces were all starting to come together for the mage. In order to stay in the village, the beautiful broom had to be continuously borrowed so that everyone could enjoy it. In return, they were gifted with the pretty glass ornaments. If it were kept in one place, it would return to its home at the fat oak tree.
Soon every window in every cottage was filled with shiny glass baubles, and the villagers had established a routine of moving the broom from home to home each evening. More than that, they also started including other items to borrow or simply give as gifts: potions, baked goods, blankets, fancy ribbons and scarves, tea blends, dishes... whatever each individual had to create and share.
And what once was a very ordinary village became something incredibly special and full of love.
[and because this is a Business Tale...]
Here at The Borrowed Broomstick we strive to embody the beauty of this magical broom, not only in its outward appearance and the ornaments it leaves behind, but also in the sense of community it inspires. Thank you for being a part of our “village.”