The Chronicles of Nanny Bee – The Well

They called her Nanny Bee, although as far as anyone knew she had never been a wife or a mother, let alone a grandmother. But she was popularly believed to be a witch – so Nanny it was. She lived in a pink-walled thatched cottage that crouched between the village green and the vicarage. The Reverend Alphonso Scoggins (a person of peculiarly mixed heritage and a fondness for large dinners) joked that between him and Nanny they could see the villagers from birth to burial.
Nanny’s garden was the most verdant and productive little patch you could ever imagine, and she could be found pottering in its walled prettiness from dawn to dusk almost every day. People came to visit and were given advice, or medicine, or other potions in tiny bottles or scraps of paper – but they always had the sneaking suspicion they were getting in the way of the gardening.
But there again, digging is second nature to gnomes.

The village well was running dry. Never in living memory – and some of the villagers enjoyed lengthy lifetimes – had the well ever been anything but brimful of sweet cold water.
What had happened?
A problem at the spring?
A band of hefty young men armed with shovels went to see. They returned puce-faced and angry. The precious water was being diverted to fill a lake her ladyship thought would look pretty in front of the Big House.
The vicar had a word, but returned empty-clawed and apoplectic.
He talked to Nanny. “Stupid woman doesn’t see how a village with no water is any of her problem. And himself is away at parliament until the middle of next month at least.”
“Oh well. What can be diverted can be undiverted.”
“Except she has men with guns guarding the valley.”
Nanny laughed and tapped her finger to the side of her nose.
Once she was alone she removed her boots snd socks and went to stand with her bare feet in the soil. She communed…
An hour later water started flowing into the well again.
“Thanks moles. The village owes you.”
She was answered by a deep laugh from somewhere underground.


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