Bane in the Olitory?

A Narrative of Personal Occurences

Good morrow, readers. While not the ordinary type of intelligence encountered here, you may be interested in a thing that passed me lately.

Whilst looking for something esculent in my olitory one day last sennight, I found a few doughnuts that were a little over-ripe, that is, past their prime. I thought it must have something to do with the open winter we had this year. However, ere I could find aught with which to serve them, I beheld a certain flask, which appeared half-full1 of some liquid bane or other, nigh where I plucked the doughnut.

Now, since growing things absorb whatever liquids touch their roots, both before and after they blow and fruit, I became suspicious that half a flask of this bane might have been poured into my olitary by some knavish apothecary who had in mind to put asunder the body and soul of this burgess that is myself. “Fie!” said I, “if someone isn’t seeking my expiry!”

Whereupon I decided to consult my local bibliopile, in case he had a book on potions and/or apothecaries, to determine what such a scapegrace might be feeding to my doughnuts. So I fastened my latchets, stepped abroad, and hied directly to his home. The porter let me in, and when I reached his chamber, he was holding a salamander by the fire, and cooking up his own breakfast, and generously gave me audition.

“Prithee,” says I to my fellow, “do you have a book on apothecaries and their treatments? Not that I am particularly valetudinary, but just as I think someone is trying to poison me.” And he says, says he, “Well, if you’ve something in your portage for to pay me with, some doit or scot or even pelf, I have just the one to sell you.”

“Forsooth,” I thought, as I reached into my purse, “it looks like I’ve fared a good direction here.” And I handed him a few fine pennies which summed up a good price, and he gave me a book entitled Formulae for Potions and their Effects, with Notes on Apothecaries Far and Wide.”

So I placed it into my portage, hung over my filibeg, and rode me home upon the palfrey wherewith I’d come.

After conning several sections of Formulae for Potions and their Effects, with Notes on Apothecaries Far and Wide, I discovered a description of a tonic that sounded just like what I’d found next to my doughnut plant. And, rather unimpressively, it turned out to be a fertilizer, with just the right mix of nitrogen, brimstone, and helium for growing doughnuts. Ergo, it seemed, my apothecary intended to help me grow my doughnuts, rather than serve me poison after all.

Thereupon I sat me down to my meal, and minded much the less my worries. Once I had my fill of comestibles, including the over-ripened doughnut, I sought the sanative properties of a hefty bumper of physic, to forfend any ill that may befall me if the book turned out to be wrong about this potion.

Then I poured the rest of my discovered potion from the flask into the doughnut patch, and on the morrow following I found compassing the stem thrice the number of doughnuts I’d had the day before.


“Aliens are watching us!” by Olgierd Rudak from Wrocław, Poland. CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Or, half-empty, as the case may be.

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