Ray Bradbury
The April Witch

Reading a Ray Bradbury story occasionally reminds one that they have put on special glasses to see life differently. Or there is a melody playing beneath the written words, and we release their effect by our reading. How it all happens is a mystery. But there it is.

One can as well spend an inordinate amount of time on a small passage, sometimes, in fact, a sentence or a phrase, where we marvel at the wonder of its compositon and imagery. It's unlike anything read before, and once reading Bradbury, it's possible to find an appreciation for other writers as well.


In the short story, “The April Witch”, a girl named Cecy demonstrates Ray's particular talent of being unique and special, as we are carried on an adventure that Cecy must have, that is, to know human love. Cecy does so by becoming a droplet of water in a glass, and that glass of water quenches the thirst of one Ann Leary. Soon we find Ann saying things only Cecy would speak, looking at the world as only Cecy would see it, until Ann mumbles to herself, “I've rented my body to an April witch, for sure.”

And consider this fellow Tom: does he really know what is all happening right before his eyes? Does he know who it is he truly loves? Can he make out the fuzzy outlines of the “presence” amidst the most jumbled images he finds. Perhaps some quickly written words, on a small piece of paper, dictated by one special girl, will help sort it all out.

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Bulletin board

Into the air, over the valleys, under the stars, above a river, a pond, a road, flew Cecy. Invisible as new spring winds, fresh as the breath of clover rising from twilight fields, she flew. She soared in doves as soft as white ermine, stopped in trees and lived in blossoms, showering away in petals when the breeze blew. She perched in a limegreen frog, cool as mint by a shining pool. She trotted in a brambly dog and barked to hear echoes from the sides of distant barns. She lived in new April grasses, in sweet clear liquids rising from the musky earth.

It's spring, thought Cecy. I'll be in every living thing in the world tonight.

Now she inhabited neat crickets on the tar-pool roads, now prickled in dew on an iron gate. Hers was an adapt-ably quick mind flowing unseen upon Illinois winds on this one evening of her life when she was just seventeen.

“I want to be in love,” she said…

You can find this story in “The Stories of Ray Bradbury”.

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Eight great stories 1
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