The April Witch by Ray Bradbury

In memory of Ray Bradbury who passed away this week, I read his short story “The April Witch” this weekend.

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Cecy Elliot, the “witch”, belongs to a family of beings with magical powers.  She can become a leaf or a bird or a cloud or almost anything she wants.  Her parents warn her, though, that she cannot marry a human or she will lose her powers.  In spite of her parents’ warning, she wants to fall in love.

She goes into the “head” of Ann Leary, a nineteen year-old girl, with the hopes of making her fall in love with Tom, a 22 year-old man.  Unknown to Cecy, Ann and Tom had already had a relationship that didn’t quite work out.  Cecy gets Ann to say things to Tom that Ann doesn’t really feel, much to Tom’s confusion.  While Ann doesn’t realize Cecy is in her head, she does wonder why she’s saying these things to Tom.  Ann fights back and ultimately wins.

As usual, Bradbury’s writing is beautiful and the story plays out like a fairy tale.  The setting is Illinois and the time period is sometime prior to the invention of the automobile  when horse-drawn carriages are still used for travel.  While I might have felt a little sorry for Cecy in her failure, I had to admit I was rooting for Ann the whole time.

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3 responses to “The April Witch by Ray Bradbury

  1. Hi Dale,
    I’m on a quest to buy some Bradbury. I learned he resisted the publishing of his work in ebook format (which explains why I can’t find any), but I still want to read Dandelion Wine, which has been on my list a long time. I’m sure I have a few of his short stories scattered in my anthologies too. I found one this morning online, which I read, called “The Pedestrian.” Not one of his better efforts though, I think. Oh, and I want to read “Something Wicked this way Comes” too. 🙂
    -Jay

    • Hi Jay,
      I’ve read Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, and another book that he wrote more recently called From the Dust Returned. In fact, I’m wondering now if the family in The April Witch could be the same family in that book. I didn’t realize that he had as many short stories as he does. Of course, I haven’t been reading short stories until more recently (Thanks!) so I may not have noticed. I definitely want to read more of his work. Some of the things I read about him since his death were interesting. He finally gave in and allowed F451 to be published in ebook format if it was available to libraries, first. I always remember reading F451 and being absolutely amazed that the televised police chase was written years before OJ Simpson and his white Bronco.
      -Dale

  2. Pingback: Bradbury of the Month: April – The Wilderness | Mirror with Clouds

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