The wizard’s apprentice was working,
as his master often made him,
on gathering herbs and cooking meals
and whatever else he bade him.

So much was the apprentice’s labor
that he seldom had time for sleep.
while his master slept in a nice warm bed,
he had to bed down with the sheep.

One day while the Wizard was brewing
a particularly potent brew,
the wizard’s apprentice snook off for a nap
for only a moment or two.

He woke up to hear an angry voice
calling out his name.
It was the voice of the wizard, saying
“Boy! get me some wolf bane!”

“We are out of it” the boy replied,
“will Saint John’s Wort suffice?”
“NO!” said the wizard “go get some,
and don’t make me tell you twice!”

So the weary young apprentice
went out in the woods to find
the magical ingredient,
before his master lost his mind.

While out in the woods he spotted
a wolf bane plant he sought
but its leaves were dry and withered
‘this will have to do’, he thought.

So he gathered up the wolf bane
and took it back to the mage.
but when the wizard saw it
he nearly went into a rage.

“You call this wolf bane, you thick-headed lunk?
’tis nothing but dry leaves and sticks.
go and get me another, boy,
and for your sake, make it quick!”

At this the boy turned angry
and his courage boiled over his head.
“Why should I work so hard for you?”
said the boy, though he trembled in dread.

The wizard scowled at him fiercely.
“dare you question me?” he spoke.
“do you not know what I’ll do to you,
if you think this is some kind of joke?”

“I do not!” the boy answered,
“but I do have some complaints.
I haven’t slept in so very long
I am almost ready to faint.”

“You promised me you would teach me,
as long as i did behave.
but so far all have done with me
is use me for a slave.”

“You make me gather, you make me cook,
you make me feed all your stock.
you make me write ’til my fingers bleed
and my head feels like a big rock.”

“When will you teach me some magic?”
said the apprentice, expecting a blow,
but the wizard’s eyes were kinder as
he said “There’s something you should know.”

“I HAVE been teaching you magic,
though you didn’t see it then.
but give me a minute to explain
and I shall show you when.”

“Remember when i taught you to cook
and to follow a recipe?
I was teaching you how to make potions
it is all the same, you see.”

“And when I taught you to gather
the roots and herbs that I use,
I was teaching you to identify them
and know the best ones to choose.”

And when i taught you to handle
all the different kinds of beasts,
I was teaching you be patient,
a lesson you’ve learned the least.”

“And when I made you write and recite
those poems that made you so bored,
i was teaching you how to scribe your spells
and how to store and record.”

“Being a wizard’s not all fun and games
it’s work, and a great deal of that!
did you think it was all cute little tricks
and wearing a pointed hat?”

“Before you even start with the spells
you must know what you are doing.
too little knowledge is dangerous
and well could be your undoing!”

“Now go and get me some wolf bane,
a good one this time, please,”
and the humbled apprentice went back to the woods
a little weak in the knees.