The old woman nodded as she listened to the soft, bubbling words [of the spirit of the well]. Then she went back to the cottage, her eyes bright with resolve, her step firm with courage.
She took water from the sieve and sprinkled it over the doorstep. When she got inside she saw a cake, dark reddish brown and unappetizing to look at, on the table. 'They didn't even wait for me to come back with the water,' she said to herself. 'They were greedy as well as wicked. But thanks to the spirit of the well I know what is in that cake.'
Geoffry Palmer and Noel Lloyd, "The Horned Witches," Nine Witch Tales, ed. Abby Kedabra (New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1998), 13.
There were a few magical things about this cake I baked for my birthday: I still had the book from which the above quote is excerpted and the cake actually worked this time.