An almost identical text have previously been published by me in another forum, now sadly deceased, where I was known under another username. So this isn't plagiarism.
WHY YOU NEVER SHOULD STEAL A SORCERER'S GRIMOIRE!
(A traditional tale about folk magic and grimoires, retold by me, TWK.)
A long time ago there was a young boy, working as farmhand. One day the farm wife was sending him to the local cunning man to get a remedy against warts. After a long walk, the boy arrived at the cunning man's home - a small ramshackle cottage deep inside the forest. But when he knocked at the door no one opened. After a while he dared to go in and called "Hello!". It was a dark and dirty place, with not only the sour stench from an unwashed old man, but also stranger smells from dried herbs, mushrooms and animals, hanging from the ceiling. There were shelves with disgusting things pickled in liquor bottles, stones and roots of all kinds, animal skulls and many other mysterious items.
But the man himself was nowhere to be seen. The boy guessed he was out collecting herbs, or visiting a patient, or doing some other errand. He was just on his way to go out and wait outside the house, when he saw a big black book on the table. Since he was able to read a little, he became curious and decided to take a look at that book. On the first page he could read The Dark Arts. This must be the old wizard's grimoire! "Cool!" he thought.
Of course he couldn't resist the sudden urge to steal the book, so he took it an ran away. When he had put some distance between himself and the cottage, he thought he was safe. He sat down at a tree stump and started to study the book. It was written by many hands, with a lot of notes in the margins. Obviously, it had passed from master to disciple for many generations...
The book wasn't easy to read, but seemed to consist of many useful spells, for instance: "How to Become Invisible", "How to Turn Your Enemy into a Toad", "How to Cast Sorcerous Bullets That Never Miss" and "How to Make Comely Young Girls Unveil their Bosoms". There were also many mysterious signs, occult runes and woodblock prints of hideous devils. But the best spell of all, or so the boy thought, was "To Call Up a Legion of Devils, who will Do Whatever the Wizard Commands".
He just had to see if the magic really worked, so he started to recite the unholy evocation, that contained many "Terrible Names of the Dark Lord". Suddenly a spooky moaning was heard from down the very bedrock, and a bunch of bright red devils crawled up from the ground. They were quite small, but strong, angry-looking and very ugly, with horns and tails and sharp teeth. They glowered at him and asked what he wanted. "Cool", the boy thought.
Now the boy had to see if the devils really could do whatever he commanded of them, even if it was something absurd, so he told them to make him a fifteen fathoms long rope, made from the sand on the beech of a nearby lake. The devils immediately ran away, and while they were gone the boy started to read in the book how to exorcise them. But the banishment was complicated. However he was able to read that the devils would do whatever he wanted, so long as he didn't banish them or so long he didn't gave them a task they actually weren't unable to perform. If he failed with both and couldn't come up with more tasks, the devils would rip him to pieces in a most painful way, and carry his soul down to Hell!
Just as the boy read this, the devils were back with a rope made of sand! They were sweaty and even more angry and had somehow multiplied. Now the boy started to be afraid. What had he done? This wasn't cool any more. How should he call them down again? The devils were getting closer to him in a threatening way, and to keep them busy the boy told them to make him a thirty cubits high flagpole from one inch stones. While they were gone, the boy made another try with the banishing spell. But the this task was even easier to perform than the previous, and soon the devils were back with the flagpole.
This time the devils were really pissed off, and it seemed that the forest was filled with several billions of them, uglier than ever, striking sparks, with charred arses and their claws bleeding from the hard work. They were closing in on him, some of them were pinching him, some were grinding their knifes and some even started to stick him in his buttocks with red-heated tridents. They demanded that he should give them an order, or they were going to kill him in a horrible way. Now he was seriously frightened. What should he do? He was in deep shit.
But all the sudden he had an idea! "Bring forth an honest politician!" he cried. The devils ran away, but even if they searched the whole world, they weren't able to find one single honest politician. So they had to return down to Hell, disappointed and cursing.
The boy was saved, and hurried to return the grimoire, before the old wizard came back home.
(Back at the farm, the boy was given a sound beating by the farm wife, for not bringing that medicine against warts...)
And that's why you never ever should steal a sorcerer's grimoire!