|The Worst Witch Strikes Again|
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The Worst Witch Strikes Again is the second novel in The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy. The book was published in 1980 and features a new character, Enid Nightshade. The Worst Witch Strikes Again was preceded by The Worst Witch and succeeded by A Bad Spell For The Worst Witch.
Mildred Hubble returns to Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches for the Summer Term of her first year. When Miss Hardbroom welcomes them back, she introduces them to a new girl from another witch academy, Enid Nightshade. Enid Nightshade is described as having "hair the colour of milky tea" which is coiled into a thick plait and, despite not being fat, "there seemed to be an awful lot of her".
Much to Miss Hardbroom's chagrin and disappointment, Miss Cackle has trusted Mildred to look after Enid and help her settle in. The next morning, Maud creeps to Mildred's room to chat with her about Enid. Maud discovers that Mildred and Enid will be doing the things that Maud and Mildred normally do together (e.g. going to assembly together and take detours to the gym and labs). Maud mistakes Mildred showing Enid around for a growing friendship and grows increasingly jealous. Thinking that Mildred is replacing her with Enid as a new best friend, Maud storms away in anger. After the morning bell rings, Mildred goes to Enid's room to start showing her around the academy, only to discover that Enid has smuggled a monkey into the school with her. During the assembly that follows, Miss Cackle announces her birthday celebration, much to the boredom and reluctance of the pupils (Miss Cackle's birthday is the most boring celebration of the year).
During a chanting lesson with Miss Bat after assembly, Enid deliberately sings awkwardly and out of tune, causing Mildred (and Maud, but she managed to keep it in) to burst into fits of hysterical laughter. Mildred gets into trouble with Miss Bat, who sends her to Miss Cackle's office. When going up to her room, Mildred decides to check on the grey monkey in Enid's room. As soon as the door is opened however, the monkey escapes. When chasing it down the stairs, Mildred bumps into Miss Hardbroom. After spotting the monkey on top of one of the castle towers Mildred jumps onto her broomstick and disturbs a gym lesson with Miss Drill. Miss Hardbroom turns the monkey into its original form, a normal regulation black cat.
Enid secretly reveals to Mildred that she turned the cat into a monkey for fun. After the monkey incident, Mildred starts seeing Maud arm-in-arm with the snobbish, vindictive, and stuck-up Ethel Hallow, much to Mildred's despair. Also, as a bit of entertainment, we discover that Enid has clothes too large for her (such as a pair of sports shorts that come up to under her arms) to provide extra growing room. When Sports Day arrives, Mildred and Enid become partners. Cynical and pessimistic towards the fact that she and Mildred will win any of the sports, Enid decides to try some spells out on some of them.
When the two girls come up to the pole-vaulting contest, Mildred springs high into the air and lands into Miss Hardbroom's study via the window (Enid tried a spell out on Mildred's pole). Mildred messes up a creamed tea that Miss Hardbroom had set up for herself when Sports Day had ended. Moments later, Miss Cackle, Miss Hardbroom, and Miss Drill arrive and Miss Cackle angrily says that if there is any more bother from Mildred that term, she will be expelled. Determined to avoid expulsion for the rest of the term, Mildred turns down and refuses every daring request and suggestion Enid makes. For the end of term assembly/Miss Cackle's birthday surprise, a chat is planned.
Enid decides it is going to be boring and suggests to Mildred to skip it. However, Enid hides in a store cupboard and pulls Mildred in with her. A sneaky Ethel Hallow locks the door behind them and Maud instantly breaks off her friendship with her because of her misdeeds. Inside the cupboard, the two girls find an old broomstick that they use to fly out of a slit-window that leads into the assmebly hall. The two perform an amazing and surprising broomstick performance and improving Maud's speech. The performance is widely praised and admired by Miss Cackle. Maud and Enid become friends and Mildred and Maud reconcile.
- This is the first appearance of Miss Bat (the chanting mistress) and Miss Drill (the gym mistress). Miss Drill appears briefly at the beginning of the next novel, A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch and the two both appear together in The Worst Witch Saves The Day.
- This Worst Witch novel is well-known as being the first appearance of Enid Nightshade.