That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been.
Ecclesiastes 3:15

There once was an ambitious young man, a weaver's son named Jack, who wanted more than to follow in his father's footsteps. A day came when the youth visited the city on family business. He took it upon himself to consult a powerful Witch.

"How am I to fulfill my dreams?" Jack inquired.

The Witch, both beautiful and shrewd, saw immediately that the fellow had excellent aspects, so she offered him a rare charm.

"With this magic," the Witch told him, "a man may visit the future by night and return to the present by day."

"A marvelous thing," said Jack, "but how does it benefit me?"

The Witch smiled. Why did each generation began as innocently as the one preceding it?

"Your father is a journeyman in the Weavers' Guild," she said. "Imagine learning by night that next year's crop is poor, that next year's lambs die of unseasonable cold. By day you will tell him to hoard flax and wool. Let others of the Guild scoff. When the year turns, they will carry gold to your father's doorstep, begging for materials that he alone possesses."

"I see how it works!" cried Jack, his mind leaping to the possibilities. Then he sighed. "Such a charm must cost dearly. More than a village apprentice can afford."

"Dearly, indeed," said the Witch. "So I will sell it to you for a promissory note. You must promise not to marry."

"An easy agreement!” The weaver's son laughed out loud, for he was of the age when a man most fancies his freedom.

The Witch continued to smile. "There is more," she said. "At the end of ten years, you must return here to my apartment and marry me."

"More than easy! A delightful indenture!" shouted Jack. He thought to himself, I have a decade in which to enjoy myself, and then I possess this beautiful woman. Besides, who knows what might happen in ten years?

A realization came to him. But I will know. I'll have the charm. I'll see the future and be prepared.