Snow and the Seven Defenders
Once upon a time, in the far away kingdom of TrinaLand, the king and his wife, the queen, did what people who are in love - or not - do and the queen found herself in the monarchy way. One day while heavily knocked-up, Queen Karyssa was out in the garden, when she pricked her finger, which dropped blood upon the snow-covered ground, thereby prompting her to wish for a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips as red as a ruby, and raven-black hair.
Months later, a fair female child was born and true to the queen’s wishes, she had skin as white as snow, lips as red as a ruby, and raven-black hair. She was thus named Snow White. Sadly, when Snow was but a tot, Queen Karyssa was killed when she ate some tainted shrimp that the royal taster had forgotten to test. In due time, King Marshall remarried, thereby making Queen Lyndora Snow’s stepmother. Even though Snow missed her birth mother, she accepted the new queen and for a time, all was well. Then, the teen years hit.
When Snow turned 15, she saw a tattoo on one of her handmaidens and got it in her head that she wanted one, too. Her parents thought otherwise:
“You are too young for a body marking, Snow! Who ever put such an idea in your head?” asked the king.
“I agree, dear. Why ever would you want to mar such perfect skin?” the queen chimed in. “I do believe that your dear birth mother, may she rest well, had even wished for you to have such a flawless covering.”
“They’re cool!” Snow asserted, stomping one dainty foot. “I can have our crest engraved on my upper arm and show it off forevermore.”
“No, and that is final...Now be a good dear and go tend to your garden. The crabgrass is looking a little too crabby,” the king dismissed his daughter.
Undaunted, Snow hatched a plan and that very night, she had one of the stable boys, who was hankering for some Snowcone, kill her father in his sleep and drag her stepmother into a dungeon, after drugging the guards.
The next morning, Snow tearfully shared the news of her parents’ death with the court and was crowned Queen Snow White. She got her first tattoo that night.
Within the year, Queen Snow White had turned goth and changed her name to Q. Snow Dark. She sported nine inch nails, blackened lips, and a crown made of black thistles which sat atop long, ruby-tipped locs. She also demanded that her song - created by the Royal D.J. - be played when she entered a room after the Royal Announcer announced her name. She giggled that it sounded like, “Cue Snow Dark” just before she pranced in.
As time went on, Q.Snow Dark’s demeanor grew darker and darker, and the peasants suffered. She gave scant attention to their needs and requests, preferring to spend her time further decorating her skin.
Finally, her council-people felt like they had to take matters into their own hands, and a secret meeting was called.
Sir Gresham took the pipe out of his puckered mouth and called the room to order. “Countrymen - and women - I fear things have gotten a bit out of hand. Queen Snow Dark has put our realm into a precarious predicament. If she is not dethroned, we will surely all perish.”
The room applauded, and Sir McCoy spoke up, strumming on his lyre the whole while. “I suggest that rather than us getting our own hands dirty, we hire someone to complete the job. Queen Snow does have her supporters still, so it won’t be an easy task.”
Sir Matthews cleared his voice and stood halfway up, supported by his wooden leg, before addressing the room. “I know some...er...small men...erm...who may be able to do the job. What they lack in stature, they make up for in ingenuity.”
After a bit more discussion, it was agreed upon that the court would call for the “small men” and bid them to accomplish this task.
One week later, Hammer, Claw, Tooth, Nail, Dust, Torch, and Wrecker met with the council in their next clandestine meeting.
“Why have you brought us here?!” Hammer demanded. He was, indeed, quite short, but he was also stocky with prominent veins running through his arms. His pinched face was nearly hidden by his long brown locks, which he carelessly pushed back from his forehead.
Sir Matthews spoke up. “I ASKED you to come because we have a job for you. Pays in carbon.” He struck a match on his leg, lit a blunt, and started smoking.
That got the shorsters’ attention. After a moment, blonde-headed Wrecker spoke. “And just what IS this job?”
Sir McCoy didn’t beat around the bush. “We need you to dethrone the queen.” He plucked a note on his lyre then pointed at them.
“Uh...depose Queen Snow?!” redheaded twins Tooth and Nail exclaimed, their overbites on display.
“Yes. I know you’re not aware of it in your little hovel,” Sir Gresham ignored Hammer’s twin Claw’s withering glare and continued, “but the sweet little girl the realm once admired is long gone, replaced by a conceited and uncaring harridan.”
Another uncomfortable silence followed before Dust asked, “And when the dust...ha-ha! Dust! Get it?” He looked around. “Pfffft. No humor-loving guffs, here!... As I was saying, when the DUST clears, then what?” He sat back down, and a puff of dust arose from his dirty pants.
“It makes no difference to us. Just see to it that she never returns to the throne.”
Torch nodded thoughtfully, rubbed one blue eye, and the meeting continued.
Weeks passed and Q. Snow grew worse. Just as the court was planning to request the defenders’ presence again, they made their move.
The queen was at her favorite tattoo cavern, impatiently waiting for the artist, Squid. She looked at the small man who entered. “You’re not Squid!”
“And you’re not queen anymore!” the brunette declared and threw a bag over Snow’s head. She managed to let out a shriek, and her guards and henchmaidens came running. A fight that the narrator was too lazy to detail ensued, and Snow found herself gagged and tied up in a wagon going through the woods.
Finally arriving at their quaint little home, the men carried her in and laid her on a bed of straw. Taking the gag from her mouth, Hammer warned her not to speak, lest he cut out her tongue.
Glaring, she bit her bottom lip and impatiently listened to the little man.
“My name is Hammer, and these are my broskies, Claw - he’s my actual bro - Tooth and Nail, Dust, Torch, and Wrecker.” Each man bowed as his name was called. Dust also gave a little wave before Torch glared at him.
Claw picked up where his lookalike left off. “And we’re your new owners. You will do as we say and if you behave, in due time, we will allow you to own your very own home in these here woods.”
Incredulous, Snow yelled, “Do you KNOW who-”
“Someone who’s gonna be without a tongue, if you keep that up!”
Snow snapped her mouth closed and allowed Claw to finish.
“As I was saying, you will do as we say. You will make our meals, wash our clothes, and clean our home. If you try to escape, you will be caught and ravaged.” He licked his lips lasciviously. “Understand?”
Snow nodded, but of course she didn’t mean it.
A week or so later, while she was outside washing the clothes and plotting her escape, a handsome young man came along. He was taken away by Snow’s black hair and lips, so he introduced himself. She advised that she was Queen Snow and that she’d been kidnapped and forced to perform hard labor.
“Aaaaaah. Yes, I did hear about that. I do believe Queen Lyndora has retaken her throne. But, I am Prince Cillian, and I can take you to my home one realm over, where you can be my queen. Agreed?”
Snow readily agreed and after the young man paid off the defenders, they did, too.
Unfortunately for Snow, the “Prince” was actually an escapee from the loony bin, so shortly after the couple had crossed over to BernieLand, he was recaptured. When Snow protested that she was really the queen of the realm next door, she too was locked up and diagnosed with delusions, and there she still lives.
And what became of the defenders? They got their weights in carbon and are living
Happily Ever After.
This far out in the sticks, folks believed crime was a sickness that only infected urban areas. The thieves and vandals, winos and junkies, killers and crazies; all were symptoms of a malady with festered and thrived in the tangled heat of the metropolis. Out here, all they were concerned with were hikers trespassing over their property, the occasional tourist speeding along the country lanes or random attacks by wild animals. And while these attacks were more frequent in this area than most, the locals still gave no mind to locking their doors.
After all, Autress thought as she let herself into the ramshackle cottage, animals can’t use door knobs. Countryfolk are so predictable.
First order of business: food. She had been on the road for many hours and was famished.
Striding through the darkened hallway, she found her way easily to the kitchen. The large space was dominated by a scarred and battered oak table. A cast iron range sat between cupboards of the same hard wood and an ancient icebox rumbled quietly in the corner.
She opened the fridge and peered inside. Jars of various berries stood on the upper shelves. The lack of any manufacturer’s label suggested these had been handpicked. Pulling out the nearest jar, Autress unscrewed the lid and popped a couple of gooseberries in her mouth. The second she bit down, a sour taste exploded in her mouth.
She ran to the sink and spat out the mouthful. Turning on the tap, she leaned forward and pressed her mouth to the flow, gulping in the water to wash away the bitter flavour.
Not bothering the close the refrigerator door, she rooted through the cupboards until she found a selection of chocolate bars.
This is more like it, she thought as she helped herself to one. After a second’s pause, she scooped up a handful more and dropped them in her shoulder bag.
As she ate, she wandered around the rest of the ground floor. There was a tiny utility room at the back of the house, but it held nothing of value. The living room contained mismatched furniture and an old television set, the kind which used a cathode ray tube. Autress had seen them on old TV programmes but never in real life. She wondered how old it was; surely they hadn’t been made for decades.
She took in the rest of the room with disdain. A worn leather armchair, a two-seat sofa with a faded floral print and a wooden rocking chair.
Her heart froze at the sight of the rocker.
Her grandmother had owned one just like it. As a child, she would sit on her grandmother’s lap and be soothed by a soft lullaby and the gentle to-and-fro motion. That was before her grandmother’s murder. Even now, she could see the chair dripping with blood, smell the animal in the house, feel the warmth of the beast’s breath.
The sight of the rocking chair transported her to a dark time in her life, the end of her innocence. She hated the thing with an intensity which shocked her. Lifting a foot, she kicked out at the offending chair.
In her mind, she was assaulting her grandmother’s killer. She kicked again, wishing she could have done this when she was a child, and kicked again, focusing her hate and fear, channelling her terror, kicked, pouring out the loathing of what that event in her past had taken from her and what it had turned her into.
Her anger knew no bounds. It was fuelled by years of nightmares, by a hundred haunted days, by her feelings of persecution and paranoia. She kicked and she beat and she thrashed, all the while silently screaming at a demon now long-gone.
When the rage passed, she found herself panting and huffing in the middle of a pile of firewood. Her arms and her feet ached, and blood oozed from a dozen cuts to her hands.
Feeling dizzy from the adrenalin surge, she staggered to the stairway and carefully made her way up to the bathroom. Bloody handprints marked her passage.
She washed and inspected her hands. The wounds were superficial. The bleeding would stop soon enough. The effect of her violent episode would not detract her from the larger task at hand.
But her outburst had taken its toll on her emotionally. Combined with the long walk to get here, she was shattered. Across from the bathroom, the master bedroom offered a comfortable-looking double bed. As soon as she stepped into the room, she could smell the stale odour of rutting and she knew she couldn’t rest in that room.
In the smaller bedroom was a single cot. Though it looked old and worn, like the furniture downstairs, the room felt slightly fresher that the previous one. She lay down, on top of the covers, placed her bag by her side and let her weary limbs relax.
Eyelids heavy, she decided she would close them for just a few minutes.
‘Ma!’ squealed an adolescent voice. Autress could not tell if it was male or female.
Springing from the bed, she saw a boy of about sixteen in the doorway. Fear twisted his face into a grotesque mask, but Autress know that beneath it was a sight far more monstrous.
She pulled the Beretta from her bag, thumbed off the safety as she raised her arm to aim, and fired off a shot at the kid. Hit in the thigh, the boy yelled in pain and crumbled to the floor. As he dragged himself away from her, Autress resisted shooting him again.
The hollow-point ammunition she used had been customised specifically for this job and she did not want to waste any unnecessary rounds. It was a tricky and arduous business to fill the hollow of the bullets with silver.
Darting to the doorway, Autress glanced at the landing. It was clear but for the sobbing boy. Thunderous footsteps on the stairs told of someone approaching. Autress saw a heavy-set woman sprinting up, moving fast for someone of her size.
‘Cubby,’ the woman screeched when she saw her fallen son.
Autress fired and caught the woman’s shoulder. Overcome by rage, the woman did not stop. She rushed toward Autress. Autress squeezed off two more rounds, the first missing widely, the second catching the woman in the stomach and dropping her.
A growl on the stairway told Autress she had not done yet. A man ascended slowly, murder carved on his face. He was a bear of a man, six foot four and half as wide; Autress knew if he got within reach of her, she would be as good as dead.
As he stepped closer, she saw his features shifting. His nose and mouth began to jut forward, his teeth groaned as they grew in size, his ears slid upwards, his brown irises expanded until no sclera was visible. The change was not limited to his head. Before her eyes, the man’s arms bulged and sprouted fur, claws erupting from his fingertips.
Breathing deeply to steady her nerves, she lined up a shot and pulled the trigger. The big man’s throat opened in a bloom of crimson and he was forced backwards, tumbling back down the stairs.
Knowing that the gunshot wounds may not be fatal but that the silver had sealed their fate, Autress left the injured mother and son and headed for the stairs. The man, who she assumed to be the father of the house, lay in a heap in the hallway. He made a wheezing, bubbling sound as he struggled for breath.
Squatting down beside him, Autress looked into his animal eyes.
‘Lycanthrope filth,’ she spat. As she spoke, she watched in fascination as the man’s torn throat attempted to heal itself.
‘That’s right. I know about you. You and your werewolf pack.’
Blood stopped flowing as the wound closed up.
‘And before you die, I want you to know one thing.’
Flesh knitted together, growing fur hiding the rapidly vanishing injury.
‘That soon I’m going to wipe every one of you monsters from the face of the earth.’
The man chuckled as he pulled himself up from the floor.
Uncertain what was happening, Autress backed away. Slowly retreating to the front door, she raised the gun and trained it on the rising man.
‘Foolish girl,’ he rumbled.
The transformation continued. His arms and legs grew in length and girth. His head was a completely different shape now. Behind him, Autress noticed movement on the stairs. Cubby and his mother were back on their feet, each undergoing the same metamorphosis as they drew closer.
Ice filled her heart as she realised her error. The animal attacks that plagued the area and had caught her attention had not been committed by werewolves. Her silver bullets were useless against the creatures before her now.
Panicked, she was incapable of moving as the three bears rushed at her.
Cinderella - a Twisted Tale
A prince, dressed in fine clothing, walked around,preparing for an evening ball. “Prince Milo, are you ready for the evening ball?” A young maid walked past him, balancing a tray on her small hand.
“Why, yes, Helena.” He smiled. “And you are invited, you may put away your work clothes and slip into a ballgown.” His shiny boots clicked along the tiled floors.
“That is very kind of you, Prince Milo.” The maid stammered. “Yet, I must serve the guests.”
Milo stopped and turned. “Nonesense! You must have time to enjoy yourself.” He looked at the maid. “Don’t worry about your tasks.”
“Yes, sir.” She smiled, her cheeks grew rosey and she rushed to the kitchen.
Milo stopped at the kitchen door and called, “All of you! Take the night off, enjoy the ball!”
His father, the king, appeared. “Milo! What on earth is happening here?”
“I’m giving all the servants a chance to enjoy the ball.” Milo straightened his coat. “They need time off.”
“My dear, Milo... Your kindness and generosity might be the death of you.” The king croaked. “You do know that attitude will not be appropriate for a king. A soft king, does not make a good king.” He spoke firmly.
“Father, you know I don’t want to become king.” Milo narrowed his dark eyes. “I plan on finding a wife, settling down, and working elsewhere.”
“There will be no such talk in this palace!” The king’s voice boomed through the hall, startling the busy servants. The king lowered his voice. “You, as the eldest son in the royal family, will be king. There will be no argument concerning this matter. It is settled.” The king walked away.
Milo huffed and slowly walked throughout the palace, his thoughts swirling like a tornado in his mind.
The ballroom quickly filled with young women and even some men arrived. Swirling ballgowns and sparkling colors filled the room. The prince stood off to the side, his face was heated up, his father had seen that the servants stayed working. The servants moved busily, refilling plates with small desserts, sandwiches, and other small foods.
“Darling, Milo.” The queen glided up to Milo. “Why don’t you go to dance with one of the ladies? I’m sure many would be happy to dance with the prince.” Her hair was piled high and she wore a shimmering, purple ballgown.
“Mother, I’d rather not.” Milo forced a smile to a passing lady. “I’m perfectly content here.”
“Oh, Milo.” His mother laughed and clucked her tongue before being whisked away into the crowd to socialize.
Milo sat and watched as several couples danced, others ate, still, yet others talked and laughed together. Suddenly, a gorgeous woman stepped into the ballroom. Her blonde hair shone in the lighting, her blue eyes sparkled like sapphires, and her blue dress glittered. Milo swallowed a lump in his throat, the young woman who had just stepped foot into his palace was beautiful! He slowly made his way towards her, everyone at least glanced at the newcomer. Her head dipped and her cheeks turned pink as she walked through the crowd of people.
Prince Milo stepped up to her. “Greetings, Ma’am.” He smiled at her. “I’m Prince Milo.” He reached a hand out to her. “Would you like to dance with me?”
She smiled shyly and placed her gloved hand on his. “I’d be honored to dance with you.”
He led her to a clearing in the ballroom and they danced together. After a time, Milo led her to a table piled with foods. The time passed quickly, suddenly the clock struck eleven. The young lady gasped and started running to leave the ballroom. She gathered up her long dress and ran as fast as she could. She slipped on the steps outside and her glass slipper fell off, but she scrambled away. “Wait!” Milo called, pushing through the doors. “I never caught-” His voice became softer. “your name.” He sighed sadly as he saw she was nowhere in sight.
The girl hid in the bushes, her ballgown gone, she was now dressed in rags. She slid off her other glass slipper and hurried away into the night.
Milo turned to go back inside, his heart heavy. He met the loveliest lady in all the land, yet she hurried away. Something glittered in the moonlight on the steps. He stooped down and picked it up, studying it. It was a small glass slipper, he glanced up and clutched it. An idea formed in his mind.
The next morning the prince went out through all the land to search for the beautiful young woman. He brought the glass slipper with him, figuring that whoever it fit perfectly, he would take that woman and marry her. The prince and his servant, rode through the land. As the evening drew near, the prince had one place left to see. Prince Milo stopped his horse outside the cottage and had his servant stay outside.
He knocked on the door and took a step back. A woman, with black hair and piercing green eyes, opened the door. “May I help-” She stopped short. “Oh! Prince Milo! What may I do for you?” She asked.
Milo explained of all that had happened and finished with her cottage being the final one to visit. “Come in, come in.” She swung the door open. “Tessa! Beatrice!” She called.
Two girls stepped towards the door. One had green eyes and blonde hair, the other had brown eyes and dark hair. They both resembled the woman who had answered the door.
The girls giggled nervously and whispered. The woman’s eyes shone as she explained why the prince had stopped by. The one girl tried to squeeze her foot into the slipper. Her face turned red as she pulled her foot away. The blonde girl, Beatrice, lept up and pushed her sister out of the chair. “Let me try!” She screeched.
Tessa slid off the chair and stood off to the side with her arms crossed. Beatrice tried to push her foot into the glass slipper, her brow furrowed as she tried to make it fit. She grunted and pushed her foot harder than ever, yet nothing worked. The prince held the glass slipper, disappointment shrouded his face. The sisters now stood next to one another. “I best be on my way.” He sighed and walked towards the door.
“Wait!” A soft voice called from a shadowed corner. Milo turned around, he saw a young woman her blonde hair was braided, she wore a clean, but old looking dress, and her blue eyes were wide. “May I try on the slipper?” She asked.
Milo nodded and motioned for her to sit. He did not yet recognize her. Tessa sneered at the young woman. “You, a servant, try on the shoe?” She laughed.
Beatrice laughed also. “You’re a servant, not a princess, Cind.”
The woman ignored them and tried on the glass slipper, it fit her perfectly! She brought her eyes to meet the prince’s. Her hand slid into her pocket and she pulled out an identical slipper to that one. She slipped it on her other foot and stood.
The prince stood, shocked. This woman, standing before him, was the same one he danced with just the night before! He grasped her hand and gazed into her sparkling blue eyes. “Would you be my wife?” He asked.
She nodded, tears welling in her eyes. “I’d be honored.” He led her out the door to his horse.
Tessa, Beatrice, and their mother stood watching in the doorway. It was obvious the two girls were jealous. Milo stopped before grabbing his horse’s reins. “I never caught your name.” He pushed a strand of hair from her eyes.
She giggled. “It’s Cinderella. That’s not my real name, but it’s what my step sisters and step mother called me.”
He swung onto his saddle and helped her up beside him. “I’m Prince Milo.” He gathered up the reins. “It’s nice to meet you, Cinderella.”
Prince Milo and Cinderella got married. The prince got his wish, he never did become king. Instead he moved to the country side, he and Cinderella bought a cottage and raised a family. They lived happily ever after.
Three Short Twisted Classic Fairy Tales
Sleeping Beauty, though not so much a beauty was poisoned to sleep forever. Surounded by the mighty seven midgets, Snorable, Duncey, Bashedabout,Hapless, Sneezer, Grumpedout and Dockworker, she lies in a serene setting as the seven mourn for her. Suddenly, a Prince gallops up to save the woman he was told would make his head spin. Walking over to her, he starts to bend over for a better look when he jumped back, turned, jumped onto his horse and road away as if the hounds of hellwer at his feet. Hapless said, “That’s the fifth prince this week that’s run away from her. Maybe it’s time we invested in a plastic surgeon.”
Another hero comes to rescue Rapunzel from the castle she is held prisoner in. “Rapunzel, let down thy hair so that I may climb up to you and resuce thee from this dark place.” Rapunzel sighs a sigh she knows all too well and drops her long pigtails out the open window, and just like the last ten times, when they reached him, they cracked open his skull and he died. Like the others, he was taken away and buried in a place she knew not where.
“Sorry,” said Beauty, but I don’t like kissing someone with all that hair all over your face.” “I was afraid you would say that,” said The Beast. “A pity, for I would rather have loved you than have to eat you.” Beauty screamed and screamed as The Beast chewed away at her flesh until she was no more.
The Pied Piper of Rin.
It all happened in a place called~ Rin-
Where many children there played for
Many hours right by Lake Zambin—
The whole place had a serpent problem
All folks were ready to get rid of them
The moment they spotted one snake-
It would be killed with a garden tool Or with any weapon like a pistol, too.
The folks in the town all gathered
In the local pub one day to discuss What was needed to be done!
Some claimed that the Chief didn’t care
He didn’t have any kids, so, why would He worry about the other children Getting bitten by the snakes.
The doors of the pub were moved & Folks turned to see who had tried to Disturb their serious meetin’ time
The stranger bowed his head and Smiled.
He had the perfect solution for their problem.
Later in the dead of night
The stranger grinned and played his Pipe.
As soon as the snakes heard the music, They slithered toward it and followed The sweet sound of the music!
Bright and early into the new morning The folks were pleased to hear no HISS They leaped into the air- quite glad That all the snakes were gone for good!
The Piper bowed his head and said, ‘‘Now will you pay me for saving your Children and everyone else as well.’’
All the folks became silent, as if their Voices had been snatched from their Throats.
None of them tried to even hand the Piper a silver coin.
The Piper shook his head and sighed. ‘‘All right, none of you want to pay me For assissting you with your problem. Guess, I’ll just have to take matters Into my own hands...’’
The Piper reached into his satchel and Pulled our his musical instrument.
He played a soft gentle tune that Sounded like waves crashing on the Beach.
The ground started to shake and quake The folks screamed and tried to run. But then they remembered— where Were all their children?
The children were still paying by the Lake.
The Piper blew into his pipe and the waters of the lake started to rise.
The children cried out and some complained that the lake was too hot.
The more that they tried to swim back to dry land, the stronger the current of the lake became.
One young lad who had never been to The lake because he worked at the pub- Ended up charging toward the Piper to Try to pull his pipe away from his lips.
The Piper snapped his fingers and Vanished.
The young lad blinked and rubbed his eyes.
What kind of sorcery was at play here?
The folks rushed to the lake to check On the children who had been playing In the lake.
They fell down on their knees and some used their fists to hit the ground. The only thing that remained were Bones of the children that were just Floating in the lake.
So, Folks, let you and I be more clever Of watching out in all our business with or without a paper and pen—or pipers!
And, if they say they will work for free, To help get rid of serpents or snakes, Whatever amount we promise to hand over, let’s make sure to keep that promise.
Gruff suspected that something was wrong with Graff. His youngest brother was no longer the gambolling, carefree soul he had once been. No longer content on their side of the river, Graff yearningly stared across the rushing waters at the green meadow beyond.
The change had come about two days after he, Gruff, had suffered a night of bad dreams. In his sleep he had envisioned that a moth, black as the night it swooped through, had danced in his ear.
‘Let me in, let me in,’ the moth had called.
Awakening in fear, Gruff had checked on his younger siblings. All was well, and the moth’s chant had drifted away on the night breeze.
Now, with the nightmare nothing but a receding memory, Gruff wondered what could have had gotten into Graff to cause his brother’s longing for yonder grass.
Hearing the trip-trap of tiny hooves on its roof, the troll rose from its lair. It climbed from the dampness by the river and heaved itself onto the wooden bridge. Before it, a small goat trembled in fear.
‘Hello, food,’ the trolled growled with a lascivious smile. As it stepped forward, its breakfast spoke to it.
‘Please, o might troll, you would not like to eat me, for I am weak and scrawny. Have patience, for soon my brother Griff will come, and he is by far a tastier meal.’
The troll’s stomach grumbled, shaking the rickety bridge. It was true that this young goat before it would not fill its belly. Perhaps if it waited, it would be rewarded with a meatier offering.
Reluctantly, the troll allowed the kid passage and returned to its bed.
It was not long before the troll heard more trip-trapping overhead. Clambering up once more, it was delighted to see a better morsal had arrived.
‘Hello, food,’ it said lustfully. As the troll stepped forward, its lunch spoke.
‘Please, o might troll, you would not like to eat me, for I am small by comparison to my brother Gruff. Have patience, for soon he will come and a more delicious meal he is by far.’
Having skipped breakfast and twice exerted itself with the journey from its home to the bridge-top, the troll’s hunger was ferocious. This medium-sized goat before it had no chance of sating its craving for meat. Again, the troll let the food go past and went back to its lair.
The next trip-trap, trip-trap the troll heard was louder. With glee, it hurried back up the bridge and smiled at the juicy, fat goat before it.
‘Hello, food,’ it said licentiously. Stepping forward, the troll was not surprised to hear its dinner speak.
‘Please, o might troll, you would not like to challenge me, for I am strong and wily and would surely best you in combat.’
The troll grinned, drool slobbering down its chin. It lifted its heavy club, ready to bash at the large goat, but the goat was faster. Gruff rushed at the troll, snared it in his horns and tossed the troll over the side of the bridge. The troll, hungry, helpless and exhausted by its futile climbs up and down the bridge, was swept away by the strong river current.
And, in the green meadow, the three brother goats enjoyed the bountiful grass.
That evening, the night-moth freed itself from Graff and returned to the castle beyond the meadow. The Mistress would be pleased. Her plan had worked.
For months she had hungrily looked on at the pleasant food the three goats offered. But she knew she had no chance of devouring them, not while her captor still lay in wait under the bridge.