Saturday, November 24, 2012

Random NaNo2012 snippet time

“Please can you tell us a story?” the little girl asked me. She patted one wing gently.
The chorus of “Please,” was almost deafening this time.
I nodded. “I’ll tell you a story, but I am going to need help. Once upon a time, there was a little boy called…” I turned to one of the little boys, “what do you think his name was?”
“Dario,” he said.
“Well done, exactly right. There was a boy called Dario who wanted to prove how big and brave he was. So he went deep into the forest all by himself. Now the forest was a big and scary place and Dario was sorry he had decided to go on his own. But he’d gone very far, and wasn’t sure how to get home. So he sat down on a rock to think. And when he sat down, the bushes nearby started to move. From behind the bushes came a huge and scary…” I looked at one of the girls, “What do you think it was?”
“A hufernut?” she replied. There were a few giggles at the answer, I wonder what this hufernut looks like.
“Huge and scary hufernut. Well, that scared Dario so much that he jumped up and ran faster than he’d ever run before. He ran as long as he could. When he finally looked back, the hufernut was no where to be seen. So he took a deep breath. When he looked around, he realised that he was twice as lost as before.”
“Wait,” said one of the older boys. “You can get lost but you can’t get twice as lost. Lost is lost.”
“True enough,” I replied. “He was lost and had no idea how he might ever get home. He tried yelling for help but no one answered. So he started walking the direction he thought might be home. Now after a bit, he knew he’d gone the wrong way when he found a very pretty house, deep in the woods. He walked up to the house and knocked on the door.” I paused. “What do you think was behind the door?”
“Another hufernut?”
“A beautiful princess?”
“An angel?”
“The door opened and he saw the most beautiful princess in the world. She smiled and led him inside. The first few rooms were the biggest and prettiest that he’d ever seen. But she didn’t stop there. The next rooms were still nice but she didn’t stop there. They went further and further, Dario was starting to wonder how big the house was. Finally she turned and smiled sweetly at him, ‘could you go in here and fetch me the brush that’s on the highest shelf?’ Dario dashed in only to find that she slammed the door behind him. ‘Foolish boy, so trusting. Soon I can eat you for my supper.’”
I paused for breath and looked around. All the children were staring intently, ready for the next part of the story. “Maybe I should stop there,” I said teasingly.
“No, we have to know,” several of them protested.
I felt the wagons draw to a stop. Since it was the middle of the day, I had to assume it wasn’t the camp for the day. “We stop in town. Marko and others trade. They trade things we make for things we can’t make. Be here a couple of hours,” Lina said.
I nodded. “So Dario heard the beautiful princess say she wanted to eat him for her supper. Then he watched in horror as the princess changed into…”
“A ranticor?”
“A huge yijer?”
“A wicked troll?”
“The princess turned into a wicked troll. Dario was very afraid, the troll was four times his size. ‘Oh no,’ thought Dario to himself. ‘If only I hadn’t gone for such a long walk. I’ll never go home again, the troll is going to eat me.’ Dario sat on the floor crying his eyes out.”
“‘Stop that,’ rumbled the troll. ‘You’ll make yourself all bitter and not good to eat if you do that.’ Dario cried all the harder. ‘If you don’t stop, I’ll come in there and shake you until you do.’”
“Now Dario didn’t like the idea of being shaken by the troll but he couldn’t just stop crying. And worse, he started hiccuping at the same time. The troll slowly opened the door, Dario backed as far into the corner as he could. The troll took one step into the room, and then another. Dario could smell the evil breath of the beast. Then they both heard a knock on the door.”
“‘You wait here, dinner,’ said the troll as he left the room and closed the door. Dario heard the troll walk away and could tell that it had changed to looking like a beautiful princess again.”
“How could he tell that?” asked one of my listeners.
“The princess had shoes that made a different noise than the troll’s bare feet did. When the troll changed, he was wearing clothes appropriate to a princess,” I explained. They all nodded.
“Dario very very carefully walked to the door. He touched it and found that it hadn’t closed completely. Dario opened it as quietly as he could. He left the room and looked around for another way out. There was absolutely no where for him to go but out the way the troll was. He crept along the hallway watching for the return of the troll.”
I paused and waited. “Please?” said Peter.
I smiled at him. “Well Dario was creeping along the hall, heart pounding as he wondered when he’d see the troll. He moved as quietly as he could and there was just no sign of the evil troll. As he got closer to the door, he heard a lot of noise. Metal banging against metal. ‘What could that be?’ he wondered.” He got to the door and saw a brave hunter fighting the troll. The troll looked pretty silly really because it was half in the beautiful princess disguise and half not. Beautiful hair and a troll face. A slender body and huge thick arms.”
“Dario wanted to help the hunter but he had nothing at all in his pockets. He was too young to carry a weapon yet. The hunter and the troll were fighting in the doorway, Dario was still trapped. Then he noticed that there were logs by the fireplace. He found one that was as big as he could pick up. He walked up behind the troll and hit it on the head as hard as he could. That distracted the troll enough that the hunter could finally plunge his spear well into the troll. The troll fell over, dead.”
“‘That troll wanted to eat me,’ said Dario. ‘Well, you should not go playing with trolls, that is what they like to do,’ the hunter replied. ‘I didn’t know it was a troll. It was a beautiful princess,’ replied Dario. ‘Use your brain, boy. Why would a real princess be way out here, by herself. Come to think of it, what were you doing out here?’”
“‘Well, everyone said I was too young to wander off by myself. Then I got lost and then I got scared and then I was here.’ ‘It seems to me, they were right. If you walked into a house in the middle of the woods knowing nothing about the owner, you are too young to wander by yourself. Where do you live?’ At those words, Dario told a lot of things about where he lived, the shops, the farms, and lots of things. But none of them helped the hunter work out where Dario actually lived. It took the hunter many patient questions before he finally could identify where Dario lived. He cut off the troll’s ears…”
“Ewww,” said several of the older girls.
“He cut off the troll’s ears to prove that he had really killed it. That troll had been eating people for a long time and there was a reward for those ears. Then he took Dario back to his home. ‘Boy, I hope that you learned a few things today.’ ‘Yes sir, I did.’ ‘Just remember, there are always things like trolls waiting to catch you if you aren’t careful.’ ‘And maybe they were right that I should be older before I wander in the forest alone.’ The hunter nodded and went on his way.”
“Now can you guess how Dario’s parents felt?”
“All that and more. They were scared half to death when they realised that the boy was missing. They couldn’t stop worrying about what might have happened to him. And when he finally walked in the door, they were very angry that he’d gone off into the forest that way. So they scolded him, then hugged him and then scolded him again. Dario told them about the troll and the hunter and everything else that had happened. They made him promise to never do anything like that again, which Dario did. After that, he was very careful to listen to what his parents told him.”
“What happened to the hunter?”
“He was very successful because he made sure he knew what he was doing. He killed many more monsters.”
“Did everyone like the story?” Lina asked. All the children nodded. I noticed that they all were more relaxed, the story had broken the barriers between us.
“Another story?”
I shook my head. One story was plenty for one day. 

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