A Fairy Tale
by Christopher & Samantha Windwalker
Once upon a time there was a just boy called Corwyn Lifeblossom. He was on the way to see his Best Friend Felicity Olsson, when he decided to take a short cut through Grizedale Forest.
It wasn’t long before Corwyn got lost. He looked around, but all he could see were trees. Nervously, he felt into his bag for his favourite toy, Ted, but Ted was nowhere to be found! Corwyn began to panic. He felt sure he had packed Ted. To make matters worse, he was starting to feel hungry.
Unexpectedly, he saw a feathery owl dressed in a purple jumper disappearing into the trees.
“How odd!” thought Corwyn.
For the want of anything better to do, he decided to follow the peculiarly dressed owl. Perhaps it could tell him the way out of the forest.
Eventually, Corwyn reached a clearing. He found himself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from butternut squashes, a house made from chocolates, a house made from toffees and a house made from jelly babies.
Corwyn could feel his tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease his hunger.
“Hello!” he called. “Is anybody there?”
Corwyn looked at the roof on the closest house and wondered if it would be rude to eat somebody else’s chimney. Obviously it would be impolite to eat a whole house, but perhaps it would be considered acceptable to nibble the odd fixture or lick the odd fitting, in a time of need.
A cackle broke through the air, giving Corwyn a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Ted!
“Ted!” shouted Corwyn. He turned to the witch. “That’s my toy!”
The witch just shrugged.
“Give Ted back!” cried Corwyn.
“Not on your nelly!” said the witch.
“At least let Ted out of that cage!”
Before she could reply, three feathery owls rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Corwyn recognised the one in the purple jumper that he’d seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.
“Hello Big Owl,” said the witch.
“Good morning.” The owl noticed Ted. “Who is this?”
“That’s Ted,” explained the witch.
“Ooh! Ted would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!” demanded the owl.
The witch shook her head. “Ted is staying with me.”
“Um… Excuse me…” Corwyn interrupted. “Ted lives with me! And not in a cage!”
Big Owl ignored him. “Is there nothing you’ll trade?” he asked the witch.
The witch thought for a moment, then said, “I do like to be entertained. I’ll release him to anybody who can eat a whole front door.”
Big Owl looked at the house made from jelly babies and said, “No problem, I could eat an entire house made from jelly babies if I wanted to.”
“That’s nothing,” said the next owl. “I could eat two houses.”
“There’s no need to show off,” said the witch. Just eat one front door and I’ll let you have Ted.”
Corwyn watched, feeling very worried. He didn’t want the witch to give Ted to Big Owl. He didn’t think Ted would like living with a feathery owl, away from his house and all his other toys.
The other two owls watched while Big Owl put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.
“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Big Owl. “Just you watch!”
Big Owl pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from chocolates. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
Eventually, Big Owl started to get bigger – just a little bit bigger at first. But after a few more fork-fulls of chocolates, he grew to the size of a large snowball – and he was every bit as round.
“Erm… I don’t feel too good,” said Big Owl.
Suddenly, he started to roll. He’d grown so round that he could no longer balance!
“Help!” he cried, as he rolled off down a slope into the forest.
Big Owl never finished eating the front door made from chocolates and Ted remained trapped in the witch’s cage.Average Owl stepped up, and approached the house made from toffees.
“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Average Owl. “Just you watch!”
Average Owl pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from toffees. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After a while, Average Owl started to look a little queasy. She grew greener…
A woodcutter walked into the clearing. “What’s this bush doing here?” he asked.
“I’m not a bush, I’m an owl!” said Average Owl.
“It talks!” exclaimed the woodcutter. “Those talking bushes are the worst kind. I’d better take it away before somebody gets hurt.”
“No! Wait!” cried Average Owl, as the woodcutter picked her up. But the woodcutter ignored her cries and carried the owl away under his arm.
Average Owl never finished eating the front door made from toffees and Ted remained trapped in the witch’s cage.Little Owl stepped up, and approached the house made from jelly babies.
“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Little Owl. “Just you watch!”
Little Owl pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from jelly babies. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After five or six platefuls, Little Owl started to fidget uncomfortably on the spot.
He stopped eating jelly babies for a moment, then grabbed another forkful.
But before he could eat it, there came an almighty roar. A bottom burp louder than a rocket taking off, propelled Little Owl into the sky.
“Aggghhhhhh!” cried Little Owl. “I’m scared of heigh…”
Little Owl was never seen again.
Little Owl never finished eating the front door made from jelly babies and Ted remained trapped in the witch’s cage.
“That’s it,” said the witch. “I win. I get to keep Ted.”
“Not so fast,” said Corwyn. “There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from butternut squashes. And I haven’t had a turn yet.
“I don’t have to give you a turn!” laughed the witch. “My game. My rules.”
The woodcutter’s voice carried through the forest. “I think you should give him a chance. It’s only fair.”
“Fine,” said the witch. “But you saw what happened to the owls. He won’t last long.”
“I’ll be right back,” said Corwyn.
“What?” said the witch. “Where’s your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Ted back.”
Corwyn ignored the witch and gathered a hefty pile of sticks. He came back to the clearing and started a small camp fire. Carefully, he broke off a piece of the door of the house made from butternut squashes and toasted it over the fire. Once it had cooked and cooled just a little, he took a bite. He quickly devoured the whole piece.
Corwyn sat down on a nearby log.
“You fail!” cackled the witch. “You were supposed to eat the whole door.”
“I haven’t finished,” explained Corwyn. “I am just waiting for my food to go down.”
When Corwyn’s food had digested, he broke off another piece of the door made from butternut squashes. Once more, he toasted his food over the fire and waited for it to cool just a little. He ate it at a leisurely pace then waited for it to digest.
Eventually, after several sittings, Corwyn was down to the final piece of the door made from butternut squashes. Carefully, he toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. He finished his final course. Corwyn had eaten the entire front door of the house made from butternut squashes.
The witch stamped her foot angrily. “You must have tricked me!” she said. “I don’t reward cheating!”
“I don’t think so!” said a voice. It was the woodcutter. He walked back into the clearing, carrying his axe. “This little boy won fair and square. Now hand over Ted or I will chop your broomstick in half.”
The witch looked horrified. She grabbed her broomstick and placed it behind her. Then, huffing, she opened the door of the cage.
Corwyn hurried over and grabbed Ted, checking that his favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Ted was unharmed.
Corwyn thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Felicity. It was starting to get dark.
When Corwyn got to Felicity’s house, his Best Friend threw her arms around him.
“I was so worried!” cried Felicity. “You are very late.”
As Corwyn described his day, he could tell that Felicity didn’t believe him. So he grabbed a napkin from his pocket.
“What’s that?” asked Felicity.
Corwyn unwrapped a doorknob made from chocolates. “Pudding!” he said.
Felicity almost fell off her chair.