Showing posts from April, 2022

A Witch is Needed...

 (Part III of Miles and the Glowpus) ‘We need to do something!’ Jill cried after Miles had relayed his conversation with the stranger at the door. ‘Yes, definitely,’ said Jack with a firm resolution at exactly the same moment Miles said, ‘I agree.’ ‘But where do we start?’ continued Miles.  ‘We don’t have any evidence, and even if we did, how do we stop him?’ The reality of fact descended on all three of them, as Jill and Jack said ‘hmmm’ in a melancholy kind of way.  They remained in a state of frustrated musing for a bit until Jill’s head popped up. ‘I bet the witch would take care of him,’ she said. ‘This is just the type of fellow that she’d love to curse.’ ‘There’s a thought,’ said Jack.  ‘The whole Forest knows she doesn’t get nearly enough villains to practice her curses on, and she won’t do a spell on a person at all unless its on a villain.’ ‘But we’d have to give her evidence,’ said Miles rationally. ‘Well,’ said Jill with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, ‘I

The Bee and the Plum Tree

 When the little bee buzzed all over the flowering plum tree, she wished, just for a moment, that she could see the fruit instead of the flower.     The bee made her way back to the hive, the thought of fruit still buzzing about her mind.      But there was little she could do, for her task would soon be over and her visits to the fruit trees would come to an end far before the plums would emerge from the tree. It was her job to pollinate the flowers, after all — she had nothing to do with fruit.     But still, something inside her desperately wanted to see the plums.     The bee wrestled with her thoughts all Spring. She told herself, again and again, that she should have nothing to do with fruit. It wasn't part of her beeness to want to see fruit!      But on a late Spring day, when it was almost summer, she found herself buzzing back to the fruit trees who had long lost their blossoms. She flew carefully, all alone and trying to stay hidden so that no one would see her having a

Old Petunia

Once upon a time there was a grumpy lady. Everyone knew that she was grumpy. You couldn't walk by her without feeling just how grumpy she was. In fact, her parents had had a premonition that she would be grumpy all her life, and so they called her Petunia.     As Petunia grew into being almost old, she grew grumpier still.     All the children who lived in the houses around her knew that they needed to avoid 'Old Petunia's' house, for fear that her grumpiness would make her say something very mean or even make her throw food at them if they came too close.     One day, Petunia was on her front porch feeling especially angry, when a bee stung her nose. At the same time, a spider bit her elbow and a cat swiped at her knee. Just then, she tripped over a flower pot, fell on top of a garden rake, and bit very hard on her tongue.     When the dust finally settled from everything that had happened to her all at once, she was flat on her back.     That was when she started to l

The Old Man Who Had All the Gold in the Kingdom

 There was once an old man who lived in a hole at the base of a tree in the middle of an enchanted wood. One day, a little boy came to visit the old man.     'Why do you live in a hole in the ground?' the little boy asked the old man.     'Well,' began the old man, 'when I was not much older than you I came across a handful of magic beans. I sold them for all the gold in the kingdom. And then, do you know what I did?'     The little boy shook his head.     'I spent it,' said the old man.     'All of it?' asked the boy, who couldn't even fathom what all the gold in the kingdom might look like, let alone spending all of it.     'All of it,' the old man said.     'What did you buy?' the little boy asked.     'Everything,' the old man said. 'And do you know what?'     The little boy shook his head again.     'I didn't like a single thing I bought better than this hole in the ground,' the old man said.

The Shadow and the Boy

 There was once a shadow that flickered in and out of spaces. Sometimes it would emerge slowly, sometimes all at once. But, one way or another, it always emerged, and when it did, it darted.     The shadow darted because it was afraid. And it was afraid because it was lost. Somehow, somewhere, it had been left behind. The shadow didn't know how it happened, but all it wanted — so very desperately — was to get home. Only, it didn't know where home was. In fact, the shadow didn't remember anything about home at all.     One day, when the shadow was hiding between a wardrobe and a dresser in an old house, a little boy caught site of it.     The shadow quickly darted further back into the darkness, and would have tried to hide forever, except that the little boy sat down, crossed his legs, and stared at the dark space where the shadow hid. Any movement, and the shadow knew it could be caught. Being caught felt like the most dangerous thing in the world to the shadow. And rightl

The Straw in the Old Woman's Hair

 Once upon a time there was a little old woman with straw in her hair. She lived in the forest, and because she looked so old and bedraggled, everyone said she was a witch.       When a little girl came upon the old woman one day, it would have been only natural had she shrieked in horror. That was the kind of thing little girls were supposed to do when they saw a witch. But this particular little girl did not shriek, or shrink in fear, or run away.       Instead, she went over, patted the little old woman on the arm, and gently pulled the straw out of her hair.     The old woman smiled, and thanked the little girl, for it happened that she had no mirror in her small cottage with which to tidy her hair.     And as the little girl left the old woman with a warm feeling in her heart, the straw that was clasped in her hands turned into flowers.

The Reappearing Garden

 Once upon a time a garden appeared in the middle of a city overnight. No one knew where it had come from, or how it had arrived, or who was responsible. Nevertheless, there it was: sparkling with morning dew drops atop all kinds of flowers, shrubs and trees.     Because there was some possibility that the garden could be dangerous, only prestigious grownups were allowed to go inside the garden's boundaries. These grownups liked the garden so much that they had a wall built all around it so that they could wander within without anyone who they considered 'unsavory' looking at them or at the beautiful plants.     The night after the prestigious grownups built the wall, the garden disappeared.     It reappeared in another part of the city without any explanation.     Again, the prestigious grownups kept everyone else out, but this time they built a large gate instead of a wall, thinking that perhaps the garden wanted everyone to see it — though, surely it couldn't want ju

Miles Meets a Stranger (Miles and the Glowpus Part II)

  Miles coughed gruffly, and tried to look with keen severity at the golden creature nuzzling his palm. But it wasn't long before his face softened, and then began to glow with anticipation. ‘Want to see what it is?’ he asked his friends. ‘Boy, do we,’ said Jill, who bound inside Miles’ house toward the library. Miles grinned at Jack, who hadn’t stopped grinning, and just like that, Miles’ day changed—it would have been hard pressed not to with the little ball of fur snuggled so closely against him, soft as down. The library in Miles' house was found at the back, and it was more than just books (if there could be any such thing as ‘just books’); it was his work space. The place where he identified all the creatures that found their way to him—and there had been quite a few. It was his calling, finding new creatures and caring for them.   And the tiny thing in his hands needed his help. Jill made herself at home, after pulling several books off the shelves, surrounding h