Fawn pt. 2

Molly and the faun walked several miles before coming to a forest she never knew existed. “How long has this been here?” She asked the faun, staring in awe at the great trees standing higher than any giant.

“As long as I’ve been alive; which has been a long time.” He said pointedly, stepping beyond the stark tree-line stretching for miles. If the outside of the forest seemed intimidating and cold the inside proved warm, spacious and bright. Molly deemed it a entirely new world, new even from her many dreams of fantasy. Colorful birds sang symphonies and flapped to-and-frow while flowers uprooted themselves and followed the pair as they walked along a neglected trail, waving their petals in dance as their tiny voices greeted and beckoned. Molly felt overjoyed at the sight and would have abandoned the pursuit of treasure all together in favor of staying in the forest a bit longer, but the faun scolded and pushed her on. Through to the other side they left the flowers at the forest’s edge, waving goodbye before coming to a great mountain a stone’s throw later, as tall and wide as a proud mountain should be.

But the grandness of the sight was distracted from by gnarly stems and thorns, blanketing the mountain in a dark, unfriendly coat. Only a small glimmer of red caught Molly’s eye, though she knew not how her eyesight carried so far up. At the very top of the mountain, amidst thorns mind you not forget so easily, gleamed a single rose, seemingly made of crystal.

“This is your treasure and your test.” The faun said quietly. “Climb the mountain to reach the rose and all your wishes come true.”

“But the thorns…” Molly started before an idea struck her. “Have you tried to climb this hill? This is where you got the thorn in your foot, is it not?”

“Certainly,” the faun answered plainly. “I have a great many wishes and would love to see them all fulfilled. But alas, I could not reach the top. Quite simply I am too big. But you are small enough to crawl through the stems and roots. But be warned do mind your footing. To fall off the mountain is to fall on a casket of thorns.”

Molly wished she could return to the forest to the singing birds and colorful flowers who moved when a breeze rolled by. In comparison, a lifeless piece of glass wasn’t much of a prize. But Molly knew better than to think she could turn back now. Walking to the foot of the mountain the faun brightly encouraged her onwards and upwards. Sighing, she grabbed a grey stem and hoisted herself up.

Slowly and carefully she wove herself over and between the great thicket. What felt like hours the faun assured were only minutes, occasionally sending her words of encouragement. “Surely he only wants this rose for himself,” Molly thought. “What if he’s only using me? When I have the rose he’ll steal it and leave me here alone.”

“Quickly,” the faun yelled, seeing her pause. “I won’t be able to reach you if you hurt yourself. Your bones will be toothpicks for vultures.”

The thought of being anything to a vulture was quite scary. Forcing her way up the mountain faster Molly neared the top and the rose was finally within grasp. Reaching out she brushed the nearest leaf with her fingers and she felt the ground shift beneath her. The thorns and stems came alive and rolled and bucked all over the mountain, seemingly fighting off the detected thief.

Desperately Molly grasped for the rose, but the stems gave a great heavy and she flew through the air. Head over feet she caught sight of one particularly nasty looking thorn heading her way and thought of her poor grandmother having to go without eggs because her granddaughter was scraps for vultures.

Molly opened her eyes. She found herself back by the dirt road with a half eaten plum in her hands. Realizing what happened she jumped to her feet and grabbed her basket of eggs. Running off down the road she scolded herself for wasting a perfectly good egg for such a dream. Fauns weren’t even real.

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Fawn pt. 1

“Molly,” her mother called from their small cottage at the end of a road at the end of a town. “I gathered a dozen eggs for your grandmother. Take them to her will you?”

It is a universal fact that Grandmothers’ houses hold a sort of enchantment for children, so without further delay Molly threw on her shoes and pranced out the door with a basket of eggs tucked under her arm.

She made good time and before long was halfway. Her grandmother lived in the next town over, connected by a single dirt road everyone who wanted to go to-and-frow had to use. In the distance she saw a figure seemingly grow from the ground, but really only appeared over a hill. As he neared she could see it was a severely old man with a great white beard slung over his shoulder, even going so far as to trail on the ground even then. He held a knobby cane in one hand and a leather bag in the other. As they neared each other Molly smiled politely and nodded. “Good day to you.”

“Good day to you as well,” the man spoke in a voice made of wood ─ sturdy but creaky. “Would you happen to have a smidgen to eat? I haven’t eaten anything all day and fear I’ll soon perish.”

“All I have are raw eggs for my grandmother.” Molly said.

“That is fine,” he said. “I’ll take one.”

A bit baffled Molly took from her basket an egg and handed it to the elder, who swallowed it whole right then and there. “For your kindness I’ll repay tenfold. I am a seller of dreams you see.”

“What sort of dreams?” Molly asked.

“All sorts. Long ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones. Dreams which will make you laugh, dreams which will make you cry, and even nightmares, which really are a misunderstood breed. I’ll give you a dream for your egg.”

Molly saw no harm, so accepted the offer. The man pulled from his leather bag a plum, plump and full of juice. “Eat this and then take a nap. Your dream will come to you then.”

“What sort of dream will it be?” Molly asked in wonderment.

The old man chuckled. “There is no saying. Whichever dream is yours I suppose.” With that the two parted ways. Molly continued on a bit before stopping for a rest. She pulled from her basket some bread and cheese her mother had packed for lunch. Specifically setting the plum aside she thought she would use it that night, having no time for a nap at the moment.

As she sat and ate she watched the clouds overhead pass by, slowly at first and then faster and faster. She thought it odd as she had never known clouds to move so fast, but paid little mind. Looking back to the road she found a faun to have suddenly appeared there. He was a tall, wide man covered in moss and dried mud, with great curved horns and hooves for feet. The figure moved very slowly, albeit purposefully, down the road dragging one leg lamely behind with a painful limp as he made his way. “Excuse me,” Molly called from the tree. The faun noticed her for the first time and stopped. “What seems to be the bother?”

“A thorn is stuck in my toe,” he answered in a voice like that of a forest, vast and wise.

“Oh my,” Molly said. “Would you like some help removing it?”Standing quickly she dashed to aid the stranger. Sitting by the side of the road the faun squeezed his eyes shut as Molly’s small, nimble fingers were able to find and pluck the thorn, which had made its way deeply into the faun’s sole.

“Thank you,” he bowed to Molly. “As a good gesture I would like to repay your kindness with a turn of my own.”

“Why is everyone repaying me today?” Molly asked in awe. “It’s no problem at all for me to help here and there.”

“But still, you must let me do one simple thing for you.” The faun insisted. “A few throws away from here, in the forest over the hill, lies a great treasure. It is free for the taking. But there is always a great obstacle in the way, which has prevented anyone from reaching it thus far. I will help you reach the treasure.”

“Only if it won’t take long.” Molly said, thinking on her grandma. “But what sort of obstacle will it be?”

“I don’t know.” The faun said. “I hear it is different for each person who tries. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Dragon Treasure

 

One day in a land far far away, a boy went for a walk near the sea. He traveled a fair distance and discovered a castle on the very tippy top of a hill. “Why, this is fine!” Thought the boy. “I shall have something to explore!”

 

Opening the impressive front doors he was met by a ferocious Dragon in the main hall. Huffing and puffing the Dragon scared the poor boy so much he cowered on the spot, unable to move a muscle. Seeing the boy was no threat the Dragon bit back his flame. He walked to the back of the room where a treasure was stored. Sitting down, a cloud of dust erupted around the Dragon’s huge hindquarters. “How now boy? What brings you here?” He demanded.

 

The boy answered. “I was bored, so I took a walk along the sea. Seeing your castle I came to explore.”

 

“Oh, but you are mistaken. This is not my castle.” Commented the Dragon.

 

“But Dragon, why then do you stay?”

 

“Ah,” said the Dragon. “I have been placed here by an evil Witch who wishes me to guard her treasure. I dare not defy her.”

 

“Shouldn’t you like to kill her and be free?” Asked the boy.

 

“Ay, I would like that. But this Witch is no ordinary witch. She is very powerful and I fear I could not defeat her.”   

 

“Perhaps I could help you kill her?” Suggested the boy. 

 

“Grand!” Exclaimed the Dragon. “The only way you can kill her is to stab her with the golden spear at the top of the treasure. But pray you are careful! The mound is high and, should you slip and cause the pile to collapse, she will discover and eat you! You must hide well and seek your opportunity.”

 

So the boy hid just in time. The front doors blew open and in flew the Witch. She was the ugliest witch the boy had ever seen, with warts all over her face the size of mushrooms! The boy observed the Witch was very mean to the Dragon, bossing him around ungratefully, seeing as he protected her splendid treasure. Finally she lay down to take a nap, telling the Dragon to keep an eye out.

 

So the boy climbed carefully to the top of the treasure, careful with his footing, and took the spear. Standing over the Witch he struck her repeatedly. Awakened, the Witch cried out to the Dragon for help. The Dragon stood by and watched, unwilling to lift a claw for his captor. The Witch died shortly after.

 

“I am free,” said the Dragon. Standing on his two back legs, he flared his nostrils and flapped his wings. “Tell me young master, what I can do for you in return?”

 

The young boy asked for half of the Witch’s treasure. The Dragon happily complied and took the other half for himself.

 

From then on the young boy and his family lived in the castle on a hill and were wealthy and happy all their lives. The Dragon did not fare worse, flying free through the sky seeing all the evil Witch had kept from him over the years.