Faeries: The long winter – Part 5

As far as she could see the dark pine trunks contrasted against the thick blanket of snow that stretched before her broken only by a dark smear of a track that wound its way through the wood just a stone’s throw from where she was now crouched. 

I had the urge to return to this.  Let’s have another part shall we.  It was only ever meant to be one part…

Faeries: The long winter

Faeries: The long winter – Part 2

Faeries: The long winter – Part 3

Faeries: The long winter – Part 4

Kostromo brushed away the snow at the entrance of the narrow cave exit and looked out across the wood before her.  As far as she could see the dark pine trunks contrasted against the thick blanket of snow that stretched before her broken only by a dark smear of a track that wound its way through the wood just a stone’s throw from where she was now crouched.

“It looks safe” she said to fox in the tunnel behind her.  Behind fox, owl and rabbit pushed forward to get a glimpse of the wood.

“We must hurry” Owl insisted flapping impatiently. We must find a place to hide ourselves.”

“All in time my friend” Kostromo said turning to him.  “All in good time.  We must not be hasty, soon this road will be filled with those from whom we hide.  We need only follow them from a distance, and we must not be seen.”

For many months now no news had come out of the north wood, and every time the Frog King had despatched his spies none had returned.  Day after day reports of strange creatures marching down the road filtered back to his caves but never word about where they headed once they headed beyond the black river.

“Dark forces” muttered rabbit.  “Dark forces indeed.”

They needed to know more so Kostromo had chosen rabbit, owl and fox because not only did they have keen sight but they were brave, they knew the wood as well as any of the animals and were fleet enough to escape should they be seen.

“Owl, take cover in the highest branches and hide yourself well” Kostromo instructed moving to one side to allow her to pass.”

Owl nodded and blinked and in a flash she hopped from the mouth of the cave and launched into the cold morning air, disappearing into the tree tops.

“Rabbit, fox” Kostromo continued, “head up the bank to the left and follow the path to the north from up on the ridge.  Stay below the ridgeline and do not let them see you.  I shall wait here until they pass.”

Without a word rabbit and fox slipped from the cave and disappeared into the snow leaving Kostromo alone in the small entrance in the side of the hill.  She should be safe up here, it was close to the road but the entrance remained obscured by the fresh snow that had fallen the night before.

After only a short while Kostromo heard something approaching from the south.  Something unfamiliar.  At first the noises were muffled and difficult to make out against the whistle of the icy wind that blew through the pines, but they soon turned to the stamp of marching feet and the clink and thud of metal on wood and leather.

She crouched low and pressed up against the side of the cave entrance, her gossamer wings pulled in tight.  She melted into the shadows and watched as a small squat creature burst through the trees and scurried along the path, stopping in the road directly across from where Kostromo hid.  She held her breath.  It was nothing she had ever seen before, the size of a badger but with a longer head and with small red eyes set deep in its skull.  It raised its h  It was covered from head to tail with thick black fur and a long tailed trailed through the snow behind it.  Slowly it sniffed the air looking about then stood quite still.  It looked high up into the tree tops and then up to the ridgeline and then raised itself up onto its back legs as if searching for something.  It was then that Kostromo noticed the rows of long sharp white teeth in the creatures blood red mouth.

She held her breath, heart beating furiously in her chest.  Surely it could not have detected them.  What felt like minutes passed as the creature stood, nose high in the air.  The noise of the thump of feet grew louder and louder and Kostromo saw a dark mass of creatures break through the trees heading down the track.

Every part of her screamed hide but she felt transfixed, terrified to move for fear of the creature spotting her.  She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to calm her mind and slow her racing pulse.  She breathed deep and slowly opened them again.  She looked out towards the path and noticed the creature was no longer sniffing the air.

It was staring straight towards where she was hidden.




Photo courtesy of pixabay

Faeries: The long winter – Part 4

Through the caves the frog king led Kostromo, following the light of the river as it lead ever downwards.  They passed through a small narrowing in the cave wall and she could feel the rock against her skin

I had the urge to return to this.  Let’s have another part shall we.

Faeries: The long winter

Faeries: The long winter – Part 2

Faeries: The long winter – Part 3

Through the caves the frog king led Kostromo, following the light of the river as it lead ever downwards.  They passed through a small narrowing in the cave wall and she could feel the rock against her skin.  It was warm to the touch.  The frog king saw her run her hand across the surface.

“By the light of the river and the warmth of the earth have we survived these many years” said the frog king as he hopped alongside Kostromo.  “Were it not for this place we would surely have fallen to the darkness long ago.”

The narrowing in the rock wall had lead to another large cavern, the ground flatter than before and the river now wider and throwing up more light into the space.  She could not see the ceiling but on both sides were steep craggy walls.  She noticed movement as she looked about and as her eyes became accustomed to the light she could make out row upon row of small caves scattered.

“Welcome to our home” the frog King said with a smile.

He hopped down to a small raised area next to the river and croaked loudly, the noise reverberating around the space.  Slowly there emerged from the dark caves all manner of creature and they began to make their way slowly to where the Frog King waited.

“So many creatures” she said to herself as she watched them descend and pass her.  A wood nymph brushed by her and nodded slowly.  Her skin that of a silver birch, slender arms and legs and her hair a mass of dark green tousles.

It seemed all the creatures of the wood were here, magical and non magical alike.  From high up the wood sprites fluttered down slowly, their gossamer wings blue from the light of the river.  Butterflies, sparrows, larks, dragon flies and all manner of flying creatures filled the air and around her feet there there gathered what seemed to be every creature that had roamed the forest that would have eagerly welcomed her in years gone by.

The magical creatures stayed further back, as if uncertain of her presence.  She noticed two squat cave trolls whispering to each other and a dryad looked away as Kostromo tried to catch her gaze.

“People of the forest” boomed the Frog King, his voice echoing throughout the chamber.  “We have long waited in the dark and in the cold, resigned to the long winter.”

There was a bustle of chatter and a family of field mice scuttled up the nymph to get a better view.  Though the Frog King was speaking Kostromo felt all eyes on her.

“But now, Kostromo has returned once more.  There is hope once again that spring may return to the forest.”

The Frog King paused dramatically.  At first there was silence, no creature spoke and none moved.

“Spring has returned” shouted the younger of the field mice that had earlier found it’s vantage point in the hair of the nymph.  “Kostromo has returned.”

As if released of their fears, a cry of celebration went up from the gathered creatures.  The great cavern reverberated with the shouts and calls as they gathered around her and the Frog King.

He looked across at her, his blue eyes shining and smiled.



Photo courtesy of pixabay

Squirrel and Sparrow

High in the branches of the horse chestnut tree sparrow sat and watched with great interest as squirrel darted about on the ground below.

High in the branches of the horse chestnut tree sparrow sat and watched with great interest as squirrel darted about on the ground below.

“You seem rather busy today Squirrel” sparrow said.

“Oh indeed I am” squirrel said glancing up for only the briefest of moments and then returning to the rather important business of collecting nuts for the winter.  “Winter is coming Sparrow, and I must prepare.”

Sparrow watched her dart into a large crack in the side of the tree carrying a large acorn, her bushy tail still protruding.

“Do you not have enough already?” Sparrow shouted. “You have been gathering for weeks and weeks.”

Squirrel turned about and popped her head out.  “A squirrel can never have enough” she replied scuttling down the trunk of the tree and continuing to search in the golden carpet of leaves that covered the floor of the wood.

“And when do you know you have enough” Sparrow asked as Squirrel disappeared under a particularly large pile of red and yellow leaves.

Squirrel did not respond and moments passed as Sparrow waited for squirrel to emerge.

Suddenly, with a groan and an exclamation of joy she burst from the pile carrying what was most definitely the largest beechnut that sparrow had ever seen.

“My word” sparrow exclaimed, “surely now you have enough to tide you over during the dark winter months.”

Squirrel heaved it slowly towards the horse chestnut.  “Oh no” she said “the winter is long and I will most certainly need more.”

“Really?” said Sparrow, “and…”

Sparrow did not get to finish her sentence as quite suddenly, out of the high trees, Owl swooped down and in an instant her long talons wrapped around squirrel’s beech nut and hoisted it, and squirrel, up into the air.

“Let go” shouted sparrow watching owl swoop between the trees and glide up and up.

“But it’s my beech nut” squirrel shouted as ascended above the tree tops.  Squirrel hung on with all she had.  The nut was hers and she was not letting go.

Higher and higher flew owl, yet Squirrel would not let go.  Sparrow launched herself into the sky and set off after them.  “Let go squirrel, LET GO” she shouted as she neared them.

Squirrel looked down, her fingers beginning to slip as owl soared higher into the clear winter sky.

“No” she insisted, the wind blowing through her bushy tail.

Owl looked down seeing squirrel still holding on with the tiny tips of her fingers, smiled, and let go.

“It’s all mine” shouted squirrel defiantly as she hurtled towards the ground, Owl circling back to where she would soon land with a splat.

Tortoise and Monkey

Inspired by a true story a good friend once told me…

The mid-day sun beat down as tortoise wandered slowly across the Savannah.  Approaching the old marula tree he noticed monkey, his fist lodged firmly inside a small crevice in the trees side.

“Good morning monkey “ he said, the trees canopy providing delicious pools of  protective shade from the fierce sun. “Is everything okay?”.

“I seem to be stuck” monkey replied straining to free himself. Bees buzzed around him and he swatted at them with his free hand.  “I wanted honey, I found honey, and now I cannot free myself.”

“Oh dear, oh dear” said tortoise pondering the predicament.  “That is for certain no good thing.”

“Yes, yes” said monkey excitedly “no good at all, at all.”

Monkey tugged and pulled, teeth bared and his feet braced against the tree, but his hand remained firmly inside.

“Whatever will you do?” tortoise asked, “have you tried calling for help?”

Monkey nodded “Oh yes I have tortoise but the others were unable to free me.”

“And where are they now?” Tortoise asked looking about.  There were most certainly no other monkeys that he could see.  He looked up into the tree, thinking that surely that is where a tortoise would find monkeys but again there were none.

“They have left me, left me alone” Monkey said stills training in an attempt to free himself.  “They said that Lion was about and ran off.”  He looked down at tortoise.  “I will not share my delicious honey with them now no way no chance.“

Tortoise stopped and looked about slowly.  They were not particularly clever beasts in his opinion, and in his many years on the savannah he had always found them to be quite foolish too.

“Are you holding the honey now?” he asked.

Monkey paused.  “Yes” he answered suspiciously.  He was uncertain whether monkeys ate honey.

“And have you considered releasing the honey” Tortoise asked, “that would allow you to remove your hand surely.”

Monkey looked at tortoise quizzically.  “But then I would have no honey” he said quite perplexed.

Tortoise was about to answer when he heard the distinctive roar of lion now not far away.

“You need to let go Monkey” he said retracting into the safety of his shell “lion is on her way.”

“But then I shall have no honey” monkey shouted back defiantly, “and I do so love honey…”

Photo courtesy of pixabay


Cat and Dog

…He waited for cat to ask why today was not a day for napping.  Every day was absolutely a day for napping as far as cat was concerned, and she really was in no mood for dog this morning.

Dog barked excitedly as cat slipped into the room, rubbed herself against the leg of the old oak coffee table and jumped up onto the Old man’s chair.  She curled herself into a ball, took one look at dog and closed her eyes.

“Wake up wake up”dog barked his tail wagging wildly.

Cat opened her eyes slowly and sighed.

“What is it dog” she asked curtly, “I am rather tired and would very much like to take a nap.”

“A nap” dog exclaimed “oh no, no, no today is not for napping” he insisted.

He waited for cat to ask why today was not a day for napping.  Every day was absolutely a day for napping as far as cat was concerned, and she really was in no mood for dog this morning.  She had spent much of the night hunting mice in the barn and wanted to simply curl up and had no intention of asking why today was not a day for napping.

Dog waited for as long as he could, which was not long, before exclaiming excitedly. “It’s my birthday today cat, my birthday”

“And exactly how do you know that” cat asked impatiently.

“The girl with the fat bottom said so this morning” he barked spinning around his tongue lolling from his panting mouth.

“And exactly why do I care” cat asked shuffling into a more comfortable position where she lay.

“Oh because it’s my birthday of course” said dog.

“Yes I believe you said that already” said cat closing her eyes again.

“Oh cat please don’t nap” dog asked “it’s my birthday and birthdays are not for napping.”

“Let me ask you something dog” said cat he eyes still closed.

“Yes yes yes” dog panted. “Ask away ask away.”  He barked and sat quite still next to the chair where cat lay.

“What is a birthday?”

Dog cocked his head to one side, his eyes sparkling and his pink tongue hanging from his mouth.

“Well?” cat pressed.

“It’s…” Dog paused.  He barked and then exclaimed “It’s a birthday of course cat, my birthday!”

“But what is a birthday Dog” cat asked again, now sitting up so as to stare straight at him.  She did love him dearly but he was not the smartest of animals.

“Well…It’s …er…” Dog fell silent and looked rather sad.  “I don’t know” he said the grin gone from his face.  “It just sounded quite wonderful.  My very own birthday.”

“Oh silly dog” said cat making room for him on the farmer’s chair “jump up here and I will tell you all about birthdays and why today is indeed a special day.”

Faeries: The long winter – Part 3

…”Open” she cried, jaw clenched as she tumbled unsure of which was up and which down.  Her heart raced, surely she hadn’t escapade the cold earth and the wolves only for it to end like this. 

I thought I’d give this another stab.  I use it as practice really and to explore things in my head that I can’t quite get out…

Faeries: The long winter

Faeries: The long winter – Part 2


Kostromo tumbled through the opening into nothing, the howl of the wolves fading as she fell head over heels into the darkness of the cavern below.  With light fading fast she attempted to once more open her wings, and this time she felt them move ever so slightly as she strained.

“Open” she cried, jaw clenched as she tumbled unsure of which way up and which down.  Her heart raced, surely she hadn’t escapade the cold earth and the wolves only for it to end like this.

Eyes closed she willed them to again open with all she and this time they burst free from the icy fingers that had held them so tight, and in the blink of an eye she ceased to fall.

On gossamer silver wings she hovered in the middle of the cavern, high above her she could still see the light streaming through the opening she had slipped through.  She looked about but everything was so very dark.  Looking down she could see a feint ribbon of blue light cutting through the inky blackness.  It was hard to tell how far away it was.  Was it the Cavern floor?

There was no way she could go back out the way she had came, so slowly she began to float downwards.  Occasionally she could just make out cold rock faces here and there and as she descended silently the sliver of blue began to shimmer more brightly and she could hear the feint trickle of water.

It was a river, and as it neared she could see that it glowed with a soft blue light illuminating the area adjacent to where it ran.  Small tufts of grass, daffodils and crocus followed its path as it carved it’s way across the cavern floor and silver sprats could be seen swimming in the shallows, larger fish breaking the surface then darting back below the swirling waters.

She alighted gently alongside the river, he wings still beating slowly.  The cold seemed to have lessened, and as she stood bathed in the light of the waters she heard a voice.

“Welcome faery” it said.  It was an old voice, and familiar.

“Frog King” she exclaimed excitedly “Show yourself”.

From the shimmering waters the largest frog you will ever see emerged, his skin dancing shades of  emerald greens and golds and his eyes as blue as the light of the river.  He heaved himself onto the bank not far from her, the water cascading from the bumps and lumps of his skin.  Kostromo bowed in respect.  The frog king was one of the oldest of the woodland kings and was already old beyond memory when she was still a youngling.

“Welcome Kostromo” he said bowing his head in response, “we had all but given up hope of seeing your kind again.”

“Oak awakened me” she said as a dragonfly whizzed past her head.

“Winter has continued unchecked without you Kostromo, and for many many seasons, without your light all of the creatures have suffered.”

“But why was I not awakened?” She asked.

“When you last slept there was an awakening of a darkness that we have not seen before and…” The Frog King paused.

“What is it?” Kostromo pressed.

He looked at her with eyes that were piercing blue like the heart of an ice berg and blinked.

“Your sister was taken Kostromo, she was unable to wake you and so the winter saw no end”

“Taken?  By whom?”

“There are things under the heavens, old forces and long forgotten, that have returned child” he answered in his deep croaking voice “creatures from the darkness and another time that few of us still recall and that we had thought vanquished.”

Kostromo stood still, her head spinning as she struggled with the words of The Frog King.

“Where is Lucia” she demanded.  “Where is she, I will free her” she insisted.

“Patience fairy” Frog King cautioned “now is not the time for such things, first you must eat and rest.  We have much to discuss.”

Photo courtest of Photoparisienne@pixabay

Faeries: The long winter – Part 2

Where once she would have expected to see the verdant greens of springtime, punctuated with the vibrant explosions of tulips, daffodils and bluebells, now only a blanket of white stretched as far as she could see and the trees she so cherished stood grey, silent and bare.

You can read Part 1 here.

Kostromo slowly untangled herself from the thick oak roots that had freed her from the cold weight of the earth, and rubbing her eyes she got to her feet and stretched in the cold crisp afternoon air.  Grey clouds hovered ominously in the distance and an icy wind blew flurries of snow about her feet.  She attempted to spread her gossamer wings, glistening still with the finest of ice crystals, but they would not open.

The air was sharp and unfamiliar as she breathed, chilling her to her core, and as she became accustomed to the brightness once more she gazed out upon an world so very changed from the one she loved.  She gasped, never had she seen such a sight.

“How long has it been this way Oak?” she asked.

“Too long faery” Oak mumbled, his voice seemed to vibrate inside of her “far too long indeed.”

Where once she would have expected to see the verdant greens of springtime, punctuated with the vibrant explosions of tulips, daffodils and bluebells, now only a blanket of white stretched as far as she could see and the trees she so cherished stood grey, silent and bare.

She began to speak but Oak cut her short.  “Run Kostromo, you must run.” he growled.

With Oak’s warning still ringing in her ears she picked up the distant howl and bark of wolves.  Wolves were never a good thing, and she was already moving as Oak’s voice rumbled deep inside her again “Run faery run!”

With everything still so foreign she raced through the snow as fast as she could in what she guessed was the opposite direction of the howls.  The cold slowed her, deep drifts causing her to stumble as trees flashed by in a blur.  Moving downhill, trees rising high on both sides, she could hear the very feint trickle of water as the ground levelled off in front of her.

Her breath blossomed as a swirling rose as she exhaled, her heart racing as she again attempted to spread her wings but still to no avail.  Slumbering trees stirred as she pressed on, whispers of “faster” echoing in her head as her legs carried her onwards.

With the howls and barks now even closer she leapt over a fallen birch and looking up she caught a flash of a dark silhouette running along the hill top parallel to her.  Instantly she knew they had caught her up and were now hunting her.

Heart pounding she ran and ran, straining to put distance between herself and the pursuing pack.  She could sense them drawing in around her when recognised a familiar rocky outcrop ahead of her and knew instantly where she was. If only she could make it there she would be able to slip down inside the small opening she knew was at the base of it into which the river trickled into a large underground opening.  Many times as a youngling she had crawled inside and fluttered down exploring the huge expanse below.

Focussed she raced, it was now close, and as she looked up to her right as she ran and saw a large grey female wolf tracking her and heading down the hill towards her.  She looked left, more were there but she could not see them yet.  A howl sounded as stumbled in a drift, but in an instant she was back on her feet and focussed on nothing but the base of the outcrop which was now so very close.

“Faster Faery” she heard in her head as she raced past a tall Elm.

The female had travelled down the hill and was now not far behind her and catching her fast.

Not long to the opening Kostromo told herself, her heart pounding in her chest.  The grey female bounded through the snow behind her and was now joined by a second larger male, teeth bared and eyes dark.  Kostromo could hear jaws snapping, but she was now almost at the opening.  It was there, she could see it.

One final burst and she dived for the small entrance, head first and burst through the snow bank and into the hole, the wolves snapping at her heels.  She slid inside on the frozen surface of the river bed, gasping, lungs bursting and the wolves growling and snarling, heads thrust into the opening but too large to pass through.

“I’m safe” she thought to herself as she continued to slide and then in a moment she was falling uncontrollably, downwards,  into the darkness.


Photo Courtesy Of Kellepics@pixabay

Want other different stuff?

something terrible happens in this one

In this one there is a girl in the rain

and this might make you laugh but maybe you wont admit it

oh and this one i am rather proud of



Mouse and Cat

The rain had been falling all for days, pitter patter against the window panes of the old farm house. Cat stared out at the grey sky and decided that she would most certainly not be going outside.

The rain had been falling all for days, pitter patter against the window panes of the old farm house.  Cat stared out at the grey sky and decided that he would most certainly not be going outside.   He did not like the rain one little bit, and nothing would shift him – not even the little mouse he could see scurrying about at the edge of the log pile.

The fire crackled as the fat bottomed girl walked past.

“I don’t blame you for not going out “ She said, stroking cat behind the ears, “I’d stay inside if I was you too.”

Cat yawned and stretched himself out on the window ledge as the fat bottomed girl pulled on her coat and wellington boots and headed outside into the rain.  The door banged closed and Cat watched her disappear across the farm yard, past the log pile where mouse hid beneath an old stump and towards the barns where the cows would be huddled together ready to be milked.

Cat closed his eyes listening to the rain and was soon fast asleep.

As Cat slept mouse scurried across the yard from puddle to puddle, making her way between the log pile and the old farm house.  She scuttled up the small tree next to the window behind which cat was now fast asleep, and dropped lightly onto the window sill.

Mouse did so enjoy the rain because she knew full well that cat would not venture outside when the weather was so miserable.  She had once seen cat caught in a downpour and how she had laughed and laughed as cat hurtled back to the farm house, desperate to get inside only to discover that he had been locked out.  What a bedraggled dripping mess he was indeed.

As cat slept, mouse watched Cat closely from the safety of the other side of the window.  Never before had mouse been so close to a cat.

“What a curious creature” mouse said to herself, whiskers twitching.  She pressed her nose up against the glass to get a better look.  “Doesn’t look so scary to me.”

Cat stirred and opened one eye to see mouse staring straight at him.  As the rain fell the large Ginger cat and the small brown mouse stared at each other, neither moving.  Cat’s tail then twitched ever so slightly as mouse wrinkled her nose and then spoke.

“Good morning Cat” she said, but cat could not hear her through the glass and above the noise of the rain.

Cat opened both eyes and sat upright.  Mouse shifted nervously but remained on the window sill, perhaps feeling brave because of the glass that separated them.

Mouse stood up on her hind feet and stared at cat.  “Don’t look so scary to me” she said “I don’t see what all the fuss is about.”

Cat licked his lips and swished his tail, head to one side wondering what this mouse might be saying.  Did she not know who he was, did she not realise that he was rather fond of plump little mice?

Mouse dropped back onto all fours and seemed to parade up and down on the window sill as the rain continued to fall even heavier.

“You don’t scare me cat” mouse shouted, tapping on the glass with a tiny paw.  “this is my farm yard” she insisted and continued to scurry up and down the window sill feeling most brave, stopping only occasionally to pull faces at cat or wiggle her bottom at him.

Cat continued to watch mouse as she paraded up and down in front of him, his tail swishing and his whiskers bristling.  He saw the fat bottomed girl emerge from the milking sheds and head back across the farm yard as the rain began to lessen.  Mouse was so preoccupied that she did not seem to notice.

“That’s it” cat said to himself, “just a little closer”.

The fat bottomed girl was nearly at the door before mouse heard her, the rain now almost stopped.

Cat leapt from the window sill as the door opened, and in a flash mouse realised what was about to happen and darted for the tree next to the window, her heart beating frantically.  As the door opened cat rocketed across the farm house floor, past the crackling fire and out of the door just as mouse reached the foot of the tree.

Mouse knew she had but a moment to get to the log pile, and cat was closing in on her fast.  She skirted a small puddle as cat splashed across the yard heading for her, eyes wide and an intent and savage look on his face.

“Run mouse, run” she shouted to herself “he’s coming!”

Cat leapt through the air, paws outstretched and claws out as mouse lunged into the log pile.  Cat flew into a rather large stump and crashed to the ground, shaking his head.

“I know you’re in there!” he said as mouse crawled deeper into the pile.  “It’s only a matter of time Mrs Mouse” he continued, “you cannot stay in there all day.”

“I’m not scared of you” mouse squeaked, though she most obviously was, but it was starting to rain again and she knew cat would not remain outside long.

As the rain began to fall the fat bottomed girl opened the door and called cat inside, and he raced off to the warmth of the farm house.  As mouse emerged from the log pile, she looked back at the house and saw cat sitting in the window cleaning himself.

“I’m not scared of you cat “ she shouted as she scuttled back to her home, “and I am not afraid of the rain either!”

More stuff perhaps?

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Screw You Haiku 11/9/17

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Mouse and Sparrow

photo courtesy of alexas_fotos@pixaba

Frog and Toad

Mr Toad watched Mrs Frog hop over to him.  “How delightful” he thought to himself. 

“Good morning Toad” mumbled Mrs Frog with a mouthful of the rather delicious fly which she had happened upon, “how are you this morning?”

Toad shuffled alongside the pond and looked across to where Mrs Frog sat on her lily pad eating.  “Good morning Mrs Frog” he replied and croaked, “you look well.”

Mrs Frog finished her fly before replying.  “Indeed I am Mr Toad, thank you ” she replied “the water is cool and the flies are plentiful.”

“Good good” Toad continued, his dark eyes blinking as he scanned the ground for juicy worms.  “it looks like another lovely day.”

“Oh most certainly ” said Mrs Frog.  He was a handsome Toad indeed she thought to herself.  “Would you like to join me for some breakfast?” she asked smiling.

“Breakfast?” Toad replied looking somewhat confused.  “Breakfast with a frog?”

Mrs Frog laughed.  “Mr Toad, we are not so different you and I, and it is only a spot of breakfast.”

Mr Toad was rather taken aback by the offer, he had never had breakfast with a Frog before.  “I see” he replied, “I would then very much enjoy that.”

Mrs Frog jumped from her lily pad with a splash and soon hopped out of the pond to join him.  Up close he was even more impressive, with his large round body, strong thick legs and such dry and bumpy skin.

Mr Toad watched Mrs Frog hop over to him.  “How delightful” he thought to himself.

As Mr toad shuffled Mrs Frog hopped alongside, and they travelled together around the edge of the pond chatting, stopping occasionally to gobble a fly or share a juicy worm.  Occasionally Mrs Frog would pop back into the pond for a quick dip before joining him again.

And so Mrs Frog and Mr Toad spent the morning together, and breakfast became lunch and lunch became supper.  When the end of the day came Mrs Frog slipped back into the pond and Mr Toad walked off slowly back to his log.

“Same time tomorrow?” shouted Mrs Frog as she watched him walking away slowly, her heart racing just a little faster.

“Oh no I cannot” replied Mr Toad, “Tomorrow I have promised Mrs Toad that I will remain home and tend to the young toads, and I do not think she will approve.”

Mrs Frog’s heart sank.

Toad spoke once more, but Mrs Frog had disappeared below the surface of the pond and did not hear him.

“Unless of course I could perhaps pop around once they are all asleep?” he shouted.


Want more stuff?  I have plenty of stuff.

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Not a piece about Dr Who – Honest – Sunday Photo Fiction.

Mouse and Sparrow


Photo courtesy of Josch13@pixabay

Farmer and Dog

A heavy farmhouse door opened and farmer, the girl with the fat bottom and dog stepped out into the crisp morning air.

Dawn scratched at the edges of night across the far off hill tops setting the darkness on fire.  A heavy farmhouse door opened and farmer, the girl with the fat bottom and dog stepped out into the crisp morning air.  A light blanket of snow had fallen and it crunched beneath their feet as they walked.

He did not much care for the fat bottomed girl, she was prone top anger and tantrums and never gave him scraps from the table.  He did love the snow though and leapt to catch a flake as it drifted through the still air.

Farmer laughed heartily.  “Looks like a lovely day girl” Said Farmer to dog ,ruffling the hair on her head as she trotted along side him.  He was a broad shouldered ruddy faced man with large hands, a round tummy and a thick shock of red hair atop his head.

The girl with the fat bottom complained bitterly about being out of bed so very early.  “Why do I need to do this” she complained as they crunched through the snow.  “I fetch the eggs each morning and help with the milking, can someone else not do it?  It is so very cold.”

“Hush Ruby” said the farmer looking sternly at her “He’s your horse, you need to do this thank you very much”.  The fat bottomed girl did not respond, but dog knew too well to stay out of her way.

“A good Morning to you” said Dog to the cows as the passed the shed.

“A good morning to you dog” the cows answered in unison, tails swishing “we are quite ready to be milked.”

But they weren’t heading out to milk, so dog trotted on, bristling around the farmers legs excitedly.  He did so enjoy being up and about so early in the morning.

As they continued they passed the chicken hutch.  “Good morning dog” said hen, pecking and scratching in the dirt between the small collections of snow.  “have you brought us our breakfast?”

They had not, and dog greeted Hen and trotted on alongside the farmer.

“We’re okay for now girls” Dog heard hen call out as they crossed to the far side of the farm yard.

Farmer and the fat bottomed girl approached the fence and farmer reached into his pocket and pulled out an apple.  With an outstretched arm he offered it up to horse as he wandered across.

“Morning horse” said dog excitedly “lovely day isn’t it”

Horse paused before he answered.  “Do you know what the fat bottomed girl has been doing to the chickens?” horse asked slowly as he ambled across.

“I do not” said dog feeling confused.

“Hmm” replied horse gobbling up the apple, “not good” he munched, “not good at all.”

The farmer opened the gate and the fat bottom girl walked inside.  “Now don’t take too long” he said to her pulling his coat tight around himself to keep out the chill.  “Bring her up to the house and we will get her ready, the farrier will be here in a short while. ”

“What did she do?” Dog asked as the farmer opened the gate wider.

Horse did not answer…

Want to know what happens next?  I wrote the piece below a while back, thought it might fit nicely and create a more complete story line.

One Word Photo Challenge: Horse

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Photo courtesy of eskimokettu @ pixabay


Faeries: The long winter

Kostromo stirred beneath the cold earth, it’s weight heavy on her chest and her bones gripped by the icy fingers of winter.  

I’m mostly just exploring an idea here but thought I would share it.  I found a quite fabulous photograph and wondered what I might make of it.  I haven’t planned this out particularly – maybe I should – but I wanted to just see what might come of it if I just sat down and started to write.  If I can get this thought out then perhaps I can take it from there…


Kostromo stirred beneath the cold earth, it’s weight heavy on her chest and her bones gripped by the icy fingers of winter.  Opening her eyes slowly she could see only darkness and the crisp smell of winter filled her nostrils as she stirred and struggled beneath the rich dark soil.

Everything felt wrong, surely it was too early to be awake if the ground remained cold.

Her breathing quickened as she pushed to free herself, heart pounding and fingers clawing instinctively.   The earth relented unwillingly and she stretched out an arm and felt a thick tree root between her fingers.  It was oak, old oak, and she could feel so many summers coursing through it but yet it slept, silent and cold.

With all of her will she strained, but with so little strength she could not free herself from the darkness.  She called out to the oak, confused and desperate.

“Oak, awake from your slumber”

She felt him stir, but he did not reply.

She gripped the root more tightly “Old oak, hear me” she continued “hear my voice and shed your icy slumber.”

Oak stirred again, and she could suddenly feel his life in the earth all around her and it felt good.  She felt more alive, less cold.

“Who calls to me?” Oak said slowly, his voice deep and rich “who wakes me from my sleep?”

“Do you no longer know my voice old friend, have you slept so deeply?” she replied.

“Friend?” Oak said, recognising her voice  “we no longer call you friend Kostromo, it is too many years since we trees have felt your touch.”

Kostromo gripped his root tightly, and she could sense a deep pain.  “I do not understand dear friend” she replied “It is still winter, it is my time to sleep.”

“For a season only Kostromo ” he responded angrily, “for a season only you were supposed to sleep but you did not return to us, and the wood has long suffered under the spell of too many winters.”

She was confused but continued.  “My friend, I am so sorry” she said “I do not know why I have slept so long, but I am awake now, I have returned to you.”

Oak paused before responding, the anger now gone from his voice leaving only sadness.

“For many it is too late faerie, many of our kind who once inhabited this wood have passed into nothing so long have they slept.  Birch and Beech and Sycamore have long returned to the earth in which you now lie.”

As they continued to talk Kostromo felt Oak’s life force flowing through her, warming her and giving her strength.

“I need you to help free me Oak” she said “I am no use trapped in the earth, will you not help me?”

“Because we were once friends I will help you” he said, his giant roots beginning to move ever so slowly shifting and loosening the cold earth around her.  With a snap and crack of ice they wrapped around her and began slowly pulling her upwards.  Slivers of light began to appear around her as she neared the surface, the weight on her chest now gone.

Oak heaved her from the ground and lay her gently on the cold snow in front of him.  She could feel the sharp cold on her skin, and opened her eyes slowly, squinting as they grew accustomed to the light.

“Indeed it is you” Oak said, his tone now warm and soft “it has been too long old friend, too long indeed.”

Want other different stuff?

something terrible happens in this one

In this one there is a girl in the rain

and this might make you laugh but maybe you wont admit it

oh and this one i am rather proud of



Sparrow and Snake #writephoto

Drawn to Sparrow’s not too distant chirps, snake slithered from his hole under the old oak, the summer sun warm on his scales.

Drawn to Sparrow’s not too distant chirps, snake slithered from his hole under the old oak, the summer sun warm on his scales.  “Sounds like trouble” he hissed to himself as he made his way through the meadow, the scent of wild flowers thick in the air.  “I do so enjoy the sound of distress.”

Through the long grass he wound his way alongside a trickling brook to a small thicket of trees where he came upon sparrow, sat on the ground at the foot of a broad, gnarled sycamore.   “Help me! Help Me!” she chirped.

“Oh sparrow” said snake, his little pink tongue flicking out as he spoke “whatever could be wrong that you would cause such a commotion?”

“It’s my egg” Sparrow said, most upset.  “It’s fallen out of the nest.”

Snake slithered a little closer “An egg you say?”  Snake did enjoy a good egg, they were quite delicious and sparrow eggs were a particular favourite of his.  “May I see your egg, sparrow?” He asked, moving closer still.

Sparrow did not trust snake one bit, and she most certainly did not like the sparkle his eyes as he approached her, his head swaying slowly from side to side.  “HELP” chirped sparrow loudly, spreading her wings over her egg “HELP, HELP!”

“Oh sparrow” said snake, his coils beginning to draw a circle around sparrow as she protected her egg, “you really should not fuss so, I only want a little peek.”

Sparrow reared up, wings flapping frantically. “No!” she chirped loudly, “Leave my egg alone you horrid snake.”

Snake eyed the small blue and brown speckled egg “Oh sparrow” he smiled hungrily “this is no time for name calling, I only want to take a little look.”

“You will eat it snake” sparrow replied “you’re a snake, and snakes eat eggs.  Every animal knows that.”

Snake inched closer and closer still.  “Dear sparrow, if that is my nature then surely you cannot blame me for wanting just a little look ” he replied.

Snake’s coils now completely encircled sparrow, and high up in the branches of the sycamore a chorus of frantic other chirps and cheeps joined those of sparrow.

“I ask only for a little look” Snake hissed and lunched forwards.  Sparrow Flapped frantically “Flee snake flee” she shouted “leave my egg be!”

Snake was now so close to sparrow’s egg she could almost taste it.  He lunged again with a hiss, tongue flicking out.  Sparrow flapped to avoid snake’s hungry mouth leaving the egg in full view of snake.

Snake was about to wrap his coils around the egg when there was a mighty rush of wind and a beating of wings, and in an instant large talons swept down and whisked him clean off the ground and into the air.  The birds in the trees chirped even more loudly.

Sparrow looked skywards as she settled back on the ground next to her egg to see the large silhouette of owl already disappearing into the distance with snake clutched firmly between her talons.

The birds in the sycamore chirped with delight.  “It’s Owl” they cried, “Owl has saved the day!”

A calm descended, sparrow remained with her egg and eventually owl returned, gliding silently through the green canopy of the wood and settling next to sparrow on the ground.

“Oh thank you owl!” said Sparrow gratefully, “whatever would I have done had you not rescued my egg.”

Owl blinked slowly, and quite gently picked up the egg.

“It is my pleasure” she said “but you really need to be more careful with your eggs.”

“I will owl, surely I will ” sparrow replied.

“Jolly good, jolly good” Owl continued, “now let’s get this egg back in your nest shall we, all this fuss does make one ever so tired and I would rather like to take a nap.”

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Badger and Fox

Mouse and Sparrow


Written in response to Sue Vincent’s write photo challenge





Photo courtesy of winterseitler @ pixabay


Badger and Fox

Badger appeared slowly from his set.  Sniffing the fresh morning air he had a rather pleasant and leisurely scratch and considered the day ahead.

In response to the daily prompt word:Amble

Badger appeared slowly from his set.  Sniffing the fresh morning air he had a rather pleasant and leisurely scratch and considered the day ahead.

“Worms might be a good start to the day” he mumbled to himself  “or maybe some bugs” he continued “i do rather like bugs.”

As badger decided on whether it would be juicy worms or crunchy bugs there came a familiar voice from the nearby bushes.  “Are you taking to yourself again my old friend?”

Badger knew that voice only too well.   It was fox, and if fox was about this early it could only mean trouble.

“What do you want fox?” Badger asked impatiently, his black and white stripes bristling.  “I was just going to go and have some breakfast.”

“Oh my good badger, no need for such grumpiness” said fox grinning, “it is such a lovely day and that is no way to greet an old friend.”

Badger gave a low growl.  “You are no friend of mine Fox” he said rearign up to his full height “either speak your mind or hold your tongue for I am hungry and wish to have my breakfast.”

Badger had long claws and a short temper when he was hungry, and fox knew too well what happened when you crossed a hungry badger.

“i have a proposition for you” Fox said smiling, “and it is one that you surely will enjoy”

“And what exactly might that be” Badger asked.

“Well you see” Fox continued “I know a place where you will find the juiciest worms.”

“Hmm” said badger.  “i do rather like worms.”

Smiling, Fox continued “all I ask is that you do a little digging for me, and in return you will have the most plump and juicy worms.”

Badger thought for a while.  He did enjoy digging, and he especially enjoyed plump and juicy worms.  “is it far?” he asked.

“Oh no no” Fox replied.  “Not far at all. In fact it is just over the brow of the hill and beyond the large oak tree.”

“That is not far at all” Badger replied.  “And I am yet to have my breakfast.”

“Perfect, just perfect” exclaimed Fox his bushy red tail swishing.  “How about we set off now then?”

With tummy grumbling badger followed Fox up the hill through the long green grass and over the brow and further on past he old oak tree.

After a short while the pair reached a small mound between two great sycamore trees which was covered in meadow flowers.  “Now Badger” Fox said, his eyed wide, If you would just be so kind as to dig through this mound here you will not only be doing me a huge favour but I believe that you will find some of the most plump and juicy worms in the wood.”

“I will?” Badger asked warily “And how do I know you aren’t lying Fox?”

“Oh my good fellow” Fox replied “I have it on very good authority I assure you.”

Badger’s tummy rumbled. “And why exactly am I digging?” he asked.

“It’s a new den for my family” Fox replied “but I have an ache in my paw and find it very hard to dig you see.”

It sounded reasonable badger thought, and with his tummy rumbling he began to dig.

Now badgers are very good at digging, much better than foxes – especially foxes with achy paws and it was not long until Badger had managed to uncover rather a lot of juicy worms, just as fox had promised.  As he chewed a particularly fat and juicy worm he asked fox “is this deep enough?”

“Just a little more” Fox replied.

Badger ate a little more and then dug a little more.  “How about now?”

“Just a little more still ” Fox replied.

“This is rather deep for a fox den” badger remarked slurping up an especially long and wriggly worm.

“it will keep us warm in the winter” Fox replied, his tail swishing back and forth in the morning sun. “okay, stop!” he shouted excitedly “That is just perfect.”

Nibbling on more worms in the freshly dug soil Badger backed slowly out of the hole.

“Splendid job, quite splendid” Fox exclaimed.  “i could surely never have dug so deep.”

“Is that it then?” Badger asked.  “All finished?”

“Oh indeed yes” Fox replied smiling.  “I can do the last bit of digging myself”

Badger turned and began to wander off.  “Thanks for the worms Fox” he shouted back.

Fox didn’t reply, he had already headed down his freshly dug hole and Badger could hear him digging furiously.

Badger ambled slowly back in the direction of the old oak tree, the warm sun spilling through the canopy of the wood in warm pools.

“Good morning Rabbit” said Badger as rabbit raound the old gnarled tree.”

“Goood day Badger” she said hurriedly “Cant stop, can’t stop for I have left my babies alone in the between the two great sycamores!”


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Photo courtesy of tpsdave@pixabay