Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Put pen to paper...

A magic urchin, an Easter egg, a whale, a robot, red flowers, penguins, new born kittens, a rocket and a 1p coin... 

Last year my kids decided to set me some homework over the Easter holiday (to pay me back for nagging them about theirs).  They told me I had to write a story including a magic door, an Easter egg, a donkey, new born puppies, magic flowers, bunnies, a troll, a large hat, a 1p coin (to be handed in Easter Sunday morning when they brought me a cup of tea in bed). 

I actually had great fun and you can read my effort below.  So Beth and I have decided that we’ll throw out the same challenge as an Easter Competition, with the best stories winning a £50 voucher to spend on our website.  We’ll have a prize for adults/older children and a prize for kids under 11.  And you’ll be published on the redurchin Facebook site and blog.  Include all the elements in red above in your story of no more than 650 words, and send it to us @ info@redurchin.co.uk by midnight on Easter Monday.  We’ll announce winners by Friday 5th April.  Happy writing!  

The Tearful Troll 

It had been a terrible winter.  The troll crouched under his bridge, crying and sheltering from the rain.  All he wanted was a good hot meal.  He had a little cooking stove, but he hadn’t found anything decent to put into his pot since he’d managed to grab that family of goats last year.  He couldn’t, for the life of him, imagine why they thought they were safe once they reached the sweet grass of the field on the other side of his bridge.  Trolls do have legs you know and they can see pretty well in the dark.  Mmmm, that had been a good meal, a meal to remember.  Since then he’d had a few bunnies but that was it.

This weekend was Easter, but the rain just kept coming and there was no sign of Spring.  Spring meant lots of daytrippers crossing the bridge.  Rain meant no-one.  Last week there had been nothing but a stubborn old donkey.  He had hardly any flesh on his bones and the troll could tell just by looking that he’d taste as tough as old boots.  So he’d let him go on his way.  With his tummy cramped with hunger today, he was regretting that decision.

In desperation, he decided to go up onto the bridge and see if he could spy anything or anyone coming.  He turned slowly, scanning the surrounding countryside, but it was deserted.  His head dropped sadly as he started bawling like a baby.  Yet suddenly he stopped and bent down and picked up.... a 1p coin.
“My luck has changed.  My luck has definitely changed,” he said, bouncing it in his hairy palm. 

Two days later, he really thought it had.  He went up on the bridge as soon as he woke and what did he see?  He couldn’t believe his luck.  Someone had left a large hatful of newborn puppies there.  They looked up at him with large doleful eyes.  He picked up the hat and whispered
“Come on boys and girls, you come downstairs with me and wait while I make some stock and fry a few onions.” 

He whistled happily while he worked, making a lovely base for his ‘pupperole’.  The puppies had not known their mother because she’d been a farm dog and died giving birth.  The farmer’s son had been told to drown the puppies but he hadn’t had the heart to do it and had left them on the bridge, hoping some kindly person would take them home.  So the troll was the first person they’d known for any length of time and they started to treat him like their mother, nuzzling up to his legs and elbows and making the cutest little sounds while he prepared the sauce to cook them in.  After fifteen minutes of this, even his hard old heart began to soften.  He’d never had company beneath that cold, stony, lonely bridge and now the thought of letting it go made him feel bereft.  But he was ravenous!  He yelled out in anguish, then swept up the puppies into his arms... and cuddled them, burying his tearful face in their soft skin and fur (for he was a bit of crybaby, as you’ll have guessed by now).

The important thing is that he decided to save the puppies and took them to live with him under the bridge.  The famer’s son popped back that evening and seeing them all playing and laughing and woofing happily, ran home and collected a giant Easter egg his grandma had given him and left it on the bridge for the troll; who found it and together with the puppies, scoffed the lot whilst reading a bedtime story about a magic door and flowers.  A happy end to a happy day! 


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