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The next few days were a strain!
They were a strain for Harold who had to try and teach Teana Fairy Queen things!
They were a strain for Teana who didn’t want to learn Fairy Queen things !
They were a strain for all the Chamberflowers and Bejanx, the house pixie (Who had
stopped being a pond almost as soon as he had returned to earth!), because of the awful
moods that both Harold and Teana always seemed to be in!
‘Repeat after me’ said Harold pointing to one of the questions he had written on the
castle’s schoolroom blackboard
‘To cure a bat of mouldy wing disease, you need an acorn, a twig and the yellow hairs
from a bumble bees tummy’
‘To cure a rat of hairy knee disease, you feed a fig to a mellow bear’s chummy!’
Said Teana, who wasn’t really paying attention!
‘No,no,no,no,no!’ Harold was not enjoying this! ‘It’s a bat, a bat!’
‘To cure a bat of hairy knee disease…’ Teana tried again
‘Mouldy wing, mouldy wing!’ Interrupted Harold
‘No need to be rude blue face!’ Said Teana
‘Oh this is impossible!’ Said Harold stomping back to his desk.Taking a deep breath he
opened the desk lid and took out a big brown book.
‘Let’s leave ‘Potions to aid the ailing’ for today and see what you have remembered
about ‘Pixies, the patter of little feet!’
Teana wasn’t listening! She was looking out of the window. Bejanx was doing something
in the garden! But what!
First, he clapped his hands and held them up in the air, after a moment some sort of
white foam began oozing out of his fingertips. The ooze became a flow and the flow
became a spray! With this white foam shooting out of his fingers, he had walked about
the garden until, eventually, the whole lawn looked like it had been covered by some sort
of woolly white blanket.
Then he got down on his hand and knees and started moving very slowly forwards and
sweeping his hands from side to side as he went!
‘Are you listening Ma’am? Asked Harold, already knowing the answer!
‘What is Bejanx doing?’ Asked Teana
‘I beg your pardon?’ Harold was confused
‘In the garden.’ Said Teana, pointing out the window ‘What is Bejanx doing in the
‘Really Madam’ scolded Harold as he walked over to the window ‘You should be
concentrating on your lessons!’ He looked out of the window
‘Yes? So? What seems to be the problem? Bejanx is getting on with his work!
Which is more than can be said for you!’ Harold started back towards his desk
‘Yes, but what is he actually doing?’ Asked Teana
‘What does it look like he’s doing?’ Asked Harold
‘I really don’t know.’ Said Teana puzzled
‘He’s shaving the lawn, of course!’ Harold had picked up the big brown book again
‘Shaving the lawn?’ Teana asked
‘Of course, how else are we supposed to keep it looking nice?’ Asked Harold reasonably
‘A lawn mower?’ Suggested Teana
‘Ma’am?’ inquired Harold
‘It’s a machine that…..’
‘ Shhhhh!’ Harold had dropped the book and put his finger to his lips
‘We never use that word in Fairyland!’
‘What, machine?’ Asked Teana
‘Madam, Pleease!’ Begged Harold ‘That really is just about the worst word you could
ever say here!’
‘What! Worse than Horrible!’
‘Much worse!’ Agreed Harold
‘Or ‘Wicked’?’ Asked Teana
‘Much, much worse’ Confirmed Harold
‘Or..’ Teana tried to think of a really bad word
‘Or anything Ma’am’ Interrupted Harold quickly ‘There are no machines’ (He whispered
the word) in Fairyland, and we do not, ever, use the word!’ After saying which he picked
up the big brown book again.
‘Now if we may return to our lesson..? Errhhem Pixies, although short in stature can be
big in heart and, although often naughty, they….’
‘What exactly is Bejanx?’ Asked Teana
‘Madam! Please! How are you ever going to learn anything if you keep constantly
interrupting!’ Whined Harold
‘I thought this lesson was about pixies!’ Argued Teana
‘And so it is… If I’m ever allowed to start it!’ Said Harold
‘ Well didn’t you tell me that Bejanx was my house pixie?’ Asked Teana reasonably.
‘Yes, but…’ Harold tried to continue
‘ Then why did the Chamberflowers tell me that he wasn’t a real pixie at all?’ Finished
‘Ah’ Said Harold
‘Mmm?’ Asked Teana
‘Pesky flowers’ said Harold ‘ Always gossiping! Never could keep a secret!’
‘Oooh’ Said Teana, clapping her hands, gleefully ‘Is it a secret? I love secrets!’
‘ Yes it is a secret Madam’ confirmed Harold ‘And I shall be giving those
chamberflowers a severe talking to!’
‘But if he’s not a pixie what is he?’ Teana was squirming with curiosity!
‘Bejanx, Madam, is a troll!’
‘A troll!’ squealed Teana
‘Hush madam!’ Said Harold rushing over to the window ‘He mustn’t hear any of this!’
You see he doesn’t know he’s a troll!’
looking out Harold could see Bejanx was still happily shaving the lawn.
‘A troll?’ continued Teana in a quieter voice ‘ That sounds horrible..
‘Language, Madam Please!’ Scolded Harold ‘Remember you are now a Fairy Queen!’
‘Yeah, yeah, Tell me about Bejanx!’
‘Very well!’ Sighed Harold ‘As Fairy Queen of Bigfieldandsnowdropwoodshire, I
suppose you do have the right to know about your subjects!’
‘You’re darn tootin’ I do!’ Said Teana in an awful American accent!
‘I really don’t want to know what that means!’ Said Harold and went on to tell Teana
Bejanx’s story ;
‘Trolls are not greatly loved creatures! . This is because they tend to be ugly, live in damp
smelly caves and they like to eat things that are still breathing…’
‘Yeucchh!’ Said Teana
‘..but then we all have our faults.’ Continued Harold giving Teana an odd look! ‘
The most terrifying Troll couple anyone in Fairyland can remember, were called
Swancrusher and Dovethrottler! They were huge, cruel and ugly and
They lived in a nasty, smelly cave, high up in Blackslime Mountain, only coming
down at night to feed on … well anything that was breathing!
Now the people who lived in the village at the bottom of the mountain got pretty fed up
with losing all their breathing things and so they complained to Big Queen Bethany… ‘
‘Oooo’ ‘Said Teana ‘Is that the same queen Bethany….??’
‘Who took away your wand and told you that you had to listen to me and not interrupt!’
Yes your majesty!’ answered Harold
‘Alright. Keep your knickers on! I was only asking.’ Said Teana rudely
‘…And she never said nothing about not interrupting!’
‘Do you, Ma’am, or do you not, want to hear Bejanx’s story?’ Asked Harold
‘Yes, but…’ Teana tried to interrupt again
‘Then…’ Said Harold, loudly ‘To use one of your own expressions; ‘Button it!’
Teana sat in shocked silence!
‘To continue then!’ Said Harold, smugly, ‘Queen Bethany suggested that the villagers
set a trap for the two hungry trolls, which they agreed to do! One night, Swancrusher and
Dovethrottler came down the mountain as usual to feed. Imagine their surprise when they
found two fat cows tied to a stake in the middle of an empty field.
‘Luvverrly, fresh, breathing, full of blood, gutsy and crunchy bones!’ Said Swancrusher
‘Hang on a minute, how do you know what he said?’ Asked Teana
‘Because its written down in the Shire History book!’ replied Harold pompously
(Actually, I’m not sure it is but Harold has always liked telling this story and speaking
like a troll is his favourite bit!)
‘..and anyway Swancrusher was a she not a he!’ He continued as if Teana should have
been able to tell from her ladylike name!
‘The two trolls lumbered over to the poor cows and took out their knives and forks..’
‘Knives and forks?’ Asked Teana
‘And how else were they going to eat the cows?’ Asked Harold, who really needed to get
‘Just as the two trolls were about to do something horrible to the cows, all the villagers;
who had been hiding behind the hedge that circled the field, rushed out and threw a big
net over the trolls’
‘How dare you?’ Slobbered Swancrusher
‘Do you know who we are?’ Spat Dovecrusher
‘Do you think a net can hold the two most powerful Trolls ever to live in Fairyland!’
(Harold wasn’t sure who said that but one of them definitely did!)
‘No, we’s don’t!’ Answered the mayor of the village
Suddenly (Well it most definitely was time for one!) there was a flash of green smoke
and Queen Bethany appeared..
‘But she can! finished the mayor’
‘It was pink smoke when she came here!’ Teana pointed out
‘ Big Queen Bethany can appear in a flash of whatever colour smoke she desires!’
snapped Harold, annoyed at being interrupted yet again!
‘Now then you two’ Said Queen Bethany as the green smoke cleared, ‘we are not at all
impressed with all this eating of breathing things you have been doing!’
‘Go boil your head!’ Said Dovethrottler rudely’
Harold paused as a thought suddenly struck him. ‘ Er Madam ? He asked Teana
‘Mmm?’ She replied
‘There have never been any trolls in your family have there?
‘Course not, stupid!’ Chuckled Teana ‘Why do you ask?’
‘Oh no reason!’ Harold wasn’t convinced, but continued his tale
‘Yeah go boil your head, Uglywings!’ added Swancrusher
Queen Bethany folded her beautiful wings behind her back and addressed the trolls in a
‘I was hoping that you might be willing to reason…!’
‘Stuff yer reason up your wand!’ sneered Dovethrottler and Swancrusher sniggered.
‘…But I see that that was a forlorn hope!’ Continued Bethany
‘Very Well!’ ‘For the crime of eating these good people’s breathing things…’ She
indicated the villagers around them!’ ‘I sentence you to…
‘Throw the book at em!’ Said the mayor
‘Yeah Stinky breathed monsters!’ Said a little village boy, running up and blowing a
raspberry at the netted trolls!’
‘Now, now!’ Scolded the Queen, ‘There’s no excuse for rudeness’
‘Yeah yer little squirt!’ Said Dovethrottler suddenly ripping the thick netting off his body
as if it were cotton threads and advancing on the unfortunate boy!’
The rest of the villagers ran back in horror, but the little boy seemed to be fixed to the
‘Oooh My favourite’ Agreed Swancrusher who had also broken free of the net.
‘Little breathing things!’ Always so sweet!’ She grabbed the boy’s shoulder with one
sharpely taloned hand and opened her mouth to reveal row upon row of enormous, blood
stained spiky teeth.
‘Enough!’ Said Bethany, lifting her wand, ‘Let the boy go or it’ll go badly for you!’
‘I’m not afraid of you! yer pink frocked freak, Said Dovethrottler advancing on Bethany
‘In fact, big as you are, you should make a right good slap up meal!’
The litt;e boy screamed as Swancrusher brought her slobbering open mouth closer and
closer to his neck.
‘Begone!’ Cried Bethany and, with a single wave of her wand, they were, both of them,
Swancrusher and Dovethrottler, gone!’
‘ Where did she send them?’ Asked Teana
‘ Where all creatures who have outlived their welcome in Fairyland, are sent!’ Answered
‘Which is?’ Insisted Teana
Harold ‘Which, Ma’am is a place we try not to mention!’
‘I’m not surprised!’ Said Teana ‘ But where does Bejanx fit in to all this?’
‘Patience, Madam ‘ Scolded Harold ‘I’m just getting to that bit! After the villagers had
calmed the frightened little boy, and after they had thanked Bethany and waved good bye
as she disappeared in a cloud of brown smoke..’ Teana was pretty sure that Harold had
made the brown smoke up, but she was to interested in the story to query it!
‘The villagers decided to go up to the troll’s cave!’
‘Why?’ Asked Teana
‘ Because everybody knows that, as well as eating breathing things, Trolls like to collect
shiny things and they usually hide them in their caves!’ Explained Harold
‘So all the villagers set off up the mountain!’
‘Why did they all go?’ Asked Teana
‘Because…’ Sighed Harold realising that there was no way he was going to be able to
finish the story without interruptions. ‘…if there was any treasure to be had, all the
villagers wanted a share. There was, also, a good chance that Dovethrottler and
Swancrusher might have neighbours and none of the villagers were prepared to meet a
‘I can relate to that!’ Agreed Teana
‘It was a long, hard climb up Blackslime mountain but, eventually, just before the
absolute top tip of the mountain, the villagers came upon the opening to the troll’s cave.
There was a horrible stale smell wafting out of the entrance and the floor was covered in
a furry green slime, a sort of smelly carpet!
Now that they had actually arrived, none of the villagers seemed all that keen to enter the
‘Well this is ridiculous!’ Said the Mayor. ‘ We have climbed all the way up this mountain
and now not one of you is prepared to go in!’
‘Well why don’t you volunteer’ Said a voice from the crowd
‘Yeah’ Agreed another ‘You’re the mayor!’
‘Well..er .. I would, of course,’ blustered the mayor, but as you all know, my eyesight
isn’t what it was..and my bad leg is playing up’ he took one limping step to demonstrate.
‘Oh yeah that ‘d be right!’ muttered a voice from the crowd
‘No. What we need is a brave young man! Now who’d like to volunteer’ Insisted the
For what seemed like hours, but was probably only minutes, the only sound to be heard’
was the cold wind howling about their shoulders and turning their noses blue!
‘Oh good grief, I’ll go’ A teenaged boy, pushed his way to the front of the crowd
A great sigh of relief rose from the other villagers!
‘Bob Sickle, isn’t it?’ Asked the mayor
‘Aye it is!’ ‘Replied the boy ‘ but if I stay up here much longer it’ll be Ice Sickle! I don’t
know about the rest of you but I’m freezing!’
Several villagers agreed that they were indeed feeling a slight chill!.
‘Right then!’ continued Bob ‘Let’s get it over with’ after which he strode into the smelly
black hole that was the cave entrance!
Almost immediately, the cave entrance narrowed to a tunnel just wide enough to allow
two big trolls to drag some poor, screaming, breathing thing through it!
Then the tunnel took a sharp turn to the right. As soon as Bob turned the corner the
starlight, flooding in through the cave entrance, was cut off, and he was plunged into total
darkness. Bob wanted to turn right round and get out of there, but he knew that
someone had to explore the cave. Besides, he’d had enough of standing around on cold
He inched slowly forward trying not to touch the slimy walls. Every now and then,
some horrible, hairy creature with far too many legs, would run across his hands or face
and Bob would have to try really hard not to scream. The tunnel turned another corner,
Bob discovered this when he walked, nose first, into a rock wall. Rubbing his bruised
nose, he followed the tunnel around this new corner. Suddenly the smell, which had been
pretty disgusting ever since he had stepped into the cave, became much, much worse!
Imagine the smell of a boatful of smelly fish left on the harbour wall in the hot sun for
three days. Add a touch of thrice boiled cabbage and mix in the smell of fresh dog pooh.
Stir well and add a couple of drops of the black stuff you find between your toes after a
long hot walk! Can you imagine that smell? Well the smell in the cave would
make that smell smell like air freshener!
‘Oh yeucch!’ Said Bob holding his nose, ‘That stinks!’
His feet, which until now had been squelching on the green slime carpet, now began to
make a dry crunching sound. Exactly the sort of sound, thought Bob, that walking on old
dry bones would make!
‘Bob…Bob… Have you found anything?’ The mayor’s voice seemed to be coming from
a long way away!
‘Not yet!’ Shouted back Bob, who was very frightened when ‘NOT YET NOT
YET NOT YET NOT YET NOT YET NOT YET NOT YET’ seemed to bellow back at him. The
echo seemed to be coming from every direction, and Bob dropped to his knees and
covered his ears with his hands until the sound faded away! He might have remained
kneeling for a lot longer if something long and slimy hadn’t moved beneath his right
knee. This made him stand up very quickly!
‘Is there any gold in there?’ came the mayor’s voice
‘There is no way’ said Bob, quietly to himself, not caring to hear the echo again, ‘that I
am going to search for gold on my hands and knees in this smelly black boneyard!’
Having made up his mind to leave the cave, he was just about to retrace his steps to the
cave’s entrance when he heard a strange noise!’
There are many noises that can be heard in a dark cave; You might hear the high pitched
squeaking of a bat, just before it gets caught up in your hair; You might hear the hiss of a
very poisonous snake about to chew on your big toe; You might even hear a big yawn
from the hibernating bear you have just woken up by standing on his paw: or even the
growl of a hungry mountain lion just before you joined him for dinner; but this noise was
stranger than any of these!
The one noise you do not expect to hear in a dark, smelly cave at the top of a steep cold
A baby crying!
‘WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH’ Yelled the baby
‘It can’t be!’ Said Bob
WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH’ Yelled the baby
‘But I think it is! Said Bob
‘WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!’ Insisted the baby
Following the sound of the baby’s cries, Bob slowly crunched his way further into the
pitch dark. Louder and louder came the baby’s wailing until…
‘Owwwww!’ yelped Bob as his toe struck something solid.
‘Ooooof!’ Ooofed Bob as, lifting his injured foot, he lost his balance and fell on his
bottom onto a hard rock floor
‘Ouch!’ said Bob rubbing his sore bottom ‘What happened to the old bones?’
‘Chuckleyyucklyyuckerly’ Giggled the baby’s voice
‘Oh aye,’ agreed Bob ‘ Poor old Bob Sickle breaking his foot and bashing his bum, that
would make you laugh wouldn’t it? Now where are you?’ Feeling gingerly ahead of him
for the obstacle on which he had stubbed his toe Bobs hands felt wood! A box of some
sort. Bob walked his hand up it. The box was about two foot tall and on top of it was
something soft and warm and…..
‘Yeeoowwwww!’ Screamed Bob as the soft, warm, thing bit firmly into his thumb
‘Yuk, yuk,yuk , Chuckled the Baby
‘Oi you!’ complained Bob sucking his injured finger ‘
Taking off his jacket, he somehow, blindly, managed to swaddle the baby in it. Then he
carefully picked it up making sure that his fingers came nowhere near it’s mouth!
‘Right, yer little savage, lets get you out of here!’ Said Bob to the unseen little face’ Just
let’s check that you ain’t got a bottle nor nothing around anywhere’
Holding the baby with one hand against his shoulder Bob reached
down to feel around the top of the wooden box that had been it’s bed.
‘Hello, hello, what have we got here then?’ Bob smiled ‘This might not turn out to be
such a bad day after all!’
Back at the cave’s entrance the villagers, already cold, were getting grumpy!
‘He’s been gone for ages!’ Said one
‘I ain’t had my tea!’ said another
‘Go an see where he is!’ said a third, Clancy Forbright, addressing the mayor
‘Now, now, let’s not panic!’ Replied the mayor ‘It’s not that long since he shouted that he
hadn’t found anything. Give the boy a chance!’
‘Be quicker if you helped him!’ insisted Clancy, who, incidentally, had been beaten in the
mayorial election by one vote.
If I was mayor.. That’s what I would do!’ He told the rest of the villagers
‘Mayor should go orn in!’
‘Boy’s not that big, might need help!’
‘I want my tea!’
Agreed the villagers
‘Oh all right!’ said the mayor, glaring at Clancy ‘I’ll go and help him!’
He turned and with an exaggerated limp, made his way to the cave entrance. Before he
could enter, however, Bob emerged, carrying something wrapped in his jacket on one
shoulder and dragging what looked like a chest behind him!
‘Ah Bob!’ Said the mayor, happily ‘I was just on my way in to assist you!’
‘What have you got there my boy?’
‘It’s a treasure chest!’ Said Bob
‘A..’ Said the mayor, quietly
‘Treasure..’ Whispered a villager
‘Chest…’ murmured another
‘Would there be..?’ Asked Clancy
‘Any Treasure?’ Asked the mayor
‘In it?’ Asked everyone!
‘Oh Yes!’ Said Bob ‘It’s absolutely full of Troll treasure
‘Full!’ exclaimed the mayor
‘To bursting!’ Said Bob
‘It’s all ours!’ Shouted a villager
‘Hurrah!’ Cheered the rest
‘It’s not!’ shouted Bob
‘It isn’t?’ Asked the villagers, suddenly quiet!
‘No!’ said Bob ‘It’s not ours… It’s mine!
‘Now Bob,’ Said the mayor ‘We all agreed…!’
‘No!’ said Bob ‘You all agreed to share any treasure found in the trolls cave, but none of
you was willing to go in the cave to get it! I went in! So I think I deserve to keep
whatever I found!’
‘But that’s not fair!’ Said a villager
‘We all came up here!’ Said another
‘And stood in the cold, Agreed another
‘And I didn’t have no tea!’ grumbled another
‘So you think I should share all this treasure that I risked my life to get, do you?’ Bob
asked the villagers.
‘Yes!’ Roared all the villagers
‘All right then, I ‘ll share my treasure with you on two conditions!’ Said Bob
‘Conditions?’ Asked the mayor worriedly
‘Firstly,’ said Bob, smiling at the mayor ‘You make me mayor…
‘We couldn’t possibly..’ blustered the mayor
‘Agreed!’ shouted the villagers
‘Agreed!’ Clancy Forbright sneered at the mayor
‘..For life!’ finished Bob
‘Impossible!’ Spluttered Clancy
‘Ridiculous!’ Humphed The mayor
‘Agreed!’ shouted the greedy villagers
‘Secondly,’ Said Bob, the whole village agrees to come up here, first thing tomorrow
morning, to help block up this cave so that trolls can never again move in and terrorise
There was a silence. This was a high mountain and bringing enough bricks and cement up
to permanently close the cave entrance would be very hard work. The villagers,
generally, were not too keen on hard work!
‘I could always keep all the trolls treasure for myself!’ suggested Bob
‘Agreed!’ muttered the villagers
‘Do you agree to my conditions on the crown of Big Queen Bethany?’ Shouted Bob. This
was a fearsome oath. Once sworn, no one would dare break such an oath
The villagers all huddled together, but, after a short argument, during which the mayor
and Clancy Forbight’ voices were clearly heard, they all stood before Bob
We agree to your conditions on the crown of Big Queen Bethany.
‘Very well!’ Said Bob ‘Take your treasure!’
‘The villagers rushed, en masse, up to the chest, pushing and shoving each other, in their
attempts to get at the wooden chest.
‘Hold on a minute…’
‘It looks like……….’
‘Milk bottle tops!’ Said Bob ‘Yes It’s absolutely full of milk bottle tops!’
‘But you said it was full of treasure?’ cried the ex-mayor
‘No!’ disagreed Bob ‘I said it was full of ‘troll’ treasure. You all know trolls like shiny
things! Well it seems that the only shiny things that Swancrusher and Dovethrottler liked,
were milk bottle tops!’
‘No gold!’ whined a villager
‘You tricked us!’ Accused Clancy
‘How?’ asked Bob ‘ You wanted to share the treasure. You agreed to my conditions and I
agreed to share my treasure!’
‘But it’s not gold!’ moaned a villager
‘I never said it was!’ explained Bob
‘Who ever said that treasure had to be gold ?’ He continued ‘To these trolls it was milk
‘I’m going to get my tea!’ Said a voice
The villagers, still grumbling, turned to begin the descent off the mountain
‘Don’t forget!’ shouted Bob, after them, ‘Everybody back up here first thing in the
morning to seal up the cave!’
The villagers gave Bob some pretty unpleasant looks but they knew he’d beaten them.
They would not go back on a Big Queen Bethany oath. Bob watched as they slowly
disappeared down the path. All that is, except the ex-mayor.
‘Now Bob?’ he said ‘You’ve had your little joke…. I’m sure you don’t really want to be
‘WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH’ The ex-mayor jumped back, as Bob’s rolled up jacket ,
‘What, in all that’s carried on a toad’s back, is that?’ he asked
‘That’ said Bob uncovering the baby’s head, to reveal a bright green little head ‘I
assume, is Swancrucher and Dovethrottler’s little baby boy!’
‘But… But… What are we going to do with a baby troll!’ Stuttered the ex-mayor
‘Well, I suppose he is part of the trolls treasure too… and seeing as how the whole village
is now sharing the treasure… I thought we could all help to look after the little chap!’
‘But?’ said the mayor
‘I thought I’d let them get over the disappointment of the rest of the treasure before I told
them!’ suggested Bob
‘I think that was a very good idea!’ agreed the ex- mayor
‘Yuckity chucklety!’ Added the baby
‘He is cute!’ said the ex-mayor tickling the baby’s nose ‘ Coochy coo!’
‘I wouldn’t do that’ warned Bob ‘ He…..’
‘Aiiiiyyyeeeeeee!’ Screamed the ex-mayor as the little baby troll sank his, perfectly
formed, spiky, little teeth deep into his finger.
‘…Bites!’ Said Bob.
‘But… ‘ Interrupted Teana, who hadn’t interrupted for absolutely ages,
‘How did he come to believe he is a pixie?’
‘Patience is a virtue Madam!’ Said Harold, wagging his finger pompously
‘A virtue, new Fairy Queens would be wise to aquire!’
‘Right! Good! I must be patient!’ Agreed Teana ‘Now tell me what happened to the
‘Perhaps some lunch first?’ Asked Harold
‘No! Finish the story now! Growled Teana, impatiently!
‘Very well Ma’am!’ Sighed Harold and continued;
The next morning, after the villagers had sealed up the entrance to the cave, Bob
introduced them to the little green baby!
Now although, as we have seen, the villagers were lazy.. and, it has to be said, a little bit
cowardly, they were kind people. They realized that it wasn’t the baby’s fault that his
parents were horrible smelly trolls! We don’t choose our parents, do we?
The villagers also felt a little guilty! If they hadn’t complained about Swancrusher and
Dovethrottler eating all their ‘breathing’ things, Queen Bethany wouldn’t have banished
them to Themouldydirtyslimyspiderwebbybitbehindthecookerthatisnevercleanedland!’
Now, the little green chap was, to all intents and purposes, an orphan!
The villagers decided to adopt him! They came up with what, they thought, was a very
good plan for looking after the baby;
Mr and Mrs Muckypond would have him first. They lived at number one, the High st.
(There wasn’t a Low street… In fact there weren’t any other streets at all, in the
village, which, just happened to be named.. ‘The Village!’) At the end of a month they
would go next door and give the baby to Mr and Mrs Oldpotatoes who lived at number
two, the High st. After a month, they, in turn, would hand him over to their neighbours
Mr and Mrs Scabbywart at number three, the High St and…So on!
A very sensible sytem, you may think!
Unfortunately the little green baby had other ideas!
On his second day with the Muckyponds, he ate their chickens! (This is how the village
discovered he could crawl) So the Muckyponds handed him over to the Oldpotatoes
The Oldpotatoes had only had him an hour, when all Mr Oldpotatoe’s tropical fish went
the same way as the Muckypond’s chickens! So they handed him over to the Scabbywarts
before the day was out!
The Scabbywarts had been very fond of their rabbits!
By the end of the first month the little troll had been in and out of every house in the
village and had eaten most of the villagers small animals! (A cow had disappeared but
nobody could work out how a one foot high baby could have eaten that!)
‘What a horrible baby!’ Said Teana
‘Now, now, Madam’ Chuckled Harold
‘You have to remember that, all be it a baby, he was a troll and that’s what trolls do!’
‘Eat pets!’ Said Teana, disgustedly
‘Well he didn’t know they were pets!’ argued Harold ‘But you’re right..’ He continued,
holding his hands up ‘He couldn’t be allowed to go on like that!’
‘So, the villagers called a meeting at the village hall. The meeting, I’m afraid, turned into
a very bad tempered affair.’
‘This is all your fault!’ shouted the ex-mayor at Bob Sickle, the new mayor.
‘He’s right! It is!’ This was the first time Clancy Forbright had ever agreed with the ex-
‘Calm down!’ Said Bob.
Bob Sickle was turning out to be a very good mayor with some clever suggestions for
improving the village. One of his most popular suggestions was that they build a bridge
over the Rushingwet river. This ran across the center of the High Street. Every time you
went to the local shop you had to swim across and then swim back, so your bread was
always wet when you arrived home! No one could quite remember why the High street
had been built on either side of a deep river, but everyone agreed that a bridge was
probably a good idea. (Everybody except the ex-mayor that is. When told of the
suggested bridge he was heard to complain that:
‘These new fangled ideas never work’ and
‘What’s wrong with a damp loaf for goodness sake!’)
But even Bob Sickle was a little bit stumped by what to do with the green baby that ate
‘I’d had that toad for more ‘an forty years!’ Said Edna, the local witch,
‘How’m I gonna cure warts now?’ She finished
‘Exactly!’ Agreed Mr and Mrs Scabby wart, looking decidedly more scabbywartier than
‘Oh oozles to your toad!’ swore Mr Oldpotatoe ‘D’you know how difficult it is to buy an
angel fish in Fairyland?’
All the villagers started shouting, all at once, about their, deceased, beloved pets
‘All right, All right! Bellowed Bob
‘Enough already!’ The villagers all stopped shouting and looked at him.
‘As I see it’ continued Bob ‘We have a problem! On the one hand, we don’t want the
poor little green mite to come to no harm!’
‘Poor little bairn!’
‘Got no Mummy and Daddy!’
Agreed several villagers
‘On the other hand’ Bob went on ‘ We can’t have him eating all our livestock!’
‘No we can’t!’
‘I still reckon he had my Daisy!’
‘I were saving them chickens for Christmas dinner’
Agreed the villagers, again!
‘So..’ Interrupted Bob ‘I propose… ‘ he paused
‘Propose what?’ Asked several villagers
‘That we ring the bell!’ Finished Bob
A deathly silence filled the hall
‘Are you sure that’s wise?’ The ex-mayor pushed himself to the front of the crowd
‘I mean.. Well.. We’re only supposed to ring the bell in the direst emergency!’
‘And I can’t see…’ Clancy Forbright, who had pushed through alongside the ex-mayor,
chimed in ‘ How a little green baby qualifies as a dire emergency!’
‘What would you suggest then gentlemen?’ Asked Bob
‘Ah!’ Said the ex-mayor ‘ …I agree with whatever Clancy suggests!’
‘..With whatever I…’ Clancy stuttered. Recovering quickly, he harrumphed and puffed
and grabbing the lapels of his jacket with both hands he said :
‘Having looked at the er.. green baby situation.. from each side…And having studied the
ramnifinications…’ All the villagers went ‘Oooooooo’ at this long word.
‘Of the situation,’ continued Clarence ‘I would suggest the ringing of the said bell, might,
but, note I am not saying ‘is’, I reitartrate, might, be the optommyguninium outcome of
any such muchewcarally agreed policy, if backed by a substational number of my fellow,
nay, comeapartriarchal council members as agreed, or as in perjampudding tomarteratus
as I believe it is said in Latin!’
Having said which he gathered the tails of his coat and sat down. The effect would have
been greater if there had actually been a chair for him to sit down on! As it was he just
sort of fell in a heap onto the floor!
The villagers all laughed!
‘Right then’ said Bob ‘Assuming that, all that, meant he agreed with me, the bell it is!’ So
saying he strode over to a large glass fronted box mounted on the back wall. To one side
of the box was a little shelf on which, was placed, a hammer. Above the box was a gold
sign that said;
‘Break this and pull rope in case of emergency! But ONLY in case of emergency and REMEMBER that the last person to pull this rope, did so as a JOKE and has since been sentenced to training all the ants, in all the ants nests, in all the world, to march in time to the tune of Hickory Dickory Dock!’
It was quite a big sign!
Bob picked up the hammer, smashed the glass and pulled the rope! If a bell rung, nobody
in the hall could hear it!
Suddenly (No excuse this time!), there was a flash of yellow smoke
‘I’m not even going to argue the colour’ Said Teana ‘But smoke does not flash!’
Harold, nobly, ignored her.
‘If there is one thing that I hate…’ Said Big Queen Bethany, who you will not be
surprised to hear, had appeared in the Flash (Harold emphasized the word) of smoke.
‘It’s that ……. Bell!’ I have left out the adjective, as it is not normally used in Fairyland!
‘I am most dreadfully sorry!’ said Bob, bowing very low,’ but I really thought this was a
problem that only your magnificent intelligence could sort out!’
‘You’ll go far!’ said Bethany noticing Bob’s gold chain
‘What seems to be the problem?’
Taking a huge breath, Bob explained all about the cave and; how he had gone in alone;
and how he had found the treasure; and the baby; and how the villagers had agreed to his
conditions; and made him mayor; and sealed the cave entrance; and adopted the baby;
and then how the baby had eaten all the villager’s small animals and maybe Daisy the
cow, but how could a one foot tall baby eat a cow; and how if this sentence didn’t end
quickly he’d have no breath left!
‘And where..’ Asked Bethany ‘Is the baby now?’
‘Ah!’ Said Mr Toeglove ‘He be perfectly safe!’
‘Perfectly safe, where?’ Asked Bethany
‘I’ve got him locked up in my kennel!’ Mr Toeglove continued
It is a widely held belief, that Fairy Queens, especially Big Fairy Queens, never lose their
tempers! But those that were there say that Bethany came very close to losing her temper
with Mr Toeglove! They even say that they saw her wand quiver.
‘In your kennel?’ She quivered
‘Er.. yes ma’am’ stuttered Mr Toeglove ‘Once he’d e’ten all the dogs we ‘ad no other use
‘Ah yes!’ Said Bethany, somewhat mollified ‘Troll babies can be difficult!’
‘Which..’ said Bob ‘Is why I called you! We’ve honest done our best by the little lad, but
he will keep eating things!’
‘You should have called me the moment you found him!’ admonished the Fairy Queen.
‘Trolls, although fairly horrible, are magical creatures. They cannot be brought up by
humans. Humans are not in the least bit magical!’
‘I’m magical!’ Teana pointed out
‘You, may the wizards preserve us,’ replied Harold ‘Are a Fairy Queen!’
‘Trolls,’ continued Harold, ’continued Bethany, ‘cannot be raised by humans!’
‘Although’, she admitted, ‘It was very honourable of you all to try!’
All the villagers looked extremely pleased with themselves.
‘But now I must take him to, somewhat, more suited, foster parents’ she continued.
‘Oh! Right you are then’ said Mr Toeglove ‘I’ll whip back and get him…’
‘No need,’ Interrupted Bethany ‘I’ve already moved him to his new home!’ ‘By the
way… Whose idea was the bridge?’
‘T’was Bobs ‘ replied just about everybody
‘I shall have to keep an eye on you, young man!’ She said, as she disappeared in a cloud
‘Pink and blue and brown striped smoke’ Offered Teana unhelpfully!
‘Saffron smoke!’ finished Harold.
‘But where did Bethany send him?’ Asked Teana
‘Well to the pixies of Snowdropwood, of course! Replied Harold
‘Duhhhhh, Silly me!’ Replied Teana ‘He was still a troll, what difference did it make,
living with pixies?’
‘Well,’ explained Harold ‘Firstly, pixies, generally tend to be green! And secondly, they,
too are magical creatures!
‘Oh’ said Teana, so they magic’ed him into not eating all the local wildlife?’
‘Actually … No!’ said Harold
‘What ?’ Asked Teana aghast ‘So this little wild baby troll was allowed to run amok
amongst the forest and devour all the local wildlife!’
‘Er yes and no madam!’ replied Harold
‘Yes and no ?’ asked Teana confused.
‘Well,’ explained Harold ‘The pixies let him run wild in the forest and, certainly, he bit a
few of the residents…’
‘But?’ Asked Teana
‘But,’ answered Harold ‘They bit him back! Woodland creatures like; squirrels,
hedgehogs, snakes, voles, owls, ferrets and foxes, do not wait to be eaten! They bite
back! Our little green baby soon learnt that being bitten is no fun at all! By his first
birthday he was, as were all his pixie friends, a vegetarian!
‘For many years he lived happily with the pixies of Snowdropwood………’
‘But’ Said Teana, But’ ing in again
‘I always thought pixies were small!’
‘And so they are ma’am’ agreed Harold
‘Which is why, once Bejanx had reached six foot high, things became difficult!’
‘Pixies, as you know, having listened to all my lessons.’ Harold looked at Teana
who pretended to be looking at her fingernails.
‘live in trees. Unfortunately they like to live in the topmost branches. This is because
pixies are small and light and that is the best place to live, to avoid predators like trolls!
There is nothing a young pixie likes doing more on a hot, breezy, day, when all the tree
tops sway than taking a piece of honeycomb and ‘surfin’ the treetops.
Our little green baby, who was no longer a little green baby, wanted to ‘Topsurf’ with his
Friends! This always ended in total disaster. ‘Here we go!’ would shout his best friend
Djork, leaping onto his honeycomb board and gliding effortlessly from bending branch to
‘Yeah! Here we go!’ Shouted our six foot green troll, planting enormous feet onto a very
small honeycomb. He would jump, the branch would break, and the next and the next…
‘Wheeeeee’ shouted Djork the pixie, surfing the tree tops
‘Owwwoooeeeeoooowwwwoooofffffffffff’! shouted the troll as he smashed straight
down through the trees and crunched onto the ground!
‘Ouuch!’ Said Teana ‘That’s got to hurt!’
‘Not as much, Ma’am, as it hurt the forest folk who happened to be walking below him,
when Bejanx hit the ground!
‘Squashed?’ Asked Teana
‘Squashed, indeed Ma’am,’ Agreed Harold ‘That is why Queen Bethany gave him a job
here! There where too many bandaged pixies and squirrels with broken paws limping
about the forest. So she gave him a job here! No trees in the castle to fall out of and
nothing to remind him that he’s getting a little bit big to be a pixie!’
‘Apart from the Chamberflowers!’ Pointed out Teana
‘Yes, well, as I say, I shall be having a word with them!’ Said Harold sternly.‘The
important thing is; not to mention any of this to Bejanx. Always remember that he thinks
he’s a pixie!’
‘Okey dokey…’ replied Teana ‘ but why is he called Bejanx?’
‘Well’ Explained Harold ‘Although trolls can do magical things…
‘Like turning themselves into garden ponds?’ Teana interrupted
‘Exactly!’ Agreed Harold ‘ They aren’t very good at book learning! They find things like
reading and writing very hard. When the pixie teachers were trying to teach Bejanx his
letters, for some reason, the only letters he could seem to remember were ;B, J..
‘And X!’ Teana finished, clapping her hands ‘So he’s called B,J and X ..Bejanx! Cool!
‘Precisely! Madam.’ Harold returned to his desk, put the big pixie book back inside it,
‘Lunchtime, I think, madam!’
‘Hmmm?’ Asked Teana looking out of the window at the big green pixie, who having
shaved the lawn, now seemed to be polishing the flowers!
‘Lunch, Madam! Repeated Harold ‘And then, I think, this afternoon we should take a
tour of your Queendom!’
‘Oh Goody!’ Said Teana, jumping up. She was pleased to be going anywhere that wasn’t
‘Can Bejanx come too?’
‘I’m afraid not!’ Said Harold, shaking his head
‘Oh but, why not!’ complained Teana
‘Because we shall be visiting Farmer Bigbelly’s farm, Ma’am, and we do try to keep
Bejanx away from family pets!’
‘But I thought you said he was a vegetarian now!’ Teana was puzzled.
‘That is indeed what we believe…’ concurred Harold ‘…But better to be safe than sorry,
don’t you think?