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Nadine Thornhill and the Five Fierce Owls

A Fairy Tale
by Nyx

Once upon a time there was a cunning girl called Nadine Thornhill. She was on the way to see her Jeff Cox, when she decided to take a short cut through The Amazon Rainforest.

It wasn't long before Nadine got lost. She looked around, but all she could see were trees. Nervously, she felt into her bag for her favourite toy, Spike, but Spike was nowhere to be found! Nadine began to panic. She felt sure she had packed Spike. To make matters worse, she was starting to feel hungry.

Unexpectedly, she saw a fierce owl dressed in a purple skirt disappearing into the trees.

"How odd!" thought Nadine.

For the want of anything better to do, she decided to follow the peculiarly dressed owl. Perhaps it could tell him the way out of the forest.

Eventually, Nadine reached a clearing. She found herself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from cabbages, a house made from sweets, a house made from fruit gums, a house made from fruit gums, a house made from chips and a house made from sweets.

Nadine could feel her tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease her hunger.

"Hello!" she called. "Is anybody there?"

Nobody replied.

Nadine looked at the roof on the closest house and wondered if it would be rude to eat somebody else's chimney. Obviously it would be impolite to eat a whole house, but perhaps it would be considered acceptable to nibble the odd fixture or lick the odd fitting, in a time of need.

A cackle broke through the air, giving Nadine a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Spike!

"Spike!" shouted Nadine. She turned to the witch. "That's my toy!"

The witch just shrugged.

"Give Spike back!" cried Nadine.

"Not on your nelly!" said the witch.

"At least let Spike out of that cage!"

Before she could reply, five fierce owls rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Nadine recognised the one in the purple skirt that she'd seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.

"Hello Big Owl," said the witch.

"Good morning." The owl noticed Spike. "Who is this?"

"That's Spike," explained the witch.

"Ooh! Spike would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!" demanded the owl.

The witch shook her head. "Spike is staying with me."

"Um... Excuse me..." Nadine interrupted. "Spike lives with me! And not in a cage!"

Big Owl ignored her. "Is there nothing you'll trade?" he asked the witch.

The witch thought for a moment, then said, "I do like to be entertained. I'll release him to anybody who can eat a whole front door."

Big Owl looked at the house made from sweets and said, "No problem, I could eat an entire house made from sweets if I wanted to."

"That's nothing," said the next owl. "I could eat two houses."

"There's no need to show off," said the witch. Just eat one front door and I'll let you have Spike."

Nadine watched, feeling very worried. She didn't want the witch to give Spike to Big Owl. She didn't think Spike would like living with a fierce owl, away from her house and all her other toys.

The other four owls watched while Big Owl put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Big Owl. "Just you watch!"

Big Owl pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from sweets. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

Eventually, Big Owl started to get bigger - just a little bit bigger at first. But after a few more fork-fulls of sweets, he grew to the size of a large snowball - and he was every bit as round.

"Erm... I don't feel too good," said Big Owl.

Suddenly, he started to roll. He'd grown so round that he could no longer balance!

"Help!" he cried, as he rolled off down a slope into the forest.

Big Owl never finished eating the front door made from sweets and Spike remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Average Owl stepped up, and approached the house made from fruit gums.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Average Owl. "Just you watch!"

Average Owl pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from fruit gums. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

After a while, Average Owl started to look a little queasy. She grew greener...

   ...and greener.

A woodcutter walked into the clearing. "What's this bush doing here?" he asked.

"I'm not a bush, I'm an owl!" said Average Owl.

"It talks!" exclaimed the woodcutter. "Those talking bushes are the worst kind. I'd better take it away before somebody gets hurt."

"No! Wait!" cried Average Owl, as the woodcutter picked her up. But the woodcutter ignored her cries and carried the owl away under his arm.

Average Owl never finished eating the front door made from fruit gums and Spike remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Little Owl stepped up, and approached the house made from fruit gums.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Little Owl. "Just you watch!"

Little Owl pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from fruit gums. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

After five or six platefuls, Little Owl started to fidget uncomfortably on the spot.

He stopped eating fruit gums for a moment, then grabbed another forkful.

But before he could eat it, there came an almighty roar. A bottom burp louder than a rocket taking off, propelled Little Owl into the sky.

"Aggghhhhhh!" cried Little Owl. "I'm scared of heigh..."

Little Owl was never seen again.

Little Owl never finished eating the front door made from fruit gums and Spike remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Tiny Owl stepped up, and approached the house made from chips.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Tiny Owl. "Just you watch!"

Tiny Owl pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from chips. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

However, on the next mouthful, the food fell straight out of Tiny Owl's mouth. She tried to stuff in another forkful of chips, but once again, the food fell out. There just wasn't enough room left in her belly.

"This is just not fair!" declared Tiny Owl, and stomped off into the forest.

Tiny Owl never finished eating the front door made from chips and Spike remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Even-Tinier Owl stepped up, and approached the house made from sweets.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Even-Tinier Owl. "Just you watch!"

Even-Tinier Owl pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from sweets. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

Suddenly, Even-Tinier Owl stopped eating and started dancing. While he danced, he sang at the top of his lungs, "Sweets! Watch me eat all the sweets!"

"It looks as though the sweets are making you hyperactive," laughed the witch.

"Oh no they're not!" cried Even-Tinier Owl. "I'm always this excited." With that, he walked into a tree.

Bong!

Even-Tinier Owl banged his head and fell backwards onto his bottom. He passed out, exhausted.

Even-Tinier Owl never finished eating the front door made from sweets and Spike remained trapped in the witch's cage.

"That's it," said the witch. "I win. I get to keep Spike."

"Not so fast," said Nadine. "There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from cabbages. And I haven't had a turn yet.

"I don't have to give you a turn!" laughed the witch. "My game. My rules."

The woodcutter's voice carried through the forest. "I think you should give her a chance. It's only fair."

"Fine," said the witch. "But you saw what happened to the owls. She won't last long."

"I'll be right back," said Nadine.

"What?" said the witch. "Where's your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Spike back."

Nadine ignored the witch and gathered a hefty pile of sticks. She came back to the clearing and started a small camp fire. Carefully, she broke off a piece of the door of the house made from cabbages and toasted it over the fire. Once it had cooked and cooled just a little, she took a bite. She quickly devoured the whole piece.

Nadine sat down on a nearby log.

"You fail!" cackled the witch. "You were supposed to eat the whole door."

"I haven't finished," explained Nadine. "I am just waiting for my food to go down."

When Nadine's food had digested, she broke off another piece of the door made from cabbages. Once more, she toasted her food over the fire and waited for it to cool just a little. She ate it at a leisurely pace then waited for it to digest.

Eventually, after several sittings, Nadine was down to the final piece of the door made from cabbages. Carefully, she toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. She finished her final course. Nadine had eaten the entire front door of the house made from cabbages.

The witch stamped her foot angrily. "You must have tricked me!" she said. "I don't reward cheating!"

"I don't think so!" said a voice. It was the woodcutter. He walked back into the clearing, carrying his axe. "This little girl won fair and square. Now hand over Spike or I will chop your broomstick in half."

The witch looked horrified. She grabbed her broomstick and placed it behind her. Then, huffing, she opened the door of the cage.

Nadine hurried over and grabbed Spike, checking that her favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Spike was unharmed.

Nadine thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Jeff. It was starting to get dark.

When Nadine got to Jeff's house, her threw his arms around her.

"I was so worried!" cried Jeff. "You are very late."

As Nadine described her day, she could tell that Jeff didn't believe her. So she grabbed a napkin from her pocket.

"What's that?" asked Jeff.

Nadine unwrapped a doorknob made from sweets. "Pudding!" she said.

Jeff almost fell off his chair.

The End

Created on 25th November 2019.





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