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|The Black Pointy Hat (youngsters:fantasy, 2141 words)|
|Author: Ian Hobson||Added: Sep 13 2007||Views/Reads: 4632/1933||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Not that the scarecrow minded how he looked; he was, after all, just a scarecrow, without a single thought in his head...|
Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story The scarecrow stood thinking for a while; thinking how nice it was to be able to speak, and be able to shout, and even to be able to think; but before long he discovered something new, something called boredom, because he had no one to speak to and nothing to do. But it was just then that a little girl came running across the field. As she past the scarecrow she stuck out her tongue and pulled a face at him. 'You don't scare me,' she said. But then she noticed the pointy black hat and stopped and began to giggle. 'Wherever did you get that hat from?' she asked. 'That's what the owl said,' replied the scarecrow, giving the girl such a fright that she took several steps backwards. 'You can speak!' exclaimed the girl as she stared at the scarecrow's head. She could see it was just a sack stuffed with straw but it seemed to have more of a face than usual. 'When did you learn to talk?' she asked. 'I'm not sure,' replied the scarecrow. 'I think that today is the first time. You couldn't help me get free from this post, could you? I'm beginning to feel quite uncomfortable.' 'I might,' said the little girl as she walked around the scarecrow, trying to see how he was fastened to the post. 'I think there's a nail through the collar of your coat,' she said. She jumped up and grabbed the collar and tugged hard until the material ripped away from the nail and the scarecrow came tumbling down on top of her. 'I'm sorry,' said the scarecrow as the girl helped him to his feet. 'I didn't hurt you did I?' 'No,' the girl replied. 'You don't weigh much anyway. Do you want me to pull that stick out?' The scarecrow still had the garden cane through the sleeves of his coat. 'If you don't mind,' said the scarecrow. 'It would be nice to let my arms down; they feel very stiff.' So the little girl pulled the cane out from the scarecrow's sleeves, and he was so grateful that he jumped up and down, flapping his arms like a bird. The girl began to giggle again. 'You really are very funny,' she said. But then she became more serious and asked, 'but what will you do now, Scarecrow? Now that I've set you free?' The scarecrow stopped flapping his arms and looked thoughtful. 'I don't know,' he said. 'This is all very new to me; being able to move, and to think.' He sat down and leaned back against the wooden post. 'Being alive is so difficult isn't it. I mean, having to think what to do next; it makes my head hurt.' 'It's called making decisions,' said the girl as she sat down beside the scarecrow. 'You'll get used to it.' Suddenly there was a shout from across the field, and when the girl and the scarecrow looked up, they saw an angry looking old man running towards them. 'Who's that?' the scarecrow asked. 'I'm not sure,' replied the girl. 'It looks like, yes, it is! It's the wizard, and he looks very angry. Come on, we better run.' And so the girl and the scarecrow scrambled to their feet and ran off across the field as fast as they could. 'Drat and tarnation!' said the wizard as he reached the wooden post in the middle of the field. He was so out of breath that he had to stop and lean against it. 'Was I right?' the owl asked as she glided gently down and landed on the top of the wooden post. 'Was that scarecrow wearing your hat?' 'He was,' replied the wizard, looking very downhearted; which is not surprising because he was not really a wizard; he was just an old man who happened to own a magic hat; except that now the scarecrow had the hat, and its magic too. 'Oh well, never mind,' said the owl. 'I suppose you'll just have to buy a new one.' 'But I'll never find another hat like that one,' said the old man as he sat down and leaned against the post. But he was talking to himself, because the owl had flown back to her nest. *** Meanwhile, the scarecrow and the little girl had crossed two fields and climbed over a wooden stile and into a lane. 'Where are we going?' the scarecrow asked as he ran along the lane following the little girl. But before the girl could answer, one of the scarecrow's rubber boots came off and he stumbled and fell. 'Come on,' said the girl as she grabbed the scarecrow's rubber boot and knelt down to stuff his trouser leg back into it, 'if we don't hurry the wizard might catch us!' But it was then that she saw the scarecrow's foot. 'Look!' she exclaimed. 'That's a real foot sticking out of your trouser leg!' She pulled off the scarecrow's other boot. 'Another one,' she said. 'You have two real feet!' The scarecrow sat and looked at his pink feet and wiggled his toes. 'You're right,' he said. 'I've got real feet. They must be real, because they're cold without my boots.' He reached for his boots and began to pull them back on. 'You've got hands as well!' the little girl shouted. 'Where did they come from?' She was even more amazed than she had been when she'd discovered that the scarecrow could talk. 'I don't know,' the scarecrow replied. 'But it's jolly useful, having hands.' He finished pulling on his boots and then got to his feet. 'I feel like a new man,' he said. 'You are a man, look!' The little girl was pointing to the scarecrow's face. 'You have a real face, with real eyes, and a nose and a mouth!' 'Well I never!' exclaimed the man, putting his hands to his face and feeling his nose and his mouth and his eyes and his ears. 'This morning when I woke up I was a scarecrow, but now I'm a man with a face, and hands, and feet, and everything. What can it mean?' 'It must be that hat,' said the girl. 'It must be a magic hat. Even your clothes have changed; they're not old clothes any more, they're new ones!' The man looked down at his smart new coat and trousers and then removed his hat and examined it. 'It's a funny hat isn't it; kind of tall and pointy.' He looked inside the hat. 'What's this?' he asked as he found a label inside and showed it to the little girl.' She read the label. 'It says, IF FOUND, PLEASE RETURN TO DRAGONFLY COTTAGE Oh, but that's where the wizard lives!' But then the man put the hat back onto his head and began to laugh. 'Of course it's where the wizard lives,' he said, 'because I'm the wizard and this is my hat. What a confusing morning this has been... Well, it's been very nice meeting you, little girl, but I must be getting home now, it's well past lunchtime and I think there may be rain on the way. Goodbye!' And with that, the smartly dressed young wizard turned and strode off along the lane, and as he reached a bend he turned and waved, before he disappeared from view. So the little girl shrugged her shoulders and ran off towards home. *** A little while later a farmer came striding across his field, taking the same short cut that the little girl had taken. 'What's going on here?' he said. 'Someone's stolen my scarecrow.' But as he got nearer to the wooden post he saw that someone had left him a new one. 'Well I never!' he said as he looked at the new scarecrow leaning against the post. 'You're an ugly old thing.' But taking him by the collar, the farmer lifted the scarecrow up and hung him firmly onto the nail. Then he threaded the garden cane through the sleeves of his coat and stood back to look at his handiwork. 'Oh yes, very ugly,' he said, 'but you'll do just fine. And just in time for the planting season.' 'I don't understand,' the old man thought to himself as the farmer walked away. 'This morning I was a wizard but now I'm a...' But he never finished his thought because, well, scarecrows can't think, can they? Tweet
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