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|The Elf, the Trollgood and the Magic Sword (youngsters:fantasy, 1496 words)|
|Author: Ian Hobson||Added: Jan 17 2009||Views/Reads: 4750/1603||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|An elf finds his way barred by an ugly creature.|
Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story 'Where do I live?' Snuffler replied. 'I live in a cave under the bridge: not that that's any business of yours.' He looked closely at Ripley's coat and felt the material around the collar with a thumb and forefinger. 'Well what about your coat, then? It feels nice and soft and would help to keep me warm on cold nights, and I'm sure I could squeeze into it.' Ripley's coat was woven from the finest wool and dyed a beautiful shade of autumn gold. 'But I don't think my coat would fit you, Mister Snuffler,' he said. He slipped off his coat and held it up for the trollgood to try on, but Snuffler couldn't even get his fist into one of the sleeves. 'No, just as I thought, it's far too small for you,' said the elf. 'But, anyway, what do you eat?' He looked over the side of the bridge and down into the crevasse again. 'There can be nothing down there to eat but spiders.' Snuffler pulled another excruciatingly ugly face, showing the gaps between his crooked, brown teeth – it was the closest he could come to smiling. 'I eats travellers,' he replied. 'Them what can't pay to cross my bridge. I ate one this morning; he was a dwarf, and though he had gold in his pocket, he refused to pay, so I ate him; which is why I'm not too hungry right now, but if you go on talking for much longer, I will be.' It was then that the trollgood noticed the short sword that sat neatly in a leather sheath that hung from Ripley's belt. 'Now there's something I could use,' he said, pointing to it with a big, hairy index finger. 'You can pay me with that, and right sharpish, with no more of your silly questions, or else I'll snap you in half and eat a bit now and save the rest for later.' He flexed the muscles in his huge, hairy arms, as if to show that snapping an elf in half would be easy. 'Well, I suppose I could give you my sword,' said Ripley as he put his coat back on, 'though it was a present from my father.' As he touched the sword, running his fingers over its carved, wooden hilt, he remembered his father's words. 'Keep this with you on your journey, but never take it out of the scabbard; for there is magic inside it, magic that might save your life one day.' Reluctantly, Ripley unfastened his belt, slipping the sheathed sword off the end and handing it to the trollgood, who immediately pulled it from the sheath and examined it closely. It was a most unusual sword, as its narrow blade had a greenish tinge to it and curved gently from left to right, forming an elongated S-shape, while its hilt, also green and gently curved, had a bulbous end with two small dimples that looked rather like eyes. 'Huh, this sword's not even straight,' said Snuffler, testing the sharpness of the blade against his thumb. 'And it's blunt! What's the good of a bent sword with blade what's blunt?' He threw both the sword and the leather sheath to the ground and then set his hands on his hips and stared malevolently at Ripley. 'You have done nothing but waste my time, elf, but at least I've got my appetite back, and I think you'll do very nicely for my supper.' And with that, he grabbed hold of Ripley with his huge, hairy hands, opened his mouth wide, and was about to take a bite out of Ripley's neck, when he stopped. 'What's that?' Snuffler asked, as he felt something slither across his right foot, and then, 'Arrrrgh!' He uttered a very loud scream, and let Ripley fall from his hands, as he realised that a snake had sunk its fangs into his ankle. 'Arrrrgh!' He screamed again, hopping up and down on one foot, while shaking the other foot to rid himself of the snake. It was a long thin snake, and a poisonous one and, although it soon let go, the poison was already taking effect, and the trollgood staggered backwards and fell over the side of the bridge and into the crevasse, and was never seen again. Ripley, sitting where he had been dropped, had watched with astonishment, but he was even more astonished to see that the snake had slithered back into its sheath and turned into a sword once more. 'Thank you, father,' he said with a smile. Then he got to his feet, picked up his magic sword and set off for home. Tweet
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