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The Elf, the Dwarf and the Magic Flute (youngsters:fantasy, 1474 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: Jan 30 2010Views/Reads: 6162/2350Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The dwarf, dressed in colourful woollen leggings and jacket, looked like almost any other dwarf, except for one thing: he was actually quite tall; just as tall as Ripley in fact...

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

dismay, with tears welling in his eyes.  'Now I can never go home!' 

'It must be the flute,' said Ripley.  'It must be magic.  You didn't
wish to be bigger did you?' 

'Wish to be bigger!' exclaimed Rumpledum.  'Why ever would I do that?  I
was too big already.  Ever since I was ten years old I've been too big. 
 I've always wished to be smaller, not bigger.  That's why I left home: 
the other dwarfs were always making fun of me, and I was always banging 
my head as I walked through doorways.' 

'Oh, I see,' said Ripley.  'Well, don't worry.  I'm sure there's
something we can do.' 

'Like what?' asked the now huge, and un-dwarf-like, dwarf.  'I'll
probably be like this for the rest of my life.' 

'No,' Ripley replied, 'there must be some way to undo the magic.  Let me
take another look at that flute.'  Rumpledum handed the flute back to 
the elf who looked at it thoughtfully for a moment, running his fingers 
over the strange markings on the underside.  'I think I know what's 
happened,' he said.  'I've often wished that I could play a musical 
instrument, but this flute wouldn't work for me at all, while you have 
often wished to be smaller but, after blowing into the flute, you have 
grown bigger.' 

'What are you saying?' said Rumpledum.  'That whatever we wish for, the
flute makes the opposite happen?' 

'That must be it,' said the elf.  'It must be a magic flute.  Perhaps
you could get smaller again by playing the flute and wishing to be 
bigger.  But the question is: if you wish for what you don't want, will 
the flute grant what you do want, or will it know what you secretly 
wish for?' 

'That's quite a conundrum,' said a familiar voice. 

Ripley turned around to find a tall and kindly-looking elf standing
behind him.  'Father!' said Ripley.  'Look what's happened to  
Rumpledum.  He's grown even bigger and he's worried that he will never 
be able to go home to his people again.' 

'So I see,'  said Ripley's father, whose name was Libron.  'And you
think that it's all the fault of this flute?'  Libron, who knew a thing 
or two about magic, took the flute from his son, and he too examined 
the strange markings, while Ripley told him of everything that had 
happened since he found it lying on the path. 

'This is old-Elvish writing,' said Libron, after studying the flute
carefully, 'and, roughly translated, it says: Be careful what you wish 

'But I didn't wish for anything,' said  Rumpledum.  'At least, I didn't
mean to.' 

'So the flute knows your innermost thoughts,' said Libron.  'But not to
worry.  I think I can work out a way of making you small again; even 
smaller than you were, if you like.  Then you will definitely be able 
to return to your people.' 

'But how?' asked Ripley, worried that if his father was right, and that
Rumpledum could  be shrunk to normal dwarf size, then he would lose his 
new friend. 

'Like this,' Libron answered, returning the flute to his son.  'Try and
play it again, Ripley, but with your eyes closed, and keep playing 
until I tell you to stop.' 

Reluctantly, Ripley did as his father asked and this time, when he put
the flute to his lips, it did work for him, making a series of 
beautiful musical notes as he moved his fingers up and down over the 

'Stop!' shouted Libron.  Again Ripley followed his father's instructions
and, upon opening his eyes, he saw that Rumpledum was no longer a giant 
dwarf because, as Ripley had played the flute, the dwarf had shrunk to 
at least a head shorter than he had been before the flute first worked 
its magic, making his clothes now seem quite big and baggy. 

'This is wonderful,' said  Rumpledum, now with tears of joy in his eyes.
 'Now I can go home  to my real home under the mountain.  But how did 
you do that?' he asked, looking from Ripley to his father and then back 

'I wish I knew,' answered the young elf with a frown.  But gradually his
frown turned into a smile as he realised what had happened.  'I wasn't 
careful what I wished for, was I Father?' 

'No,' Libron answered.  'I guessed that your fear of losing Rumpledum's
friendship might outweigh your desire to help him return to his 

'Losing my friendship!' exclaimed Rumpledum.  'You will never do that,

And he didn't, for though they didn't see each other quite as often,
Ripley had made a friend for life.


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