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The Elf, the Dwarf and the Magic Flute (youngsters:fantasy, 1474 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: Jan 30 2010Views/Reads: 8001/3707Story 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...

The Elf, the Dwarf and the Magic Flute 

© 2010 Ian G Hobson 

Ripley had a new friend: a dwarf called Rumpledum.  Rumpledum lived in
log cabin at the edge of the forest; which was an unusual place for a 
dwarf to live, as they usually prefer to live underground in caves and 
tunnels and suchlike. 

One day, Ripley  who, as you may recall from an earlier story, was a
young elf  was on his way to visit his friend, Rumpledum, when he 
found something lying on the ground in the middle of the forest path.  
At first he thought that it was just a stick with a bad case of 
woodworm, as there was a line of small round holes along its length.  
But as he was about to kick it off the path and into the brambles, he 
realised what it was: a flute. 

He bent down to pick it up and, after wiping the dust off it with the
sleeve of his coat, he put one end to his lips and blew.  But not a 
sound came out.  This was very disappointing, because Ripley had often 
wished that he could play a musical instrument.  He tried again, this 
time with his fingers over some of the holes, but still no sound came 
from the flute.  He closed one eye and looked, with the other eye, down 
inside the length of it, trying to see if it was blocked with 

'What have you got there?' 

Ripley looked up to see his friend,  Rumpledum, walking along the path
towards him.  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. 

'I think it's supposed to be a flute,' replied the elf, with a smile. 
'But I can't get a squeak out of it.' 

'Let me try.'   Rumpledum took the flute from Ripley and examined it
carefully.  On the opposite side to the line of holes were some strange 
markings; looking rather like writing of some sort.  He put the flute 
to his lips and blew, making a single clear note that seemed to rise up 
into the air until it vanished into the canopy of green leaves above 
their heads. 

'That's odd,' said Ripley, 'it wouldn't work for me, and yet you have
just one blow and out comes that beautiful sound.  See if you can play 
a tune.' 

'I don't really know any tunes,' the dwarf answered, but he blocked most
of the holes with his fingers, put the flute to his lips again and 
blew, this time making a series of notes, as he moved his fingers up 
and down, and tilting his head back to send the notes high into the 
treetops again. 

But it was then that Ripley saw that something very strange was
happening:  it seemed that with every note that his friend made, he was 
growing bigger and bigger.  'I think you better stop,' said Ripley.  
But Rumpledum was so engrossed in playing the flute that he had failed 
to notice his steadily increasing size, or to notice his friend's 
warning.  So Ripley took a deep breath and shouted, 'stop!' while 
reaching up and tugged at the dwarf's sleeve, for he had grown so much 
that already his elbows were higher than the elf's head. 

'Why must I stop?'  Rumpledum asked, as he lowered the flute and looked
around, at first wondering where his friend had gone, and then looking 
down at him.  'Oh!  What are you doing down there?  You've shrunk!' 

'It's not me that's shrunk,' replied Ripley, looking with amazement at
his huge friend, whose leggings and jacket were now so tight that they 
looked about ready to burst at the seams.  'It's you!  As you played 
the flute you got taller and taller!' 

Rumpledum looked around at the forest.  Ripley was right: the trees were
not as tall as they should be, and the footpath that the two friends 
were standing on was no more than a short stride in width, and his 
clothing felt very very tight.  'What has happened to me?' he asked in 

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